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tranquilsea's avatar

Where are you in your family's birth order and how do you think that effected you growing up?

Asked by tranquilsea (17650points) July 31st, 2011

I am one of six children, number 3 to be precise. I’ve been told by a few people that I read as being a first born which is interesting to me. I think that I am more open to compromise than my older and younger siblings. I also had to develop traits as a child to simply be heard but I think that has more to do with the fact that there are six of us.

Where do you fall in the birth order and how do you think that has effected you as you travel through life?

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44 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Being an only child definitely made me more spoiled lol. My mom couldn’t afford another kid anyway.

laineybug's avatar

I’m the youngest of three. I’m the one that gets picked on the most, so I’m kind of used to getting picked on, and I’m a little bit more open to change than my sisters.

snowberry's avatar

I’m an only child. Not sure where that falls in the birth order thang.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m the youngest of three and the only boy. I think being the only boy allowed me to get away with a lot of things that my sisters couldn’t. It seems to have shaped me more than the birth order.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I think the fact that I was my guardian’s niece and not her child, as it were, affected me more than her son being almost 2 years older. And that he was male. My guardian bought the sexist BS on how people should behave hook, line and sinker, so even if I had been older, it would have made no difference.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oldest of three girls. I was always the one in charge. I was always looked up to.

tranquilsea's avatar

I always felt sorry for only children only because they had no one to blame anything on. We had five others and my poor mother never really knew who did what.

Sunny2's avatar

I was the oldest with two younger brothers. I resented their coming into my world and was NOT a loving, caring older sister. I was bossy, wanted my own way, and independent. I tamed the bossy and self-centered part of me, but I’m still pretty independent. As grown ups, I really like my older younger brother a lot. The youngest had a lot of problems, but I got to know and appreciate him too. I wonder if the fact that with each pregnancy, my mom sent me to be with my grandmother. I didn’t even know my mom was pregnant and didn’t share in the anticipation and excitement of a birth. Maybe I would have turned out differently.

snowberry's avatar

Yeah @tranquilsea! I used to tell my kids that they should be thankful for the first born because she broke us in! And my kids used to pull all sorts of nonsense, but they all had an agreement not to rat on each other. Seems that Nobody was the one responsible for all the misdeeds in our house. Good ol’ Nobody. Never did catch that guy…

incendiary_dan's avatar

I’m the third out of four. I guess it helped me to have two older siblings as examples (though my brother wasn’t always the best example) as well as another sibling close in age to me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Mom put me in some of the damndest situations when the kids were little. I was 3 and 4 years older, respectively. In Florida we lived right on a canal. She send me out there with the kids, ages 2 and 3. I was in charge of making sure they didn’t fall in the canal…when one of them did, it scared the living shit out of me.

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m the baby of 6. My siblings are 6–14 years older than me. My oldest sister was out of the house by the time I was in kindergarten. I was a bit spoiled, but I was also a bit forgotten too. I could get away with almost anything by the time I was a teenager. My parents let me run and I got into quite a bit of trouble, trouble they were not aware of.

I’ve always struggled with feeling left out or feeling like I’m not heard. Could possibly be due to my birth order.

Coming from such a large family has made me appreciate my family much more now than I did when I was younger. I’m very lucky to have such a supportive family now.

zenvelo's avatar

I am third of four. More of an impact than birth order has been age separation: my brother and sister are 6 and 5 years older, my younger brother is 8 years younger.

I was a stereotypical “lost child”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was 3 and 4 years older than my two sisters. When we lived in Florida I was about 6. My Mom put me in the damnedest positions with the little kids some times. I was responsible for keeping them safe. We had a neighbor with a pool. I fished both of my sisters out at least once after they fell in. We also lived right on a canal that today, I’m sure, is enclosed by a fence. It wasn’t then. One of the girls fell in. I’ll never forget the terror. Fortunately it was low tide and she landed on sand. I had time to run three or four houses down to get my mom (no, it didn’t occur to me to go to the nearest house.) High tide would have been over her head. She was 3.

