Birth Order - Being the First Born

by MuminBusiness

What does it feel like being the First Born in a Home? Does Birth Order really matter? Two characteristics that seem to suggest it does.

Watching my First Born

Watching my first born baby carry my last born baby up the stairs caused me to reflect on the challenges and advantages of being the first born in a family -  What impact does that have on your psyche and how does it impact your approach to life?

 I personally am one of the middle children, being number two out of four kids.  I have however listened to my older sister lament being the first and all the responsibility this position held -Things that I the second child(rolls eyes) could not understand. 

Well, now as I observe my own first child – I want to understand.  What difference does it make –being the first born? How does it impact their lives?  


One Advantage of Being the First Born

Being the First born meant of course, that you were the only child for a season.  Your parents were new to the whole ball game of parenting and showered you with a ton of attention.  Everything you did was fascinating.  They could not help but show you off at every occasion where anyone would listen.  You were 'the News'

We live in times where people have never played with a baby or in some cases, never even held a baby until they have their own, so you, the first born would have been a novelty to your parents.

The Flip Side

You may have learnt to associate love with being the centre of attention.  You may always seek to be the centre of attention; you may even suffer from performance based anxiety.

The other flip side could be that your parents were a lot more firm and strict with you as they had no way of knowing what the norm for a person of your age was.  Your parents may then have imposed stricter rules on you than on any other sibling.  You will know if this happened to you as you will say to your parents (or at least think it) on numerous occasions (possibly, even when they are dealing with your children) that they have gone soft now.  You know you would never have been allowed to do certain things that your siblings or your children get away with.

The Outcome

You hold yourself to higher standards, you also probably hold a title of great import in whatever business or company you are a part of.  You feel a bit down if you are not recognised for the work that you do. 

You do not like to settle for mediocrity which is a great thing for your career and your life.  The only slight downside is that you may also hold others to high standards too which can affect your relationships with them. 

Learn to be patient with the people around you and also learn that you are good enough whether anyone tells you so or not.

Being the first born is easy-peasy.

What do you think?
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No, I disagree, it is not easy or birth order makes a difference.
Jimmie on 12/23/2011

All people have strengths and weaknesses. I do fit the typical first child portrait -- responsible, hardworking. But it's not all because I am the first born. Interestingly, both of my parents are first born, and I married a first born.

Another Characteristic of being a First Born

As mentioned earlier, the situation that started me thinking about Birth Order was watching my First Born carry my last born.There is an expectation that you will look after other people.

In my family, my father was a paraplegic and it sometimes fell to my older sister to look after his needs. She felt it was her responsibility to do this which meant she was put upon in numerous situations. This can happen in big families too. When you have a lot of siblings, your parents start to expect you to help them with your siblings and with the house, regardless of your age. They also expect you to take care of yourself, as they now have reduced time and you are perceived to be capable.

The Positives

This ability to take care of others is not necessarily a bad thing.  This can lead to a great sense of personal responsibility that can help you in later life.  Taking full responsibility for one’s actions is a great skill to have in a world that likes to blame others for their misfortunes.  

You are also more capable at a lot of practical things as you were expected to do them from a young age.  This makes you a lot more self-sufficient.

The Flip Side

The only downside is if you take too much responsibility for other people’s wellbeing.  You forget how to say ‘No’ when someone is taking advantage of your nature.


These are just two characteristics of a firstborn child. There are many more to do with intelligence, emotional health, social behaviour and more.

The order of birth can make a world of difference to the way you are treated by your parents. However there are differing views on whether this makes a difference in the long term on one's character.

Have a look at what Wikipedia has to say about it and also there is a great book by Keith Leman on the subject.

Birth Order Book, The: Why You Are the Way You Are

Dr. Kevin Leman's ever-popular book on birth order is getting a new look and updated writing. With insight and wit, Dr. Leman offers readers a fascinating and often funny look ...

$15.61  $11.01
Born to Win: Keeping Your Firstborn Edge without Losing Your Balance

Firstborns are the natural movers, shakers, and leaders of the world. They can accomplish anything they set their minds to. They're the high achievers, the benchmark setters, ...

$10.79  $5.9
Firstborn Advantage, The: Making Your Birth Order Work for You

Firstborns were born to win. Clearly the natural movers, shakers, and leaders of this world, they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. They're the high achievers, ...

$10.69  $5.0

More information on Birth Order Psychology

Birth order is defined as a person's rank by age among his or her siblings. Birth order is often believed to have a profound and lasting effect on psychological development. This assertion has been repeatedly challenged by researchers, ...
Updated: 12/22/2011, MuminBusiness
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What have you found to be a characteristic of birth order?

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Rose on 03/02/2014

I'm a first born, and my parents were stricter with me than my siblings. Basically my younger siblings were beneficiaries of battles I fought and won.

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