parents

The one factor that determines your children's personalities more than anything else.

Does the order in which I gave birth to my three children determine their personality?

Doctor Gail Gross, a Human and Education Expert and author who recently wrote an article for The Huffington Post, firmly believes that not only does it determine their personality, it also defines them.

Bern’s kids.

Birth order is as important as gender and almost as important as genetics. It gets back to the old nurture vs. nature business. In my experience as an educator and a researcher, I know that no two children have the same set of parents, even though they live in the same family.

Why? Because parents are different with each of their children, and no two children ever take the same role.

If so, surely the size of the family is also is of consequence? If this theory is correct, then an only child for example, is going to be vastly different to say a child born into the Duggar family who at last count, had 19 children.

If we were to generalise though (and I’m about to) and compare Dr. Gross’ findings with my very own circumstances, a mother with three children, then I guess I’d have to agree with her findings.

Which are as follows:

First Child – The Achiever

The first child is, in hindsight, the one with the most amount of pressure applied upon them. It’s like they have a giant spotlight shone upon them by not only their parents but also their immediate family and close friends. Are they sitting up at 6 months? Can they walk by 12? I remember celebrating (and calling my husband) when I taught my first child to wink at me. TO WINK AT ME. The kid probably just had something in her eye.

This is the child that you diligently read to each night, record each tooth loss and seriously consider calling Mensa when they wave goodbye for the first time. Plans are being made for this kid and let’s face it; they can’t help but be aware your expectations. Even if by the time number two comes around and they are no longer your sole focus, they want to impress you. They will forever live to please.

Is my own firstborn testament to this? Well, the result of an E+ in Maths might suggest otherwise, however if you look at the A+ she has recently received in English, History Art and French, then yes, this may indicate that she’s just choosing to succeed in a different area. That and I’m about to invest in some heavy duty maths tutoring.

Number Two – The Peacemaker

To be fair, I am number two of two. I am or should I say I was, the peacemaker. I seemed to be a sounding board for all of my mother’s railings against the world and all of our family’s failings. Meanwhile I totally wanted to be a number three child, wild, loose and allowed to just part-ee.

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My own number two is also a peacemaker. He cannot, I repeat, CANNOT, sleep if there is some kind of issue outstanding. He is basically Switzerland in our household. In fact, I’m pretty sure his negotiation skills for fairness will see him secure a post at the UN.

Number three – The life of the party

Or the hurricane on two legs as he often referred to in our household. This child has been awarded the most freedom and if I’m dead honest, has often been left to figure out life, all by himself. It’s hard to say if this is why he can immerse himself into any social situation and make friends, almost instantly, or if that was just always the kind of kid he was going t be.

Although Jack may not be intellectually the smartest kid around (he asked me today if sometimes I just forget how to “Mum”) he is confident and coordinated and maybe that’s all a kid of 7 needs to fit in and succeed. Maybe that’s all any of us need.

The Lone wolf

If of course there are no siblings and therefore, no sibling sequence, this whole theory is just hokey and deserves to be thrown out the window.

This child will often gain more intelligence because they are surrounded by adults and mature differently as a result. This isn’t a bad thing; it’s just how it goes. Do they miss out? They miss out on Chinese burns and they probably miss out on having to wait for the toilet but really, no. Well, it’s hard to tell. I have friends who are only children that now, as grown adults, wish that they had siblings if only to palm off some of the responsibility of their aging parents onto.

This though, isn’t about whether you should have grown up with brothers or sisters. It’s about the order in which you entered the world and whether, as a result, you became the person you became.

I’d like to think that the science dedicated to it all is at least half true. I’d also like to think that nothing defines you. Or more, that you can be all three. You can achieve, you can be a peacemaker and that you can also have a good time. All in good measure. I suppose, as parents, it’s our job to make sure that our children don’t feel pressure as children to fit into any one category.

What about you? What are you? An achiever, a Peacemaker or the Life of the Party? Where did you come in the order and do you fit the study at all?

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