When I was in 4th grade I was in charge of picking the little kids up from their classrooms and walking to our bus. Well, one day Mom picked them both up for a dentist appointment…and didn’t tell me. I was scared shitless. I sobbed all the way home. I finally figured out how to call the school and tell them my problem. That’s when I found out she’d picked them up.

I’m hyper responsible today, and that probably had a lot to do with it.

Mariah's avatar

I’m the youngest, with a sister four years older than me. My sister freely admits nowadays that she was a big bully to me growing up. XD I was super sensitive to her teasing, you’d think that would have had a thickening effect on my skin, but I’m still sensitive now, so who knows.

One effect it definitely had was that I got to witness her adolescence before I experienced mine, and she went through a pretty extreme rebellious teenager phase. I saw the way her relationship with our parents deteriorated and promised myself I wouldn’t do the same, and I definitely didn’t; I can’t help but wonder if I would have if her example hadn’t been there to guide me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I used to torment myself at night, while trying to go to sleep, with all of the (unlikely) things that could happen to my sisters!

Bart19's avatar

I am the oldest one out of four kids. I have three younger sisters and I am the oldest and only boy. I used to be very brotherly but my sisters don’t think so highly of me now. The household went quite feministic and I feel sorry for my dad ( He earns the most, does the laundry, cooks and does most of the cleaning).

My birth order does affect me a lot. It’s so hard to be the first in everything. My parents don’t take it well at all and my mother gets extremely possessive. In my family it’s easier for every child that follows actually. My youngest sister is the baby of the family and she can get away with murder if she wanted.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Bart19 Yeah…when you did something wrong you were held up as an example to the rest of the kids. “Don’t do what Val did!”

Jude's avatar

I’m the baby and I got away with murder, then.

There is a an 8 year difference between myself and the second youngest. Then, my two other siblings are older than that (obviously). They all fought as kids, and by the time that I came along, they were teenagers and they used to show me off to their friends. My older sister used to purposely bump into my crib when I was a baby (sleeping) and she was eleven because she wanted to play with me. My Mama thought that I was an angel.

As an adult, it hasn’t affected me atall, I don’t think.

Vunessuh's avatar

I’m an only child. My mother had two miscarriages when I was four, so I could have possibly been the big sister to two other children. My life would be very, very different if that happened.
Growing up, I was lonely at times, but surely learned how to keep myself occupied and entertained while alone. It taught me that there really is no such thing as boredom. It’s all in your head. If you’re bored, you have a very serious problem. XD
You can always find something to do.
As an adult, I need very little attention, I’m never bored and I’m usually quite happy just being by myself. One of the disadvantages is probably the unnecessary pressure I used to put on myself to please my parents (simply because they had no other children to tend to), which therefore carried out into other facets of my life. Sometimes I felt/feel like a molecule under a microscope, even when that isn’t the case at all. It’s the sometimes tremendous pressure I place on myself that I’m feeling and the anxiety that can come with it. I also tend to isolate myself just kind of naturally, without realizing it. I should really try to be more social, but my comfort zone is to be more reserved and secluded. It catches up with me sometimes.

@tranquilsea Not true! I would blame things on my dad because he had the tendency to act like a little childish brat, too, and about 50% of the time, my mom would believe me. XD

tranquilsea's avatar

@Vunessuh You must have been very convincing!

My older sister lied better than I could tell the truth. I was always getting into trouble for things that she did. She still can’t take responsibility for herself <sigh>.


I’m the youngest of four brothers, but my “baby” status didn’t spoil me. Because there is such a big age difference between me and my older brothers (7 years between me and my third brother), I never played with them when I was young, or was “allowed” in their group. Consequently, I was pretty alone and independent as a youngster, playing by myself with my own set of friends, and with my menagerie of dogs and cats. In other words, I sort of had to fend for myself.

tranquilsea's avatar

I remember being the little kid in the group of big kids yelling, “wait for meee!”

Cruiser's avatar

I am #2 out of five…one younger bro and 3 sisters. I will admit I am grateful to be no less than the #2 kid as my younger sis’s and bro got away with more shit than I did and that would have just added more fule to the fires I started as it was!

tranquilsea's avatar

@Cruiser My two older sisters were the ones who got into piles of trouble. The rest of us just watched wide-eyed and never went in those directions.

