Sometimes we look at our siblings and become amazed at how
different we are from them. When examining their many
characteristics we may find that we are not as similar to them that we
thought we were. Clinical psychologist Clifford Isaacson has spent
much time studying exactly why the differences between siblings are
so great, how the order in which we are birthed effects our attitudes on
different subjects, and even on our actual emotions. Birth order
affects the way in which we were raised and treated by parents and
other family members. Each child gets treated in a different way and
Iaascson explains the characteristics the child develops due to this.
Isaacson analyzed birth order right up to the fourth and fifth born but
this paper will mainly focus only up to the third child due to the fact
that three children is the national average.

“Birth order personalities are formed early in life. Each child has to solve particular
problems by using a set of coping skills which become birth order characteristics”
(Iaasicson).
The only child has to solve the problems of how to play alone
without feeling lonely and how to deal with intrusion. When dealing
with loneliness, most “only” children develop imaginary friends to
combat this problem. The only child’s characteristic bad feeling is
frustration. They feel the loss of freedom and their sense of justice is
that everyone should be treated equally. Their sense of humor is very
sarcastic and when they are angry you will know it because they are
very likely to throw a temper tantrum. Usually the only child gets angry
over any type of intrusion. Intrusion by means of someone outside of
the family boundaries trying to step within them.

Though the only child is not known for being able to forecast other’s
feelings, they feel much apathy when they do find out what another
person is feeling. Only children have the tendency to try to fix other’s
problems and make an emotional and considerate friend. In a
romantic relationship their tendency is to worry and in marriage their
main goal is to meet their mate’s expectations. A good friend of ours,
Felicia, is an only child. These descriptions totally fit her. She is very
organized and a very considerate friend. When it comes to being in a
relationship she is constantly worrying about what is going to happen
next and whether or not the guy is “the one.” I also remember getting
into a fight with her years ago about something silly. She threw the
biggest tantrum I have ever seen and she ranted and raved like a
lunatic. Isaacson’s theory proved to be true in this instance.


“The first born comes to feel unloved through the perceived loss of mother's love to the
new baby. This child mentally trades love for attention in the forms of respect, admiration
and approval, seeking these in the place of unconditional love” (Isaacson).

The first born is an only child until the second child comes along.
This is when the feeling of being unloved comes into play due to the
intruder. The first born’s characteristic feeling is loss and their method
of survival is covering up and placating this. Their loss that they feel is
that of love and their sense of justice is that people should get what
they deserve. First born children get angry over the feeling of a lack of
respect but their way of showing this emotion is very flat and subdued.
A first born child has a tendency to procrastinate by dreaming instead
of following their dreams. As a friend they are very compromising and
serving probably out of a fear of intrusion of another person. They
express love by constantly agreeing and in a marriage situation they
tend to go along with what their partner wants. One example of a
typical first born child that follows Iaascson’s theory would be one of
our close friends. When she feels she is not being respected by her
boyfriend she gets extremely angry and upset. Yet she does not blow
up and have a temper tantrum. She remains quiet and very subdued
and simply crawls into her own shell until her boyfriend shows her the
respect she deserves. Then things are back to normal. She
constantly goes along with whatever her boyfriend wants. Whether its
a matter of where they are going or who they are hanging out with she
agrees as long as it pleases him. That is her own way of expressing
her love for him.

“The second born loses attention as the first born