Firstborns, Only Children and the Later Born

Firstborns, Only Children and the Later Born Ver. 1.2.2

(Why to do they Always get Voted the Most Likely to Succeed in Medicine, Science and Politics?)

The Top Gun National Crises Troubleshooter, Retired

https://gadflyblog.com/tag/adlerian-psy/

http://thephilosopheronpolitics.wordpress.com/tag/adlerian-psy/

12/28/2015

Revised 2/8/2017

Copyright 2015

 

Introduction

The Firstborn and the Only Child have some common personality and skill packages that put them in good favor of being successful in medicine, science and politics.  The personality characteristics of the Only Child can somewhat be considered a super firstborn.  A short inventory of Doctors, Scientist, and Politicians reveals a significant population of Firstborn and Only Children.  Only children come in two varieties the Natural Only Child and the Functional Only Child.  The basic premises are that the Only Child grew up in their family of origin without the benefit of younger siblings to interact with.  Firstborns also come in different varieties: Firstborn, Firstborn Male, Firstborn Female and those who had at least five years separating them from their siblings.  Several of the past presidents of the USA were Functional Only Children as shown in the chart below.

Notable Leaders with Similar Families of Origin

Person of Interest Sibling Status[i] Leadership Roles
Abraham Lincoln Lost younger sibling at early age.  A functional only child. President of USA during Civil War
Theodore Roosevelt Lost younger brother at early age.  A functional only child. President of USA, Leader of The Rough Riders at San Juwan Hill.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Raised by mother/grandmother. A functionally only child President of USA for four terms.  Strengthened the US infrastructure.
Thomas Edison[ii] An only child Early American Inventor extraordinaire.
J. Edgar Hoover[iii] Older siblings greater than ten years.  A functional only child Head of the FBI for fifty years
Bill Clinton Raised up alone as a functional only child. President of the USA

 

 

George W. Bush Seven years between first son and second son President of the USA
Barak Obama Raised up alone as a functional only child. President of the USA

 

Vladimir Putin [iv] Natural only child Leader, Russia
Dr. Dobson[v] Natural only child Head of Focus on the Family
Teaching Pastor [vi] Natural only child Leader and teacher of a local church

Adlerian Psychology is the study of Birth-Order and it relationship to personality characteristics.  The foremost author in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century is Dr. Kevin Leman.[vii]  Below is his chart of Firstborn personalities the benefits and handicaps.

Traits of a Firstborn[viii]

Trait Positive Aspects Negative Aspects
Perfectionist Does everything well Overly critical and dissatisfied with his own performance
Driven Ambitious, headed for success Always under great pressure
Organized Able to stay on top of everything No room in life for flexibility
Scholarly Able to think problems through and solve them Sometimes thinks too much; is overly serious
List Maker Get things done; knows where he’s going Boxes himself in; becomes a slave to his list
Logical Avoids pitfalls of compulsive behavior Knows he’s right even when he isn’t
Leader Plays an important part in his family, community, etc. Expected to do too much; always leaned on by others
Compliant Known as a good guy Known as an easy mark
Aggressive Gets ahead in life’ others look up to him Tends to be selfish and to disregard the feelings of others

 

Traits of Only Children [ix] (Super Firstborns)

Trait Positive Aspects Negative Aspects
Uncompromising Gets what they want Others do not get what they want
Communication Style “I want” this and “I want” that Others do not get what they want
Controlling Must be in control of all situations Others are left out of participating in the solutions
Must be the leader Natural take charge leaders Cannot follow some else’s lead

 

 

In charge of their life Knows where they are going Does not always know how to get where they want to go or accept nontraditional methods
Trusts in Tradition Steady guiding force of the proven whether successful or not; trusts the existing paradigm Not receptive to out-of-the-box thinking; will reject a new paradigm
Non-Negotiator They get what they want No experience in negotiating a “Workable Compromise” with another sibling
Successful against all odds “They can be anything they want to be” “Their mother or grandmother”. Good examples of “The Peter Principle” ( promoted above their capabilities)
Criticism Criticizes self for improvement to perfection Criticizes others.  “Judge and what every measure you use to judge, so shall you be judged.” [x]
Pays attention to the details Advantageous in Science, Engineering and Medicine Can get bogged down in the details striving for perfection
Long range planners Can make detailed plans for the future of an organization Gets committed to his plan and unwilling to change course.
Likes structure Scheduling/Planning/Structure is paramount Does not do well with spontaneous  opportunities
Prefers association with more mature adults Grew up alone with adults, therefore is comfortable with more mature adults Misses out on some play time with adults in their age group.
Approval seeking “Look what I have done by myself” Works better alone than with a group

