The importance of birth order in the family has been acknowledged since the ancient times. However, now scientists have conclusive evidence of its impact on human development. The firstborn child is usually smarter than any child born later. IQ or intelligence quotient of the firstborn is on average three points higher than that of the next-born child. Firstborn obtains this intelligence boost by playing the role of mentor to the younger children, helping them cope with the daily tasks. The second child in the family, in turn, is one point ahead of the third. The effect can be enormous.
Statistics about birth order prove the existence of the effect. Interestingly, only 2.3% of IQ provide 15% of the difference in school finals (Collins 32). As a result, the first-borns usually have a greater appreciation for exams, which ultimately affects their future professions. Moreover, some birth orders are most likely to succeed than others. Elliott Roosevelt managed to overcome his alcohol addiction, but began to take morphine. He overcame dependence on morphine and plunged into the abyss of severe depression. In 1883, when Elliott tried to overcome melancholy, Teddy had already published his first book and was elected to the Assembly of New York State. By 1891, when Elliott still had no career and was placed in a psychiatric hospital, Teddy became a commissioner of the US Civil Service Commission and the author of eight books. Three years later, Elliott died of alcoholism at the age of 34. Seven years after his death, Theodore became the president at the age of 42.
Elliott Roosevelt was not the only younger brother of a future president. Donald Nixon was begging for loans from billionaire Howard Hughes. Billy Carter tried to show apologetics for Libyan Colonel Gaddafi’s regime. Roger Clinton spent a year in prison on charges of possession and distribution of drugs. Neil Bush, the younger brother of the president and the governor of Florida, was involved in a scandal with manipulation of bank loans. Thus, birth order determines the success of a person by creating prerequisites for occupation, as well as the attitude towards success and financial stability.
A pioneer in the formulation of the problem Alfred Adler singled out the following position of the child in the family sequence: the only child, the eldest child in the family, the middle child, and the youngest of children (Murphy 4). Adler showed that children vary in nature depending on their birth order (Murphy 4). Thus, the issue will be examined in the context of four types of children.
For the only child in the family, the most important task is to understand adults; constantly working on it, they develop the ability to understand other people (Collins 10). They are characterized by a heightened sense of good and evil, as well as high achievement motivation. They like to solve problems and find different ways to do so. The only children feel their own uniqueness. They require a lot of attention and strive to meet the expectations of their parents. Such children are characterized by a high level of self-esteem. This prerequisites for the formation of their character are connected to the fact that they do not have to fight for attention and love of parents. The only children have more opportunities for intellectual development, and the parents in this case have much more time to spend on the development of their offsprings. Such a child is inclined to be left to choose their own profession (Collins 10).
However, there is a risk of learned helplessness. Being at the mercy of parental care, the child is not left to their own devices. There is little opportunity to build one’s own relationships with others. Depending on the degree of parental care, there are two types of only children: early maturing and a “mother’s darling”. In the first case, the described conditions will lead to the child’s independent steps in choosing a profession (Collins 11). They can try to find a new niche in the market, be an entrepreneur, open own start-up or new business. In the second case, the described character formation conditions are likely to lead to the selection of such professions as subordinate employees. This can be the subordinate in the public or the service sector.
The oldest child in the family is usually more characterized by responsibility, honesty, ambition than the other children. They tend to take on a part of parenting and caring for younger brothers and sisters, especially in cases of illness and loss of parents. He may feel responsibility for the welfare of the family and continued family traditions, while often developing leadership skills (Draper, and Raymond 123). Following child birth order results in deprivation of its exclusive position in the possession of the mother’s love. Jealousy is often accompanied by an opponent. The oldest children, especially boys, are more likely to inherit the profession of their father and grandfather, and a family largely attributes career success with them (Collins 8). The emphasis on high achievements makes the oldest child more serious, striving for excellence, and less prone to playing than others. Therefore, a common problem among the oldest children is the anxiety not to justify the expectations of others. It can be difficult for them to relax and enjoy life.
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The oldest child passes through three stages in their development: the only child stage, the stress regarding the birth of another child, and the adaptation (Lampi and Nordblom 7). During the first stage, firstborns are matchless and unique. They are the focus of their parents’ attention and exist in a privileged position. With the birth of the youngest child, the situation dramatically changes. If the oldest child is at least 5-6 years old at that point, the birth of a brother or sister can cause a lot of stress. Parents switch their attention to the baby, so the oldest child loses control over them. However, they are still too young to understand what actually happened, so their feelings can be formulated like this: “My place is now occupied by someone else.” There may be jealousy and competition between children, and such a reaction may be stronger if the second child is of the same sex (Collins 9). At the third stage, the child finds a way out from the situation. The solution is as follows: “Any thing I can do better than that kid, I’m older and wiser.” This decision is fixed by the behavior of the oldest child’s parents. They know that the older one is given too little time and attention. So they say to him that in comparison with the new kid, they are smart enough to do a lot themselves without help from an adult (Collins 9). It manifests itself in relation to the occupation (Collings 4).
