So I saw this picture on Twitter recently…..
It got me thinking about my children: Girl one is 10 years old (going on 17!), Girl two is very nearly 5 years old and the boy is 3 on Saturday. Does this apply to my children in any way?
Coincidently, I was recently struck by a realisation that despite I have brought my children up in the same way, by the same rules, values and beliefs; they are all very different in personality. Girl one is sporty, tomboy-ish, nervous and eager to please and fit in. Girl two is a girly-girl, wants everything purple and sparkly, wants to wear dresses, be a princess with lipstick. Boy is football mad (yes even at the tender age of 2!), loveable, stubborn and loves laughing, and wants a bit of everything. So even though they have been raised following the same rules as each other, their individualism is starting to creep out.
But does the pecking order of birth into the family have anything to do with it? I have looked at the list and broken it down.
I will start with the First born: Girl one
Natural leader: When amongst her siblings, yes she is very much a natural leader!
High Achiever: As with most children I suspect, only when it comes to subjects she likes, enjoys and is good at. Jujitsu for example, she is doing brilliantly with this.
Organised: Not at all! I am afraid that her bedroom is like a constant bomb-site, clothes everywhere, can never find anything let alone remember where she left something. Very much the opposite in fact.
On-time: Mostly, but as with any child her timekeeping is usually handled by the parent. I suppose I will have to watch this space on this one.
Know-it-all: She very much likes to think so, but she isn’t afraid of asking. She will argue her point, especially if she knows she is right. Like Mother like Daughter!
Bossy: Yes Very. A mini-me in this respect. Occasionally she will over step the mark with her siblings. But she does like a good boss-about.
Responsible: She likes to think she is, and when given the confidence is showing good signs that she can be.
On to Middle child – Girl two
Flexible: Mostly yes. Although routine has always played a big part of her life, as she is getting older change doesn’t faze her, and usually as long as she sees that the end result is the same, she isn’t overly bothered.
Easy-going: Yes she is very easy-going. She doesn’t look for arguments, and is a delight to spend one-on-one time with, but she can be demanding when the need calls for it.
Social: Extremely, especially with people she is comfortable and confident with.
Peacemaker: To date she is showing no signs of being a “peacemaker”. Unless you want to turn it on its head and use the phrase “walk-over” in which case I would say that she can be a walk-over, particularly when she is the less dominant child in the room.
Independent: A close relative recently defined Girl two as “having the perfect only-child personality” By this they meant that she is more than happy to go and play on her own, she doesn’t require her siblings to entertain her. Yes, independent she is.
Secretive: Oh my goodness, She is a child of such subtle cunning, you have to see it to believe it. She is such a good little liar, actress, and sneak that I have to stop myself from smiling a lot when telling her off. Her slight of hand is AMAZING!
May feel life in unfair: I am sure if you asked her this, she would say that it is unfair, and then probably perform the worlds best sulk to prove it.
Finally, Last child – The boy
Risk-taker: He knows no fear. He is the boy who will jump feet first into the swimming pool without any armbands on and give Mummy a heart-attack in the process. He is the boy who will try every type of new food put in front of him without asking what it is. This is the boy who will jump off anything. Why? Because he can. Because he wants to be Superman and fly.
Outgoing: At first he isn’t. Put him in a new environment with new people and although he is comfortable and confident, he is not what I would call “outgoing. For example he recently had his first settling in session at his new preschool, he went in and focused on the toy cars and trains. He was more than comfortable playing on his own with these. He didn’t immediately hunt out someone to play with. When other children came over the join in with his game, he was more than happy to make friends. He seems to be more silently confident than outgoing.
Creative: When he goes off on his own with his many toy cars, planes, trains, action figures I love listening to him. His imagination is simply wonderful to witness.
Self-centred: He is mostly a very caring and loving little chap, however he does have a streak of self-importance about him. This comes out occasionally but not all that often.
Financially irresponsible: Not relevant in this child – He is not yet 3 years old. Time will tell, but I sincerely hope he isn’t.
Competitive: This should be his middle name. Everything is a race or competition. Who is going to be first up the stairs? Who will finish breakfast first? Who will get dressed the quickest? It drives me absolutely insanely nuts! I am always the referee!
Bored easily: Like any child he is capable of having a short attention span. However, he attends football matches and manages to stay focused on those (which is more than you can say for me!).
What’s my conclusion of my children and whether or not their personalities match up to the picture. If I am honest I don’t really have one I suppose. Not at this stage of their lives. I feel it unfair to base their entire temperament, personality and outlook of life on their ranking of birth. I am sure that many people could turn it around and say that Girl one is bossy because she is the eldest, but I can assure you that the other two are equally as bossy.
Each child is different. Each child has their own sparkle. Each child has it faults. And each child brings something different to our family, whether is it stubbornness, kindness or competitiveness. By bringing them up in the same way and loving them same, they will grow and develop in their own way. And I will continue to love them regardless of where their “ranking” is in the family.