Some traits are passed down genetically from our parents- height, hair color, eye color and genetic disorders. Personality is left up to the individual, right? Well, maybe not.
Some researchers suggest that birth order may play a larger role in not only personality and behaviors, but also overall health.
What characteristics might you possess simply because of where you fall in your family?
If you're the only child in your home, you've never had to vie for your parents attention from siblings. You may be more mature for your age, a natural leader, a perfectionist, more diligent and conscientious, according to Parents. While those are generally positive traits, there are some risks that come with being an only child.
Only children are at higher risk for obesity perhaps because "...an overprotective caretaker of an only child may show love with food, which starts a bad habit at a young age. There's also a negative mental component involved with having no siblings," states a TipHero article. Additionally, those with no siblings shoulder the majority of caring for elderly parents later in life, which can cause extra emotional stress.
The oldest child in a home tends to be more of a natural leader and more ambitious than younger siblings, according to TipHero. But, they can also work to control or be more superior than siblings and also waffle from good behavior to rebellious behavior to gain attention, Child Development Institute explains.
Parents tend to be more paranoid with their first child and go overboard protecting them from dirt and other germs. As a result, firstborn children may be more prone to allergies and weaker immune systems (TipHero). They may also be at higher risk for high blood pressure due to the pressure and driven nature of firstborns.
Despite if you're the middle out of three kids, or second, third or fourth out of five kids, you're a middle child. Often the subject of memes about the middle child being ignored or forgotten, middle children are frequently social butterflies, peacemakers and concerned with everything being fair, according to realsimple.com. Middle children are also good listeners and loyal friends. They also don't have the pressures oldest children feel.
Health wise, there's good news and bad. The bad news is that middle children may be more susceptible to chronic fatigue syndrome. However, good news, they have a lower body mass index and are at lower risk for type 2 diabetes.
The Child Development Institute explains that youngest children expect others to take responsibility and make decisions, yet can also be the boss of the family and become demanding. The youngest child may always live with the stigma of being the "baby" of the family, and, compounded by their fun-loving nature, not taken seriously by older siblings or parents.
While they may have better overall health, youngest children may be more likely to form addictions to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.
Where do you fit in your family? Oldest? Middle? Youngest? Only child? Do these behaviors or personality traits match? What about health?
Regardless of what birth order says about you, you're still in charge of yourself and who you become. If you don't like certain traits or wish you had others, you can work to overcome unwanted behaviors and develop more useful skills. Sure, you may have more tendencies toward some behaviors over others, but that doesn't mean you can't change.