Not all of your kids can be first born, but the one who is has some definite advantages as well as some disadvantages the other kids don’t have.
Fully 80% of all families have more than one child and the only child shares much of the same advantages and disadvantages as the oldest child in a family.
A single child or the first born is generally protected more by his parents and scores more one on one time with both of them, at least at first.
Since they’re protected physically more, first borns tend to choose careers that are physically safe, like lawyers and doctors.
They are focused on success in whatever they do. Parenting, or in some cases, over parenting, is most of the reason, although individual personalities can moderate that.
Birth order doesn’t seem to affect how many kids turn out to be CEOs, though less than half are first borns. A third are middle children and only around a fourth are the youngest.
First borns get the advantage again, but it seems that not all of them use it in business. Middle children have traits evident in both their younger and older siblings.
Contrary to popular cultural portrayal, most middle children are well balanced, with as much interest in sports as in culture.
Younger children tend to take more risks and choose riskier careers. Sky diving, football and other hard physical sports have more “youngest children” than any other category.
After the children are grown, the youngest seems to be closer to his or her parents, maybe because of the “baby of the family” aspect, but the advice of the first born is taken more easily.
So what does all of this mean to you and your kids? Maybe nothing, but then again, it might. If your last born child becomes a lion tamer and your first born is a brain surgeon, the middle will probably be a high school principal who enjoys racing cars in his spare time.
It doesn’t all have to do with parenting, of course. because our kids have their own personalities, interests and talents, but the way we parent our children leaves an impression on their psyches that becomes part of them and the way they see life.
Whether they are willing to take a chance, to commit to years of learning, or to simply enjoy life, is at least a little bit up to us.