The Best and Worst Birth Orders
Oldest Child- Either the BEST or WORST Birth Order.....Depending.......
Only Child, One of the BEST, if not THE BEST Birth Order
Middle Child, the WORST Birth Order
Youngest Child, One of the Best Birth Orders
Happiest and Unhappiest Birth Orders
To reiterate many times, a person's birth order is extremely influential as to the type of person he/she becomes. A person's place in the family constellation determines how he/she views life and the way his/her parents treat him/her. Dr. Kevin Leman, author of several books on birth order, asserts that a person's outlook on life and his/her mannerisms i.e. whether he/she is a perfectionistic/ambitious/take charge firstborn, an individualistic/independent/ resourceful only child, an anonymous/peacemaking/people pleasing middle child, and/or an attention seeking/ spoiled/ manipulative youngest child.
Well, I am going to take the issue of birth order even further. There are good and bad birth orders according to psychological consensus. Yes, there are birth orders that people are proud of and enjoy being and they would not change their birth order for the world. Conversely, there are people who odiously detest their birth order and wish that they were other birth orders. There are birth orders that are alpha and beta. The alpha birth orders are the authoritative and autonomous birth orders such as firstborns and onlies where children received the maximum attention from their parents. However, the firstborns were dethroned upon the birth of another child whereas the only child was never dethroned. Because firstborns and onlies have no older siblings, they tend to be very much self-assured and in charge.
Besides those characteristics, firstborns and onlies tend to be want to be in charge and do not want to give up their power easily. Firstborns and onlies are adultlike sooner than middle and younger children. Parents give firstborns household and caretaking responsibilities earlier than they do middle and younger children. Onlies are adultlike because they grow up in an environment surrounded by adults, not by other children. Because there are no siblings in the household, onlies see their parents as examples and learn from that example. Onlies usually have more adultlike and advanced vocabularies and mannerisms than children in multichild families.
Both firstborns and onlies can be very uncompromising when interfacing with other people. Both birth orders believe that might is right. Also firstborns and onlies can be the most autocratic and the least democratic of all birth orders. Firstborns can also be control freaks who believe that no one can do the job better than they can and they alone know more than anyone. Onlies also can be control freaks who want their world and environment to be orderly. Onlies exhibit their control freakish natures in other ways i.e. they can be fiercely independent and do not wish to ask other people for advice and/or guidance. Both firstborns and onlies want to be the masters of their own destinies.
Depending upon the circumstances, being a firstborn can either be the best or worst both order. The firstborn is the BEST BIRTH ORDER in small and medium sized families in which the firstborn is more the commander and guardian of their younger siblings. Firsborns in such families are in the more glamorous position of guiding and bossing their younger siblings around without the onus of being a caretaker and second parent. Firstborns in small and medium sized families often enjoy being the leader of their younger siblings and have the positives of that positions without the negatives. Even though firstborns in small and medium sized families are seen as the leaders of their younger siblings, they also have their childhood and adolescent years intact and unfettered.
However, the firstborn in medium large to very large families is the WORST BIRTH ORDER. Firstborns in medium large to very large families have the status analogous to enslaved Africans in the antebellum American South or to a forced slave laborer in World War II Nazi Germany. Such firstborns do not have the glamorous older child status as firstborns in smaller families do. Oh no, these firstborns often have caretaking responsibilities and chores from early childhood on. These firstborns have to raise their younger siblings as parents in medium large to very large families do not raise their children but force their oldest children to do those duties.
Firstborns in medium large to very large families are often unappreciated and abused by their parents i.e. the oldest children in the Duggar household are classified as unpaid slaves to the parents and younger siblings. Parents often assume that their firstborn children will willingly perform the duties of caretaking on a moment's notice. Firstborns in medium large to very large families do not have normal childhoods and adolescence which other children have as they are forced to perform most of the household and caretaking tasks. Firstborns in medium large to very large families have the hardest of all birth order types. Firstborns in such families have the most hardscrabble childhood that their younger siblings do not have. Firstborns in medium large to very large families are the most put upon, abused, and unappreciated. It is the firstborn in the medium large to very large families who often envies their youngest siblings as having it the easiest. Many firstborns in medium large to very large families stated that they HATED their ordinal position.
The only child is often ranked among the BEST BIRTH ORDERS. Only children never worry about being dethroned by succedent siblings. They are the center of their parent's universe. There are ample parental emotional, financial, and psychological resources devoted to the nurturing of the child. Onlies know that they are the STARS in their parents' lives. Onlies will never be overlooked and ignored by their parents-EVER!
Only children have a high sense of self assurance because there were no other siblings in the family to compete for parental attention. It is said that onlies are the happiest children because there is no sibling drama i.e. sibling rivarly and favoritism which is extremely rife in multichild families. Studies show that onlies have the most adjusted and have the highest self-esteem of all birth orders. Of course, they were not involved in the psychodrama that children in multichild families are often involved in. Furthermore, onlies were allowed to develop into the manner which most suited their individual personalities and talents. Onlies also know that their parents will always be staunch supporters who will always be in their corners.
Only children enjoy their birth order status. Naturally, of course! Onlies have unlimited privacy and their own room. Onlies often are exposed to more cultural, educational, and intellectual activities because there is more financial resources available. Onlies see their parents as companions and confidantes and have freer access to them than children in multichild families who often must schedule time to talk to their parents.
