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And also, my sister would take up the leadership role when it came down to teaching or explaining things because she is really good at it and is currently attending college to become an elementary school teacher. Meanwhile I would rise up to be a leader in anything tech-related or books or old television shows or bands or cleaning because I'm the one that just wants to get things like chores done and out of the way with.

I guess that could relate back to the standards I set for myself and what they look like. Hey Kami. I see what you mean when you say that everyone gets their chance to be the leader. I see how that would work for your family. In my family I will admit that I do most of the leading. As hard as my youngest sister tries to lead she cant keep up with my fast pace. In certain situations the middle child leads. She is mature and can take lead when the other of us are doing something else.

She only has the chance to be a leader when the other of us are gone or when we let her have a time to shine. That doesn't happen very often. Leadership is a trait that only some have. It is possible that everyone of your siblings all have that trait. That is not the case in my family. I have good leadership skills. My youngest sister learns from me. And even in certain situations my sister closest in age can be a leader.

She is only a leader when her siblings aren't around. I wonder if you are like the oldest because your brother doesn't live with you. As being oldest I personally like it. I think it definitely has its perks. Myths can lead a person into thinking that because they are placed at a certain place in their family, they are required to feel and act a certain way. Birth-order does not matter. It is the goals and personality of the child that influences their character. A myth is meant to enhance ones' awareness of a situation they find themselves in and offers perspective on the avenues of outcomes, seen as a guide they are useless other than as entertainment hence the usual blaring ambiguities.

Birth order is by contrast a perspective to enable an observer to gain insight to the effects of niche development. It might be said that your concerns are typical of a middle child. The road to smarter families is right under our collective nose. Birth order matters, but it does not predict personality.

Birth order as a concept disproves the idea that children in the same family grow up in a shared environment. It says the position in the family creates a different point of view that changes the environment. Another reason birth order is important is that it points out certain problems that each birth order must face. The first born was once the center of attention and then had to share their parents attention with another child. Adler labeled this dethronement. It is how the child answers the problem of dethronement not through words, but through action that create an individual birth order effect.

The child could adjust well to the new child or poorly. When the second child arrives, to the second born, the first born becomes a pacesetter or frame of reference to which they will be measured. There is a clear measure of achievement, and some second borns race to overtake the first born. Perhaps the first born is easily overtaking, or perhaps the child defends his position.

In the end, one child will be labeled one thing like "the smart one" and the other will be labeled something else "the athlete", or the "good one" and the "bad one". If another child is born, the second child is also dethroned, but the effects are much less than that of the first born as the middle child has always had to share attention. This is the real basis for birth order: The child's answer dethronement and pacesetters as seen through their actions.

How it plays out in each family is different and as we continually see, trying to objectively measure the birth order effect is pretty worthless. But, it is useful in understanding the individual for the purpose of therapy. While there are theories and myths about whether birth order determines a child's path in life, there are certain characteristics that can be determined, though are not set in stone. The myths and such are propelled by those who are trying to water down their own misconceptions.

Birth order is a way to look for expected results of fitting in, adapting, and growing into a family usually niche. The only thing set in stone seems to be the popularity of disagreeing with something they don't at all understand. Typical first born traits. That is, a first born that has younger siblings no more than five or six years younger. If the first born is older than that usually the younger sibs see them as an authority figure and the process starts again.

As in the brightness of the flame it gave off as you were burning it? The essay you are referring to was not written by an academic, but someone who desperately tries to steal the air of such validity. Thoughtful as the essay is, it is to some a conformation of the difficulty of doing research. It is unclear what the author is attempting to accomplish. One guess would be to comfort the people who found Born To Rebel truly scary, another would be to display the authors latent desire to be put in their place.

Both achievable ends I might add. Personally I don't think that sort of rhetoric would fly as a high school term paper on the inequities of beliefs, buts that just me. So aside from all this hoopla, what did you think of the book when you finished reading it? I am the middle child and I had the experience of that characteristics of a middle child and I experienced it all my life.

It start with parents treating you in a certain way and you take and make it your own path. Thanks Dr for sharing this article. I have yet to see a study on how large families work in this process - I am one of 10 children to the same parents and my husband one of 12 to the same parents. We grew up in different countries but I believe we share some very common values simply because we both grew up in large families with many siblings. I am a number 3 one of the older ones and he is a younger been number 8 in his family.

I am very interested to see a study on this kind of dynamic as observing the both families I can see all the various traits of leaderships, fun loving, responsible serious types spread across both families and across all birth positions. It would make for a very interesting study and perhaps as society has moved more to smaller family units we may learn something about the harmony that appears to exist in larger families, even though it would appear on the surface a more stressful situation I think a large family produces less self absorbed individuals who have a can do attitude Has anyone had experience or a study on this?

