Birth Order: What's Good or Bad About Yours?

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  1. Lisa HW profile image64
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    My theory is that most people seem to like whatever place they've ended up with among their siblings.  Most also do seem to have a few minor gripes about it.  Without considering anything you've ever read in books about birth order, what's your own personal take on your own place in the family?

    1. My Inner Jew profile image62
      My Inner Jewposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I was the firstborn and so cunning sad...i could get my brothers and sisters to do anything and still remain innocent of any punishment

      1. gmwilliams profile image85
        gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        VERY SMART girl indeed!

    2. TrinaLynne profile image70
      TrinaLynneposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I'm the middle child, hence black sheep. My older sister gets accolades from my parents because she's the oldest. My younger sister is spoiled because she's the youngest. Me - I'm just in the middle hoping that someone will notice me through my older and younger sisters' shine.

      1. gmwilliams profile image85
        gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        The middle child is often the MOST MISUNDERSTOOD and MARGINALIZED of all birth orders.  In fact, the middle child is the SECOND demonized of all birth orders.  They are seen as "the other" birth order.

      2. gmwilliams profile image85
        gmwilliamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        The middle child is the overlooked one in the family.  The middle child is considered the birth order's other.  The middle child really can't be easily deciphered as the oldest & youngest child in the family are.  Jan Brady is the quintessential middle child.  That is why middle children are the most attention seeking birth order-since they didn't receive the prerequisite familial attention at home, they have to seek it elsewhere.

      3. gmwilliams profile image85
        gmwilliamsposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Middle children are the LEAST FAVORITE ones in the family constellation.  Middle children are oftentimes ignored which explains why they are the most attention seeking of all birth orders.  Middle children have the Jan Brady syndrome.  Middle children are also the black sheep of their families.

        The late Grace Kelly, a middle child, was derided by her parents in addition to being compared to her golden child sister, Peggy.  She was also the black sheep of her family.  She went on to become a movie star & a princess. Madonna was also a middle child.  Middle children are THE MOST ATTENTION SEEKING birth order because they WANT someone to NOTICE them as they weren't noticed in childhood.  Wouldn't want to be a middle child either.

    3. Bredavies profile image64
      Bredaviesposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I love being the oldest. Its made me into the caretaker.

      The only thing is I would have liked an older bro...since I didnt have a stable father figure.

  2. Teresa McGurk profile image61
    Teresa McGurkposted 14 years ago

    I was the spoiled baby, and my older brother took the rap for everything.

    1. Laughing Mom profile image60
      Laughing Momposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I'm the baby, and yet I always managed to take the rap for everything. My parents were lulled into a sense of easy parenting when my only brother figured out early on to please the parents.  They had no idea what to do with me when my stubborn, independant attitude emerged.

      1. lrohner profile image67
        lrohnerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Exactly the same situation with me. I'm the youngest of two girls. My older sister learned to brown nosed very early in life. I was the total rebel.

  3. frogdropping profile image78
    frogdroppingposted 14 years ago

    2nd eldest of four. And bottom of the pile. And then some. Treat as the oldest whenever it suited my mother/older brother and always related to something crappy and negative. Bottom of the pile whenever it was anything positive.

    And so - my take on my position? It would have made no difference whether I was first, last or in the middle. I was a girl.

  4. profile image0
    Janettaposted 14 years ago

    oldest of two

    I got to do everything first obviously and got away with a lot, not b/c of my age, more so they thought I was a good girl....
    anyway, baby brother is 6 yrs younger and gets whatever he wants...still has parents supporting him.   he's a bum big_smile

  5. profile image0
    Leta Sposted 14 years ago

    I am the oldest of three sisters.  And got to do everything first. wink It made me independent...also think it made me into something of the 'boy,' of the family - the achievement oriented one, etc.

  6. Mighty Mom profile image79
    Mighty Momposted 14 years ago

    Also the oldest. I felt like the guinea pig and was very envious of friends who had older brothers and sisters who taught them cool stuff.
    I would not trade being the oldest.

    From personal experience -- and not solely from watching The Brady Bunch -- there is a real phenom to being the "Middle Child" and it seems to be almost impossible to overcome. Bummer for them.

