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How Your Birth Order Influences Your Life Adjustment – Summary

How Your Birth Order Influences Your Life Adjustment

Lucille K. Forer

Summary

In the article, “How Your Birth Order Influences Your Life Adjustment,” the author, Lucile Forer writes how people’s birth order influences their characters and personality. The author says that other family members’ expectations toward each child according to their birth order decide their roles in their family, and the roles become part of his/ her self-concept. In other words, a person’s birth order influences him to develop certain attitudes toward other people and helps him develop specific patterns of behavior.

According to Forer, birth orders consist of only child, oldest child, middle child, or youngest child, each with their own responsibilities and authority over the others. The authority over the others. The authority or power refers to the family hierarchy. Everybody does have one position in the members but he may not be aware of it.

The birth order of a child decides what position or place he will occupy in the family. He may become the family’s only child, oldest child, middle child, or youngest child, depending on his birth order. People talk about him, the identity he establishes and the perception of himself and to others depend on his place in the family.

The other members of the family build certain attitudes toward each child in terms of his birth order. Forer says that parents usually expect their oldest child to be more capable and more responsible than the younger children. The oldest child comes to think about himself in the same way. These ways of seeing himself, of thinking about himself because of his sibling role, become part of his self-concept.

Similarly, the middle child thinks of himself as more capable than his younger siblings. But, sometimes, though, he takes help from older siblings or his parents, and so he thinks of himself as being able to obtain help when he needs it.

The youngest child may develop the self-concept that he is less able to do many things than other people. However, he  is not concerned because there are always others around to take care of him. As a result, there is likelihood of youngest child to become pampered because more attention is given to him and his demands are fulfilled easily. In contrast, the only child tends to think he is helpless in absence of his parents, so he learns to take care of himself as much as possible. The place within the family group. It influences him to develop certain attitudes toward himself and toward other people and helps him develop specific patterns of behavior. Thus, Forer explains the differences between siblings by looking at their birth order.

Some characteristics of the above described children are:

Characteristics of first borns:Characteristics of Middle Child:Characteristics of the last child:
Goal setters Flexible Risk takers
High achievers Diplomatic Outgoing
Perfectionist Peacemaker Idea people
Responsible Peacemaker Creative
Organized Generous Humor
Rule Keepers Social Question authority
Determined Competitive
Detail People

Some Important Notes

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Born for Each Other? – Summary | Write to be Read 

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