Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Birth order, does it matter?

Posted June 27, 2010 5:27 p.m. EDT

You hear it all the time. I'm the oldest. I'm the youngest. I'm the middle child. Does birth order really matter?

I was the "baby" of my family. No matter my age or accomplishments, my mother and father still introduce me as exactly that... the baby of the family. And my brother will always be the oldest.

Now that I'm a mom, I wonder about the effect of birth order on my children. My first born is a natural born leader and new situations come easy to her. My second born is feisty, skeptical and protective. And my youngest child is happy, full of smiles and dare I say it? Yep, she's a tad spoiled.

Although I was keenly aware of birth order labels, I now find myself a witness to some of those traits in my own children. So what's a mom to do?

I once read a post that talked about the importance of building confidence in each child's own abilities. This summer, we're really focusing on our daughters' different interests. We signed them up for a couple of camps, but they're not going to the same camps. For example, one child wants to dance and another wants to play soccer. The logistics are by no means convenient, but we felt it was important to encourage each child’s interests.

When it comes to all children, confidence is key. We plan to resist the stereotypes by applauding each child's strengths, making no comparisons and celebrating what makes them unique. So, does birth order matter? It probably affects all children to some degree, but it doesn’t have to be a negative thing.

Aysu is the busy mom of three and assistant news director for WRAL-TV. Find her here on Sundays.