Monday, July 27, 2009

Does Birth Order Matter?

Does birth order matter? It certainly seems to. A recent survey of 10,000 mothers by the British website NetMums, found that 77 percent believe being the oldest, or youngest, or somewhere in between, has a definite influence on a child’s personality and achievements.

They think the oldest is the most likely to achieve academically, but also most likely to be anxious and depressed. The youngest, in turn, is viewed as the most likely to be the happiest. The survey also found that women who were oldest children are likely to become more “demanding” mothers themselves, while those who were middle children are “more laid back” when it comes to parenting, and youngest children are most likely to lavish their children with praise.

The take away message is that parents should monitor themselves, and notice when they are treating the “baby” like a baby, or laying too much responsibility on the oldest, or ignoring the middle child completely. But mostly the question is a parlor game, since there is little one can do about their own birth order.