Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Family Dynamics


Lately, I've had family dynamics, birth order and family roles on my mind.  It's weird that I'm (almost) 40, yet I still play a role (the Oldest, hence the wisest - heh) in my own birth family.  I think it is just something that you can never break free from, no matter how old you get, how old your siblings get, or how old your parents get...am I right?

I'm the oldest of 4.  I grew up as the Brain, the Good Girl, the One Who Did Everything By the Book.  And now I'm happily married and settled within our community and a mother of 3.  I like to think that I didn't cost my parents too many gray hairs in their lifetime.

I have 3 younger siblings.  Each one of them played (and continue to play) their own role within our family.  I think though, that when you're immersed IN it - the drama, the friction, the rivalry, the camaraderie, the joking, the sarcasm, the love...within your own family, that you tend to not see what your friends or spouses may see.  It's kind of a reality-check.  And it's very much eye-opening.

So I've recently had that sort of revelation.  That what I do and how I act within my role as the Oldest is just something I don't think about.  I just DO because it is what I've ALWAYS DONE.  But what I do (again, because I've always done it) isn't necessarily what I SHOULD be doing, or what I WANT to be doing.  It is more of a habit.  More of the role I play within my family.  More of how my family expects me to react or respond.

The good thing is that I'm conscious of my behavior now. 

Which brings me to my own little family.  It's so hard NOT to assign a role to each of my children.  It's so hard to assume that they're not going to act a certain way because that's how I expect them to act.  It's so hard to not typecast them.

My boyz' characteristics and personalities are very much typical of their birth order.  Always have been.  But are they already, at their young ages, stuck in those roles?  Because Hubby and I make it easy for them?  Because we expect it of them?

(My brain hurts.)

I really don't think there's any neat conclusion to this post.  It's just totally interesting to think about.

What's your birth family role?  What about your own children?

1 comment:

April S. said...

I totally agree! You might be interested to read my post "The Oldest Daughter" about this role in the different generations of my family. :) http://www.aprilscountrylife.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-oldest-daughter.html

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