Question of the Week: Do you think birth order has any effect on personality in multiples?

*I’m still playing catch-up with the QOTW from Multiples…and More!, this question was asked several weeks ago*

Do you think birth order has any effect on personality in multiples?

I’m sure birth order affects multiples in some ways. I’m just not sure how it affects my multiples. I’ll be honest, I don’t really know a lot about birth order and what it all means!! So I searched online for a chart or something that would enlighten me. I found this:
 
(courtesy of: http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/development/birth_order.shtml)
First Child:
*is only child for period of time; used to being center of attention
*believes must gain and hold superiority over other children
*being right, controlling often important
*may respond to birth of second child by feeling unloved and neglected
*strives to keep or regain parents attention through conformity. If this failed, chooses to misbehave
*may develop competent, responsible behavoir or become very discouraged
*sometimes strives to protect and help others
*strives to please
 
Second Child:
*never has parents’ undivided attention
*always has sibling ahead who’s more advanced
*acts as if in race, trying to catch up or overtake first child
*if first child is “good”, second may become “bad”. develops abilities first child doesn’t exhibit. If first child is successful, may feel uncertain of self and abilities.
*may be rebel
*often doesn’t like position
*feels “squeezed” if third child is born
*may push down other siblings
 
Now after reading this, I think our girls are a little young to analyze. I also think that because they are multiples and therefore not really “first” or “second” children that they exhibit qualities from both lists. Neither baby has ever had our “undivided attention”, save from the few times we’ve taken them out separately to get some alone time. And they haven’t really exhibited any of the qualities listed for First Child, other than that they misbehave get attention. But really, what kid doesn’t do that?
 
I think they both share some of the qualities from the Second Child list. They switch back and forth between being the “more advanced” child. Sometimes one does something before the other… the other soon catching up to the new trick. Neither has become a “bad” child just because her sister is “good”; gosh, they’re only two years old after all. If rebeling can be applied to things like not taking naps and making messes in their room… then yes, they sure are rebels!! And I can take the last quality “may push down siblings” quite literally as there is a lot of knocking sisters down around here, pushing, and wrestling each other to the ground. (I thought only boys did that?!  -Nope.)
 
But I don’t think they feel squeezed out by their newest sibling, Snowdrop. We talked a lot about Snowdrop before she arrived and I think we did a good job at preparing them for the changes. Sure, there are days when they act out but like I’ve mentioned, they are only two years old – not exactly the age of reason. And they’ve done nothing but LOVE their baby sister. Really, I can’t think of any time that they acted out against the baby. Juniper tried to pick her up yesterday from her newborn lounger and Snowdrop ended up rolling down the side of the lounger and onto the ground. She wasn’t hurt and of course, I didn’t scold Junie because she was just trying to console her baby sister. Pretty cute!! (In my defense, I was changing Mag’s diaper not lounging with a cocktail on the porch. AND I did, however, tell her that while I know she was trying to help she is not allowed to pick Baby Snowdrop up yet. Let’s hope she doesn’t try that again!)
 
I think other people tend to classify our kids into different personalities but I try to always tell them that both girls act the same way at different times and that they’re not all that different. I WILL say that while Junie tends to get upset much easier, Mags is the type to let things just roll off her back. In that way, they are different.
 
Editor’s Note: I wrote the above passage a few weeks ago. Since then (well, the last two weeks) Mags has been “exhibiting” signs of feeling squeezed out and loss of attention. While she loves her Baby Snowdrop very much and is an excellent big sister, she has been pushing her limits lately and I think it’s because of the new baby. So I took her to the market with me yesterday and Hubby & I have plans to up the one-on-one time for the big girls.
 
I will also note that I’m not sure I completed this question to it’s fullest extent, my apologies.
 

 

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