Because onlies grow up in an adult environment, they develop adult mannerisms and vocabularies at an earlier age than children with siblings who have other children, not adults, to converse with. Onlies are also resourceful and highly independent because they did not depend on siblings to provide for their entertainment. Onlies are often some of the most creative and innovatve people to be around as they did not have siblings to imitate and/or to tell them how to think. Onlies are good at thinking outside the box. Onlies are not as needy as children in multichild families. Onlies enjoy solitary hobbies and can be alone for long periods of time. Onlies clearly enjoy their own company and have the best of all worlds!
The middle child is often known as the "other". The reason is that she/he is not considered as an individual but as someone's older and/or younger sibling. Middle children are often overlooked by their family members. They are not as noticeable as their older and/or younger sibling. They are just "in between." They are often thrust in situations where they must constantly struggle for parental attention.
In smaller families, middle children are somewhat acknowledged; however, in medium large to very large families, they are overlooked and ignored. Middle children learn in their familial environments either to fade into the background or to be highly vocal in order to seek attention. The middle child is the extreme beta birth order. They must learn to be the jack of all trades and to be people pleasers in order to survive in the family constellation. They also learn how to be the diplomat and the negotiator.
Being the middle child is often nebulous-one is uncertain where he/she stands in the family constellation. In essence, being a middle child is the WORST BIRTH ORDER because he/she is seldom respected for the actual person he/she is. He/she is often caught between the dominance of the older sibling and the manipulations of the youngest sibling. Middle children are often the LEAST FAVORED in their families with that kudos either going to the oldest and/or youngest child in the family. The middle child just is-no more, no less. The middle child is in no person's land so to speak.
The youngest child is also the beta birth order but he/she has it somewhat better than the middle child. He/she is often the baby of the family and is often adored and spoiled by his/her parents and older siblings. However, the status of the youngest child is dependent upon family size. In small and medium sized families, the youngest is more or less on an equal footing with his/her older sibling. In small and medium sized families, the youngest child is not allowed to get away with anything but is punished for wrongdoings just like his/her older sibling. Youngest children are not babied in small families.
The exact opposite occurs in medium large to very large families. Youngest children in such families have the least responsibilities of all family members. They are often babied even beyond the age appropriate stages. While the oldest child in medium large to very large families are inundated with chores from early childhood, the youngest child often coast through childhood and adolescence. Youngest children in such families get away with murder while their oldest sibling receive the brunt of parental blame and punishment. Youngest children in medium large to very large families are usually spoiled by the parents who view their child as a jewel and baby doll.
This idolization of the youngest child in such families does not bode well with oldest siblings who usually resent them. Many oldest children in medium large to very large families are often envious of and resent their youngest siblings, considering them to be spoiled brats. It is often the oldest and/or older siblings who receive punishments for what the youngest sibling does. There is no equal footing of the youngest child in medium large to very large families. In such families, the youngest child is the baby, doll, and/or jewel of the family while the other siblings exist for his/her pleasure.
The youngest sibling in medium large to very large families is one of the BEST BIRTH ORDER because he/she is mollycoddled by the parents and other siblings. He/she has the most unencumbered childhood and adolescence with little or no responsibilities. Youngest children can also manipulative his/her older siblings to do their bidding or to face dire consequences from the parents. They are quite adept at using their beta position in the family constellation to their advantage.
In summation, there are birth orders who are the best and worst. The oldest and only child are known as alpha birth orders because they were the first in their families. Parents usually spend more time with their first born than they do other succedent children which accounts for their adult mannerisms. Only children spend the majority time with their parents and not with other siblings, so they are the main recipients of adult knowledge. Oldest children because they are born first are expected to exhibit more mature behavior and assume leadership roles for their younger siblings.
Oldest children because of their position in the family structure, learn responsibility and leadership early in life. Only children learn adult behaviors early in life and because they have no siblings, are fiercely resourceful and independent at an early age. Both birth orders are independent and like to be in charge. They are very uncomfortable being second best and strive to be the first in everything. Oldest children and onlies have a high sense of self-confidence because: (1) the oldest children was given leadership and responsible roles over his younger siblings which develops his/her acumen and skills and (2) onlies because they had the undivided attention from their parents, were not pidgeonholed into certain roles as children in multichild families constantly are, and not having to compete with siblings for parental attention.
Regarding birth order status, oldest children in small families are in the best birth order because the role is more of an executive role with the negativity. However, in medium large to very large families, the oldest child is one of the worst birth orders because he/she is often the unappreciated housekeeper, caretaker, and in locos parentis to his/her younger siblings. There is certainly neither status, glamor, nor glory being the oldest sibling in such families. However, the only child is one of the best birth orders because the only child has unbounded opportunities to expand his/her human potential and to be the best he/she can be.
The middle child is considered an extreme beta birth order because he/she is often unrecognized for his individual essence and is known as the "other". He/she is often caught in between his/her oldest and youngest siblings. The larger the family, the more the middle child is ignored, bypassed, and overlooked by his parents and siblings. The middle child, in essence, is one of the worst birth orders, because the situation of the middle child is totally ambiguous and he/she is in a virtual no person's land.
The youngest child is also a beta birth order. The situation of the youngest children is dependent upon the family size. Youngest children in small families are treated equally as the oldest sibling and given no respite; however, in medium large to very large families, youngest children are often babied and allowed to get away with things that his/her oldest siblings were not allowed to get away with. Being the youngest child in a medium large to very large family is one of the best birth orders as the child is babied excessively and is considered a precious jewel. Now, you have my synopsis regarding which birth order is the best and worst.
© 2011 Grace Marguerite Williams