Dorothy, according to birth order expectations you as a third born are probably a born actress or role player, someone who is willing to wear several hats and is glad to just get the job done whatever it is, although if you don't have a role to play you feel very vulnerable.

Your husband being an eighth born most likely has a strong personality, is open minded but not an egotist. Have some questions?? Dorothy - I don't know of any studies about large families and how they operate. I do know that I've seen any number of people in my practice who come from large families as well as more personal knowledge from my mother's family of 8. Not surprising, they run the gamut of high conflict to a very supportive network that lasts a lifetime.

The oldest child in the family clearly is the same as the oldest child in any family - more responsible, given many family duties, and generally looked up to by the rest of the kids. I agree, it would be an interesting study. The entire subject of birth order is steered in the wrong direction in my humble opinion. Each particular family has there own particular dynamics.

These dynamics are what essentially makes the family go "round and round". From the article, Stewart had some interesting comments regarding one or both of the siblings finding there own niche in the family and going with it. I think that quote is spot on regarding birth order and relevancy of the subject in general. I agree that birth order is going of the rails. Birth order is simple the dethronement and pacesetter situations that children find themselves.

Looking at it globally is useless, but looking at it at an personal level, how it plays out is important to understanding the individual. The idea that individual find their niche is also important. If the oldest child is the "sporty" one, the next one will likely be the "brainy" one. If one is the "good" one, and other will be the "bad" one. There seems to be an unspoken agreement between the siblings that they won't cross over into their chosen fields. I've been reading the works of Alfred Adler for about 16 years now.

I love reading about feelings of inferiority, striving for superiority, social interest, and the use patients make of their symptoms. I started reading Adler's books because I saw his name in a birth order book I was reading. Birth order was very important to me for the same reasons we are talking about it now: I thought it was the root of personality.

I was excited when Born to Rebel came out and I tried to read the damn thing, but it was so scientific, at the time I had no idea what it was talking about. I was mad as hell when Judith Rich Harris come out with her Nurture Assumption book claiming parents, and birth order, had very little affect on a person latter personality. However, after years of research, I've come to the conclusion that the affect birth order has is only important to the individual in question, and I think that is what Adler what really driving at.

You see, Adler's birth order theory is useful in that it showed how children in the same family are different from each other. Adler says "It is a common fallacy to imagine that children of the same family are formed in the same environment. Of course there is much which is the same for all children in the same home, but the psychological situation of each child is individual and differs from that of others, because the order of their succession. Adler also says, "There has been some misunderstanding of my custom of classification according to positions in the family.

It is not, of course, the child's number in the order of successive births which influences his character, but the situation into which he is born and the way in which he interprets it. Those answers will maybe different but are often similar. Middle children have a pace setter in the first born, and must find an answer to that problem, but also are later dethroned by another sibling, and must deal with that. The youngest child only has pace setters.

At this point, I would like to correct the author of the article. Dethronement is not a feeling, a first born is not sensitive to feeling dethroned. Dethronement is an event. The only ones who never experience dethronement are the only children and the youngest. I feel that, given this, any attempt at finding global definitions of what a first born is, or a middle child, and so on, is doomed to fail, but because the effect birth order has is personal and based on the individual reactions to what only appears to be the same situation.

Birth order is really a basic script that gives us the frame work to better understand the individual. How did the person deal with dethronement, how did the younger children deal with having a pace setter, did they give up, or did it push them to excel. As an Adlerian, I don't see developing birth order beyond this to be of any value. I would say that you have transposed the basic information in "Rebel". Alders' books have brought you to a keen state of awareness. The question is not whether destiny determines birth order.

My point is that destiny is not the same as fate. Destiny is not a matter of chance but of choice. So one cannot chose before they were born. I agree with what you saying here. Fate is caused by chooses you make. Destiny can't be change. I was second born but my elder sister dies when I was a fourteen months old. So I may have been born a middle child but after fourteen months was raised as the eldest child. As the writer says I think there are way to many variables to judge a person by birth order.

Mostly, the middle order child is the one carrying out the most compromises in life. They are not neglected necessarily, but are not entitled to the best parenting offers. They often grow into the one sibling with most empathy. For me, being the youngest one in the family is very difficult. I personally think that I feel like the oldest in the house for many reasons. I used to live in a house with 3 sisters until the oldest one moved on and got married and moved out of the city.

