March 21, 2008 - 5:07pm — ani3
Does Birth Order Affect Personality, Intelligence, and Future Success?
Birth order can affect where you are in the future. Can siblings really mold a person's identity for better or for worse?
Nairee Djirdjirian, age 14, is studying to be a lawyer or doctor. Her grades are way beyond average and she is considered to be an overachiever. She is responsible and polite. Nairee longs to go to Yale or Harvard, for she is ambitious. Passing all her tests and schoolwork with excellence, Nairee knows that she has her future set. Her younger sister, Ani Djirdjirian, age 13, is studying to become a performer. She too earns good grades, but not as high as her sister does. Ani has a passion for dancing and singing. Ani wants to attend The Juilliard School. People consider her talented and more outgoing and social than Nairee. Could it be possible that birth order affects a sibling's personality, intelligence, and future goals? Research shows that first-born siblings are usually smarter and more mature than their younger siblings are.
"A child's position in the family impacts his personality, his behavior, his learning, and ultimately his earning power. Most people have an intuitive knowledge that birth order somehow has an impact on development, but they underestimate how far-reaching and just how significant that impact really is.", says Michael Grose, the author of Why First Borns Rule the World, and Last Borns Want to Change It and other books about parenting. It is a studied fact that birth order really does affect children's personality, intelligence, and future goals. People think that career choice and future success are all placed upon a person's education, when it really starts at home.
First born and Smarter Than Average
It is a fact that the oldest siblings usually have IQ's 2.3 points higher than their younger siblings do. Researchers say that it is because parents usually have more time and resources to give to their first child. The child typically has more time alone with his or her parents. In other words, they receive a more vast exposure to their wide range of vocabulary words and intelligence.
According to the Discover Vancouver Form, the eldest child in a family acts as a replacement for parents with their younger siblings. They instruct and guide them in certain circumstances, making them the ideal role model. First-born siblings have traits of leaders. They are mostly conscientious, ambitious, aggressive, caring, and overachieving. Most first born siblings want to become lawyers, doctors, engineers, designers, or president. Bill Clinton, J.K. Rowling, and Winston Churchill are three perfect examples of first born people who have had great success. Parents place great pressure on their first born children because they expect them to set a good example for their sisters and brothers by being the best. A lot of the time, their younger siblings mold their personality greatly. "I think my younger siblings made an impact on my personality. They made me learn to be understanding and act kinder towards others," says Kelly Philips, a student at I.S.25.
Stuck In the Middle
Children who have younger and older siblings are not as successful as the others in their family. However, they usually take on the role of peacemaker in the family. Being the child in between, they feel as though they are often forgotten in the pool of success stories from their older and younger siblings. They can get lost in their own families, and learn to build bridges over their problems. They have great people skills but are the most emotionally distorted. It has been shown that many middle children want to become therapists. They are most likely to be born into an atmosphere of competition with their older sibling according to the editor of Careerbuilder.com. Because of the high standards the older sibling presents, they are usually pressured to do just as well.
"I feel bad because when I do well at something, they expect it, but when my siblings do something good my parents shower them with praise. To be honest, I have always felt out of place even in my own family and "different" from the other two. The only thing that bothers me is that my mom has ‘her favorites," says Jasmine Crispin, age 14.
The Talented Underdog
The youngest siblings in a family tend to be the most creative and most charming. They are portrayed as the underdog of the family even when they try to be equal with their older sibling(s). The second born (with no younger siblings) feel the need to stand out as a form of rebellion, according to Kate Lorenz. Since first borns often set the high standards, they are expected to do just as well or will be known as the black sheep of the family. Second born children often adapt opposite traits from their older sibling. For example, if their older sister or brother excels academically, they would excel in the arts, just like Nairee and Ani. The youngest child of a family usually chooses a career in journalism, advertising, sales, performing arts, or something sports-related. Trying to make a difference in life, the second born child is usually loud and very outgoing. They like to make new friends and are very social. Their older siblings play an important role in their life.
"It would be different without my older sister because I would end up making choices myself because now what my sister does is what I do. I would be more responsible and I would probably be more mature. I usually follow what my sister does and I'm with her every hour of every day so she affects my personality," says Jessica Megerian, 14. Cameron Diaz, Jim Carey, and Drew Carey are successful performing artists who are the youngest in their family.
One and Only
Only children are the most successful after first borns. They spend many of their years in the company of only adults. They develop traits that please their parents because they know what is expected being an only child. They are often pampered because there is no other child nice things can be given to. They have similar characteristics to first-born children. Human Intelligence's research shows that only children are more confident because there is no competition in their household. However, they expect a lot from others, are perfectionists, and do not handle criticism well. Only children's imaginations are vaster and they are more creative than their peers are.
"Being an only child with a single parent has affected who I am and my personality. I have to take care of my mom and myself and be responsible for most things since my mom cannot do some. Sometimes it can be stressful for me. But then, being an only child can also make someone think about him or herself only. However, since I have to help my mom, I kind of see that I cannot only think of myself, but others too. Since I do not have any siblings of my own, and live in an environment of little kids, I think of them as my younger sisters and brothers," says Maria Kim, a student in I.S.25.
Birth order does affect a person's personality. Whether they are first born, last born, in the middle or an only child, everyone is successful at something. Siblings can affect people's perspectives, the way they react around other people, and leave a lifelong effect on their futures. Some people do not think it affects future success and intelligence, though it is a studied and true theory.
"I think birth order does have an affect on personality because having more, older, younger, or no siblings in your life can have a different impact on you for better or for worse," says Varant Ghougassian, age 16.