    1. Lisa HW profile image64
      Lisa HWposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I think my eldest son was (at least a little bit) a "guinea pig".  Well, not so much a guinea pig, but more the victim of my ignorance about the fact that a propensity for a messy room is apparently more normal than I assumed it was.     hmm

      I'm a middle child, and I have to see that, in general, most of what is said about middle children is not true in my case.  There is 4/5 years between me and my siblings, though, and spacing is said to make a difference.

  7. spiderpam profile image75
    spiderpamposted 14 years ago

    I was 3 out 4, but raised as middle child. big_smile

    1. Lisa HW profile image64
      Lisa HWposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I'm wondering if you and your "co-middle" sibling competed for the "esteemed" role of "middle".     smile

      I have a friend who is the fourth daughter among four girls and the youngest, a boy.  I was once talking about middle children, and she pointed out her own birth order and said, "So you can imagine how much of a 'nothing' I was."     smile    smile

  8. megs78 profile image60
    megs78posted 14 years ago

    I am the youngest of 3 biological sisters and of 2 foster sisters, 1 foster brother, and 1 adopted brother.  I was loved immensely by all but not spoiled by my parents as they were too busy with the other children to really take care of me.  My siblings were more my parents than my parents. So I'm not really sure how birth order affected me.

    But I actually wrote a hub about birth order and how i think it has affected my own children.  If you want to check it out this is the link


  9. countrywomen profile image61
    countrywomenposted 14 years ago

    I love being the elder sister who looks over my younger bro. But my bro tends to get away with far less lecturing than me.  My parents always say he is small and I wasn't small even when I was 7 years old. mad I guess the advantages even out. smile

  10. Stacie L profile image87
    Stacie Lposted 14 years ago

    Since I was the oldest and the only girl,I was in charge
    when the parents weren't home.

    I did rule with an iron fist, until my younger brother
    out grew me at age 9.

    The oldest child usually is more serious I think.

    The middle is supposedly "troubled" and the youngest is happy go lucky?

    I always wished to be the youngest so i could have no
    responsibilities....LOL roll

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Most oldest children feel that way.  They hate being the oldest because they were inundated w/responsibilities proverbially from the time they can walk & talk.   Also it depends upon the family size of the oldest child.  Oldest children from smaller families(1-2 siblings) have it easy.  They are the glamorous oldest child- the confidante, the cool hip sibling, & other cool authoritative roles.  They are placed in more authoritative/advisory roles.  They also have the power & privilege of being oldest children.  Even though they are in authoritative roles, they still have a normative childhood & adolescence.  They still receive parental attention & love. They aren't discarded nor cast aside by their parents. Also, they aren't expected to parent/raise their siblings as there is a parental span of control as the parent to child ratio is either equal or higher.

      In medium families(3 siblings), oldest children are placed somewhat in a more guardian role.  Although they have more responsibility than oldest children in smaller families, they aren't pressed into becoming the parents of the family.  Oldest children in medium families still have a semblance of a childhood & adolescence for the most part.  Parents still have an active role in parenting their children although more attention to geared to the younger/youngest children, the middle & oldest children aren't cast aside nor overlooked.  Also, there is a great child-parent ratio than there is smaller families.

      Now, in medium large(4 siblings) & large/very large(5 or more siblings), the familial territory for oldest children is very perilous indeed.  These oldest children are inundated with massive responsibilities.  There is nothing glamorous nor cool about being the oldest sibling in medium large, large, & very large families.  Such oldest children are put upon by their parents & younger siblings.   Think of Cinderella for that is the life of typical oldest children in medium large to very large families.  These oldest children are oftentimes adults in childhood.  Since the parents are little involved in the lives of their children, the bulk of parenting duties are relegated to the oldest children.   Also, because there is little or no span of parental control as the parents are woefully outnumbered by their children, oldest/older children are pressed to be parents.  One can say that oldest/older children(depending upon the large family size) are the ACTUAL parents in the family.  Many oldest children in medium large to very large families have to forfeit their childhood & adolescence to become parents to their siblings.  It is said that the childhoods & adolescence of oldest children in medium large to very large families are analogous to a winter solstice.   Oldest children in medium large to very large families are inculcated to put themselves, their wishes, goals, & needs last.  They are even told that it is selfish to want things for themselves.  They are the ones who are discarded & cast aside until they are pressed into service for their parents & younger siblings.  Oldest children in medium large to very large families are parentified.