But now I live in the same house with 2 older sisters. They have been treating me like they are older even though they are in a very immature way. I am the youngest but I feel like I am the oldest in the house. I feel like that because I always have to make decisions to my sisters, I practically make them food DAILY, and I always have to do things around the house because my sisters are too lazy to go do it their selves. The thing is they always take advantage of me just because I am the youngest but I act the most mature in a lot of cases. I defiantly agree with you.

I believe that in many circumstances i also too feel like the oldest one. I look at on how they failed and or did something wrong. So if the did something wrong and or failed ill learn form it. I like to learn from others peoples mistake so I don't have to have the same fails like they do. I think when I do that I'm learning and becoming more wiser.

I think that learning from others people fails and or mistakes are the best way to learn. I also think that when you become to that stage of maturity you tend to do a lot of the work and hard thinking. At my house i tend to also do cooking, cleaning and the diction making because of how wise we are. I'm not trying to sound cocky I just think that the more wiser you are the more you know how to do and the more you know how to do things.

I think that being the youngest child isn't going to prove nothing because what matter is what you think. What you think is going have a big impact on you life. You will make decisions that you might not want to but you will become the bigger person. I definitely see your point.

My cousin had told me the same exact thing. Being the family servant means that you are reliable. Being reliable means a lot of people will come to you for help and support. If you weren't there, who would support the family members who are in need? Who would be the come-to person? Kennedy, H. Orban, G. Response properties of visual cortical neurons in cats reared in stroboscopic illumination.

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    Wilmer, J. Backus, B. Precision of depth judgment from binocular disparity is heritable [ Abstract ]. Behavioral genetic evidence for plasticity in the oculomotor system [ Abstract ]. At my house i tend to also do cooking, cleaning and the diction making because of how wise we are. I'm not trying to sound cocky I just think that the more wiser you are the more you know how to do and the more you know how to do things.

    I think that being the youngest child isn't going to prove nothing because what matter is what you think. What you think is going have a big impact on you life. You will make decisions that you might not want to but you will become the bigger person. I definitely see your point. My cousin had told me the same exact thing. Being the family servant means that you are reliable. Being reliable means a lot of people will come to you for help and support. If you weren't there, who would support the family members who are in need?

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    Who would be the come-to person? You may see it as people taking advantage, but I see it as people that need you in their lives. They will realize how much they need you, and hopefully, they will be more appreciative of the things you have done for them. Try to be more thankful yourself too.

    Thank people for even doing the most littlest things. I would agree with what you have stated.

    You started by saying how two siblings that are close in age, averaging two and a half years apart and my little brother and I are exactly that, but you said how the older sibling, which would be me, sets goals for themselves and tends to shoot for the stars, or rather, perfection. And you also said while the older one sets high goals for themselves, the younger sibling tends to want to hit the target, but only if someone else had set those goals for them, and my brother is literally exactly that.

    I am more of a perfectionist and have high standards set for myself while my brother is lazier and does not like to do anything unless you do it for him or do it almost by yourself. This is why I agree with what you have said about two siblings being closer in age range. I believe that being the youngest child in my family had defiantly had some effects one how i am now.

    The youngest children tend to be more social because the parents are more prepared for the comings of kid problems.

    Birth Order and Sibship Sex Composition as Instruments in the Study of Education and Earnings

    I think that I am very social because I am the youngest child. My brother, being the only child, is very social. I think maybe that I sometimes take all the attention and he might feel like hes being ignored. But on the other hand he is very social when it come to family gatherings. I feel like i'm the only child because my two older siblings left and when my parents split up my brother went with my dad and I went with my mom.

    I think that I was treated like the only child. Even though I am the youngest I still tend to feel like I'm the only child because of that situation. I agree with what the article has said. When you do that though, the parents have too much control on you. They will scrutinized you to the point that you would leave and sleep over at your ex's house.

    I try to stay away from being at my house because I feel like the aspect of my life is being controlled too much. You feel like no one cares about you. I agree with that first born wants to be powerful, important, leading, and achieving because they are first born so they want to be the best. Then when another baby comes they got to try harder. Then later on my mom and dad got divorced so I tried being powerful and tried to keep my mom away from her boyfriend.

    I tried fighting him and doing things to get him to leave but it didn't so I am trying to get through it like a first born would and I am trying to achieve things in life. Thanks for reading. I think this article is accurate. I'm the fourth and last child but, the papers say I'm more like a first child. As I read the article and came upon the first child part all of the characteristics fit my personality.

    It states that the first child strives for goals, takes on leadership, and likes when people follow rules. I'm all of the above. As I look at brothers first born girl I can see the sensitive of dethroning part in her. She has three little sisters now and it seems like shes always trying to get attention to stay on top.

