It is a matter of continual amazement to me that three boys brought up under the same parents, in the same atmosphere, in largely the same environment can have such different personalities.
There’s a long-standing debate among scientists and psychologists about whether birth order has anything to do with this. According to some experts, “First borns scored higher on conservatism, conscientiousness and achievement orientation. Later borns scored higher on rebelliousness, openness, and agreeableness.” Other researchers dispute the claim that birth order has anything at all to do with personality.
It’s an interesting question, and while the sample size found in our immediate family may not be representative, I think the picture below provides some interesting evidence.
Our firstborn, Gerrit, is clearly in charge of construction on the sand castle. He has a design in mind and has been directing the activity toward this goal. Philip, our third and the baby of the family, has decided that a little anarchy is in order and is about to pour a bucket of water on Gerrit. As the middle child, Tucker is exercising his finely tuned sense of how to stir up trouble in either direction by kicking sand into the situation.
It’s a tableau of sibling personality.
Perhaps mom’s quick shutter-finger captured some important clues to whether birth order has an influence on the development of personality among siblings.
Maybe it was just some summer fun.
Either way, I can tell you the pictures after this one weren’t pretty. :-)
originally published 1/30/12| next post When Boys Bake