This three kittens picture was borrowed from here.

Yesterday I was one of the examiners for undergraduate thesis of one of the students. His thesis was about the impact of birth order to social problem solving in teenagers. He argued that birth order made people have distinct ways of solving issues and problems with other people.

I get his argument. I know it. I study it.

But the problem is, I cannot relate to anything about birth order.

I'm the first born in my family. My sister was born a year apart. My brother came last, three years younger.

Alfred Adler said that the oldest child was dethroned by next child and has to learn to share with the younger sibling. Parent expectations are usually very high for him/her. First born are often given responsibility and expected to set an example for their younger siblings. 

Adler also argued that the oldest child may become authoritarian or strict, feels power is his/her right, can become helpful if encouraged, and may turn to father after birth of his/her younger sibling for attention. 

First of all, I never felt dethroned by my sister, or my brother. I don't have share anything with my siblings if I don't want to. Not now, not ever. My parents have almost zero expectations about me and my siblings. We're lucky to turn out to be decent, because I could be the best student or the worst (and I've been both), and I never get any reinforcement or punishment. I have never given responsibility or expected to be an example for my sister or brother. When my sister decided to enter the same junior high and my brother the same university as me, I always assumed it was because I went to the best school and university. 

Now, about the character of first born.  I am authoritarian, but not strict. I feel that I have a power over myself, but not things or other people. I am helpful, if I want to and the people that needed my help are deserving kind. Before my sister was born, I was close to my father. After she was born, I stayed close to him. Many of my first memories are with my father. 

But Adler also argued that the psychological situation of each family in every family is unique. Secondly, every person has opinion about him/herself, and his/her situation determines choices of attitude. Third, personality of a person is significantly influenced by biology, parental attitudes, social economic status, and gender roles, and eventually, culture. 

So, what is your position in your family and is your personality the stereotypical of birth order theory? 

My sister and her curly hair

My brother with his (then) large front teeth

The Alfred Adler's birth order theory was borrowed from here.


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