 

Discussion

The largest difference between the Firstborn in the family and the Only-Child is their interaction and competition for their parent attention with their siblings.  The Firstborn with siblings is often put in charge of the younger siblings and develops leadership skills and sensitivity to the feelings of their siblings.  They are often responsible for organizing the games they will play together and setting the rules of the games.  The Firstborns will develop a parental role towards their younger siblings looking after them and protecting them.  This will usually manifest itself in a “Tell Assertive” communicative style where they usually assert themselves by telling other what to do.   It’s little wonder that this family pecking order is reestablished in the workplace.  The Only-Child misses out on these interactions with siblings; this could be a natural or a functional Only-Child (one who lost their siblings early in life or was isolated from them in different ways) and comes into the workforce with a individualistic communication style (It’s all about me).

To meet the demands of their younger siblings, the Firstborn must learn the art of “negotiating workable compromises”, the Only-Child is not afforded this opportunity.  The Only-Child has no competition for their parent’s attention and is often made to think they are the most important person on the planet (which from their parents point of view they are the most important person on the planet).  The Firstborn has this position of being the most important person on the planet for a short period of time until the second child is born.  They get read to sleep at night and spend time alone with their parents for this short time, than the competition arrives and their exclusive access to their parents change and the amount of time the parents can focus on each child changes.  This can be shown experimentally by examining the forensic evidence in the family photo album.  There one can find many photos of the Firstborn alone, but the rest of the siblings are photographed with “The Gang” with the exception of the Lastborn who gets some individual attention from their parents when their siblings have left the nest.

The Middleborn

The middle kids usually develop good negotiating skills, they have had to establish “Their Space” between an older sibling and a younger sibling and keeping the peace between the older and younger sibling especially if all are the same sex.  This negotiating skill will manifest itself in an “Ask Assertive” communication style where they learn how to maintain control and the peace by asking questions to assert themselves over their siblings and coworkers.  They often find themselves in middle management positions keeping the peace between those running the organization, the firstborns, and the lastborn workers.   The middle-born child often tries to get through live without being noticed, they are just part of “The Gang” [xi]

The Lastborn

The Lastborn grows up with almost everything laid out for them by their older siblings and parents and they come into the workforce looking to be directed by others in the workforce.  They often want their own ‘Freedom’ but once on their own find it difficult to manage their affairs to keep them solvent.  They tend to be more sociable than their older siblings and an easy mark for being taken advantage of in adulthood. [xii]   Probably from their social nature, the Sales Force seems to be disproportionately populated with the Lastborns in their family of origin, and comedians and philosophers are also well represented by the Lastborns (Anything to get out of doing real work).

Personal Experience in Adlerian Psychology

At a national science laboratory platform speakers club (LLNL), I once had the podium in an impromptu speaking session.  The meeting was held in a large conference room holding over a dozen people.  I asked the members of this speakers club how many of them were the firstborn in their families of origin?  All the people in the room, except me, raised their hand indicating they were the firstborns in their families.  I performed a similar experiment in a study group at a local church again with over a dozen members.  I asked how many men in this class had an older brother.  Ninety percent of the men raised their hands.  I then asked how many women in this class were the oldest in their family of origin; eighty percent of the men with older brothers came to class with their firstborn wives!  At another church where I had previously been a member and knew several men in this church, I asked if they had an older brother, their answer “yes” even the young preacher had an older brother.  Does this mean that ninety percent of men who are involved with the mission of a church have an older brother?  I asked the young preacher if his older brother went into the field of science, he replied in the affirmative.  Does this writer have an older brother?  “Yes”.  Ten years older, that would qualify this writer as a functional only child.  Is this writer involved with the mission of the church?  This is the same writer of the Blog: http://anewparadigminchristianthinking.wordpress.com/.

The Case of DNA

Does DNA play a role in our personality traits and skill packages?  In a recent program, on PBS, the latest developments of DNA science were disclosed that our DNA changes with our experience so as we learn new skills (and knowledge) our DNA changes to reflect these additions to our skill packages.  Therefore, when the parents, who are young and inexperienced, have their first children, the DNA passed down to these first children will be different than the DNA passed down to later children because the DNA of the parents have changed with their adult experiences.  All of the children in a family will then receive different skill packages from the same parents, depending on how more advanced and experienced their parents developed.

