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First In Line

Have you ever found yourself linking a personality to his or her order of birth? Could someone be more responsible because she is the oldest child in her family or another be a maddeningly happy-go-lucky because she was the pampered baby of the family? Judging from recent studies, there just might be some scientific grounds for your observation.

Psychologists are discovering that child's birth order has more influence on his or her personality than previously thought. Some go as far as to say that it relates directly with an individuals choice of career. Did you know that large majority of American Presidents are first-born? First-borns, according to these studies, are supposed to have leadership qualities, while more creatively inclined individuals tend to be the youngest in their families.

The primary cause of birth order related differences is the difference enacted in parental attitudes and behavior from the time they have their first-born, second-born and the youngest child. While the first born might be showered with attention initially, the youngest child might grow up either without any special attention or with prolonged periods of their parents' full attention if older children move out while they are young.

Another factor which may influence a child's development is the fact that parents tend to have different expectations of different children. Here are some specific traits, which have been associated with the oldest, middle and the younger child.

The First-Born

First-borns are supposed to be natural leaders, full of confidence and extremely responsible. Being the first child, everything they do attracts attention. That attention tends to boost the first child's confidence level. If the age gap between the first-born and the second-born is more than four years than the second child is likely to have all the traits of a first-born, confidence being one of them.

Another trait associated with the first-born is perfectionism. Growing up under the watchful eye of their parents they enjoy doing things well. They can also be aggressive leaders or people-pleasers since they have been brought up as model children. The downside is the amount of pressure they have to endure from eager parents. Compared to their siblings they are under greater pressure to succeed.

The Second Child

The second child does not create the kind of excitement the first child does. As a result, second-born children are not avid attention seekers and grow up to be self-reliant and independent. Sometimes they can be the opposites of their older sibling. The middle children sometimes tend to become secretive since they feel that the younger one escapes all the disciplining.

They can also be the peacemakers of the family since they constantly have to negotiate between the older and the younger. Sometimes the middle children feel that they do not have a special place in their family and that is why their peer group becomes important to them. They also tend to be more easy-going and relaxed since their parents tend to be less demanding of them.

The Youngest Child

The baby of the family, the youngest child gets a lot of affection without any of the responsibility put on the older child and that is why they sometimes tend to be pampered or spoilt. They have to word hard to steal the spotlight from their siblings so they can be extremely persistent.

Youngest siblings tend to crave some of the limelight and can resort to wild ways to get it. To successfully negotiate between siblings, the youngest children develop a lot of charm and can become quite affable. The downside of being the youngest child is that since parents are not overly excited about their every achievement, they often feel neglected. But overall, the younger child tends to be easy-going and affectionate.

The Only Child

They tend to be even more responsible than the first-born. All that attention and focus from their parents makes them perfectionists. They tend to be more mature than the people around them and get along better with older people.

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