Our younger daughter Alyssa likes to point out that she is the only second-born child in a family of first-borns. This is true, since Becky, Amy and I are all first-borns. I received some help determining this from a web site. Here it is if you want to figure out your birth order:
How to figure out your birth order
If you were born first, you're a first-born. If last, you're a last-born. If you're a middle child, you need to ask whether you're closer in age to an older or a younger sibling. If you have many older siblings and are close in age to one or more of them, you can expect to be more like a last-born than a first-born, although you will have some firstborn traits by virtue of the fact that you have a younger sibling.
Now that we've settled that, we'll proceed with the business at hand. It's my understanding that there is mixed scientific support for the idea that birth order influences personality since there are so many factors that affect personality. The concept is still solidly a part of pop psychology and culture. Here's a quick rundown of the characteristics, shamelessly lifted from some website:
The First Born
Strongest Personality – First-borns are usually the leaders. They usually have the characteristics and qualities that enable them to make decisions easily. This maybe due to the special attention they receive since they are the first, and parents would be very excited with them.
Family Minded – First-borns take the position of their parents when they are not around, making them the decision makers. They would then think of the family as their own, thus they are protective and responsible for their siblings. They are unselfish and caring by nature.
(I like this description and believe it to be true. :^) )
The Middle Child
Peacekeepers – Middle children are peacekeepers by default. They are the mediators between the siblings. They are sometimes associated as “people pleasers” due to their weak personalities, but not all of them have this characteristic.
Attention Getter – By being born at the middle, middle children do not receive much attention. This causes them to get attention whenever they can through any means possible, so often they become the black sheep of the family. Lack of attention can cause a chain reaction making them lose confidence, friends and so on.
("Weak personalities?" Hmmm...don't think so. Alyssa is the polar opposite of a "weak personality.")
The Last Born
Smartest – By being the last, they have seen the rights and wrongs of their siblings, making them the smartest. Often, the youngest will be exposed to matters between their siblings which are older, thus making them a bit mature for their age.
Spoiled – By this time, the parents are tired of their children. Most of their energies in disciplining the children have been used up, thus having none for the youngest. Because of this, the child becomes accustomed to no discipline at all, making them spoiled and hard headed.
(Sorry, last-borns. I think it's harsh to say that parents are "tired of their children with the last-born . Also calling last-borns "spoiled and hard headed" is not nice.)
(Remember this blog is intended for entertainment purposes only and should not be confused with actual information.)
Anyhow, the point is this story: Alyssa recently acquired a new (used) car and sold me her Mazda station wagon. I had always liked the car and find it a delight to drive and useful for carrying things. I can actually get four ten foot long plastic pipes in it, which would have stuck out the back of my former pickup with the miniscule six-foot bed. That's one of the reasons I no longer have the truck. That and it rode like a tank.
The Mazda sw has a Bose sound system with a CD player (changer, actually, I found out) which has an incredible sound. Being a guy, I stuck a CD in the slot, which is how most CD players work. It wouldn't play. Not would it eject. Being a first born, I wanted to fix the problem and stuck various slender objects into the slot to try to free the disc. Nothing worked and I had to get to a meeting. I was already planning to take the dash apart to get at the CD and free the disc.
I came out after my meeting and started the car...and the CD ejected itself. Whew! Upon reading the directions (contrary to my guy nature), I found that I should have pressed the "Load" button to the top of the slot. When the display read "Load" I could insert the CD. Imagine that.
I think it was my first-born status that made me stick the disc into the slot without knowing what I was doing. I like to forge ahead without any idea of what will happen in a given circumstance. Sometimes bad things happen but it's always exciting. I'm trying to think things through before I jump in, but old habits die hard. Trying to pull the CD out of the player is typical of my impulsive nature. I should know better but I don't.
I console myself by remembering that I am "unselfish and caring by nature," and not possessed of a "weak personality" or "spoiled and hard-headed." Thank goodness for that. Right?