In your opinion, which is the most maligned of birth orders and give your reasons?
Whilst there'll obviously be many many exceptions as far as i know first born and last born children tend to be the most successful (in conventional terms at least) and the poor old 'middle children' statistically speaking, have the highest rates of psychopathology. First born children are most similar to only children which makes sense given that's what they were until their subsequent sibling/s arrived.
It's hard to say which is the most maligned but i'd have to guess it's the middle born children. First born children often assume a 'certain' position or 'specialness' as a result of being 'the first' and youngest children hang on to the 'baby' of the family position (and all the associated benefits) well beyond that dictated by their actual years.Middle children don't benefit from a similar family uniqueness (birth order wise) as there can be any number of them and their position does not necessarily even become certain for some time depending on how many subsequent siblings are brought into the family whereas first born children will always be such and the youngest child will never have a younger sibling. Being the eldest or youngest can be impacted by deaths but that's slightly different.Again these are speculative generalities with countless exceptions.
I am the oldest of six kids, and it really wasn't so bad to have an army of brats looking up to you. I would have to say that the middle child gets the most flack...you know "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia..." and such.
I am not so sure I would say that any one order is more malaligned than another. We generally tend to think that the middle child is the one who receives the least attention, while the oldest is most responsible, dependeable, etc. However, raising 4 children has taught me otherwise. My oldest daughter (16) is the one who has given me the most problems so far and is also the one we have to stay on all of the time. She is very much a follower and because of this, tends to not think on her own. In contrast, my son (14) is a leader and gives us less problems. He tends to stray away from the negative, is very intelligent, atuned to other people's feelings, and well adjusted. The other two children (7 and 1) are a bit too young yet, but I can see different traits already that suggest each has already developed a unique sense of self.
Based on this, I am inclined to believe that birth order does not make one child more dysfunctional than another. In think personality and temperament play more of a role in this than anything.
Also, many cousins that I have (who are the middle child) are more successful than the older or youngest child in the same family. However, I am the oldest in my family and am the most successful one.
Again, this makes me question the whole birth order phenomena. Then again, that's just my opinion.
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