Hello, Story Empire friends, Gwen with you today. Together we’ll focus on birth order as it relates to character development. We’ve considered the traits of the firstborn, linked here. And we’ve reviewed traits of the middleborn. Here’s a link to that post. Today, our target is the lastborn.
Before we dive in, let’s review a few basic points. (1) Every family is unique, and multiple factors affect our development. Divorce, remarriage, adoption, gender, and location are just a few of those factors. (2) Importantly, if there are three or more years between siblings, the child may be a middle child but have traits similar to the firstborn.
I’ll share a family story and hopefully offer some clarity about character traits. I’m the eldest of seven, and there are nine years between me and the youngest – a brother. One day, six of us were inside the house when my little brother crawled in from the yard and sobbed that his leg was broken. My other two brothers immediately responded, “No it isn’t. Stop whining.” The youngest tearfully protested, “It is! I heard it pop.” By then, mom came into the room and checked his leg. She turned to me and said to watch the kids. “I’m taking him to the doctor. I think it might be broken.” And, sure enough, it was.
The lastborn in a large family can feel that no one listens to them. They might feel inferior, because everyone is bigger and more capable. But on the plus side, parents often have a special attachment to their youngest.
Researchers claim that lastborns have some of the following traits when they are adults:
- Charming and more agreeable
- Affectionate and empathetic
- Immature and manipulative
- Popular and attention-loving
- Risk-taking and entertaining
My youngest brother fits all of these, except immature and manipulative. If you met him, you’d enjoy his affable nature, and you might ride with him in his 4×4 and go off-road extreme rock climbing. He’s standing next to the car below. BTW, I’ve never joined him. Firstborns don’t do such things. But our characters do. 😊
That’s it for today. I’ll close with an interesting tidbit. Lastborns dominate the entertainment world. Eddie Murphy, Goldie Hawn, Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Carrey, Rosie O´Donnell, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Ellen DeGeneres and Charlie Chaplin to name a few. I wonder if they are risk-takers as well?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about developing a story with a lastborn, skydiving, charming character. It’s fun to think about, isn’t it? Next month, we’ll look at the only child.