You know that when your mom or dad tells you you’re their favorite child, they’re probably just saying it to be nice, but what you might not know is that your parents could be subconsciously treating you differently because of your birth order.
Although everyone possesses unique traits, hobbies and interests, there are some characteristics that specifically go along with being the oldest, middle or youngest child. Here are some common birth order traits according to parents.com.
The oldest is often the guinea pig of the bunch. Since they were the first one born, their parents probably used a trial and error method with them. This can make the individual more well versed and adaptable. “I like being the oldest child. Sometimes it can be hard because my parents expect the most out of me. I’m a role model for my siblings so whatever I do, they want to do too,” senior Hope McLeay said. McLeay is the older sister to two siblings.
Since they have some authority, they’re probably a mini-mom for their younger siblings. First born children are often reliable, cautious and controlling. They often seek attention from their parents and strive to please them. The oldest often struggles with the fear of failure or disappointment.
The middle child is usually raised differently based on what the parents learned from the previous child. This can make parents less strict on the middle child. “My parents expect a lot more of me than my other siblings. I don’t like being a middle child because I always get stuck taking care of my siblings,” junior Emily Crowe said. She has seven siblings.
They usually get the least attention because they have older and younger siblings that occupy the parents. They can often feel unappreciated or left out. The middle child tends to be social, a peacemaker and friendly. They are go-with-the-flow types of people. They are often the most independent child in the family because the attention from their parents is focused more on their older or younger siblings.
The youngest child is often the most carefree child because the parents have become more lenient over time. They are most often fun-loving, outgoing and attention seeking. They commonly aren’t the smartest child in the family in the school aspect. Instead, they shine in the areas of group settings and have a great sense of humor. Many actors and comedians are the youngest child in their families. They often use the fact that they’re a baby to manipulate those around them. They can often be coddled by their parents and have less chores assigned to them.
“I like being the youngest because since my siblings are a lot older than me, I get to experience the feeling of being an only child, but also get the benefit of having siblings,” senior Anna Czechut Hoffman said. She has a sister who’s 30, a brother who’s 27 and another brother who’s 23.
Birth order is definitely not a bad thing if you know how to use it to your advantage. If you’re the oldest, try and use your influence over your siblings to set them on the right path. As the middle child, don’t be afraid to speak up and voice your opinion. Lastly, if you’re the youngest one in your family, try to embrace the benefit of having role models to look up to.