Birth order theory is the idea that the order in which a child is born affects his or her personality traits. The theory implies that the first born child is a leader and achieving, while the middle child is the peacemaker, and the last born child is outgoing and self centered. While this theory could be proven true in certain families, it is very rare that this theory would be applied to all families. Many families have adopted children or twins or even only children. Even though birth order theory can be proven true in traditional families, the theory does not apply to families with adopted children, twins, and blended families.

Many families do not follow the traditional birth order structure that the theory implies. The first example is adoption and where the adopted child fits into the order. In my personal experience, I was the last born child in my family. I was the youngest child until we adopted my sister when I was nine. In the theory, would my adopted sister now be the last born, or would I still fit into the last born category? Another example is twins. Since there are two, how would they fit into an order? The last example is blended families. In this case two families that have joined together with step sisters and brothers makes the theory flawed again. If a family with two children married into another family with three children, the order is now all mixed up and the theory cannot be proven true.

Of course the theory can be true within certain families that fall into the traditional structure. Most parents are very protective over their first born child. They want to be cautious because they are new to parenting and they want to get it right. By the time they have their second child, they have experience and they are more easy-going. But by the third child, the parents know that they don’t need to use very much caution and just let the child do his or her own thing. Because of the parenting style along with how the children grow up alongside their siblings, it caused the children to develop certain personality traits. The first child would be very achieving and have leadership skills. In the article, “Birth Order”, they say the middle child “Has neither rights of oldest nor privileges of youngest.” (Parent Education Leader’s Manual Coral Springs). And the last born child is very outgoing but expects others to take responsibility.

The two arguments can be compared and contrasted on many points. For example they contrast because one side argues that personality has nothing to do with when one was born, while the other side argues that traits are given to a child due to the order in which they were born. The first side believes that birth order cannot correlate to personality traits because of different family types including adoption, twins, and blended families. While the other side argues that traditional families do fall into the categories of the birth order theory.

The argument that agrees with birth order theory is wrong in my opinion. This theory can be proven true in some families, but there are so many families that do not fit into the traditional category for this theory. Along with adoption, twins, and blended families there are other categories that prove it wrong. Age spacing has a lot to do with how siblings interact with each other. If a child is born ten years after the first child, then they will most likely grow up as if they were an only child because the age gap is so large. “a test developed to measure whether people are a “fit” for their rank — only 23 percent of women and 15 percent of men are a true match.” (Ratledge). There are so many more reasons that the theory cannot be true than reasons it could be proven true.

Birth order theory can be proven true in certain families. But if it is not a traditional family style then the theory does not apply. Whether a child is born first or last they will still develop personality traits that have nothing to do with when they were born.

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