    With the rest of the information I can see it's facts throughout the rest of my family. Now that I've payed attention to it I can see all of it through the actions of my siblings and their kids. To me this article was very accurate. Thanks for reading, bye. I'm a 4th born child,when I read the article I started to analyse what was happening in my personal life and the fact were like the same. But I do agree that birth order is important and that birth order makes you who you are today. But there is always a purpose in the order of birth in which anyone is , I mean i'm supposed to learn from my older siblings but when ever something goes wrong in the house or anywhere else guess who is the one who gets blamed But I do enjoy having older and younger siblings I feel much less lonely and in the future my other siblings will have kids and my kids will have a lot of cousins.

    I do not really agree with you on all of this. Im the second to last out of six kids, and my oldest sister does not take leader ship at all. She does anything to get attention, even if it means getting in huge trouble. And i am a middle child. I also never developed good social skills. My youngest brother youngest kid does feel and get pampered by my parents. Hes already starting to get them.

    If anything im sure hes going to be the one with the best social skills out of all us kids. I personally agree with my birth order. I am the only child. My life has not been very normal like an only child life because both of my parents live somewhere else separate.

    I was raised by my grandmother and my aunt. Although I had to interact with my aunt's son and daughters. Which when I moved in with her I became the youngest. However none of my cousins were really home or talk to me, so I had all of my grandmothers attention. I did my homework by myself,or other things which if I struggled I learn how to figure things out by myself, nothing is hard for me when it comes to the time of me making a decision or doing things on my own.

    I actually like to be independent. I'm really mature which makes me feel like I'm not really the age that I am now because I feel more like an adult since I'm surrounded by people who are older than me, and a lot of my friends and family notice this. Also in school I like to always do things by myself I don't really like to work in groups since i'm use to managing work on my own.

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    I like to take leadership. I thought this article was very interesting. It was pretty amazing to learn about all of the different studies people had done on the way birth order changes your personality. Before I read this, I didn't believe anything I'd ever heard about birth order. I am an oldest child, and I've met plenty of oldest children that don't act anything like me. I can understand why your real birth order can be different than your perceived or psychological birth order. I took a quiz, and my psychological birth order is the same as my real one.

    However, many of my friends took the survey too, and got different results. For instance, if you are a middle child, you could still perceive yourself the way an older child is thought to if there us a significant age gap between you and your older sibling. The same goes for middle children acting like the youngest, or really any other combination. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.

    Why you shouldn't let stereotypes dictate your fate.

    Her latest book is The Search for Fulfillment. New research suggests the benefits of compassion for your health and happiness. New research points to 12 modifiable factors that can protect your aging brain. New research shows how to overcome negative ways of talking to yourself. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive.

    Back Today. What Makes a Child Shy? How We Affect Each Other. Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph. Follow me on Twitter. Friend me on Faceook. Connect with me on LinkedIn. Is Birth Order Destiny? Why you shouldn't let stereotypes dictate your fate. Just because you are born Submitted by Demetria on September 21, - pm. I could not agree with you Submitted by Jim Nichols on September 21, - pm.

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    I totally agree with you for Submitted by Kamille Martinez on December 18, - am. I see what you mean Submitted by Devon Ferguson on December 18, - pm. Myths can lead a person into Submitted by Jasmine on September 23, - pm. I hear you and would say Submitted by Jim Nichols on September 23, - pm. Birth Order matters Submitted by Steven on April 28, - am. The youngest is unique in that they never experience dethronement, but only had pacesetters. The only child has no pacesetter, and is also never dethroned.

    Birth Order - First borns Submitted by mollyskyar on February 28, - am. The myths and such are Submitted by Jim Nichols on March 3, - am. Do tell now Hildy Submitted by Jim Nichols on March 24, - am. Large Families more than 3 children Submitted by Dorothy on September 20, - pm. Submitted by Jim Nichols on September 20, - pm. Birth order and large families Submitted by Dr.

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    I agree with what you saying Submitted by Anthony on December 18, - am. Middle order is a compromise Submitted by Sandip Roy on November 28, - pm. Just because you are older Submitted by James Tran on December 18, - pm. I Submitted by Rogelio Villarreal on December 18, - pm. I see your point Submitted by Anthony Bui on December 18, - pm. Youngest child Submitted by Rogelio Villarreal on December 18, - pm.

    Birth order Submitted by D'Marco on December 18, - pm. I personally agree with my Submitted by Lupe on December 18, - pm. Previous Page 1 current Next. Post Comment Your name. E-mail The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Notify me when new comments are posted.

    All comments. Replies to my comment. Leave this field blank. About the Author. In Print:. University of Massachusetts Profile. View Author Profile. More Posts. The Compassionate Route to Becoming a Happier Person New research suggests the benefits of compassion for your health and happiness.