QED

[i] http://deadpresidents.tumblr.com/post/15457991558/which-presidents-were-the-oldest-child-the

[ii] PBS 2015

[iii] ibid

[iv] Frontline 01/2015

[v] Personal information

[vi] ibid

[vii] http://drleman.com

[viii] Dr. Kevin Leman, “The First Born Advantage” Revell pub., 2008, P 69

[ix] Personal observations well working with the USA’s Best of the Best at a national science Laboratory and a local church

[x] Jesus Matthew 7:1-5

[xi] http://drleman.com

[xii] Luke 15:11-24

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Firstborn and Middleborn Presidents and Wars

Firstborn and Middleborn Presidents and Wars Ver. 1.2.2

The Gadfly

https://gadflyblog.wordpress.com/tag/president’s-styles/

9/9/2016

Copyright 2016

Introduction

One’s birth order in their family of origin can identify basic skills that were learned from the environment that one was exposed to in their developing years. The firstborns tend toward leadership skills with either “compliant” or “controlling” personalities; middleborns tend toward a personality using a negotiating style of communication and problem-solving. [i]

The firstborn presidents of the USA are numerous and many were involved in wars *.

 

Functional Only Child Oldest Child Oldest Male Functional Oldest Male
Andrew Jackson John Adams *Thomas Jefferson *George Washington
*Abraham Lincoln *James Madison John Quincy Adams
Herbert Hoover *James Monroe Martin Van Buren
*Franklin D. Roosevelt *James K. Polk Millard Fillmore
Gerald R. Ford *Ulysses S. Grant James Buchanan
*Bill Clinton  

Chester Alan Arthur

Theodore Roosevelt Calvin Coolidge
*Harry S. Truman
*Lyndon B. Johnson
Jimmy Carter
*George W. Bush

 

 

There were several middleborn presidents, several of whom ended wars *.

 

Middle Born
John Tyler
Zachary Taylor
Franklin Pierce
*G. Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
*William McKinley
W. H. Taft
*Dwight D. Eisenhower
*John F. Kennedy
*Richard Nixon
*George Herbert Walker Bush

 The question of the day is: “Are firstborn Presidents more likely to be involved in a war and are middleborn Presidents more likely to end a war?” [ii]

Early Biography of Presidential Candidates

Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party

Hillary Diane Rodham was born on October 26, 1947, at Edgewater Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.  She was raised in a United Methodist family, first in Chicago and then, from the age of three, in suburban Park Ridge, Illinois.  Her father, Hugh Ellsworth Rodham (1911–1993), was of Welsh and English descent; he managed a successful small business in the textile industry. Her mother, Dorothy Emma Howell (1919–2011), was a homemaker of English, Scottish, French-Canadian, and Welsh descent.  Hillary has two younger brothers, Hugh and Tony.” [iii]

Hillary qualifies as a firstborn, but the question is: “Is she a compliant firstborn or a controlling firstborn?” [iv] The data on firstborn presidents does not contain any data on female firstborn presidents.  A look at the other female world leaders below may offer some insight to predicted decision-making styles of the female politician.  Hillary is running on a platform of, “I will fight for you,” meaning she will fight to give sectors of the population federal benefits in exchange for votes.  The Greek democracy has been bailed out of bankruptcy by the European Union twice in recent years.  The Greek politicians, who wanted political power, promised more government benefits to their voters.  The Greeks now have more people on government benefits than they do people paying taxes to support them, thus financial ruin.

Donald Trump, Republican Party

“Donald John Trump was born in 1946 in Queens, New York City, the fourth of five children of Frederick C. and Mary MacLeod Trump. Frederick Trump was a builder and real estate developer who specialized in constructing and operating middle income apartments in the Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn sections of New York. Donald Trump was an energetic and bright child, and his parents sent him to the New York Military Academy at age thirteen, hoping the discipline of the school would channel his energy in a positive manner. Trump did well at the academy, both socially and academically, rising to be a star athlete and student leader by the time he graduated in 1964.” [v]

Donald Trump qualifies as a middleborn child; the die of his personality should have been cast by age twelve.  Being raised in the middle, he would have developed negotiating skills, mostly negotiating for his own space. [vi]

Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party

Johnson was born on January 1, 1953, in Minot, North Dakota, the son of Lorraine B. (née Bostow), who worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Earl W. Johnson, a public school teacher. In 1971, Johnson graduated from Sandia High School in Albuquerque, where he was on the school track team.  He attended the University of New Mexico from 1971 to 1975 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. While at UNM, he joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.  It was there that he met his future wife, Denise “Dee” Simms.

