Figuring out what makes your kid tick can be really useful in parenting. Did you know that your child's personality is heavily influenced by their birth-order??
First-borns are typically well organized, driven, motivated, reliable, critical and don't like surprises. When parenting a first-born remember that they like to know the rules. Always be very clear with what you expect from them. They are also very hard on themselves. When you teach them how to make the bed and it's still a bit wrinkly don't redo it or tell them they should have done it better. Odds are, they really did their best. Encourage them instead. First-borns also feel left out when you spend more time with younger children. Be certain to spend some one on one time with them.
Middle children are typically peace makers, loyal to friends, diplomatic, unspoiled, and secretive. When parenting a middle child remember that they may not instinctively tell you what's going on in their life. You will need to ask and watch to know what's going on. Make certain that your middle born isn't always stuck with hand-me-downs and really make certain they show up in the photo albums and scrapbooks as much as your first-born or new baby and make sure pictures of them are at least sometimes solo pics, not always with other siblings.
Last-borns are typically charming, attention seeking, affectionate, tenacious, and blame others. Last-borns get away with everything! Don't let this happen. Last-borns still need discipline and responsibility. They need their awards and projects displayed on the fridge as much as the older ones. Read to your last-born, involve them in mommy and me classes and even when life gets crazy with all the kids make certain your youngest is not neglected.
Only children are typically thorough, deliberate, high achiever, fearful, self motivated, and interact better with adults than other children. Parenting your only child is similar to parenting a first born. Make certain they understand that failure is allowed. Also be certain to set your only child up in playgroups or classes with children their own age.
There are, of course, many exceptions particularly when death, adoption, and parenting styles come into play. But knowing your child's current and potential traits can certainly help your parenting. In fact understanding your own birth order will probably help your parenting as well.
For more information on birth order read Dr Kevin Leman's book titled "The New Birth order Book".