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Which child are you?

Isn't it wonderful when you have an 'aha moment'? The information can come from anywhere and suddenly your own mental processor links it to your view of the world and BANG your brain lights up like a Christmas tree. At that moment you feel alive.

Just listening to motivational speakers can lift your spirts, awaken your mind and put your brain in gear. To do what? well that depends on where you are when it happens. If you are receptive to the information when it's available you might take immediate action. If you're feeling closed off, alone or down then maybe you'll just store it for later. It's like our own thought patterns, the way we do things; what causes us to do the things we do? to react the way we 'always' do?

When you dig down deep in relation to something you 'always' do (I use the word 'always' in quotes because it's seldom 100% true!) you often come to the conclusion that what you are doing is due to programming. So how did we get here? What causes that kind of programming?


It starts from the very moment we're born and can even start before that. Were you expected ? were you welcomed into the world? Well that's a starting point because what happens after that immediately programs your reactions. Let's just take one example of your place in the family.

Imagine you're the first child to be born, how much attention do you get? Realise that even if you don't get a lot of attention you still get all of the available attention. So what happens if a second child comes along? The variables are endless and the stories unbelievable as I know from so many different clients.

The available attention ratio can change dramatically, perhaps all focussed on the new arrival. A common occurrence is that the first born has to either learn to behave and be complimented on good behaviour, on being responsible or kick up a fuss and doing what's not allowed, attracting negative attention in the process, being told off or punished.

A second child already has less attention whatever the balance. When they cry to be fed or changed or for attention the parent will already be much more confident than by the first-born provided there are no extra health issues........

When third and subsequent children are born the attention ratio keeps changing. If there are large age gaps the new born can experience having multiple parents, being told what to do by lots of people. In large families it's quite common for older children to look after their younger siblings. If this occurs to the extent that an older child doesn't get the chance to go through puberty because they are having to be responsible it can sometimes be classed as parentification. When parentification is an issue caring for others instead of yourself becomes the norm. Actually doing something purely for yourself can perhaps feel selfish bringing up feelings of guilt.


Just looking at the placing in a family can give an 'aha' moment. The first born may have responsibility issues, a second child may also be the 'go between', have to mediate and be good at communicating whereas later children may be a lot freer, have less attention and be left to themselves, making their choices more carefree or sometimes even reckless or attention seeking?

The occurrence of birth is universal - we're all born! but the experience is individual and unique. There are so many variables. It doesn't take much imagination to see how things can go very wrong even in the most loving and balanced families, let alone families with financial stress, mental health issues, substance abuse and more. The family you are born into is the start of your journey.

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