Vunessuh's avatar

@tranquilsea It wasn’t hard. Him being immature wasn’t much of a stretch. Granted, I never really got into trouble for big things…I’m mostly talking about blaming each other for farts, belches, spills, messes, who shaved the cat again, etc.

Cruiser's avatar

@tranquilsea I sat in awe at the crap my youngest sister got away with and the only thing she got was a hug where I got the belt! I am still sore over this injustice of what she got away with that I paid dearly for!!! :(

YARNLADY's avatar

My own family is probably not typical for two reasons. One, the three of us are only 12 and 11 months apart, and two, my older brother was born with a mental condition, which made him seem younger than me, the middle child, while we were growing up.

Most people thought my younger sister and I were twins, and our brother was younger than us.

Facade's avatar

I’m the only child to a couple who went through the miscarriage of twins and being told they couldn’t have children. I was very well taken care of growing up, but it was pretty lonely not having many other kids to play with. I’m not really sure how being an only child has shaped who I am though…

tranquilsea's avatar

@Cruiser that goes down the road of favourites for me. My older sister constantly went on and on about how she was mom’s favourite.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Facade Is a miracle!!!!

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m the youngest of two. I’m the rebel and a brat—stereotypical youngest child.

gondwanalon's avatar

I was the baby boy with 2 older sisters. Dad died when I was 4 and Mom worked all the time. So my older sisters were in charge of me. They tried their best but they really could not manage me and I was basically on my own to fend for myself most of the time. Those times were very hard. All of us were a sad sight to behold for sure. Fortunately for me I soon discovered that my efforts to manipulate people (including teachers) with lying, cheating, stealing didn’t work for me. I learned that it is far easier and more worthwhile to be good, tell the truth and work hard than it was to be lazy and do bad things. I did all of this on my own without direct help from my sisters or adults. Perhaps the best thing that my Mom and my sisters did for me was to let me go and have the freedom to flounder and fail. It made me strong and self reliant and by the time I was in 4th grade I turned my life around and got back on the tracks to success.

Coloma's avatar

Only child of another only child and my daughter is my only!

A tenacious, independent, creative, leader type, but I have mellowed in my mid-life. lol

The myths about only children are bullshit…most of us are very unselfish, cooperative, creative, generous, but…we do know what we want and have a strong sense of self. ;-)

filmfann's avatar

My parents had 2 girls, then 4 years later, 2 boys.
I am 3rd of 4. I am the overlooked middle child.

tranquilsea's avatar

@filmfann me too. While my older sisters were rebelling my youngest brother (the only boy) was floundering. My mom didn’t have to worry about me so I was pretty much left to my own devices.

snowberry's avatar

@Coloma, That describes me, an Only.
@filmfann Don’t describe yourself as an overlooked middle child; describe yourself as the “pickle in the middle”. It’s much more fun!

filmfann's avatar

@snowberry For a moment, I thought maybe you knew me. My last name is Dill.

snowberry's avatar

@filmfann How perfectly lovely! You are truly the Dill pickle in the middle. Pickle in the middle is what we call our middle kid. We also told her she was the oldest of the youngest and the youngest of the oldest. Perhaps that fits you too.

cookieman's avatar

I’m also an only child and can completely relate to what @Vunessuh and @Coloma said.

I was far from spoiled and given quite a bit of responsibility at an early age.

Otherwise, @Vunessuh‘s description fits me to a T.

ddude1116's avatar

Last of two. It greatly helped me because me sister is seven years older than me, so she taught me all kinds of things and helped me with things I didn’t want to talk to my parents about for sake of awkwardness.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I’m smack dab in the middle (if you don’t count the miscarriage my Mom had before I was born). I think this has helped me become someone who is willing to hear out pretty much anyone, regardless of age or gender.

I have 3 older brothers, 3 older sisters, 3 younger brothers, and 3 younger sisters. In other words, I’m the 7th oldest child and 7th youngest child… 4th oldest girl and 4th youngest girl.

tranquilsea's avatar

@AnonymousGirl wow, I thought I came from a big family!

AnonymousWoman's avatar

These days, you do. :)

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