Birth Order Personality Traits Essay

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Birth Order Personality Traits

It is easy to wonder how two children from the same family can turn out so differently, with completely different personalities and ways of solving problems. Recognizing the immense influence of family dynamics on young children can clear up a lot of the confusion. For example, eldest children look to their parents as role models for their behavior, and may become perfectionistic as parents expect them to act like little adults. Middle children may become more dependent on peer approval and their friends because they tend to get relatively less attention within their families. And youngest children may use humor as a way of securing their parents' attention.
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A "special child" is, for example, the only girl in a family of five, or a physically or mentally handicapped child. Essentially, any child that receives a disproportionate share of family attention is a "special child." With special children, parents need to pay specific attention if there is a middle child just older than the special child. Much attention that might have gone to this child will likely be diverted by the special child, and this is something that parents need to watch out for.

So, with the exceptions aside, what can you do to parent your eldest child, middle child, youngest child more effectively? We will examine the specific characteristics of each group of children, and make specific recommendations as to how you can improve your children's well being.

Eldest children and only children look to their parents as the people on whom they should model their behavior. Often problems arise because both parents and the children themselves expect the children to act like little adults. For example, an eldest child who observes a parent re-making his bed may feel guilty because he did not make his bed well enough, and may also seek to make it perfectly next time. This child strongly seeks parental approval. Oldest children often are very sensitive to criticism, very eager