Birth Order: What it’s Like to be The Oldest Sibling.


oldestsibWHERE IN BIRTH ORDER DO YOU FALL IN YOUR FAMILY?
I’m the oldest.

HOW MANY CHILDREN ARE THERE?
Well, there’s 5 total. But, 2 of us lived with our mother and 3 with our father. I know it’s weird. But I’m the oldest out of all 5.

THAT’S INTERESTING. SO, WHO DID YOU LIVE WITH?
I lived with my mother. There were 2 of us in the house. And 3 in the other.

THERE HAVE BEEN MANY STUDIES ON BIRTH ORDER AND PERSONALITY. THEY HAVE ATTACHED MANY DIFFERENT CHARACTERISTICS TO PEOPLE BASED ON THEIR BIRTH ORDER. DO YOU GIVE ANY WEIGHT TO THESE KIND OF STUDIES?
I think there are a lot of people who probably fit in to that. People who really exhibit the characteristics of being an oldest kid, or a middle. But I also think there are probably just as many who don’t. So who knows if it is really birth order or something else.

ONE POSITIVE TRAIT OFTEN ASSIGNED TO OLDEST CHILDREN IS LEADERSHIP. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU FIT THAT ROLE? DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE THE PERSONALITY OF A LEADER?
I think in my family I was the leader. I mean being the oldest, that kind of goes without say. Or maybe it doesn’t. I guess there can be younger kids, with a more domineering personality that take over that role. But I was the oldest by several years on everyone, so I think I had no choice but to be the ‘leader of the pack’ so to speak.

DOES THAT CARRY OVER OUTSIDE OF THE FAMILY?
Not really. I am a control freak, yes. But I wouldn’t necessarily say I have to take a leadership role in everything. Or maybe I do (laughter). I don’t know. I guess I do like to be in the lead, in charge. So, I think I want to change my answer!

OKAY YOU CAN CERTAINLY DO THAT. 
ONE TRAIT THAT MIGHT BE SEEN AS A NOT SO POSITIVE TRAIT OFTEN ASSIGNED TO OLDEST CHILDREN IS A CONSTANT NEED FOR OUTSIDE APPROVAL. DO YOU FEEL LIKE THERE IS ANY OF THAT TRAIT IN YOU?
In a word… yes. I have no idea why they assign that to oldest children, but I feel like I am always seeking outside validation for whatever I do- projects, work stuff, stuff with my kids. So I don’t know why that makes sense, but I fit the bill for that one.

AS THE OLDEST, DID YOU HAVE A CARETAKER ROLE WITH YOUR YOUNGER SIBLINGS?  Well, since we didn’t all live together, it’s a bit different of a situation. I think I was the caretaker overall though, yes. I’m not sure what they say about oldest kids and being the caretaker, but that is a trait I have always had. I am the caretaker in every situation I am in just about.

DO YOU THINK YOUR YOUNGER SIBLINGS APPRECIATED YOUR EFFORTS?
No. I mean now maybe. Then they were too young to even be thinking in those terms. They knew I was there for them. I doubt they’d even remember any situation that called for me to take care of them. I am actually fine with that.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY LARGE FAMILIES, SUCH AS THE DUGGARS (19 CHILDREN), WHERE THE OLDER CHILDREN ARE THE PRIMARY CARETAKERS OF THE YOUNGER?
First of all, I don’t want to judge anyone, but I think that is way out of control. At the point they are at now, I honestly feel like it’s just an attention thing. A way of staying current and keeping their spot on reality tv. But, I think if you’re going to have all of those kids, you need to be able to provide care for them. It takes a village and all that, and of course it’s a beautiful thing to have a family all pitch in with the care and upbringing of siblings, but you can’t go into it thinking like that. That’s just a bonus. You shouldn’t go into it with the intent of having any more kids than you yourself can physically handle. But, that’s just my opinion.

So what do you think about birth order and its impact on personality and behavior? Tell us in the comments.

Meanwhile…

Here are some famous oldest/firstborn children:
Hilary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, George W. Bush, J.K. Rowling, Beyonce’, Colin Firth, Harrison Ford, Reese Witherspoon, Chuck Norris, and Winston Churchill.

Fun facts about oldest siblings:
-More than 60% of U.S. Presidents have been the oldest child.
-Some studies have shown that oldest children score higher on IQ tests than their younger counterparts.
-More than half of all recipients of the Nobel Peace prize have been first-born children.
-Of the first 23 American astronauts sent into outer space, 21 were first-born.

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