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The Effects Of Birth Order On Personality

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Tips to teaching each birth order type.

Does this child fit into his/her birth order?
First and foremost, observe each child to ensure that he/she fits into their birth order category. This observation should take place over about a two to four week period. If you tried to use the techniques on a child for their birth order, but in fact they were a different birth order due to undetermined circumstances then your attempts could backfire. I reccommend an observation period so that you can link each child with a birth order that is their personality, to ensure results.


It is a rarity that a teacher comes into contact with twins, however if this does occur, be sure to treat these children as individuals, not as a set. If twins are in the same classroom together, it may be helpful to sit them apart, and to put them into different groups, or centers at playtime. This will not only help to set them apart, but it will help them to meet other kids, instead of alienating them by only playing with eachother. At first, I imagine you will meet some resistence, but keep with it, and one day BAM, they will no longer care. Make sure you respect each child's individuality, and insist that both you and the other children refer to them by their names, not as "the twins". If you have a classroom with only one twin, and the other is in another classroom, you may have some difficulty at first. As a teacher, you must make sure that this child meets, and interacts with other students. Often when first separated twins will sink into some sort of depression and refuse to play or talk with anyone. This is normal, and you must be prepared for it. Talk with the parents, and see what this child is interested in, and try to get them involved in these activities. It is important that the child realizes that he/she is an individual, and that they can have their own fun, and their own friends.

Only Children

Only children are often quite complex, and difficult to handle. An only child will often assume that things should be their way, as they are their way at home. Only children have difficulty sharing not only toys and supplies, but often your attention. An only child will often try to do their very best, in an attempt to receive your praise. It is necessary for you to let an only child know that you are aware of how hard they are trying and how well they are doing. This reassures the child that they are in fact living up to your standards, and boosts their overall confidence. You may want to work on sharing, taking turns, and the realization that the world does not revolve around them. Only children may be resistent at first, but you will see that they have a way of coming around. It would also be a good idea to put them into groups with a wide variety of other birth orders so they can see different personality types. Two only children may not work well together, or necessarily get along well, so be prepared for fireworks!


First Born Children
It is important to show first born children that everyone fails sometimes, and that it is okay. First borns often have difficulty if they feel as though they are not up to par with everyone else. By exposing some of your own faults or those of famous people you may help a first born to realize that it is okay if he/she does not succeed at first. For instance, it may be helpful for a first born to know that while Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs, he also struck out 1, 330 times. First borns need to be aware that it is okay if they are not the best all of the time, and that their parents and you, their teacher will still love them regardless. It may also be necessary to show them that you do not expect them to get 100% everytime and that as long as they try their very best, then that is all that you ask.

Middle Children
Middle children might be slighly hard to detect in your classroom, but undoubtedly you will pick them out. Middle children often do not feel as though they belong, and might be somewhat of a loner. If this is the case, it is imperartive that you try to include him/her in all activities. I am not saying thaty these children need to be the ring leader, but they do need to have interactions with their peers, and make friends. There is another type of middle born however, this would be the outgoing, loud kid in the back. This child makes sure that he/she stands out all on their own, no help from you needed. Middle born children often have difficulty feeling special, so it may be necessary for you to point out their strengths from time to time, and to give them extra praise. This will show a middle child that they are unique and special in their own right. It would be nice to pick up on specific traits of the middle child and emphasize them to him/her so they do not feel generalized or as though they are a bother. It will be necessary to make sure a middle child is keeping up in the classroom, and has everything under control. Often he/she will not speak up because they are afraid of being bothersome. So take a few extra  minutes to show this child that they are in fact special, and that they are no trouble at all.

Last Born Children
Last born children tend to be a little on the manipulative, and babyish side. These cubs are used to getting their way with mommy or daddy by simply sticking out that lower lip, so beware and do not get suckered in. The last born child will be outgoing, and quite frankly adorable. This is how they run their own home, so do not let them run your classroom as well! The last born child may have babyish qualities, such as excessive tattling, crying, or whining. You must keep in mind that this is how they resolve their issues at home, and you must not get annoyed with these habits. Instead, I suggest offering alternatives, and giving these children extra responsibility, to turn them into a "big boy" or "big girl". By giving the baby some extra tasks you not only make them feel helpful, but you will also allow them to mature a little bit faster, which will help both you and them in the long run. These cute kids will also try their best to stand out, and will often be referred to as the "class clown", if you have a child such as this on your hands, investigate why they feel the need to act out, and call them on it. Tell the child that they do not have to act this way to get people to like them or to laugh at them, all they have to do is be the great kid they already are.

Copyright 2005, Samantha Murphy