Effect of Birth Order on Child’s Behaviour and Personality


According to child psychologists in general, a child’s personality can be analyzed with respect to their context. While the birth order may not be as influential as, gender, socioeconomic status, educational qualifications, and so on in terms of the context of the child’s upbringing, it certainly can have an effect on the kind of person the child grows up to be. In this article, we are going to analyze the effect of birth order on the child’s behavior and personality.

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birth order

In this article:

How Parent’s Behavior Changes According to Birth Order of Children?
Birth Order and Child Behavior
How Does Birth Order Affect Child’s Personality?
Key Players that Influence Child’s Personality
Does Birth Order Affect Iq Score of Children?

Birth Order: Its Effects on Behaviour & Personality of Children

Birth order is defined as the position of a child with respect to their siblings. A child’s birth order cannot define human personalities as a set of codes. However, it can have an effect on their upbringing and therefore, it is in focus in the present age.

How Parent’s Behavior Changes According to Birth Order of Children?

Birth order and parenting techniques are interlinked. For example, the first child is often going to be a parenting experiment involving a blend of intuition and trial and error methods. Having a child can often frighten parents into becoming strict guardians. On the other hand, they might be lenient with their second and third children due to their prior experiences.

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Birth Order and Child Behavior

There are several birth order effects on the personality of a child that have been observed. Here are a few of them which are important:


Firstborn children are usually natural leaders who are goal-oriented and responsible. This trait usually emerges from being the only attention-receiver in the house, granting them the personal security of having constant protectors. Firstborn children are also hardworking and eager to please their parents and teachers. Perfectionism is a common character trait among them, leading to intellectualizing their surroundings rather than developing their emotional maturity. It is also possible for them to develop feelings of jealousy if the parents are ignoring them in favor of younger siblings.

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Middle Borns

Middle born kids are often sociable, egalitarian and peaceful. These kids are often surrounded by their friends, therefore dependent more on them than their parents who might be focused on their first or last kid. These children are usually friendly, working great with teams and being supportive of their peers.

Last Borns

Commonly, the youngest kid is the most taken care of. These children are often the pranksters, but also tend to be highly creative and innovative. Youngest children are often the best at sports, music or art etc.

Only Child

Only children grow up into confident adults mainly due to the love and affection received from their parents. Furthermore, they prefer being alone most of the time and tend to be intelligent and articulate as they only had their parents around for conversation.

How Does Birth Order Affect Child’s Personality?

Birth order personality traits often carry on into adulthood in case of children. For instance, firstborns always remain competitive and ambitious in a bid to win the approval of their parents and other authority figures. Usually, most people in leadership positions such as company heads, doctors, and so on tend to be first born. The people-pleasing middle child is just as helpful as an adult. Also, middle born tend to focus more on keeping others happy than paying attention to their own needs, which could make them feel directionless or lost. Last-born children are quite pleasant to be around, with the self-assurance and charm of a child. But this childlike nature can often be misinterpreted as childish or immature, which prevents them from being taken seriously. When it comes to only children, their adult versions tend to be less insecure about change in life or lack of attention. This is because the realisation of their self-centeredness sets in when they have to interact with other adults in a group setting.

Key Players that Influence Child’s Personality

The key players that influence a child’s character development are parents, siblings and friends. However, the presence of a parental role model is absolutely crucial in the development of their child’s personality.

Does Birth Order Affect Iq Score of Children?

According to some studies (see references), birth order and intelligence are linked, while some child psychologists claim that intelligence has more to do with genetics, socioeconomic factors and parental guidance.


While birth order effects seem believable, it is not true in all cases. Powerful factors such as social standing, financial status, parental education, parental presence, race, and many others have a greater impact than birth order. Birth order positions do influence the personalities of children in a lot of cases, but it is important to remember that sufficient care, love, and mutual respect within the family are more crucial when it comes to shaping the individuality of your children.




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