Birth Order Affects a Person's Success
How Your Birth Order Affects You
People had no control over which family they were born into, and they had no control over whether they were the oldest, middle, or the youngest child born to their parents. Neither did they have a choice to be an only child.
While no one had any control over their birth order, scientists, psychologists, sociologists and other experts agree that the order in which a person fits into his family unit has a great deal to do with how successful he will eventually become.
They also agree that one's personality, intelligence, and characteristics have a lot to do with their birth order.
In most families, it is easy to determine the birth order of a child. Sometimes that can be a problem because a woman could have had a child when she was younger and gave the child up for adoption. Then when she married later in life and had a child, the child will think she or he is the oldest when the child is the second one and not the first and will not have the characteristics of a first child.
Dalton Conley, New York University professor of sociology and public policy, is a firm believer that all children are not born equal, and he proves it in his book The Pecking Order: Which Siblings Succeed and Why. He contends that 75 percent of families in the United States have successful firstborns. He used Bill and Roger Clinton as examples as well as Jimmy and Billy Carter.
Conley stresses that these are just theories and general observations concerning birth orders. Other things must be considered such as the child's personality, the age gap between siblings and the family circumstances children experiences during their formative years.
The First Child
Parenting expert Michael Grose believes that firstborn have special privileges that others don't have because of their birth order. He emphasizes his viewpoints in his book, Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It.
Grose justifies his conclusion by explaining that everyone is in the survival of the fittest from the first moment we are born. That is based on Charles Darwin's theory that we all struggle from the moment we are born. During the course of our lives, we fight for a position within our family where we can receive time with our parents as well as love and affection from them.
Usually, the firstborn is the only child that gets all the attention from parents even if it is only temporary until the next child comes along and things change. Birth order also determines who is sent to war. Usually, it's the youngest as he is considered the spare.
Grose contends that in most cases, the birth of the firstborn is celebrated more than children who are born later. Their first steps, first words, and all their firsts are celebrated, but by the time the other children come along, parents do not celebrate as much.
Because of all the attention they receive, firstborns are more confident and are known to be achievers.
On the negative side, firstborns are found to be a little selfish because they are the only siblings who experience having their parents all to themselves for a while before having to share them when other children are born.
Firstborns and only children include every United States astronaut and most Nobel prize-winners. Firstborns usually include are politics, law, science, and accounting. More than half of the United States Presidents are firstborns, including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Other famous firstborns include Hillary Clinton, Kate Middleton, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, J.K. Rowling, Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Sylvester Stallone, Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis and all the actors who have played James Bond.
Newscasters and TV talk show hosts tend to be firstborn children such as Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, Ted Koppel, Oprah, Donahue, Geraldo, Arsenio Hall and Rush Limbaugh.
The Middle Child
Middle children seem to lose out by neither receiving the celebrations of being the oldest, and they miss out for not being pampered like the youngest child. Therefore, they have to compromise and find their own balance. Middle children sometimes get lost in large families like Marcia did on The Brady Brunch.
Middle children are not faced with the high expectations of the first child or the modest expectations of the youngest child.
They usually choose careers in retail, sales, fashion, advertising or the caring professions.
Some well-known middle children include Stella McCartney, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cindy Crawford, Cate Blanchett, Bill Gates, J.F.K., Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Princess Diana, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Kim Kardashian West.
Experts say when there is a five to six-year gap between children, the next child starts a “new” birth order.
The Youngest Child
The last born child is pampered while he is young, but when he grows up he develops his own path because he doesn't want to be in competition with older siblings. It would be wise for parents not to push the youngest child to follow in older siblings' footsteps if he doesn't want to do so.
The youngest child sometimes turns out to have a mind of his own and decides not to be like his older siblings. Parents tend to be less demanding and have lower expectations for the youngest because they have had practice with the oldest and middle child.
Younger children may choose professions that allow them to be creative. They become fond of the performing arts.
Some well-known youngest children include Jennifer Lawrence, Tamar Braxton, Janet Jackson, Solange Knowles, Hugh Grant, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Ryan Gosling, Angelina Jolie, Jim Carrey, Rosie O'Donnell, Eddie Murphy and Billy Crystal.
The main difference between only children and firstborns is that they never experience having to share their parents with siblings. People think only children have it made. However, that is not entirely true. They are often lonely people and have grown accustomed to being alone and doing things without others. Only children tend to be more creative and responsible than children with siblings.
In a way, the only child is the firstborn, the oldest and the youngest.
Well-known only children include Chelsea Clinton, Justin Bieber, Kerry Washington, Tiger Woods, Rudy Guiliani, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Drew Barrymore, Alicia Keys, Maria Sharapova, and Leonardo Da Vinci.
Twins deserve their own study, but briefly, twins hold equal status and are treated similarly. When they are younger, they don't mind dressing alike and doing things together. When they become adults, some twins like to be different. The older twin tends to brag about being older even if it is by a minute.
Some twins go into the same profession like advice columnists Abigail Friedman who is known for "Dear Abby" and her twin, Esther Friedman for "Ann Landers." Harold and Bernard Shapiro are twins and they both become presidents of well-known universities. Harold became president of Princeton University and Bernard became president of Canada's McGill University.
Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen (pictured above) both have a career in fashion. Niki and Brie Bella (pictured below) are professional wrestlers who perform as a tag team.