While every child is born with her own distinct personality, and many factors affect the person she will eventually become, birth order can often play a role in defining a person’s characteristics. Read on to find out what you might expect from your little one if she displays the typical traits of her birth order.
The youngest child
Youngest children are often, quite simply, spoiled. Parents tend to baby the youngest child of the family more, and older siblings will sometimes join in as well. Overall, discipline with the youngest tends to be a little more lax, and parents are more likely to give in to the child’s demands. (This might be out of sheer exhaustion—sometimes seasoned parents just don’t have the energy to argue points that aren’t life or death.) Consequently, the baby of the family can become a bit of a wild child.
Like the middle child, the youngest might try to rebel against her older siblings’ likes and hobbies (particularly if the youngest is a second child) and really strive toward her own identity. The baby is often the clown of the family—lastborns tend to be very funny and enjoy the attention they get from entertaining people. (Comedians are often the babies of their families.) “Youngest children can be very silly, sometimes overly so,” states Susan Bartell, PsyD. And even though the youngest siblings are usually the most babied, they are often the children that grow up the fastest, particularly around the preteen years, possibly because they are exposed to more with older siblings in the house.
Another common trait amongst family babies is their ability to turn on the charm. They are usually not as well behaved as their older brothers and sisters, but are commonly very affectionate and loving. Don’t be surprised if your firstborn exhibits characteristics of a middle child, or your middle child those of a youngest. Although many traits are common based on birth order, all children have their own unique ways of adapting to their places in the family. No matter where they might fall in line with their siblings, children are happiest when they feel included, accepted and, most importantly, loved.