The notion that birth order has an impact on the personality of a child has been in existence for many decades

The notion that birth order has an impact on the personality of a child has been in existence for many decades. Different scholars have advanced theories that draw the relationship between birth order, intellectual development, achievement and social behavior. Birth order refers to the point at which the siblings are born determined by the time of their birth. This is very critical in determining the person that one becomes in future. Birth order also affects the behavior of each person depending on the time that each one of them is born. Various studies in this topic have pointed that birth order (whether one is a first born, middle born or lastborn) plays a significant role in shaping individual personalities, and the unique characteristics, behavior and style of life (Ernst & Angst, 2012).Nonetheless, the effects of birth order on various aspects such as intelligence are debatable. Using evidence from peer reviewed sources, this essay highlights some of the prevalent effects of birth order on personality, intellectual ability and achievements, and familial relationship.
How Birth Order Affects Personality
Birth order is known to have a significant influence on the personality trait of an individual. According to Ernst & Angst (2012), there are significant differences on personalities among the first, middle and the last born. Ernst & Angst (2012) suggests that firstborns are highly organized, responsible and academic achievers compared to other birth orders. Similarly, in their studies, Bjerkedal, Kristensen, Skjeret, & Brevik (2007) found out that most middleborns tend to shy from competitive activities or any form of competition with their peers consequently they end up performing below their capacity and abilities in many facets of life. On the other hand, Paulus, Trapnell, & Chen, (1999) suggest that lastborn demonstrate a high degree of affection, persuasive and are also high achievers. Past experiences also shape our past experiences especially the primary beliefs that crowd our heads during childhood (Black, Devereux & Salvanes, 2007). This results in the development of certain needs that we always struggle to satisfy in our adult life. Birth order in this sense tends to determine our core beliefs that we acquire in our childhood hence our personality. For example, if the birth order is considered, the middle child is always short of self-esteem. However, the personality of each individual is subject to a number of factors that when combined tend to come up with the personality of the individual (Sampson & Hancock, 1967).
Effects of birth order on the personality during
Early Childhood
According to Velandia, Grandon, & Page (1978) evaluation of confluence theory, birth order dramatically affects the emotions of the children and their behavior as well as the development of their personality. Due to the spot that the child is born in a family, each child has various emotional experiences, and each spot has its own merits and demerits. The firstborns are always victims of own love as well as attention for a specified time period and have emotional benefit from this experience (Paulhus, Trapnell & Chen, 1999). Such children always enjoy the feeling of being secure and self-confident thus helping them with the esteem to go out and serve as leaders in the society when they grow up. The coming of a new baby, however, makes them have a feeling of loss since they are now sharing the parents love and attention. They also feel jealous due to the tender care of the young one who always tends to mess up everything (Black, Devereux & Salvanes, 2007).
The second and middle child always enjoys special attention since the parents are calmer and have more self-confidence. The second child is always jealous since she feels that the first child can do greater things than them and that the firstborn has accomplished a lot such as being good in games and getting ready to attend high school. Most of the times, such a child feels left out since the parent tends to concentrate more on the vents that revolve around the firstborn life. This makes the second born always to be a critique of the firstborn.
The middle-aged, on the other hand, has the advantage of being the younger kid and the older one at the same time. He learns from the older ones and at the same time there are the younger ones who look up to him. Such a kid, however, feels like he has lost the position of being the youngest in the family making him upset. He is also jealous because both the younger and the older kids in the family always demand too much attention. This makes the child so competitive with the other siblings because he is always struggling to catch up with the older ones and also struggling so that the younger ones cannot catch up with him
When the oldest children become teenagers, they are always characterized by the personality of being leaders everywhere they are. At home, they feel like they are leaders over the other thus they tend to command everything in the family. However, they are always angry because the young ones do not always agree with what they say (Cheng et al., 2013). However, they can be organized when they want and are always punctual and responsible. However, the middle children are always characterized as being peacemakers in the family and outside in case of rankle and are always flexible and can achieve the element of perfection. However, they are so easy going which makes them so vulnerable to a number of social problems. They are also always secretive since they always feel that their parents always care mostly about their elders and those behind them. They are also indecisive and always tend to think that life is always unfair to them due to the circumstances that always surround them.
The young ones when they become adolescents are always risk takers and grow to be so competitive with the other siblings as well as the other people in the society. They are also creative, a character that they obtained from their childhood. They are also known to creative adventurous, easily bored, spoiled, funny outgoing and creative. Those that are the only children when they become teenagers are mostly close to their parents, they are mostly spoilt, and they are self-centered, sensitive, private, dependable, demanding and mature leaders (Eckstein, 2000).
