Birth Order – does it matter?

There is an interesting discussion getting started over at Larger Families blog regarding Birth Order. (I’m still having to adjust to being considered a “larger family”…)

I’ve been interested in this topic since I first heard about it, way back when. Being the youngest of three I’ve heard my share of the differences (from my two older brothers) of my parent’s parenting style changes by the time I was growing up.

And I’ve wondered about this more since having our second child, and with each subsequent child. More so, now that they are trying to imply that no child born after the first one will be as smart as that first child… (which, I see flaws and holes all over that study)

But if you have a chance go read this post and look over the links for the studies.

Let me know what you think too.


  1. I think first kids might – MIGHT! – be more driven, but being DRIVEN isn’t the most important thing in the world. And large families vary so much that I really wonder about the quality of research about them.

  2. Hi! Interesting post, I can honestly say from my experience ( I know many larger familes as well as not so many) I have not found this to be true… in fact from my experience I would say it might be quite the opposite…


  3. I definitely think birth order affects our personalities. I know I’m who I am because I’m the oldest of six children. I honestly don’t think it matters a lot until you get beyond two children. Then you have the “middle” child and a gazillion books have been written on that very subject, being a middle child.

  4. Christy says:

    I haven’t read the links you provided, but I did read an article recently that said it’s not really birth order as much as which children take on the “leading” role in the family. And that the expectations for them tend to be higher. For example, in one family we know, the oldest boy is mentally disabled, so the second boy tends to resemble the typical mold of “first born.” However, so does the third born, a daughter (as the first born girl, she does a lot of the cooking and housework and is simply “sharp as a tack”). Personally, I think it has more to do with expectation (either real or perceived) than birth order. And it just so happens that the older child is more “capable” when the younger ones are little and that expectation/role is assumed early on and retained. That’s just my sketchy little theory (from a first-born’s perspective). :-)

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