Laboring Birth Orders
By Dian Vujovich
I was born on Labor Day. Guess my mom got hit with a Labor Day experience she’d never forget.
I was the second—and last — of two children in our family. According to those in the know, a child’s positioning in the family has a lot to do with everything from their personalities to their future incomes.
In the book ” The Pecking Order: Which Siblings Succeed and Why,” author Dalton Conley of New York University writes that inequality begins at home pointing out that 75 percent of income inequality occurs between siblings in the same families.
Those likely to earn the most, according to his research, are the born first. They wind up on top of the heap when it comes to educational attainment, income and net worth. Apparently every astronaut to go into space so far has been the oldest child or eldest boy. As for Nobel Prize winners and U.S. presidents, more than half of them have been their family’s first offspring.
At the other end of the spectrum come middle kids. They tend to get the shortest stick. This however, only applies to families of four or more.
Youngest kids can be the most creative, charming and manipulative. They are said to have successful careers in journalism, advertising, sales and the arts. Cameron Diaz and Billy Crystal are examples here. Okay, I can live with that.
Only children are similar to first-borns except that more often than not their parents shoulder them with huge expectations. And they, the kids not the parents, expect a lot from others, tend to be perfectionists and hate criticism. Think Tiger Woods and Rudy Guiliani.
As for twins, well, they wind up getting, winning and achieving about the same. I know some twins, however, who would dispute that.
Then again, even Conley admits that birth-order results change depending upon a child’s personality and the age gap between kids.
Hum, I wonder which child is most likely to marry a bazillionaire? For some reason I don’t think it’s the second.
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