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Monday, November 12, 2007

A Family of Characters

Way back when my children were small, I attended a parenting class at a Home Making meeting, now Enrichment Night, given by a woman who eventually became our state's Mother of the Year. In that class, she taught us about characteristics children typically exhibited, based on their birth orders. At the time, I believed the information was a parenting God-send, and I eventually considered that information as one of the aids that helped my husband and I successfully minimize competition tendencies within our children. But now it's taken on a new role: character development fodder.

For instance, if my character is an only child, I know she will probably be a logical, self-centered, critical perfectionist and will likely act like a small adult. If a:

First born: He might act the same as an only child, being a hard-driven, high-achiever; but he might also be nurturing, compliant, and so eager to please he is readily taken advantage of.

Last born: She is the entertainer. The clown. She is often impetuous, trying to make her own mark on the world as she tries to get out from under her older siblings's shadows.

Middle born: He may compete with older siblings or grow in entirely different directions. He also tends to hang out with friends more than with family.

It's just a little bit of information, but highly helpful to both parenting and character development, don't you think?

Oh! And going along with this blog on character, why don't you take the following quiz? I thought it was kinda fun, seeing as how I LOVE Jane Austen.

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!


Rachelle said...

neat quiz and surprisingly accurate! I am Marianne Dashwood of Sense and Sensibility. Thanks for sharing.

Katie Parker said...

Interesting notes on birth order. I heard a while back that if children are five years apart or more, they are each a "first child" rather than being a first and a last. Just another thought to add to the mix!

April said...

I am Marianne Dashwood! That was fun!

Anonymous said...

hi there,
thank you for stopping by my blog tonight and for saying that about that awesome compliment from the bookstore lady i rec'd about my first attempt of writing fiction. wow, that gave me such hope. i'm glad you came by for i have been enjoying peeking around your two websites. i like how you are offering tips to writers here. very cool. thanks, kathleen :)

Tristi Pinkston said...

Thanks for your comment, Ronda -- I answered you in the comment trail of that post.

And I'm Elinor too. :)

Julie Wright said...

I am emma woodhouse! That was a fun one! Interesting about the birth order . . . and very good to consider when thinking of characters.