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Old 02-04-2008, 04:27 AM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley
1,030 posts, read 3,800,277 times
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I have three kids and I come from a family of three, so I am very used to the stereotypical "roles" of the first, the middle and the baby - I am the middle.

As my kids get older I can see those roles clearly defining themselves and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Are these roles in the family just inevitable or can /should they be changed?

What is your experience?
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,728 posts, read 59,658,355 times
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Our kids do not fit the traditional roles. (One does). I was third, but fit the mold of a first child. Big brother fits the last child somewhat. More accurately each of my siblings and each of my children has elements of each.

I have always believed that these kinds of things are full of caca. You cannot generalize about children.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:12 AM
 
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In my experience they've been accurate. I'm the oldest of 4 and the stereotypical eldest at that. My sister and I are our parents' children, and my father has 2 additional children with my step-mother with about 15 years difference between us older ones and the younger ones. It's very interesting to watch my younger sister try to circumvent the emotions and roll she's fallen into as the younger sister in order to be an older sister to our younger sibs. It's very difficult for her.

My husband's family has 4 as well and their rolls are pretty stereotypical too.
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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There are generalizations about birth order, and a lot of them, no matter how much we want them NOT TO.....do indeed play out. Being aware of them is a step towards not exacerbating them, but our children have their own lives and their own experiences, and we as parents, well-meaning as we may be, can not keep them from some experiences of growing up.

My husband was so "adamant" about not having 3 kids due to "birth order" problems, he refused to have more than two kids. My second pregnancy was twins so we got 3 anyway! I figured the birth order wouldn't apply with twins, since to me they are both "youngest" and no "middle child." But over 20+ years, it has indeed played out with the
first born twin (older by 4 minutes only!) indded following many of the "middle child" traits.

Interestingly enough, in Chinese/Taoist spirituality, the birth order or place is very significant, not as a "label" or "stereotype" but as each place bestowing upon us certain gifts and strnegths. When I view it in that light, it is a positive, rather than a burden. So, like the astrological sign, there are general traits that do apply, and we can build on those to our benefit when we are aware of them and work with them in our lives.

I always treated each of my 3 children as individuals, not "stereotypes" especially differentiating between the twins so they wouldn't feel like one of a unit....but still there are generalities that have proven to be true.
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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Our twins are reversed. The second one born acts most like the stereotype of a first born.
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