Birth Order

Phyliss Miranda sig line for P&P Bluebonnet
As the oldest child, I’ve always thought about the differences in the birth order.  It seemed I was always the one in trouble. And, I was!  But there was a reason, I was the oldest. I’ve watched this particularly with my grandchildren.  I have seven and they are all about a year apart, so I can really analyze each of them.  After attending a workshop on birth order, I quickly inserted these characteristics in my character profiles.
First born characteristics: Resourceful, self-reliant, demand of himself:Runner
Family Relationships:  Under scrutiny, documents life, pressure to perform/succeed, good example, reap rewards when they meet parent’s goal. 
Results:  Anxiety ridden, sets high standards, and cannot handle failure.
Second childMiddle Child Characteristics:  Feels invisible, nothing special, may rebel against status quo. Struggles to be noticed, reach outside the family for relationships.
Family Relationships:  Allow the middle child more freedom, not as much fuss and fewer pictures.
Results:  Can feel unloved, chooses a niche outside the older sibling (different interests/often more dangerous, takes more risks, empathy for underdog.
Last Born Characteristics:  People-oriented, attentionSmallest Child seeking, laid back, fun, and flaky.
Family Relationships:  Fuss and pampered, their last chance to do it right, caters to the child. More tired, give more freedom.
Results:  Skilled politicians, negotiators, may feel disconnected, play baby; don’t always follow commitments or finish a job. Some are determined.
Only ChildOnly Child:  Might be spoiled, but often have opportunities of education, travel, and culture.
If you want to evaluate the person you’re thinking of or your character in a dysfunctional family consider:
Oldest: Organized, needs control, outer anger.
Middle:  Blends into the woodwork, quiet, inner anger.
Youngest: Needs attention, the family clown or delinquent.  (Man, am I glad I wasn’t the youngest in my family, because I don’t do clowns and I wasn’t a delinquent, but I do like attention!)
Did you find any similarities in your family or a person you work with?


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A native Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Phyliss Miranda still believes in the Code of the Old West and loves to share her love for antiques, the lost art of quilting, and the Wild West.

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18 thoughts on “Birth Order”

  1. This really fits my family. My older sister did stay in trouble quite a lot. I am the middle and always feel neglected and unloved. My youngest sister is the outgoing one and the one my parents always made a fuss over and gave her anything she wanted.

    • Hi Janine, that’s interesting. The way I see it, as the oldest and considering my grandchildren, I believe one reason the oldest stays in trouble is because they are protective and I do think they take the blame for the others. I know my baby sister told me a few months ago how much she thought of me as her protector when we were growing up and she wanted to follow me all of her life. I told here that I wish I’d known it, I’d tried harder. I think you are a typical middle child … but I bet you learned a lot and are a whole lot smarter and stronger having siblings both older and younger. Big hugs, Phylissc

    • Hi Tracy, I thought it’d be interesting to our readers, but particularly writers. I do believe it’s accurate, but of course there are always exceptions. Have a great day, my friend. Hugs, Phyliss

  2. Phyliss, I commiserate. I’m the eldest child, too. There are five years between the four kids in my family, and I remember being miffed with my youngest brother the entire time we were growing up. He really was babied, at least from my perspective. We got around that as we grew older, but he’s still a weasel. 😉

    Those traits are pretty accurate, aren’t they?


    • Hi Kathleen, I love your comment about your brother still being a weasel. Too cute. I can see you in one of my grands because she was the youngest, in your case only child, for six years, then came along the two “little ones”, so she was the baby then the middle child. I see a lot of these traits in a lot of people I know. Have a good day, my friend. Hugs, Phyliss

  3. I totally think birth order has a lot to do with our personalities along with how many children and the sex of the children so a lot of combinations. I have an older sister and she definitely needed to control things and I always wanted attention and was the one to always compromise. My husband is an only and was spoiled and still has a hard time understanding compromise. I have two girls and it was the same for them.

  4. Good morning, Catslady. Hope you’re having a great day. You really hit the nail on the head about a couple of things I’d forgotten about. Of course, sex makes a difference. Thanks for bringing that up. Yep, us oldest girls are pretty alpha, aren’t we? Have a great day, my friend. Hugs, Phyliss

  5. Hi Phyliss, I so enjoyed this information! I was in the middle between two brothers so I think I got extra spoiled being the only girl. Although…my younger brother never had to grow up. Ever. And he’s, well, old now LOL. Hugs…

    • That’s too funny, my friend, Tanya. I was oldest of four girls and my D/H is second of five boys, so I definitely can see where not just the rank in kids by sex can make a huge difference. In his case, he was second of two that were born 14 months apart, then came the middle boy who truly thinks of himself as an orphan, then two others came along like 7 years and 14 years apart. The middle boy even in the 60’s has a burr up his behind about being the middle and never getting any attention. LOL Thanks for bringing that up. Have a great evening. Hugs, Phyliss

  6. This describes my siblings and I! Although my youngest sister was also a firstborn as she is 20 years younger than I am.

  7. Oh, are those descriptions so very accurate. I was the oldest of 6 and can relate to the profile perfectly. Looking at my brothers and sister, they fit the birth order descriptions pretty accurately. In our case, since we were born in G-B-G-B-G-B order, we sort of have 2 oldest, 2 middle, and 2 youngest in the family. The personality descriptions fit that way too.
    I tried to avoid the parenting behavior that produced the differences, but somehow it didn’t work. Our three fit the profiles despite my attempts to prevent it. Society must have some influence, plus my husband is the oldest of two whose father died when they were in high school. He had so much responsibility put on his shoulders, I think he has tried to prevent that happening with our son, who happens to be the youngest. A multiplying factor.
    Thanks for the interesting post.

  8. Hi Pat, glad to hear from you. So interesting about the odd, even with your sisters and brothers. Your parents must have had to work and pray hard to get that order. I have a grandson who is the oldest and he has always felt responsible for his mother and sister. Even now, since he spent his senior year with us because his parents moved and he wanted to finish high school and his running career here, when he leaves the house even to pick up a Coke or go back to collage he always tells me he loves me. That’s interesting. I can see how much he wants to take care of everyone although he’s a boy, but still the oldest. I think I’m definitely an alpha female since I’m the oldest! LOL Nice to hear from you. Hugs, Phyliss

  9. While reading this, I thought it so fit! I’m a middle child of 7, and 5 of us are girls so it was even more fitting as all sisters! (and we are 2 years apart except for me being just less than a year lol. Can I share this with them? They’d love it.

    Awesome post.


  10. interesting post,,im the middle child of 3,,hated being the middle,,had to wear my older sisters hand me downs,,she and my baby brother always got the firsts of everything two years between my sister and I and 5 yrs between my little brother and me,,it really did stink,,i know my parents didnt do things on purpose,but their birthdays were in March and June and mine was the middle of Nov..which I was always told its too close to christmas to get you a lot or have a party,,never no money in the winter,,,can you tell at age 59 im still bitter?lmao

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