birth order

Birth order part 2 #TT only child

Birth Order Part 2 #TT

It’s #ThrowbackThursday, and we’re revisiting a 2/20/12 post about birth order, part 2 of the series. (Birth Order Part 2 #TT)

Part 1 can be read here.

Birth Order Part 2

Last week, we looked at the peculiarities of the first born and middle child. In Birth Order Part 2, we’ll examine the last born, only child and twins. The way they behave can help you in crafting your story’s characters.

Last Born Children

Birth order part 2 #TT. The last born child.

Bess-Hamiti / Pixabay

Last born children fight hard to get noticed. They are often the class clown, the maverick, the life of the party. Their older siblings consider them spoiled.Click To Tweet

Characteristics of the youngest include:

Manipulative Charming Show off People person Casts blame on others
Engaging Good salesperson Precocious Risk taker Outgoing

 

Careers include “On stage” professions – TV announcers and anchor people, salespeople (because of their ability to manipulate people). They like jobs where they can work alone and do things at their own pace.

Strengths Weaknesses
Outgoing, affectionate, creative, confident, uncomplicated, Spoiled, manipulative, immature, self-centered, impetuous, feel they live in the shadow, rebellious, absentminded

 

Why? “Taught out” parents let the kid fend for himself.

They are suckers for praise and encouragement. Their attention-seeking antics can be turned around with a “I’ll show them” attitude.

Famous last born children include Howard Stern, Jay Leno, Danny DeVito, Steve Martin.

Continue reading Birth Order Part 2 #TT

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Whatever your character's occupation, you can bet his birth order had an effect on his personality and career choice.

#ThrowbackThursday

This blog about birth order appeared (with slight changes) on February 13, 2012.

Birth Order

Or

Why Your Characters Behave The Way They Do

Does your hero run a large corporation? Is he a mover and shaker in the business world? Or is he in a creative field such as advertising or entertainment? Does he negotiate well? Speak first and regret it afterward? Maybe he’s the life of every party.

Whatever his occupation, you can bet his birth order had an effect on his personality and career choice. First born children generally share characteristics, as do last borns and middle borns. Not all attributes apply to each birth order, but on average studies have shown them to be more true than not.

Today, we’ll discuss the peculiarities of the first born and the middle child. Next week, we’ll look at the youngest, only child and twins as well as the variables that can affect their behavior.

Birth order. Whatever your character's occupation, you can bet his birth order had an effect on his personality and career choice.

 

First Born Children

First Born children usually have the most attention directed at him/her, even before birth, because the pregnancy was a BIG DEAL. More likely than not, multiple generations pin their hopes and dreams on them and pressure them to perform from day one.

They are their parents’ “guinea pig”, and their parents often overdo and overprotect their first born child. The first born child grows up faster. Parents hand them responsibility early.

Some common characteristics:

Perfectionist Reliable List maker Organized Critical
Goal oriented Prompt Scholarly In control Well groomed
Motivated to achieve success Believes in law and order No gray areas Likes structure Logical
Critical Energetic Ambitious Enterprising Serious

 

Professions – A higher percentage of first borns are in science, medicine, law, accounting, architecture, engineers, computers, and reporters (except on air).

He gets things done and has confidence in being taken seriously by others.

21 of the first 23 astronauts were first born children.

2/3 of entrepreneurs are first born children.

Strengths Weaknesses
High confidence level, taken seriously, strong concentration, confident, feels supported and that they will be respected for what they do A fear of being dethroned, overachiever, strong-willed, feel as though they’re never good enough, selfish, critical

 

Two typical types

First born children come in two typical types – compliant/willing to please and assertive/strong willed.

The compliant first born grows up as a pleaser of others. Since childhood, he was the one responsible to get things done. His parents depended on him, and it was his solemn duty to not let them down.

Common characteristics of the compliant first born:

Reliable Good student Pleaser Nurturer Strong need for approval
Won’t complain Team player Conscientious Cooperative “Grin & bear it” mentality

 

The second type is the assertive, strong willed type. They are the pace-setters and trend-setters. They have high expectations, not only of themselves, but everyone else.

Common characteristics of the assertive first born:

Assertive Strong-willed Precise Insistent High achiever
Driven Perfectionist In control Want things their way Conventional

 

Famous first borns:

Oprah, Charlton Heston, Rush Limbaugh

 

 

Middle Children

Middle childrens’ attitude and lifestyle plays off that of the firstborn child. Generally, their personalities are the opposite of their older sibling. If he senses he can compete, he will. If the older child is stronger or smarter, the second may go off in another direction.

Middle borns may feel like a fifth wheel. They go outside of their family to create a “family” with friends.Middles are the most secretive of all birth orders, because they feel the world isn’t paying attention and chose not to confide their plans.

They are the last to seek professional help because they consider themselves mentally tough and independent.

Others consider them the most monogamous, and they have a strong commitment to make the marriage work.

Professions include sales, art, advertising, a career that involves negotiating or being level headed and unbiased.

They are tenacious because they’re used to life being unfair.

Middle children characteristics include:

Strengths Weaknesses
Peacemakers, unspoiled, realistic, imaginative, loyal, mediator, independent, flexible, diplomatic Hates confrontation, stubborn, suspicious, rebellious, “family” is friends, difficulty setting boundaries

 

Like first borns, they come in two types.

Type 1:

Loner Quiet, shy Impatient Uptight Fights for respect

 

Type 2:

Outgoing Friendly Loud Laid back Patient

 

Famous middle children are Donald Trump, Tim Allen, Julia Roberts, Richard Nixon, David Letterman

Birth Order: Resources

The Birth Order Book, Why You Are The Way You Are by Dr. Kevin Leman

The Ultimate Personality Guide by Jennifer Freed and Debra Birnbaum

http://www.birthorderplus.com/

http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/birtho.htm

 

If you’d like to read my blog posts on birth order, I’ve compiled them in a book on Amazon.

Amazon Birth Order is a compilation of previous blog posts.

Part 2 will re-post for next week’s #ThrowbackThursday.

Blessings,

Cheryl

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Birth Order

Birth Order

How birth order affects your characters

We all know the cliches of the spoiled baby of the family or the tyrant older sister.  Why not use this information to drive your characters through your story?

In “Birth Order, Adding Depth to the Characters You Write,” I examine the strengths and flaws of each child of a family’s hierarchy (now grown for your plotting purposes). If you’ve wondered why your hero is a leader, a clown or a negotiator, the answer might be in where his birth order lies.

The last section looks at the romantic relationships between the different birth orders.  Do you want your hero and heroine to clash?  Make them both first-borns.  If your heroine has older brothers, how does her status affect her relationship with the hero, who is the youngest of his clan?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C681D3Q

A truncated version of this information was presented as a workshop to my writing group, Grand Rapids Region Writers Group.

Happy writing!

 

 

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