According to birth order experts, the first child encapsulates all your hopes and dreams for the future. Because they are the first, your life is totally taken up with them, and they are totally taken up with you. They don't have any older siblings to stare at or to watch, they only watch you.
Thus, they tend to become the overachievers, the ones who want to please the parents. They have strict standards for themselves, and are far more likely to be perfectionists than other kids.
When the second one comes along, though, the parents are looking for something else. They want someone who can meet their emotional needs, instead of their dreams in the long-term. So the second born is a little more carefree. And it makes sense, because as a baby they're not primarily being stimulated by over anxious parents. They're watching a toddler fall all over themselves.
Nothing is set in stone, of course, but this is a pretty good guess as to what your children will be like.
And mine fit it to a T. Rebecca is my overachiever. It's hard to get her to do something if she's afraid she may fail. Right now the homeschoolers are trying to put together a soccer team, and though she loves soccer she doesn't want to play because she doesn't think she'll be good enough. But they need her for the numbers!
My Katie, on the other hand, I have to push to get her to try and do something well. One I have to push to not try so hard; and one I have to push to try at all.
Often Katie's schoolwork is sub par, and I know she could do better, but she rushes through it. And Becca? She tries too hard.
One thing that we're really struggling with Katie with right now is piano. She can play by ear, so we have her taking lessons to learn to play by chord sheet. But she's also taking the traditional lessons, and she hates counting. Just hates it. She cries when we make her count, and she whispers it, and I just can't understand it. Can someone have a learning disability about counting? Someone who is three grade levels ahead in math? Does that make any sense?
I hate the fact that we always butt heads over piano, and I always lose my cool. But she drives me nuts sometimes. She's my cuddly baby, and she's the one that in some ways is my emotionally close one, but Rebecca is closest to my personality. Rebecca is more the one that I understand, because I am a firstborn, and my husband is a firstborn, and my mother is a firstborn, and my father is a firstborn, and Keith's father is a firstborn, and Keith's mother was the last girl followed by a string of boys that she had to raise, so she has firstborn tendencies. And then there's little Katie that none of us can figure out.
It's not her fault. And I do love her dearly. I just don't know how to motivate her because we are so different. So that is my main topic of prayer this week: how to mother her better. I don't think I'm doing a good job when it comes to motivating her for piano or schoolwork because I can't figure her out. So if you could say a prayer for me, and leave a comment, that would be great!
About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.