Assignment: Begin by reading the passage below.
How Your Birth Order Influences Your Life Adjustment
The child becomes known as the family’s only child, oldest child, middle child, or youngest child, depending on his birth order. He is thought and talked about as having that place in the family. Both in his mind and in the minds of other people, an important part of his identity is his family position.
The other members of the family assume certain attitudes toward each child in terms of his birth order. Parents usually expect their oldest child to be more capable and more responsible than the younger children. The oldest child comes to think about himself in the same way. These ways of seeing himself, of thinking about himself because of his sibling role, become part of his self-concept.
Similarly, the middle child may think of himself as able to do things better than other people because he is usually more capable than his younger siblings. Sometimes, though, he must turn to an older sibling or to his parents for help, and so he thinks of himself as being able to obtain help when he needs it.
The youngest child may develop the self-concept that he is less able to do many things than other people. However, he is not concerned because there are always others around to take care of him.
In contrast, the only child tends to think, “When my parents are not around, I have no one to turn to for help. So I’d better learn to take care of myself as much as possible.”
The place in the family establishes for the child a specific role to be played within the family group. It influences him to develop certain attitudes toward himself and toward other people and helps him develop specific patterns of behavior.
Adapted from an essay by Lucille Forer, “How Your Birth Order Influences Your Life Adjustment”, in Write to be Read, p.7.
Read the passage above and