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Personality By Birth Order

Are you the firstborn, middle born or youngest of the family? Well, don't be surprised if some of your personality traits are the result of your birth order in the family.

In the latest "In the Family Circle" series, The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm takes a look at the impact of birth order on personalities.

She caught up to five brothers and sisters who say their personality traits were clearly defined as kids.

Laughter and good-natured ribbing are part of the Orlando, Fla. Robertson siblings' way of life.

"A lot of my friends were envious of my family because we would get together so much and do so many things together," says Chris Robertson.

The five siblings say their birth order may have played a part in shaping their personalities.

"I was always the oldest, and with younger children around, I'm very nurturing," says Terry Caldwell. "I've always loved kids."

Sean Robertson says, "As the second eldest and the oldest son, I would say if I had to pick one personality trait, it would be that I'm very competitive."

But what happens when you're not the oldest or the youngest? What happens when you fall somewhere in between?

"As the middle child, my personality is very strong-willed," says Lori Trainer. "[I] definitely like attention. I think I needed to try to get attention from the older and from the younger."

Younger brothers, Andy and Chris Robertson, were always close. Andy, still quiet and shy, remembers becoming the baby in the bunch.

"Lori's seven years older than me," Andy Robertson explains. "So, she was the baby for quite some time. And then when I came along, I kind of stole some of her thunder."

But, the perks of being the youngest didn't last long.

Chris Robertson, the youngest of the siblings laughs, "I wouldn't say I like being the center of attention. But I do like having attention ... But, who doesn't?"

Meri Wallace, the author of "Birth Order Blues: How Parents Can Help Their Children Meet the Challenges of Birth Order," tells Storm that if you are a parent and want to help your child break out of the stereotypes, there are some things you can do.

The following is her advice:

First Born –"The oldest child is often very domineering of the younger siblings. Tell your older child: You can't always be the teacher. You can't always be first. You need to allow the younger one to have his turn."

Middle Child – "Make sure to tune into the middle child. If there's a family discussion, say: What's your opinion? Where do you think we should go on our vacation? And try to enhance his experiences and interests that he likes. Sign him up for a special music class, if he likes it."

Youngest Child – "Youngest children often don't have the ability to be very responsible, because they're never given the chance. You want to give your youngest child some responsibilities. Even a 4-year-old can help you set the table."

Wallace also notes that it is good to keep in mind as adults our place in the family and reflect on how that might be affecting us.

She explains, "If you're aware that you're a middle child and at work you're overreacting when your friends go out to lunch and don't invite you, think back to your own childhood experience. You can explain why you're having such powerful feelings and you can try to calm yourself down."

Click here to read an excerpt from "Birth Order Blues."

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