    2. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      My late mother was the same way.  She HATED being the oldest child.  Responsibilities were thrust upon her.  She was a frail child.  She carried the family despite being married & a parent until her death.  Her family caused her undue stress.  I feel sorry for oldest children- they do catch hell on earth.  Many times, my late mother wished she was THE YOUNGEST.  YOUNGEST children have IT MADE.

      My second oldest aunt left home as soon as possible because she, too, was thrust w/so much responsibilities.  My mother & aunt were the family mascots- they were only recognized when they were in service.  They were deemed servicable & usable by their siblings who coasted through life.

  11. Lisa HW profile image64
    Lisa HWposted 14 years ago

    None of us in my family were troubled.   smile  I have always been more serious in a "save-the-world" and "over-analyze" (at least according to my sister) kind of way; but at least as a kid, I was more happy-go-lucky than my older sister.  I think my sister was more self-conscious (or had less of a sense of humor) about doing anything "a little wild" than I was, but I'm fairly sure (based on the few things my younger brother has confessed) that he was a little "wilder" than I was.

    I'd never want to be the youngest.  The more older siblings there are, the more chance of having someone reinforce the sense of being an "unimportant, pesty, little kid".

  12. Enelle Lamb profile image76
    Enelle Lambposted 14 years ago

    No responsibilities only goes when you're a kid unfortunately...and I'm making up for it now LOL...I was the baby...supposedly an angel until I turned 6...

  13. Joelle Burnette profile image70
    Joelle Burnetteposted 14 years ago

    I was "the baby." Mom still thinks I am her baby. I'm 43, which means I was wearing my sisters' 70s hand-me-downs in the 80s when it wasn't cool to do so. Still, was 70s fashion ever cool?

    I was best friends with my eldest sister and the middle sister always got shafted. She was a mean bitch, anyway. I got all the sweet attention and the oldest got responsibility and freedom.

    When we had kids, I always told my hubby we'd keep our kids to even numbers. If we had three kids, I'd have a fourth just to avoid the "middle" child. Got lucky and only have two kids who actually have fun playing together.

  14. LondonGirl profile image80
    LondonGirlposted 14 years ago

    I'm the eldest of four - I was 7, coming up to 8, when my brother was born, and my sisters were 5 and 1. So we are fairly close, but two definite pairs in age - 2 years between me and Eleanor, 16 months between Olivia and Roland, and 4 years between the two pairs.

    I think birth order may well have an influence, but I doubt it's definitive. For example, one common complaint some oldest children seem to have is that having blazed the way in terms of deadlines to come home in the evening, etc, the younger children get to benefit younger and more.

    In my family, that wasn't the case. My parents were much more tolerant of me being late, because my next sister was so bolshie and they were stricter with her (-:

  15. profile image0
    \Brenda Scullyposted 14 years ago

    I am the middle one of three girls, it was not, and still is not the best place to be in a family......  For me anyway

  16. Amanda Severn profile image95
    Amanda Severnposted 14 years ago

    I'm number five of six. My parents are both dead now, and my older siblings have stepped into their shoes big time. My youngest sister and I are only two years apart,

    1. Amanda Severn profile image95
      Amanda Severnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      We got tacked on the end after a big gap. Now, when we see the older ones they are always full of advice even though we are grown-up married ladies in our forties!

  17. jiberish profile image83
    jiberishposted 14 years ago

    I was the oldest of 3.  My parents were very strict.  I taught them alot, they spoiled the other two.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      The oldest child is always on 24/7/365.  The oldest is the toughest of all birth order.  Oldest children have to be perfect or almost perfect at ALL times.  There is no levity in the lives of oldest children.  Oldest children are oftentimes punished and blamed for things that the younger siblings DO.   Oldest children are expected to be the guardians and example setters in the family.   Ah, to be the oldest child-WHAT PRESSURE!

