Birth Order Traits

mom and kids

Birth Order Traits – characteristics and traits of kids in a family – the only child, first-born child, middle children, and youngest child. Features and differences between kids and the order they are born into a family (regardless of age).

I found the birth order traits online (listed below) from and found that many of the birth order traits they listed haven’t changed much over the years.

I’ve always been interested in birth order traits. Even before I had kids I used to psychoanalyze my siblings to see if I grew up in the “typical” household. I’ve always wondered how true all the birth order stereotypes were and how scientific the studies are on birth order.

Personally, I think it’s too simplistic to paint a child with a broad brush and label them as typical on the birth order chart. I think more studies need to be done on the parenting styles in children in the birth order equation. Other factors should be studied too like: socio-economic background, culture (my parents are first generation Italian), gender and ages between siblings. To me, a lot of the birth order traits seem like simplistic Astrology. You can take random, general traits of anyone and label them a “typical Cancer” if they happen to be sensitive or “typical Leo” if they’re outgoing and gregarious. Just because a first born happens to become a CEO of a bank doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of other factors involved. Still, like Astrology, birth order can be fun to analyze.

The following characteristics will not apply to all children in every family. Typical  characteristics, however, can be identified

Birth Order Traits – Only Child

  • Pampered and spoiled
  • Feels incompetent because adults are more capable
  • Is center of attention; often enjoys position. May feel special
  • Self-centered
  • Relies on service from others rather than own efforts
  • Feels unfairly treated when doesn’t get own way
  • May refuse to cooperate
  • Plays “divide and conquer” to get own way

Birth Order Traits – First Child / Oldest 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 behavior or become very discouraged
  • Sometime strives to protect and help others
  • Strives to please

Birth Order Traits – 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 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

Birth Order Traits – Middle Child of Three

Has neither rights of oldest nor privileges of youngest
Feels life is unfair
Feels unloved, left out, “squeezed.”
Feels doesn’t have place in family
Becomes discouraged and “problem child” or elevates self by pushing down other siblings
Is adaptable
Learns to deal with both oldest and youngest sibling

Birth Order Traits – Youngest Child

Behaves like only child.
Feels every one bigger and more capable.
Expects others to do things, make decisions, take responsibility.
Feels smallest and weakest. May not be taken seriously.
Becomes boss of family in getting service and own way.
Develops feelings of inferiority or becomes “speeder” and overtakes older siblings.
Remains “The Baby.” Places others in service.
If youngest of three, often allies with oldest child against middle child.

Birth Order Traits Article Source –