In your opinion which is THE BEST birth order & why? Are you happy w/your birth order? If not, which birth order would you rather be & why?
That's a funny question, Grace. There is no best birth order unless you were a white European male born in medieval times. The oldest son inherited the estate, title, etc. lock, stock, and barrel. This then carried over into America. My grandfather was the youngest of 9 children, so he got the short end of the stick. His oldest brother inherited the farm, a substantial and fertile piece of earth, but he'd already become a real estate agent by that time. He sold it and bought a semi-mansion in town. The other kids either had to make it on their own or the girls needed to pick wealthy men to marry. So there, you have it!
Oh, I guess you mean psychologically in today's society. Everybody has a gripe about his or her birth order. Psychologists think they have it figured out, but different families have different advantages in birth order. As the oldest, I paved the way for my two younger siblings. My brother was the baby, so he was coddled by my mother. After I married and left home, my sister, the middle child, got all the advantages that I never got because because the loss of my presence gave my siblings an advantage financially. We were not a wealthy family.
Being Southerners, my mother thought we had to follow the rules which were much stricter for girls than boys. But being the eldest, I had a closer relationship with my father who taught me to hunt and shoot and plant a garden. My brother hated all that, including all sports, so my father called him a sissy. My sister was all little lady and had no idea how to pick up a ball bat, much less use one. She actually had the closest relationship with both parents because my dad had taught me self-reliance, and my brother never wanted to get close to him.
So, you see, this is why I say there is no such thing as "the best birth order." It depends on the family and the personalities of the children. All three of us had an advantage, of sorts, depending on the subject matter being discussed. In my case, I am happy with my birth order.
Mizbejabbers, you have brought up an interesting point. In medieval times, it was the oldest son who got the land & other accoutrements. This explains the Viking phenonema also. Oldest sons got the land which push younger sons to explore the world to gain riches.
In SOME cases being the oldest is advantageous but not in most cases. Oldest children are pressed to be adults early. They are treated more harshly by their parents. They are also punished more, oftentimes for offenses that their younger siblings commit. The average oldest child have an abbreviated childhood & adolescence. They are pushed into adulthood at a time when they should have a normative childhood & adolescence.
Some of the most unhappiest people I have met were oldest children. They hated their lives. They also resented their parents & younger siblings. I know an oldest child who was so overburdened that she wished that she was dead. I feel sorry for any oldest child.
It was my experience that you are definitely right about parents expecting more from the oldest child. However, I was the intellectual of the three of us, so my parents looked over the fact that I hated housework in favor of my studies to bring home the As. I was the honor student. My sister made the merit list (the B list), and my brother was the slacker with Cs although he was much brighter than that. But I would say that all three of us had normal childhoods. At least as normal as one can have in a dysfunctional family.
Mizbejabbers, your wonderful family is FAR FROM DYSFUNCTIONAL.
Not really, I failed to mention that my dad was alcoholic, and my mother had a mental illness caused by a thyroid malfunction that was later diagnosed and treated. That makes for a dysfunctional family. My father never showed me or my brother any affection, but he did hug my sister. He also had some strange ideas like being a musician automatically made one gay, so I wasn't allowed to be in the school band. We weren't allowed to drive, so I had to wait until I was married to learn to drive. My brother got a job that required driving, so daddy did teach him out of necessity. My mother drove me back and forth to college like my younger siblings, or sometimes I walked. I could have driven all three of us to school had I been able to drive (like my peers were driving their siblings). Talk about embarrassing, but I survived that. I will say that we never went hungry though. I didn't experience hunger until I married my first husband.
Have you read or listened to any of James Dobson's work on this? That is who/what I think of.
I agree about children that are one of the oldest in their family. I agree that the parents are tougher on them and they had to grow up.
I am 5th out of 8. By the time I was a teenager, my parents were broken in by my older brothers, so my parents were pretty easy going with me. But I was a good kid, no joke. I was the leader of the lower half of my siblings. I spent a lot of time with my younger siblings.
My oldest child is a very good leader and is very opinionated. My youngest likes to play the baby card often, but I call him on it.
I haven't thought too much about what I would have preferred because one does not have control over it.
Mark, what you have described reminds me of the book, THE LARGE FAMILY SYSTEM by James H. Bossard & Eleanor Stoker Boll. The birth order dynamic is very different in large family than it is in small families. Due to the large number of children in the family, there are many divisions of oldest, middle, & younger children.
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