2005-09-01

Stats: Sibling Relative Traits

Younger children perform dramatically less well at school than elder brothers or sisters, according to a major new study. And that's not the only effect that your place in a family's 'birth order' has on your life... ONLY CHILD, BOY For obvious reasons, he gets much more attention from parents than other children do and is particularly likely to be spoilt by his mother. His lack of a family playmate tends to make him self-sufficient, but never having to compete for parental attention can make him self-centred. He has good self-esteem, but can be poor at forming relationships and that can lead to problems of loneliness. Best marital partner would be an eldest sister of brothers, because she would have learned how to give him the attention he needs. Least compatible marital partner would be an only child, girl, because both are egocentric. ONLY CHILD, GIRL She will derive all her emotional support from her mother and father, leaving her permanently wanting to please authority figures. She may also be prone to anorexia, due to a tendency to incorporate male expectations of competitive performance from her father, who had no son. There is some evidence that an only daughter is more masculine than other women and she can find it more difficult than other women to forgo her own needs for a male partner, but is most likely to fall for a father figure. Because of lack of experience with younger siblings, she finds it hard to learn to be a mother. Best partner would be an eldest brother of sisters, because she won't resent his tendency to take the lead. ELDEST CHILD, BOY He enjoys taking on weaker opponents. He identifies with authority and is often the first one to notice when a person in power is not as strong as he appears, and will try to take over. An eldest brother of brothers may lack ability in the more feminine areas of social skills and forgiveness. If the next child is a daughter, he can be jealous and resentful. But he can be shy with women and treat them as if they are boys. He may prefer women who are a bit tomboyish. Best partner would be a youngest sister -- she will know how to deal with his bossiness. ELDEST CHILD, GIRL When she has only younger sisters, she likes to give orders and take care of the fine details in projects. She attaches herself to male authority figures, because this replicates her relationship between her father and younger sisters. She can have perfectionist tendencies and be prone to eating disorders. When she has brothers as well as sisters, she learns to adopt a mothering role early and her leadership style is gentle; she is good at being in charge of men in an unobtrusive manner. Her best partner is a youngest brother of sisters: he will have learned to cope with a dominant female. YOUNGEST CHILD, BOY The youngest boy in a family of boys is more likely to have feminine tendencies because the mother wishes for a girl. He may find his own children a threat to his relationship with his wife and will find it difficult to get used to the father role. He may seek counselling at some stage so that someone will, at last, listen to him. Best marriage partner: eldest sister of brothers. If he has mixed elder siblings, he will not be very ambitious and will not like detail -- but he will like to be mothered. YOUNGEST CHILD, GIRL She is most likely to have difficult children. These women like to make a show of being independent, but really need others to guide them. If she has elder brothers she can be a bit spoilt, expecting men to look after her. These women tend to be very feminine. If she has mixed older siblings she will be good at attracting men - but she can be overly dependent on them. Her best partner is the eldest brother of sisters. MIDDLE CHILD, BOY With an older sister, he is likely to be more intellectual and cultured than if he had a more masculine influence. He tends to have wider interests than many men. Middle-born men are often good talkers and popular with women. The second-born boy is constantly striving for superiority but can be left with a feeling of never quite making it, no matter how successful he becomes. Research has found athletes are often middle boys, particularly with an older brother. His best partner is the oldest sister of brothers. MIDDLE CHILD, GIRL If she has an older sister, she may be very competitive with her - particularly in trying to show who can be most caring towards a younger brother. Trying to wrest her father's attentions away from either older or younger siblings means she seems too demanding. She will have wide interests and will want to dominate men if an older sister has given her confidence in the female role. Best partner: youngest brother of brothers. CELEBRITY SIBLINGS Love them or loathe them we are stuck with our siblings, for better or worse, as these celebrities know all too well.
'He's always slagging me off in the press.
'He has to talk about me, has to bring me into it.
'Liam this, Liam that.
'Liam kicks up a fuss in the studio.
'I'm the most f***ing chilled out one in the studio, it's him that recorded the album four times, not me.'
--Mr.Liam Gallagher, pop star, on his big brother Noel, the other half of the pop band 'Oasis'.
'I used to find that if I went somewhere with Anthea, I didn't have a name. The attitude is "you're Anthea's sister".
'That's how you are introduced to everybody and it's very annoying.'
--Television presenter Ms.Wendy Turner, on her more famous big sister, Anthea.
'We don't appear in public together because when we meet up we want to spend our time talking to each other. We'd rather stay in, watch TV and have a good chat.
'Kylie is always the one I call if something bad has appeared in the papers or if something fantastic has happened to me -- I know she will understand.'
-- Ms.Danni Minogue on her elder sister Kylie.
'She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities.
'She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway.
'She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark.
'She is your teacher, your defence attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child.'
--American author Ms.Barbara Alpert on sisters.
'What's your place in the family?', RAJ PERSAUD, JESSICA KIDDLE, The Scotsman 2005-09-01

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