It's All About Birth Order

  If you're interested in what makes people "tick" and you've never heard of birth order, you need to do your homework.  Birth order explains so many things.  Of course, there are many other factors, like environment, and temperament, but even that doesn't completely cancel out the power of birth order.
  If you've ever read the Bible, you'll notice the emphasis on being firstborn.  But did you know there can be several "firstborns" in your family?  Mine is a good example.  My first born son is 6 1/2 years older than my first born daughter.  In addition to that, they have different fathers.  And so, I have three "firstborns" -  One first born daughter and two firstborn sons.  I also have two "babies".  The "true" baby is a female.  And since the next child up is a girl, her older brother is the baby boy.
   So, here it is - Josh (34) is first born male.  Tabitha (27) is first born female. Benjamin (25) is also first born male because of two different fathers.  Rachel (23) is a middle child.  Andrew (19) is the baby boy.  Elizabeth (16) is a middle child.  And Becky (15) is a baby.  I only have two middle children of the seven.
   Last night, our family was playing croquet.  We are very competitive.  Andrew and Ben were enjoying some friendly sibling rivalry.  In reality, though, there has never been conflict between them.  With 6 years between them, Ben has always taken care of Andrew; not jostled for power.  He already had it.
  The worst sibling rivalry was between Tabitha and Ben.  With less than two years between them, and both being firstborns, the competition for power was fierce!  Rachel, being a middle child, hates conflict, but Ben would try to pull her into the fray.  Tabitha had power with me.  She has always been very mature and a true "mother hen", so that naturally gave her an in with me as she helped with younger siblings and things like laundry and cleaning.  Ben, on the other hand, had power with his younger siblings.  He liked when they tagged along everywhere he went.  Tabitha didn't.  He did fun things with them, whereas Tabitha was more like a mother to them.
   The other two who jockeyed for power were the two babies.  Babies, of course, have to be coddled, spoiled and noticed.  Now one would think that a girl who is 4 years younger than her brother would know better than to try and take him down physically, but not Becky!  She is a one of a kind aggressive, bold, and strong female, and she used to get into combat with Andrew almost every day.  She would always end up crying, of course, but that didn't change anything.
   Today, they all get along beautifully.  But I hope, perhaps, I have given you some insight into just one of the many ways birth order affects the dynamics of a family.  With so many blended families out there, I'm sure I'm not the only one with 3 firstborns.  If you'd like to study this in depth, check out Kevin Leman.  He's the real expert on the subject.


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