I came across some notes in an old steno pad of mine. They had no context, just a one-page with some short form notes on it. I was obviously jotting down something about birth order theory from a parenting class and even though I wrote them a couple of years ago -- it as if I was describing each of my three children yesterday.
Here are my notes:
- Turn to peers, not parents
- Financially irresponsible
Birth order is scary. It is scary because it is true. It can be applied cross-culturally, and to past generations. It seems that we parents are programmed to treat our kids the same: we have high expectations of our oldest children, we ignore our middles, and we spoil our youngest.
And yet, each kid turns into their own special package of personality traits mixed with parental expectations and mistakes.
One of the lasting affects of birth order is how we see our own children who have the same place in the family constellation as our own. So as an oldest child, I have special empathy for my oldest child getting blamed for everything and I am especially sensitive to the line "you are the oldest, you should know better."
But my sister as the youngest has concern for her youngest getting denied privileges or not feeling special enough.
In the meantime, I am a little scared to do any more research on birth order. I don't want to realize that I am just a cliché and raising birth order stereotypes.
Does birth order theory describe your kids?
Want more chaos? Last year, after the spanking debate I wrote about some pain-free discipline techniques.