  18. Naiana profile image54
    Naianaposted 13 years ago

    I'm an only child, and for me it was either lonely or suffocating. My fathers bad choices left us broke before the end of every week, so I had grown up with only the very basics. I'm now 33 and I fear my parents crossing over before me. I fear the loneliness of no other blood ties (siblings). Being the only child also means that when Dad runs off with Mistress, you're mums only support. My mum is Bipolar so she needed a little extra. Now I'm not complaining by any stretch, but it wasn't easy to pack up my life, leave my job and move back home in my thirties....but I guess if I had to choose one thing I hate the most, its the fact that I didn't grow out of the "It's all about me" attitude. Its not appreciated when you're a child, and damn it, its even uglier on 33. lol.

  19. Mom Kat profile image77
    Mom Katposted 13 years ago

    I always heard that the "baby" of the family was coddled and spoiled, while the "oldest" child was given more responsibilities.
    This was not the case in my home.
    being the youngest - I was saddled with the majority of the chores, landed with most of the blame, and given no special treatment. My mother even took my birthday away on several occations.
    My sister, on the other hand, was the oldest. She was the "golden" child, the favorite. She could do no wrong.  If she did do something wrong it was somehow looped back to being my fault in some way.
    I wasn't "the child they called it" by any means, but I was - without a doubt - the family scape goat & their free servant service.

    1. Shil1978 profile image88
      Shil1978posted 13 years ago

      I am the oldest in my family. There's just the two of us, me and my little brother. Never liked being the oldest - my parents always expected more from me and more often than not held me responsible in conflict situations. Since the difference in age between the both of us was only 3 years, it was quite stressful for me when I was younger.

      I felt less loved all through, feel the same even today. I am pretty much sure this is not my imagination. I've seen my parents treat both of us differently - don't think they do it intentionally though. Guess it is our personalities, but fact is I've always felt short changed!!

    2. rebekahELLE profile image87
      rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

      I'm the third of 4 children. my oldest brother was 10 years older, sister 6 years older, then me. I was in my own world until my little brother was born 3 years later. I guess we're placed where we're supposed to be. my birth order gave me a place to be very creative and I was always exploring, the little explorer.
      my sister said she found me once when I had wandered off to the ice cream shop a block away.. she was supposed to be watching me, I was 3 or 4... to this day, I'm very independent and curious about everything, writing, reading.. outdoor person.

    3. Rafini profile image69
      Rafiniposted 13 years ago

      I'm the youngest of 2 girls, although many times throughout my life I've felt like the oldest or as an only child.   I've always been very independent, and I was the responsible one when we were growing up.  I made sure we followed the rules (and kept my sister out of trouble most of the time!)  when we weren't home and when it came time to getting in trouble at home, it was me.  My older sister didn't want to cause any waves, but me, if I saw something that wasn't right I couldn't keep my mouth shut about it - no matter what it was or who was responsible.  Yeah, my mom really didn't appreciate my analyzing everything or my criticisms. big_smile

    4. Jane@CM profile image62
      Jane@CMposted 13 years ago

      Technically I am the middle child.  However my sister is 14 years older than me so that makes me the first child.  Either way - I'm a middle child, the peacemaker.  I've thrown that part out the window, I simply do not have the time to try and make peace with grown adults.

    5. camlo profile image82
      camloposted 13 years ago

      In my adoptive family, I was the eldest of two. Just to make things fair, I was treated as the youngest, which caused me many problems among my peers. Anyway, I have nothing to do with my adoptive parents any more.

      Had I not been adopted, I would have been the 2nd. eldest of five.

    6. seamist profile image59
      seamistposted 13 years ago

      I'm an oldest childest, and in a way, I think that is one of the hardest birth positions to be in for several reasons. As an oldest child, most parents are harder on them. Since their idealistic thoughts about children haven't been broken yet, they have higher expectations and when you get in trouble, it seems like it is far more serious than when one of the younger siblings do the same thing. Secondly, they usually place more caretaking responsiblities on you since you are a built-in babysitter, especially if you're a girl. One of the only good things about being an older childer is you don't have to wear hand-me-down clothing, and they aren't as wise to children's behavior scams yet.

