March 5, 2009

MOPS Moment: Birth Order

Yesterday at MOPS our speaker talked to us about birth order. It is so fascinating, and as you may know....

1st Born-responsible (either IS or feels the pressure to BE), driven, bossy!
Middle Born-peacemaker, flexible
Last Born-adventurous, risk taker, possible a rule breaker

Our speaker had us get into groups based on these 3 categories. There were 10 people at the 1st born table, 8 at the last born, and only THREE at the middle born table. Imagine you could be 4th in a family of 6 or 2nd in a family of 3, and we still only had 3 of them! Not only that, 2 of the 3 women at that table were Mentor Moms. I can't help but wonder if middle children don't feel the need for things like MOPS as much as the other 2 categories.

I am a 1st Born, but in terms of my formative years I am an only child. I didn't have a sibling until I was 12, which make the dynamic quite different! I don't think I have to explain the negative stereotypes of only children! When it comes to birth order dynamics, any span of 7 years or more "resets" the rules.

A phrase he used repeatedly that I really liked was "Birth Order is DEscriptive, no PREscriptive." We shouldn't pigeon-hole others or ourselves.

He shared another tidbit that I can't get out of my head. Older siblings have a 1-2 point higher IQ (according to studies). This is because we learn the best when we are teaching others, and older siblings are always teaching their younger siblings all kinds of things (rolling the ball, singing a song, working a puzzle, etc.) I must have heard Timothy teach something to Samantha 15 times yesterday after MOPS. And of course he does it with the exact same intonation and organization as I do (First, Then, Last)!

If any of you have a MOPS group (or any gathering of moms), take an informal survey! It's really quite fascinating! For more info, here are some articles:

Time Magazine: The Power of Birth Order

Washington Post: The Birth-Order Effect

3 comments:

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

"I can't help but wonder if middle children don't feel the need for things like MOPS as much as the other 2 categories."

I don't think it's that middle children don't feel the need. I think there just aren't any middle children!! A family with more than 2 kids is rare. I've done my part to change that trend. ;)

"older siblings are always teaching their younger siblings all kinds of things"

So true!! Will has learned to read this winter and I hear him almost everyday instructing Ben on how to read. :) I hope that means I'll have an easier time with Ben! :)

Can't wait to read the articles!

Froggymama said...

I always knew my sister was smarter! But she's probably a lot more than a few IQ points!

Susan said...

How interesting! I think birth order is fascinating, too.