The oldest child is intolerant of other people’s mistakes and, at the same time, is very sensitive to the comments of others and changes in relationships. The older child is usually estimated lower by the factor of “social interest”, which includes identification with others, empathy, the propensity to cooperative behavior, and altruism. The larger the family, the lower such performance is. The older child essentially focuses on the parents, who are, according to many researchers, the cause of a severe conscience. Most often, they are focused on science lessons, law, and economics (Lampi and Nordblom 8). If the only child can start their own business, they may either succeed or fail. The oldest child can have a great career in a large firm, serving as a manager, CEO, etc.
The position of the average in the birth order is the least studied. Apparently, these children often have difficulty in self-identification, associated with the fact that they are both older and younger. This combines the features of both instances. Studies have shown that the primary attention is paid to the family’s oldest, who are considered to be the hope of the family, as they are the most intelligent and skillful, while the youngest are the most helpless. In contract of them, the lack of attention from parents often leads to the fact that the middle child feels abandoned and gets annoying, attention-getting habits as a result. Some researchers believe that the middle children learn to live in harmony with all, becoming friendly and considerate towards others (Collins 10). On the other hand, if one were to believe the concepts of A. Adler, the middle children may not become friendly, but evil instead, while gaining their own place.
The middle child may exhibit psychological characteristics of junior and senior children, or the features of both combined (Draper, and Raymond 123). However, the middle child, unless they are the only boy or the only girl in the family, often have to fight to be seen and get a role in the family system. If all children has the same sex, the average child is in a losing position (Mora 3). They will receive the least attention and will be the most anxious and self-critical.
If a family has many children, the features of the middle children largely depend on the group in which children are born and what is the age difference between them. Intermediate position of the middle children stimulates the development of their social skills (Lampi and Nordblom 8). They are often able to negotiate and get along with different people, because they are forced to learn to live in peace with their older and younger brothers and sisters, endowed with different characters. Professional opportunities for the middle children are quite open. They may succeed in all professions related to negotiation and adaptation. Becoming a psychologist, therapist, diplomat, business mediator, lawyer, kindergarten teacher, etc. would be beneficial. The middle children in the family, being very sociable and supportive to others,successfully work in a group, so it is easy for them to establish establish relationships and maintain a good reputation in the workplace (Collins 11). Common characteristics of these professions and occupations are strongly developed social skills that can be applied to achieve success.
The fourth position in birthday order is the youngest of children in the family. This child is a complete contrast to the oldest child. They have the independence and optimism. The youngest person exhibits greater impulsivity, uncontrolled affective reactions, hostility, and pugnacity. They are more focused on themselves than on others, and not particularly eager to ensure that they meet the expectations of others (Black, Devereux and Salvanes 17). Younger children often become “pets”. Perhaps, that is why, as noted in many studies, they are emotionally stable as compared to the oldest child, who is more anxious and emotionally unstable. The youngest is more sociable, dominant, careless, and practical. Usually, they feel less responsibility for their obligations. This is true for them as children, but the behavior patterns are formed in this period of life (Collins 10). Sometimes, during a long term they follow the pattern of the smallest kid. A remarkable example of this is a book by Astrid Lindgren “The Kid and Carlson”. Of course, this affects the development of the personality of the younger child (Black, Devereux and Salvanes 17).
The youngest of children passes to others the responsibility for everything that happens. In relations with people, they are manipulative. It is difficult to keep up with the seniors who are the academic focus, so they decides to bypass it on another field, where they are not strong, usually in sport or art. The youngest in the family, as compared to their older brothers and sisters, is more creative and imaginative, as they are emotionally involved in their profession. Therefore, younger children are often journalists, designers, writers, artists, footballers, or athletes in any sport (Draper, and Raymond 123). They are less ambitious than the oldest child, but more social (Black, Devereux and Salvanes 17). At the same time, they are less social than the middle child, but more creative.
The first-born child has the most positive attitude towards success. Among the students who have received scholarships through the national qualification test of the quality of education, the number of first-borns is equal to the total number of those who were born second or third (Sulloway 191). Firstborns, more than any other, fall into the Biographical Directory of contemporaries (Who’s Who) and are more likely to be found in senior positions (Sulloway 191). These children tend to be highly responsible and focused on productivity to meet adult standards. They are careful, conscientious, and prone to cooperation, reflecting their desire to maintain their privileged position in relations to their parents after the appearance of an opponent.