“While in college, Johnson earned money as a door-to-door handyman.  His success in that industry encouraged him to start his own business, Big J Enterprises, in 1976. When he started the business, which focused on mechanical contracting, Johnson was its only employee.  His firm’s major break came when he received a large contract from Intel’s expansion in Rio Rancho, which increased Big J’s revenue to $38 million.

“Overburdened by his success, Johnson enrolled in a time management course at night school, which he credits with making him heavily goal driven.  He eventually grew Big J into a multimillion-dollar corporation with over 1,000 employees.  By the time he sold the company in 1999, it was one of New Mexico’s leading construction companies.” [vii]

There is no mention of siblings of Gary Johnson, but it is interesting to note the youngest brother of George W. Bush is one of his ardent supporters.  This certainly looks like a firstborn and lastborn natural relationship.  No mention of a sibling leads to the conclusion that Gary is an only child.

There are a finite number of personalities that have been created all through history; we just keep on reproducing these same personalities with different faces, like Barack Obama and George W. Bush [viii]  who can be considered as functional only children (this is true for Bush, as there is more than five years between him and his next younger brother, Jeb Bush).Barack Obama is a functional only child, as he was raised separate from his siblings and by a single mother/grandmother.  Therefore, when George W. Bush entered into a war in Iraq and Afghanistan and Barack Obama expanded these wars with ISIS-ISIL, we did not change the personality of our president, but only changed the face of the president.  Gary Johnson, as an only child, would only change the face of the president again, not the personality of the president and he would probably expand the wars in the Middle East.

Jill Stein, Green Party

“Jill Stein was born in Chicago, the daughter of Gladys (née Wool) and Joseph Stein, and was raised in Highland Park, Illinois. She is Jewish, and her family attended Chicago’s North Shore Congregation Israel, a Reform synagogue.  Her parents were both from Russian Jewish families and Stein was raised in a Reform Jewish household, but now considers herself agnostic.  Stein is married to Richard Rohrer, who is also a physician. They live in Lexington, Massachusetts, and have two adult sons.

“In 1973, Stein graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, where she studied psychology, sociology, and anthropology. She then attended Harvard Medical School and graduated in 1979. After graduating from Harvard Medical School, Stein practiced internal medicine for 25 years at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Simmons College Health Center, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and also served as an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. She retired from practicing and teaching medicine in 2005 and 2006, respectively.” [ix]

There is no mention of siblings in this bio; therefore we can only conclude that Jill Stein is an only child.  Only children are well known for their academic achievements; Jill certainly qualifies as an “only” on this count, as she is very academically accomplished.  Therefore the question remains: Are we going to change the personality of the president or only the face and sex of the president?

Notable Female World Leaders and Conflict


Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom


“Thatcher was born Margaret Hilda Roberts on 13 October 1925, in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Her father was Alfred Roberts, originally from Northamptonshire, and her mother was Beatrice Ethel (née Stephenson) from Lincolnshire.   She spent her childhood in Grantham, where her father owned two grocery shops. She and her older sister Muriel (1921–2004) were raised in the flat above the larger of the two, on North Parade. 

“Margaret Roberts attended Huntingtower Road Primary School and won a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School.  Her school reports showed hard work and continual improvement; her extracurricular activities included the piano, field hockey, poetry recitals, swimming and walking.  She was head girl in 1942–43.[x]   As the younger of two sisters, Margaret would develop a more social and athletic personality.”

In the 1990, Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of Great Britain when Saddam Hussein, the political leader of Iraq, invaded his neighbor oil producing country of Kuwait.   Margaret was heard broadcasting on the air that, “We are going to nuke you.”  This was the last we heard from Margaret on politics.

Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel

“Golda Mabovitch (Ukrainian: Ґольда Мабович) was born on May 3, 1898, in Kiev, Russian Empire, present-day Ukraine, to Blume Neiditch (died 1951) and Moshe Mabovitch (died 1944), a carpenter. Meir wrote in her autobiography that her earliest memories were of her father boarding up the front door in response to rumors of an imminent pogrom. She had two sisters, Sheyna (1889-1972) and Tzipke (1902-1981), as well as five other siblings who died in childhood. She was especially close to Sheyna.

