I’ve always been fascinated by how birth order impacts personality. I suspect this is because I am a middle child and I somehow believe the whole world is conspiring to leave me out. Just kidding! The weird thing about adoption, though, is it sometimes messes with birth order.

I was worried about The Captain, the oldest of our three Littles, because he went from being the oldest child to the middle when he came to our house. I needn’t have worried so much though; we just have two competing generations as it turns out, the older two (an oldest and a baby) and the younger three with an oldest, middle and baby. This is apparently a common way for long “gaps” to play out.

Thus, I resumed my passion for researching birth order. What I discovered, of course, that birth order traits are more strongly connected to parenting than to inborn personality. Oh, it all comes down to me, again. Yay.

Now that I’m done whining, I have decided on a course of action. I am going to take great care to focus more on praising my two “oldest” kids and also providing them some opportunity to challenge the “rules.” I am going to focus on getting them to approve of themselves before I do it and try to strengthen that voice of self authority. I’m also going to carve out some one-on-one time for each of them so they truly get that they still matter too!

My middle girl, Tinker, is quite obviously craving attention lately. She sits by me every chance she gets and clearly needs to talk to me. I’m going to start inviting her to talk by sitting her near me in the kitchen or the laundry room and just letting her talk! I am also going to let her be the “big one” at times by choosing our entree or deciding who can be first at something.

As for my babies, they are going to start following the rules! I do let them slide way too often. It’s weird how that happens. This will require me to actually pay attention to what I’ve said and make sure everyone abides by it. The trick here is that the two oldest will abide by it without my intervention, so making sure the babies do too is doubly important. On the softer side, I am also going to make sure they get as much “laud and honor” as the olders did for all the stuff they learned to do. Yes, I’ve seen it before, but it’s still a first for them!

I’m going to to make sure that everyone knows I value them as an individual and avoid comparisons. I’m going back to my 10-20-10 rule and make sure everyone gets their mama time each day.

I’d love to hear how birth order affects your family and how you are changing things up to counter our natural inclinations!