It seems harsh to condemn anyone to this description simply on the basis of where they stand in the family.Grose admits the effects of birth order can vary according to different factors, including temperament, gender and age gap.Growing up, I was the most likely to have blazing rows with my dad, I sympathised with the underdog and I’m not a volunteer.(At family get-togethers, I’m still the least helpful.) But a lonely outsider, struggling with an inferiority complex?‘They’ve been showered with attention and identify strongly with power.’ First-borns are thought to be conscientious and achievement-oriented.
First born Historically, first-borns have been less likely to die in infancy, are less susceptible to disease and, as adults, are more likely to reproduce.
Surely, these things are not set before we even get started?
And yet, we all know a ‘typical middle child’, we recognise ‘classic only-child behaviour’.
They’re the least likely to travel or be physically daring. While her middle brother took up hang-gliding and both siblings backpacked round the world, Sarah’s biggest adventure to date is a thunderstorm in France.
Many theorists group only children among first-borns – although they never experience having to share their parents, nor the frictions, fights or fondness that comes with siblings.