Moshe Mabovitch left to find work in New York City in 1903.  In his absence, the rest of the family moved to Pinsk to join her mother’s family. In 1905, Moshe moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in search of higher-paying work and found employment in the workshops of the local railroad yard. The following year, he had saved up enough money to bring his family to the United States.”

Golda Meir, before 1910

“Blume ran a grocery store on Milwaukee’s north side, where by age eight Golda had been put in charge of watching the store when her mother went to the market for supplies. Golda attended the Fourth Street Grade School (now Golda Meir School) from 1906 to 1912. A leader early on, she organized a fund raiser to pay for her classmates’ textbooks. After forming the American Young Sisters Society, she rented a hall and scheduled a public meeting for the event. She went on to graduate as valedictorian of her class.

“At 14, she studied at North Division High School and worked part-time. Her mother wanted her to leave school and marry, but she demurred. She bought a train ticket to Denver, Colorado, and went to live with her married sister, Sheyna Korngold. The Korngolds held intellectual evenings at their home, where Meir was exposed to debates on Zionism, literature, women’s suffrage, trade unionism, and more. In her autobiography, she wrote: “To the extent that my own future convictions were shaped and given form […] those talk-filled nights in Denver played a considerable role.” In Denver, she also met Morris Meyerson (also ‘Myerson’; December 17, 1893 – May 25, 1951), a sign painter, whom she later married on December 24, 1917.” [xi]

Golda was nine years younger than her older sister and four years older than her younger sister.  This family position would make her the second firstborn, as there is more than five years between her and her older sister.  The fact that she was put in charge of the grocery store when her mother was absent leads to the conclusion she was treated as an oldest sibling.  This position in the family would certainly put her in the ranks of academic achiever, which she was.  It is a stretch to put her as a middleborn child with a sister nine years older and a sister four years younger, where she would have developed negotiating skills. [xii]   She was known as the Iron Lady of Israeli politics.[xiii]   It was during her tenure that Israel acted in revenge against the Germans responsible for the Holocaust.

Yom Kippur War

“Meir approved full scale mobilizing but sided with Dayan against a preemptive strike, citing Israel’s need for foreign aid. She believed that Israel could not depend on European countries to supply Israel with military equipment, and the only country that might come to Israel’s assistance was the United States. Fearing that the United States would be wary of intervening if Israel were perceived as initiating the hostilities, Meir decided early on October 6 against a preemptive strike. She made it a priority to inform Washington of her decision. U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger later confirmed Meir’s assessment by stating that if Israel had launched a preemptive strike, Israel would not have received so much as a nail.”

Resignation

“Following the Yom Kippur War, Meir’s government was plagued by infighting and questions over Israel’s lack of preparation for the war. The Agranat Commission appointed to investigate the war cleared her of direct responsibility, and related to her actions on Yom Kippur morning.

“She decided wisely, with common sense and speedily, in favor of the full mobilization of the reserves, as recommended by the chief-of-staff, despite weighty political considerations, thereby performing a most important service for the defense of the state.” [xiv]

Conclusion

In reality we have two choices for the next president of the USA.  One Candidate is a Firstborn Female with younger brothers who wants political power and is willing to give out federal government benefits in exchange for votes (“I will fight for you”), but she is somewhat an unknown in regard to her ability to extricate us from the war with ISIS-ISILThe Second Candidate is a Middleborn Male with negotiating skills – albeit on a “I win, you lose” basis – but a good start in negotiating workable compromises, which is the key to successful relationships with our neighbors foreign and domestic. [xv] And there is significant evidence, in our history of middleborn presidents, that he can extricate us from this war with ISIS-ISIL. 

 

[i] http://drleman.com/

[ii]http://retiary.org/misc_pages/us_presidents_and_wars.html/

[iii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton#Early_life/

[iv] Ibid i

[v] http://www.notablebiographies.com/St-Tr/Trump-Donald.html/

[vi] Ibid i

[vii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Johnson#Early_life_and_career/

[viii] Ester 5: 9-14, The Bible, Old Testament

[ix] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Stein#Early_life_and_education/

[x] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher#Early_life_and_education/

[xi] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golda_Meir#Early_life/

[xii] Ibid i

[xiii] Ibid xi

[xiv] Ibid xi

[xv]  Matthew 7:2, The Bible

[xv] Matthew 5:25, The Bible

[xv] Luke 14:31-32, The Bible
[xv] https://gadflyblog.wordpress.com/tag/gadfly/