Birth Order and Behavior Patterns

Essay by RainMillerUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 2007

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Individuals are born with distinctive characteristics and unique qualities that distinguish them for other members of their family or society as a whole. Many of these distinct characteristics and qualities are defined by gender and birth order. According to Isaccson and Radish, (2002), ". . . the order in which siblings are born can many times identify preset behavior patterns . . . Sibling sequences and the behavioral patterns they imply are universal. The patterns transcend cultural influences and social status." (p. 67).

Behavior Patterns of the Firstborn

The typical first born traits according to Dr. Leman (1998), are: perfectionists, organized, serious, goal oriented, achievers, people pleasers and rule followers. First born children are learning experiences for parents; this also plays a part in the development of a child's personality. There are other factors that can influence behaviors such as the number of siblings, age differences between siblings and the joining of two families.

First born children with younger siblings can have care giving and nurturing behaviors. Most parents for financial or other reasons appoint their oldest child to take the role of babysitter. Eventually the child becomes compliant; first born who are compliant are team players, have a need to please people and have the probability of being taken advantage of. However, this may also have a reverse effect. When the parents put the eldest in charge of younger siblings the child may become aggressive, and dominant.

Parents usually tell their younger children to listen to their brother or sister which gives the first born the impression that he or she is in charge. The first born after being in this authority position can develop a dominant behavior. A dominant first born is usually successful; however their personality tends to push away loved ones. There are some exceptions to...