Birth Order

By Renee Martinez
I find it interesting how birth order seems to play a significant role in who a child will become. I have 4 boys, and I want to make sure that their birth order will not hinder their full potential.  Birth order can can be a factor in career choices, behavior, personality type, or even how well they will do in school. Is birth order a good predictor of a child’s future?

Photo by Gideon TsangAccording to research, the first-born child is usually the most responsible. In my own family, my eldest son assumes the roll of protector of his siblings and assistant family manager. Whether he’s reporting what his brothers are doing so I can reprimand them or defending his brothers if I need to raise my voice at them, he’s always trying to help out and exert some control whenever he can.

Younger siblings are said to be more rebellious, as they are known for doing crazy things to either get the attention of their parents or to rebel against inequities between what the older sibling can do that the younger can’t. Oftentimes, they find things interesting that are completely unlike what their older sibling might be interested in as they rebel to being controlled by the first-born. They tend to be risk-takers and enjoy new and different opportunities.

Here are some famous first-borns: President Clinton, President Carter, # Walter Conkrite, Dan Rather, Oprah Winfrey, Rush Limbaugh and Arsenio Hall, Hillary Clinton, Ted Turner, Winston Churchill, Jimmy Carter, Saddam Hussein, Joseph Stalin, Mussolini, Che Guevara, Humphrey Bogart, Sylvester Stallone, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Bruce Willis, Bette Davis, Joan Collins and Vivien Leigh are all first borns, More than 1/2 of the U.S. Presidents were first born children, 21 of the 23 first astronauts were first born children, 2/3 of entrepreneurs are first born children.

Some famous middle borns include:  George Washington, Madonna, David Letterman, and John F. Kennedy. People who go out and do things on their own (entrepreneurs) are middle children…Bill Gates is a middle child.

Some famous “babies”: Jay Leno, Danny DeVito, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy, Jim Carey, Whoopie Goldberg, but also Margaret Thatcher.

On the other hand, some researchers find birth-order to have no significance in determining the behavior of a child based on the order they were born into a family. Dalton Conley, author of “The Pecking Order” is one such researcher who feels that birth order is the last item on a list of things that influence a child.

Interestingly, one thing all researchers agree on is the middle child. All studies found that the middle child really gets the worst deal of everyone.  If you have a middle child, one suggestion is to arrange a mommy date with the middle child once per week so you can spend some quality one-on-one time and give the full much-needed attention a middle child needs.

Personally, I think there are a mix of factors that make a child into the person he will become. This information might be helpful if it made you aware of certain birth order tendencies you had previously not thought much about, maybe you can use bits and pieces in your own life to save you some aggravation.

Here is some interesting research I found:

Alderian overview of birth order characteristics

Birth order and personality types

Birth order (has a nice chart)

First born children

Birth Order

What are your thoughts about birth order?  Do you think your children’s personalities are molded by birth order?


About the Author:  Renee Martinez consults and speaks professionally on social media marketing, integrated marketing communications, public relations and branding. She is the president of Ruby Marketing Communications (, a boutique marketing communications company that specializes in providing branding, social media strategy and integration, and creative services. Her blog (, provides resources on everything marketing and social media for her active audience. 

Renee has contributed as a featured monthly columnist in the monthly jewelry industry publication, JCK on matters related to internet marketing as well as in InStore Magazine as a featured blogger where she writes about developing effective marketing strategies for the jewelry industry using social media. She is the founder of: Social Media Biz Summit (, the first large-scale SM conference to come to Buffalo, NY; #jewelrychat, a weekly twitter chat for the jewelry industry and Renee teaches social marketing courses at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY for the business school as well as offers small group social media marketing training and educational seminars for businesses in Western New York and beyond.

Renee has dabbled in internet marketing arena since the early 90′s and is not ashamed to call herself a “marketing geek”. From chatting in AOL, “sharing” music on Napster, and teaching HTML classes before it was considered “cool” to developing comprehensive social media strategies, effective public relations campaigns and managing online communities (most recently Chevy Girls Buffalo).

She enjoys being able to help people find their voice online and to create buzz about their product or service that will give them the results they desire. 

Renee can be found on Twitter (@reneemmartinez) and Facebook (http:/

Photo by Gideon Tsang

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