My mother is a doctor. Well, not an MD, but a PhD. But I still think her doctorate contributes to the health of society, and furthermore to the health of families that make up our society. I have been given the gift of much of her research and papers on the subject of Parent Education throughout her career as “Dr. Jill.” In this article, I wanted to share with you her “Family Constellation Chart,” with research showing the typical characteristics of child positioning/birth order within the family, and the implications parents should take in order for the child to develop a healthy self-esteem, no matter what their birth order may be.
First children often take responsibility for other siblings, so it is important that parents avoid putting more pressure on that child to succeed. The first child gets along well with authority figures, so parents should encourage the fun of participating and not the goal of winning when it comes to playing on and for teams. First children are likely to become high achievers, so it is important that when they do make mistakes, parents teach their children that mistakes are part of the learning process. First children often have the need to feel right, perfect and superior to their parents; parents in return, need to show the child how to be gentler with themselves in the face of failure.
The only child is used to being the center of attention so it is important for parents to provide learning opportunities with other children for their child. Only children can be unsure of self in many ways; therefore, parents should encourage visiting friends more often and have spend-the-night company to boost competence. Only children are likely to be responsible, but often refuse to cooperate if they fail to get their own way and in this situation it is encouraged that parents utilize child-care and nursery school for further discipline and outer exposure.
The second child may try to catch up with...
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