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The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are
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The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  3,250 ratings  ·  462 reviews
A wealth of information on the personal characteristics attributable to the birth position among siblings is presented. The general tendencies of first borns, middle children and the baby are explored along with how to appreciate each one's strengths and weaknesses. The Birth Order Book will entertain as well as providing valuable insights to understand yourself better, im ...more
Hardcover
Published February 1st 1985 by Fleming H Revell Co (first published January 1st 1984)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Chris Giovagnoni
If the concept of birth order affecting your personality and behavior is new to you, you'll probably find this book valuable and worthwhile. Having some basic knowledge of the subject I didn't find the book to be particularly enlightening. The three things I took away from the book are: Dr. Leman is a last born and he's proud of it, Dr. Leman can usually guess your birth order within a few minutes of meeting you and Dr. Leman feels sorry for first borns and only children who usually struggle wit ...more
Tori
well. There is so much i have to say about this book, and not enough time to type it! You can believe this book or not-the choice is yours- but either way it is a QUITE entertaining read. It basically tells you,no, actually it states quite clearly that you are like __________ because you are a (insert birth order here)

For instance I learned some supposedly need to know things abou myself, givin I am a first born:
1. I am very demending, perfectionist(well maybe i am a bit of a perfectionist!:)),c
...more
Mary Mascari
I got this book on a recommendation from a friend and I'm sorry to say I was quite disappointed in it (Sorry, Kelly!). Leman's findings are vague stereotypes, backed up by anecdotal evidence mostly from his own family.

He didn't have much more insight beyond the ideas that first borns are either stern perfectionists or overly eager to please, middle children are negotiators, and the baby of the family is a charming iconoclast. He did say that the birth order can start over with large gaps betwee
...more
Robin
Sep 25, 2009 Robin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Robin by: Julie
This was the most enjoyable, most SPOT ON psycology book I've read so far. Leman does a terrific job of writing so that the concepts he presents are comprehensive, yet intellegent; without the pretention that so irritates me about many psychologists.

I was amazed at how much I could fit myself, my siblings, my parents, my husband and his family and my kids into his explainations of how birth order effect our personalities. And I love that he is not so absolute about his definitions either. They r
...more
Margaret McCamant
I picked this up on a remainder table a long time ago, just started reading it. Although it may be too much book for the material, the many funny stories about families and their quirks makes the reading go fast as we recognize ourselves and others all too easily. We all seem to fit our birth order profiles quite well: I'm a pretty classic firstborn, with that overdeveloped sense of responsibility. I'm probably more the compliant than the aggressive firstborn, with plenty of perfectionism and no ...more
J.C.
May 15, 2009 J.C. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone trying to understand siblings and inter-relationships
As I started reading this book, I thought the concept was so interesting! That is, your personality is somewhat predetermined by whether you are an only child, first-born, middle-born, or the baby. Some of it makes sense, but then he starts explaining all these "exceptions" and you start to realize he's just fooling himself to think that all first-borns are perfectionists and babies are just social butterflies. There are just too many exceptions to really believe in any of this.
Lauren
The Birth Order Book describes common roles and characteristics of each child in a family. It explains that your personality can easily be predicted simply because of the order that you fall within the other kids in your family. According to specific studies, first borns seem to be very responsible and more well rounded compared to second, third, or maybe even fourth born children. The baby of the family or the last born seems to always be fighting for attention from people. Most news anchors or ...more
Stephanie
Very interesting. This book surprised me. Lots of good information and I was not expecting to much.
Leslie
A hilarious and insightful read! I learned a lot about myself, my husband, parents, and siblings while reading this book. Though my family is a weird make up his chapters on each birth order described each of my siblings to a T (Clark and I are first born personalities, Becca is and only child, and Thayne is a Middle). Also his chapters on perfectionism were incredible! I learned a lot about myself, having never thought of myself as a perfectionist I realized that according to his definition I a ...more
Shannon
Jul 19, 2009 Shannon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shannon by: Melissa Culbreth Benson
Shelves: nonfiction
I started to give this book three stars and then thought, "Well, it's a non-fiction book that I actually read. That probably merits four stars in and of itself." While I read quite a bit, I don't read non-fiction. If a book isn't going to transport me somewhere else, I'm generally not excited about reading it. Life is real enough for me without reading about it, too.

