"No one has ever been loved as much as a first-born son is by their parents. His mother may claim that she loves all of her children the same, but sadly this cannot be so. She loves them all differently. Whereas the daughter of the family is born to be the apple of her father's eye, the first son belongs forever to the affection of his mother Only the first born is loved by both father and mother in equal measure. It is to him that dad will look to carry on the family name and mum will place all her future hopes and dreams. Or so my mother always led me to believe!
It is the youngest in the family who unfortunately will forever be in a state of 'catch up' and it is the middle child who is often destined to feel the most badly done to whenever parental praise and the excuses are being dished out. Of course, all proud parents will never see or admit to this being so in the structure of their family unit, but you only have to ask the eldest, middle and youngest of your offspring to learn that which many authors, researchers and professors of psychology have discovered over the past fifty years. Or so my teachers always led me to believe!
Here's the essence of what you need to know about birth-order types and how the eldest, middle and youngest children mix, match, mesh or clash. Whether you are designated a 'take-charge' first born or an 'attention-hungry' baby of the family or the compromising middle child who is the born peace maker, where you fall in your family's hierarchical order helps shape your personality and determines the significance of your relationship skills and roles thereafter.
Catherine Salmon, Phd, Professor of psychology at the University of Redlands in California says that first born children tend to be ambitious, conscientious, organised and more dominant in relationships. The first-born child likes to be in control. It has also been found that as with all family positions, gender plays a significant role too. In the case of all first-borns, whereas oldest sons tend to be 'take-charge' types and leaders, oldest females are more likely to be bossy, confident and aggressive than their younger sisters.
Years of research has shown that middle children are the least defined of the types. Whereas there can only be one eldest and one baby, the importance of middles shift, depending on how many others there are in the whole family. That said, middleborns are described as the 'Type 0 blood' as they go with anyone and as a general rule are the best compromisers; a valuable skill which was developed and honed as they negotiated between bossy older siblings and needier younger ones! Middleborn children are also believed to be more secretive and can often hold the view that they missed out during their development to that of both oldest and youngest siblings.
Last but not least, come the youngest of the family. Beloved, treasured, and in many cases babied for much longer than their older siblings (and often by their older siblings), the stereotypical youngest of the brood tends to be less responsible and more devil-may-care, with less of a hankering to take charge. All that however, can be different if the baby of the family came after a gap of more than a few years. In that case, the baby of the family may act more like an only child or an oldest sibling; as though the family had started all over again. Or so all my reading leads me to believe!
So, depending upon whether we prefer to believe in old wives tales, folklore, the word of mum, the crystal ball of an Irish peg-selling gypsy or in the decades of research performed by thousands of professors, anthropologists and psychologists from across the world (who quite frankly would be better getting a life for themselves instead of spending their own life analysing the lives of others), we take our pick when it comes to whose nose is best: or should I say, 'Who knows best!'" William Forde: May 14th, 2016.