In news which will no doubt make my older brother produce a smug grin on his know-it-all face, it’s been revealed the youngest sibling in the family is often the one who’s terrible with money.
Being the youngest in the family, you’re always going to be classed as the ‘baby’ – maybe this is why we’re still struggling to get to grips with our finances – who needs a mortgage when mummy and daddy are always there?
Well, being number two (in terms of order but one in the popularity poll) is great and all, but what about the rest of you – the middle child, the only child?
In the book The Birth Order Book: Why You Are The Way You Are Dr Kevin Leman details four personality types based upon birth order: First Born, Middle Child, Last Born and Only Child.
I’ll try and break down, in the simplest way possible, just what this all means…
Dr Leman, who is a first-born himself, writes about first-born children being natural leaders – they are often perfectionists who need approval from those in authority (explains all the swotting up my brother does, along with his neediness).
As for the middle child – often referred to as the ‘problem child’ – Leman believes they’re ‘guaranteed to be the opposite of their older sibling’ and often, they feel they’re being ignored because all of mom and dad’s attention goes to the youngest and oldest – harsh!
Middle chidlren are said to have personalities which are a tad secretive and often feel the need to be the ‘peacemaker’ of the family.
To be honest, I don’t know many middle children, but for a period, wouldn’t they have been the baby therefore soaking up attention away from the eldest? Although I imagine it’s hard knowing you’ve got an older sibling who can bully you and then a younger sibling who’s just going to irritate the life out of you!
Anyway, back to it!
As for the last born – the baby of the family, the most cherished (you can guess which category I fall into) Leman says we’re the most ‘social and outgoing’, but damningly, the ‘most financially irresponsible of all birth orders’.
Apparently, we can be manipulative, too? Hmmmm, I just thought we were an adorable bundle of joy who can do no wrong?
Sorry, but the financially irresponsible bit I’m totally putting down to my parents – I was obviously wrapped in cotton wool for far too long and therefore didn’t learn to fly the nest properly!
However, despite loving the fact I’m the youngest, I imagine I don’t get it anywhere near as easy as the only child!
According to the doc:
[The only child] is in a unique position within a family.
Without any siblings to compete with, the only child monopolises his parents’ attention and resources – not just for a short period of time like a first-born, but forever.
A ‘super-first born’ Leman calls them, having the joy, but also the tremendous amount of pressure of all their parents’ love, support and expectations.
Due to this, he says only children tend to be ‘mature for their age, perfectionists, conscientious, diligent and leaders’.
I imagine if you’re an only child, your house feels like your own castle, where you’re king or queen!
Dr Leman is a man internationally famous for his insights on the subject, so who am I to argue?
As the ‘last child’, I’m off to take my ‘charming’ and ‘outgoing’ self to my mom and dad’s house….