Interaction w/ other Family Members
"Chapter 18" By: Abby Timm-Haworth
Roles of Family Members
Influence of Birth Order
The oldest child in a family may receive more attention as a baby than do children born later. The oldest child is likely to become more independent and competitive then subsequent siblings. However, parents may tend to worry more about their first child and be overprotective. If the first children are not allowed to do things on their own, they may have less self-confidence as they grow older, they may need to keep proving themselves to their parents. Also firstborns tend to be high achievers.
Middle children may feel they have no status in the family. Maybe able to share something of both worlds joining in activities with an older sibling and helping with a younger sibling. Middle children may feel less pressure than a firstborn to be perfect. May receive less attention than the youngest child. Important for middle children to discover special interests and abilities.
Older siblings pave the way for youngest child. Parents feel more capable and experienced than they did when they had their first child. Youngest child in a family may be given privileges at an earlier age than older children were. The youngest child is often more sociable and self-confident than older siblings. However, they may object to being treated as the baby or having to follow in the foot-steps of older siblings.
Only child usually receives a great deal of attention and support from parents. Child may also be given more responsibilities than other children. This helps develop the only child's self-confident. Sometimes only children may feel pressured by parents who place all their expectations on one child. Only children may lack companionship that siblings provide. Only children can be encouraged to develop close relationships with friends. Also many only children assume leadership roles as adults.
Siblings provide early social relationships for each other. When they interact with each other they learn how to communicate, share, cooperate, and compete. The closeness of sibling relationships varies from one family to another and even between different siblings in the same family. Siblings who are close in age usually have far different relationships than siblings who are several years apart. siblings relate to one another often depends on their personalities. Wise parents will expect a certain amount of competition and jealousy among siblings. To help minimize sibling rivalry, parents should be sure that each child is treated fairly and respected for his or her own individuality. Siblings may be extremely loyal to each other. One may strongly defend the other to parents or friends, especially during the school-age years. Parents should help their children develop close friendship with each other.
Twins usually grow up doing many things together. Identical twins are alike in many ways, they are still individuals and can have different rates of development. Same goes for fraternal twins. Unlike identical twins, fraternal twins can be of different genders. Many twins are very close and enjoy a special emotional bond. Parents of twins should emphasize the uniqueness of each twin. They should avoid dressing twins alike and expecting them always to play together instead of with other children. Spending some time alone with each twin, helps strengthen each one's sense of individuality.