Early life and birth order causes these attitudes toward success, because it forms special features due to the inclusion of brothers and sisters in the teaching on following the rules, striving for excellence, and success (Booth and Kee 3). they are usually people who value success, so they are obedient and act according to the rules. They are conscientious, serious, stubborn, responsible, with a sense of responsibility that may be too high. Consequently, the oldest child occasionally turns into a deeply disturbing personality in the process of success achieving (Collins 10). In addition, the older children are conservative in their methods of achieving; they are often the custodians of family traditions and morality, which they try to spread to the whole world around them.
The second and/or the middle child in the family has a more negative attitude towards success. They are deprived of the opportunity to experience what it means to be an only child. From the very beginning, they originally aim less to succeed(Draper, and Raymond 124). To realize themselves as professionals, they need to put in more effort, so they often enter into competition with the first-born to seize and fight for success.
Early life and birth order cause these attitudes toward success. Even while growing up, the middle child is aimed at being in the shadow of older siblings. They tend to shift from their positions (Ha and Tam 29). They often feels less competent professionally in comparison with the clever older or creative junior brother or sister, not realizing that they ignorance and inability are just a consequence of age. They see the success with a keen sense of justice. If anyone succeeds unfairly, the average child is angry, as they are sensitive to dishonesty and committed to right wrongs.
The youngest child also has a more negative attitude toward success, because they occupy a unique position in the family. They do not have their pursuers. As a child of the whole family, they will never be deprived of this position.
Early socialization of the last child in the family often causes such attitudes toward success. Indulgent handling on the part of other family members results in the formation of matter-impulsive type of personality and attitude toward achievements (Draper, and Raymond 123). The youngest child can be spoiled easily, especially when the older brothers and sisters join their parents in the effort to satisfy all their needs (Ha and Tam 29). The result is often a sense of security and non-competitive nature. A child will always seek the support of others, instead of achieving success on their own. The youngest child is often the most powerful in the family as compared with others, resorting to such forms of expression of their desires as aggressive actions and crying. In the family, they are least serious about their own person and love to have fun and joke. Usually, they are the most popular among other and have the highest self-esteem. That is why they believe they deserve success, crave it, and crave recognition of merit (Ha and Tam 29). They are acutely aware of their own uniqueness, which, in their opinion, should be rewarded with success and recognition of merit.
The attitude to success of the only child is similar to the attitude of the oldest, although causes and conditions are similar to that of the youngest, because they are never threatened with losing their privileges, because they do not have rivals. Similarly to the first-born children, such child is unique. They do not need to compete for parental attention.
Early life causes such positive attitudes, as children being guided in their behavior solely on adult patterns of behavior and performance standards, Therefore, they see success similarly. Parents tend to pamper the only child, so such children may later try to restore their privileged position by grabbing the center of attention. However, they may not do anything that would justify their actions. They want success, despite the lower need for affiliation (Draper, and Raymond 124). They strive in whatever is necessary to please others, but try to keep maximal independence and are least afraid of failure. For these children, college and successful learning are very typical. After the first-borns, the only children have the highest IQ and the highest rate needs to achieve their own goals. Indeed, the only child achieves academically success, leadership positions, and can surpass their teachers or mentors.
The majority of growing children of one group have similar features of personality in relation to future financial stability. Thus, birth order regarding financial stability should be investigated. It is worth saying that such stability should substantially differ from financial growth. The order of financial growth, regarding volume of earnings, is the following: the youngest child, the only child, the middle child, the oldest child. Thus, the oldest earns the most money, and the youngest – the least. The order of stability increase is the following: the youngest child, the oldest child, the only child, and the middle child. Thus, the middle child is the most stable in earning, while the earnings of the youngest fluctuate the most. The relationship between the features of personality regarding order of birth and financial stability shows the reasons for it.
The youngest child likes to take risks. This child can earn a lot occasionally, however they are characterized by the least significant financial stability. They are a friendly person; this feature can help build business relations (Ha and Tam 29). In contrast, their creativity can help create a business by one’s own power. Their self-absorption is not the worst quality for business, but it is the worth feature for stability. They love to compete, which leads to riskiness instead of financial stability. They like to be pampered. It is a feature more suitable for a child, not a businessman. However, the youngest child has it during their while life. They are witty, but do not know how to handle money. They lose interest quickly, and can earn a lot and lose a lot fairly quickly, which also points to instability.