Effects of Birth Order on Intellectual Ability and Achievements during
Elementary School
Birth order has an effect on the intellectual ability as well as the achievement of the children in elementary school, in their high school life and when they enter the workforce. It has been established that the later born children perform poorly in their education than their elder siblings. At this age, the child’s ability is affected by a number of factors like the entry into kindergarten and pre-kindergarten which is subject to the parent’s labor force among others. Parents are associated with the making of different choices regarding children from different points of birth. The firstborn that are known to receive almost all the parents care to tend to perform better than the others due to the excess attention that is turned to them by the parents (Cheng et al., 2013). Considering that they are also focused and organized, they tend to have an advantage of parents follow up which makes them make more improvements in whatever they do making them better performers. The second born is also not poor performers when it comes to finding their position in the class. Since they are known to be non-competitive, they tend to perform well in coursework that makes more emphasis on performance goals. The last born experience the toughest time in school and tend to perform the worst since they mostly less supervised by the parents. However parental monitoring has a direct relationship with their performance (Cheng et al., 2013).
High School
In high school, the children have become adolescents, and they start assuming their roles in the society. The firstborns are always strictly monitored by the parents since they are mostly ahead of the others. Also, firstborn is always focused, and they tend to eye higher positions when they grow up than their fellow siblings. This makes them perform better than the others. The second born also tends to assume that they are always supposed to take care of themselves. They are also competitive and do not like losing. Most of the time they are struggling to reach the level of their elders and also working harder to that that the younger ones do not catch up with them (Bleske & Kelley, 2014). This means them not to be worse off compared with the firstborn the last born follow suit in performance. In their quest to catch up with the first and the second born, they tend to perform a little less good. They mostly struggle to catch up with their seniors, but the less supervision from their parent hinders them from performing better than the rest.
Entering Workforce and Retirement
The firstborn are known to assume the role of leadership in their places of work due to the leadership skills that they acquired since they were young. This makes them pursue great courses like medicine and accounting since they are mostly known to be focused and organized. This also makes them pursue more courses since they aim higher and want to retain their position and also be in better positions. The second born is always chasing the success of the firstborn. They are envious and jealous of the achievement of their seniors and tend to do a bit better in their life. They also tend to occupy prestigious positions at their workplace and are stricter in order to maintain their posts. The firstborn tend to lag behind due to the excess care is taken on them by their parents compared to the others. They occupy less senior positions and are less successful even when they retire from their workplace. The only children tend to possess the traits of the firstborn children (Bleske & Kelley, 2014).
Family Relationship
While Still Living With the Family
Relationships are a very complicated thing for the families. However, they are by large affected by birth order. Most of the times, the firstborn tend to have close ties with their family when they are close to them. They tend to exercise control and care for the young ones who always tend to keep them together. With their perfectionist character, they are always trying to make things work and look after their younger siblings. This maintains the ties of their families (Bleske & Kelley, 2014). The second born also follows the same path. However, their competitive and jealous nature can keep the family members a distance away. However, they tend to care more about the wellbeing of their seniors and their juniors and their empathy when still close to the family can keep it together. The last born does not always care much about what is happening around them. However, they are mostly closer to their other siblings and their parents than the other since they are always looking up to them (Bleske & Kelley, 2014).
While Living Away From the Family
Firstborn being the seniors among the siblings still maintain the family ties even when they are staying away from their families. They are always looking after their siblings and are always worried about their wellbeing they tend to exercise leadership over them and come up with ideas that tend to keep the families closer together. The second born is less concerned when it comes to family relationships especially when they are living away from their families. They mostly rely on what the firstborn give them but mostly challenge the decisions made by the firstborn which at times can break the family ties existing between them. The last born tend to maintain personal relationships with each one of the family members since they rely upon them but the family relationships with the others tend to concern them the least. When living away from their families when living with the family and away from their family (Bleske & Kelley, 2014).
Despite the existing evidence that birth order affects the personality of individuals, this issue remains a complex and debatable topic since its effect on the children is also largely affected by the other factors. The anticipated outcomes are subject to alterations depending on the prevailing circumstances. Family order tends to affect the performance of the children and their intellectual ability since they are born to the time they retire, it affects the social relationship between the families and the children when they are living with the family and when they are away from the family. Additionally, it affects the personality of each one of the siblings beginning with the firstborn to the last born. This is part of what tends to affect the life of the people from the time they are young to the time they are grownups.