Five personality traits of a first-born child.

Do you recognise any first-borns that you know in this list?

My seven-year old puts the dog on the lead when he wants to go to our garage to fetch something.

Sure he loves the dog. Who wouldn’t? He is a 12-year old apricot spoodle with eyes of liquid chocolate.  But it is more than that. He needs the dog with him when he goes to the garage. The dog goes to the letter-box at times too, and upstairs to help find his pyjamas.

There are times the dog sits by the toilet waiting like a good 12-year old doggy does.

The thing is, at the age of seven, my son just doesn’t like to be alone.

He is forever running up the street looking for a friend to play with. He is the one who never wants to leave the party. He is the one who asks his baby sister to wait outside the door while he goes to the toilet so he has someone to “talk to”.  The dog hasn’t quite learnt to answer back.

Related: The weird, the gross and the clever: 10 new parenting trends of 2015.

But I know now that he is a just a first-born and he is displaying all the classic signs of first-born syndrome.

When he was little, if he cried – I picked him up. If he wanted to play – I was there.

Baby Einstein. Baby yoga. Baby music classes. We were there. We were entertained. We were stimulated. We were engaged.

He had play mats with jingly bits and squishy cows that he would press his little button nose up against and they would moo.

He had rockers that spoke to him in two languages. He was a first-born.

So can you blame him, this not wanting to be alone business?

The fact is that first-borns have always been indulged a little bit.

Related content: Here’s how your birth order affects personality.

As a second child myself I witnessed this first hand. Real proper scientific studies exist to show that parents take a zillion billion photos of their first-borns, as opposed to three-and half of the subsequent kids.


If they are lucky. Research show that first-borns have traits unlike any other.

Five ways to recognise a first born:

Do these scenarios sound familiar?

1. “Mum look at me, look at me.”

First-borns are notorious for being dependent on others for approval. Must have been all that praising we gave as a baby. We made this scenario mums so eyes off the iPhone and watch the goddamned cartwheel.

2. “I don’t want to go to the party/concert/soccer game/ singing contest.”

Despite a reputation for being confident first-borns are actually quite fearful in new situations. This research is quite surprising seeing as all 12 men to have walked on the moon were either eldest or only children.

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3. “Ok guys THIS is how we play the game. Lets do it MY way.”

First borns are leaders right? Assertive qualities are something to be valued and treasured, unless you are a second born then you just think of them as bossy.

4. “No that’s not the way you do it.”

First borns are perfectionists and sticklers for the rules. Rules are there for a reason and woe to any second or third born who tries to alter them. First borns also don’t like change. Schedules are there for a reason ok.

5. “But that’s what I meant.”

First borns struggle to be wrong. They don’t like to admit their perfectionist nature doesn’t quite always get it right.

Nature or nurture?

Did we create these assertive, delicious human beings or are they fated to be this way?

At the moment our dog is reaping the benefits of my fearful/ confident/ assertive/ perfectionist little first-born.

Just don’t ask him to go off and play alone, as he has no idea how.

Are you are first born? Do you display these qualities?