    7. europewalker profile image78
      europewalkerposted 13 years ago

      I am the oldest of five and I always wished I had an older brother. I had to take care of the younger ones and got blamed for anything that went wrong. As an adult I am more responsible than the others and very bossy.

    8. Lita C. Malicdem profile image61
      Lita C. Malicdemposted 13 years ago

      I'm number 4 out of 8 births, but we are 9 siblings because number 5 is twins. I have no gripes about my order in the family of 9 siblings. We are just one big happy now and noisy then bunch of diversified characters. When we were young and in the same house, constant adjustments to 8 different individual moods made life a real challenge. We are fortunate that our parents raised as well.

    9. jeri741 profile image60
      jeri741posted 13 years ago

      I'm the baby, but somehow I became the caregiver, the responsible one and took alot of gruff from the older ones.Anyway I wouldn't change the birthplace I have.

    10. Diane Inside profile image74
      Diane Insideposted 13 years ago

      I am the oldest, younger siblings got away with murder. While I got blamed a lot because, I was the oldest I knew better.

    11. gqgirl profile image67
      gqgirlposted 13 years ago

      I'm the 7th child of 14 girls. But because my older sisters are older they were out of the house starting families when I came around. And needless to say with 7 older sisters, my parents had seen it all! So I didn't get away with much. My older sister becky and I were complete opposits. She was the brown noser who actually did things behind my parents back. And I was the one who got in trouble for everything and was actually the one telling the truth!

    12. fetty profile image68
      fettyposted 13 years ago

      I'm the second of six children; however there is a five year break between the second set of three and my baby brother. My sister and brother and I were all born either 12 months or 9 months apart. My sister and brother had a rivalry going at all times. My baby brother used to pull the hair out of my scalp when I leaned into the playpen to kiss him.  I am still the peacemaker and get along with both of them quite well. I like my position in my family. I have more empathy because of it.

    13. IntimatEvolution profile image70
      IntimatEvolutionposted 13 years ago

      I'm the first of three children, and part of a divorce marriage.  I am nine years older than my sister, and eleven years older than my brother.  Nothing was ever balanced right.  My mother didn't see the need I guess.

      I hate being the oldest.  I always wanted two older brothers.  I thought that would be too cool when I was younger.  Now, I'm use to being alone, so if I did have two older brothers, I wouldn't know what to do with myself at Christmas.  I'd have to

    14. MissE profile image80
      MissEposted 13 years ago

      Second oldest of four girls.  My biggest issue with that placement is my lack of opinion.  Unless I am really passionate about something I usually just don't care.  It drives my husband crazy!smile
      Him - "Where do you want to eat?"
      Me - "Where ever."
      Him - "What movie do you want to watch?"
      Me - "Don't care."

      I was used to my older sister making the decisions, or my younger sisters getting their way anyway.  When my mom remarried I was the middle of 11.  Five above me, five below.  They didn't all live with us.  Some did at one point or another.  It's good because I became somewhat of a peacemaker.  PEACE y'all!

    15. Squidmom profile image60
      Squidmomposted 13 years ago

      I'm the baby in a family of 5 girls and 1 boy, yeah I did get away with alot But my moms also much more clingy with me- I still get at least 5 calls a day off her

    16. anonimuzz profile image60
      anonimuzzposted 13 years ago

      I'm the youngest, and the second youngest is eight years older than me. So yes, I've had a gooood life so far. My older siblings started working when I was still young, and so I had many more people to ask for money or gifts, or to go out with. Having such an age difference with my siblings caused me to be more spoiled than them, especially since I was born during the big technology craze, and I had a lot more choices of entertainment and stuff. Besides, my parents were already experienced in raising children and they were older and more patient than when my siblings were in their childhood. I'm not the special one, though, none of us is. I've had as much as I needed/could considering the state of the world when I was born and growing up. My siblings also had all of the good conditions my parents could give them, and maybe some of them even better, because they can actually say that they've had lots of opportunities to play on the streets with friends, do crazy things, and simply enjoy the simple aspects of life. My first best friend was the computer. Not much of a childhood memory, lol.


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