Birth order is an important part of family dynamics. I began studying birth order, a couple of years ago. It was then I realized how important the roles we play in our families really is. Each of us, no matter if we are an only child, or we have grown up with a sibling or siblings, has a place in our family unit, that is effected by the order of our birth.
A short time after I began studying birth order and family dynamics, I began a relationship with someone, who much like me, already had children. When we finally began the merge of our two families together, knowing what birth order can mean in a family, was an important aspect of blending the two together. It truly played a vital role.
Although birth order is important in any family, it seemed much more important as we blended families. It allowed us to see how each child’s personalities worked, and how the impact of blending, as well as switching places in the birth order changes how they work and feel.
Many skeptics don’t think there is any truth to birth order. While I understand they might feel that way, there is conclusive proof that it does indeed play a role in a person’s personality. The skeptics can have their opinions, and I will have mine. I feel very confident that in our family, the dynamics are affected by each child’s original birth order and then the change of their place in the birth order.
Even my relationship with my significant other, has been shaped and molded and very clearly shows the effect of our birth order. He is a youngest, I am an oldest.
Now, I am not saying that some of our personality, is not developed or established at birth. No, clearly there are hereditary traits, which play a role in the whole personality spectrum. However, birth order defines how we handle those inherited traits.
It is very common for anger issues to be passed along. It has to do with how our brains are centrally wired. A youngest child typically handles anger by holding it inside. While vocal about many things, their anger isn’t usually one of them. They often react to anger by crying or throwing a tantrum. This stems from their place in the birth order absolutely – they are the youngest – the baby.
A middle child will hold it inside, and usually won’t react to most issues. They are often the peacemakers of the family, so if there is anger inside, they are easy to forgive and forget. It is not in their nature to remain angry.
Then there is the oldest child. Watch out for them. Their anger can often last for long periods. They are the type that often act out, can be aggressive when provoked in anger, and will hold a grudge for longer than one can imagine.
These are just typical behaviors, and not all children will handle things the same way, but there will be some consistency across the board.
I will be dissecting each birth order place holder, in later posts. It is my goal to help you better understand your child or children, how they are feeling and provide useful information, helpful suggestions and sound advice, to help improve your family dynamics. Even if you aren’t a blended family.