Subtitle: How Your Birth Order Affects Your Position in the Family Business

Now that we’ve discussed the first borns (FBs) and only children (OCs), what about the other birth order positions.

Second borns (SBs) tend to go the opposite way of the first, especially if they are of the same gender. They develop their own life-style according to the perceptions they have about themselves and the key persons in their lives. A very important person to the SB is the FB. This follows with subsequent siblings. Each sibling is deeply influenced by the one directly ahead of her. What happens is SBs make the decision of competing with the FB or going in a totally opposite direction. So if the FB is a star athlete, the SB may choose to excel in music.

If another child comes along, the second borns often morph to be the middle child, who generally tends to be the negotiator in the family. He or she learns early to mediate between the first and last born and is often very outgoing and engaging because parents tend to pay less attention unless they attract that attention. Middle children tend to have the fewest photos in the family album, avoid conflict, are independent, extremely loyal to their peer group, have many friends and tend to be mavericks.

Finally we come to the last born or “baby” of the family. And yes, all those things you hear are true. Last borns (LBs) are the apple of the family’s eye, are spoiled and get away with things the other sibs were not allowed to do. Last borns tend to be charming, manipulative, blame others, show off, are people person precocious and engaging. (Leman, p. 11)

The number of years between sibs is also very important. Whenever there are 5 or more years between children, a whole new family is created. Thus, the first born after 5 years displays first

born characteristics, although he or she probably would also have some qualities of the middle child, and so on with the other birth orders.

These blogs lend themselves to great discussion…

  • Anyone have a question or observation about this?
  • What order were you in your family?
  • Do you find these observations accurate or not? I have given just a brief summary of this whole topic.  There are many more we could explore.
  • How does this information apply to Family Businesses?

*Source of quoted material for birth order related blogs: Lemen, Dr. Kevin. (1985). The Birth Order Book, Why You are the Way You Are.  New Jersey: Fleming H Revel Co.