The order of the children: Is it a factor for the development of their personality?

There is no coincidence of criteria among psychologists regarding the role played by children according to their turn of birth, but, without a doubt, order is always a determining factor that predisposes to a certain behavior , especially that of rivalry.

Valentine, 5 years old, was watching a family video. After numerous images of his older and younger siblings, to the detriment of the few in which he appeared, he asked surprised: Was I not born? The middle child tends to feel ambiguous, surpassed by the status of the first-born and the youngest, who seem to have preferential places in paternal affection.

The luck of the firstborn

personalidad de los hijos The position he occupies among the siblings has its importance in the development of the personality . The first studies on the fraternal rank determined that the first-born (also the only children) seem to have better intellectual conditions. They got better school grades and had a higher percentage of winners. They tended to be more responsible, less rebellious, and to pursue father-model careers.
It was also found that they were best represented in the groups of “important people” in society: judges, cosmonauts, scientists, and so on. The reasons for their greater intelligence, school performance and social projection could be that, in general, they are “highly desired children”, in whom many expectations are projected, which implies greater stimulation in their development.

Today, critics claim that the effect of birth order is less important than early studies suggest. According to Daniel Goleman, more modern research indicates that the time interval between births in a family is as important in the child’s development as the position he occupies.  
What’s more, in many cases, the firstborn advantage can become a negative factor when parents worry excessively. In this sense, the researcher Frank Sulloway affirms that, contrary to what is maintained regarding the leadership of the first-born, it is the children born after the first, which stand out for their rebellious and innovative character.

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