The oldest child is a leader; they tend to earn money and be the first. However, their earnings tend not to be stable. They usually grow constantly and rarely decrease. They are purposeful, because from the early childhood they know how to create goals. It helps for them financially. Punctuality and love of command shows them to be good in managerial positions, which helps for the oldest child to gain high positions. Their erudition helps them gain success in different spheres and diversify activities (Sulloway 191). This child has responsibility as a habit. It is a perfect and necessary skill in gaining finance. They are charming, which helps negotiate, and they follow rules, which is a good quality for stability, but it is not always a good feature for business.
The only child is tied to their parents, so they are more stable in financial earnings than the oldest child, but less stable than the middle one. They earn less and tend to help parents financially. They control themselves, which is the quality of stability, necessary for businessmen. They are also a leader, because they tend to earn money and be unique (Ha and Tam 28). This child is reasonable and demanding, their financial activities can be based on extreme levels of self-demand. They also assess risks well. They tend to be resentful. It is not a quality of stability, as it can spoil business relations. They know how to keep secrets, in contrast with the previous feature. This is a skill necessary for improving business relations. This person is reliable, which is a feature of financial stability, not of financial growth. His impressionability can force them to invest into a family business.
The middle child is appeasable; they can be stable due to their unique skill to be soft and adapt. They have independence; this skill can be helpful in order to open new businesses (Mora 3). This child is secretive, as they tend to keep all ideas and feeling close. This does not impact general earnings. They are generous and diplomatic, which is helpful for business relations (Mora 3). They believe life is unfair, so they have a negative attitude to success. They avoids success, desiring stability. They are easygoing, communicative, and adaptive. That is why they are stable. They can negotiate and adapt quickly, as they adapt to their elder brothers or sisters change behaviors due to the birth of a younger sibling. Thus, they are the most financial stable.
Generally, if one were to speak about financial stability and the importance of having it, the successful functioning of any business as well as any person depends on positive and stable results of their financial and economic activity. Sustainable and stable financial condition is characterized by a professional approach to the management of human factors that determine the results of financial success. Financial stability characterizes the degree of security of a person by their own financial means, as well as determines the level of their application and ways of their placement. This indicator is directly related to the efficiency of the process of business performance and, of course, the final results of a person’s financial and economic activity (Ha and Tam 31). Thus, the importance of having financial stability is obvious. For all types regardless of birth order, such stability is an indicator of personal significance in one way or another. Stability makes psychological adaptations to new changes easier. People express themselves through financial positions, the stability of which can be interpreted as an achievement. Many neuroses are connected with the absence of such stability. Money can be used for the expression of confidence; it contributes to common, constructive behavior. The financial stability is often used to establish control, atonement, as a compensation for the damage caused, to delineate boundaries in relationships, for emotional expression, etc.
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Being born in a family in a certain order forms a specific roles as the fundamental basis for one’s own character. In this case, the only child feels their own uniqueness in the isolation that affects the development of the hyper-autonomy or tying and learned helplessness. Therefore, their choice of profession may be inclined either to independent businesses, such as start-ups, new niches in the market, or independent business development. They may also prefer the role of a subordinate employee in the service sector. They tend to take on a part of parenting, caring for younger brothers and sisters, which form a feeling of responsibility, honesty, and ambition. All these combine with other skills on the basis of striving for excellence to show better results in the business environment. Very often, firstborns can achieve more than their brothers or sisters. Their occupations tend to be in science, law, and economics, and they can build a great career in large firms.
In contrast, the middle child combines the roles of the youngest and the oldest child. They play the younger for their elder brothers or sisters, and they are responsible and play the role of an elder child for the youngest siblings. It develops impressive communicative skills, which define occupation in the spheres of work in groups, contacting, negotiating, psychology, therapy, diplomacy, business mediating sphere, law, kindergarten teaching, education, etc.
The youngest child has their own special position with a special role. They are focused mainly on themselves, as they can be the favorite of the whole family. That is why the youngest is more sociable, dominant, careless, and practical. Thus, their occupations tend to be something creative. They can be journalists, designers, writers, artists, footballers, athletes in any sport, as they are less ambitious than the oldest child and more than the middle one. However, they are more social than the firstborns and less than the middle-borns.
The single and the oldest children have more positive attitudes towards success. Firstborns have the period of single living, which forces them to focus on productivity to meet adult standards. The only children also want success; they strive to please others and achieve goals. The middle and the youngest children have more negative attitudes towards success. They are originally less aimed succeed.
The level of financial stability appears in the following order: the youngest child (risky, they do not know how to handle money), the oldest (they do not have constant stability, they tend to have constant growth), single (more stable, however earns less than firstborns), and the middle child (the most financially stable). Thus, birth order determines the success of a person by creating character prerequisites for occupation, attitude towards success, and financial stability, which confirms the thesis.