This Is How Birth Order Can Affect Your Child's Personality

Content Team

Birth order refers to the position a child is born in, in the family. Such positions include first-born, second-born, middle-born, last-born etc.

Some psychologists believe that the order in which people are born affects their personality although recent research does clearly state the connection between birth order and personality this belief still holds sway in popular culture.

Dr. Kevin Leman the author of ‘ The Birth Order Book: Why You are the way you are’ is a strong proponent of the birth order theory.  He believes that the reason why children act in a particular way is the order they were born into the family and the way the parents treat them because of it.

The firstborn for many couples is a sort of experiment in parenting.  Parents try out all the theories they know about childcare and decide which works for them in relations to the receptivity of the child to it. Parents are usually strict, attentive and pay attention to the littlest details of the child’s life, which may influence the child’s personality of being extra cautious and perfectionist.

On the other hand, when the other kids come along, parents tend to bring the result of the interactions with the first-born child to bear on the second born. Parents tend to act from experience and they are more flexible with their stance on something that may not have been with the first-born. This may make the second born relax and more carefree than the older sibling.

According to, here are some characteristics that children exhibit based on birth order;


Firstborns are the leaders of the pack and they tend to be:

  • Reliable
  • Conscientious
  • Structured
  • Cautious
  • Controlling
  • Achievers

Middle Child

The middle child does not belong to the two extremes of being the first and the last so he tends to possess the following characteristics:

  • People-pleasers
  • Somewhat rebellious
  • Thrives on friendships
  • Has a large social circle
  • Peacemaker

The sex of a child plays affect the extent to which they display some of this qualities. For example, If the middle child is a girl and the first born is a boy, the middle born girl would still show the traits of being the firstborn female even though she is the second born.

Last Born

Most last-borns are usually free-spirited, carefree because the parenting intensity would have reduced after having two or more kids before the last-born. The baby of the house tends to be:

  • Fun-loving
  • Uncomplicated
  • Manipulative
  • Outgoing
  • Attention-seeker
  • Self-centered

Only Children

Being the only child gives the child all the attention, support, expectations, resources of the parents forever. These type of kids exhibit the traits of a high rank first born and they are often

  • Mature for their age
  • Perfectionists
  • Conscientious
  • Diligent
  • Leaders

Take a walk down memory lane do you think that this holds true for you while growing up and now when you have kids?