What I enjoyed about this book was that it helped me understand myself better, which I hope will ultimately make me a better person
...more
Kristin
This was an entertaining book, and definitely held some truths within it. I wouldn't call it "life changing" by any means, but it offers some insights into how a person's position within his or her family can shape his or her personality. Most of Leman's claims come from personal experience as a father and counselor, not through any kind of scientific study (as can be easily inferred from the only 6 pages of endnotes for a 350 page book!) so while most of what he says makes sense, you won't be s ...more
Stacy Beck
I liked it and learned some things along the way. Here are somethings I liked:
* Firstborns tend to be conscientious, well organized, serious, goal oriented, achieving, people pleasers and believers in authority.
* One of the best predictions in life is that whatever the firstborn in a family is, the secondborn in the family will go in a different (and oftentimes opposite)direction.
* The bottom line is that parents expect too much of firstborns.
* A child's personality is pretty well formed by age
...more
Grace Snow
My mother-in-law forced me to read this because she claimed that it would answer all my questions about my second-born. (She herself is a second-born.) Instead, it was basically stupid and confusing. There were more exceptions than rules to his theory. Basically, almost anyone can be considered a firstborn. You just have to have more than 2 or 3 years between you and your next older sibling. Or be a different gender than your older siblings. Or.... It was extremely unhelpful, and (apparently) in ...more
Paula Dembeck
This Adlerian psychologist, author and speaker has updated his first book with some interesting additions.

His thesis is that birth order plays an important part in making people who they are and that by understanding birth order they can gain important clues about their personality, spouse, children, the kind of job they have and how they get along with their maker (if they believe they have one!). He agrees that birth order “theory” is not based on hard science and is all rather subjective but
...more
Cory
For full disclosure, I made it through only about a third of this book. While the author has some valuable insights as to how birth order affects personalities, it takes far too long to say far too little, and weakens his case unnecessarily. For example, he makes statements describing how the great majority of presidents, astronauts, clergy, and other leaders are firstborn, but then defines "firstborns" as those actually first-born, PLUS those who are the first of their own sex born to a family, ...more
Tracie
This book was just okay. I enjoyed the early chapters that laid out the theories of birth order, but wanted less self-help in the later chapters. The author became a little preachy as well as a bit sexist as the book went on.
Thomas
I would not squander time reading this book. A much better choice would be to read the work of Alfred Adler (contemporary of Freud and Jung). Adler, A. (1964). Problems of neurosis. New York: Harper and Row. If you want a simplified understanding of Adlerian thoughts on birth order influences upon personality, you would be better served to surf the internet than read Leman’s work.

Jackie
Apr 08, 2011 Jackie added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jackie by: Book group
This is a book I don’t think I would have ever picked up to read had it not been for my book group. I took a small bundle of notes and took the quiz inside that has to do with how much of a perfectionist a person is. Though I was quite skeptical reading through it, I feel it does contain a lot of general concepts about birth order that are relatively true and I'm glad I read it.
Lnzv
I was so fascinated to realize more about what factors around my birth order helped shape who I am today . The sentiment actually helps me when raising my own three children . It also has helped me understand how and where my relationship with my husband is effected by our birth orders . There are certain chapters and pages that didn't pertain to my situation....
Diana
Heaven knows I love a book with yet another explanation for why we are all so different. I've always considered myself a middle child, since I am the third of four children. However, the 11 gap between me and my next oldest sibling means that I spent most of my childhood as an oldest child. And reading this book I can definitely relate as an oldest child more than I relate as a middle and certainly am in no way a youngest child. I didn't carry the parental expectation my older sister did as the ...more
Sabra
This book cracked me up at times. It was really helpful for seeing how my children are so different and knowing more about each of their different personalities based on birth order. I actually asked a salesman that came to my door (who was very good!) if he was the baby of the family. That's how into it I am!
Denise
Absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it for everyone! If you were born, you're in it! I learned so much about myself and it was comforting to discover that things I've struggled with were part of being firstborn-nothing to do with my parents or me. Now that I understand this I can stop berating myself for not overcoming it. I can accept that it's natural for me to be that way and now I can chose to let it go. Also, I loved learning more about each of my children and my spouse and othe ...more
Joanne
This book describes people's personality/behavior based on birth order. It gives pretty good insight.

I read it to help me understand my middle child better since I couldn't relate to her.

Overall I liked the book and would reccommend it to understand both yourself and your children better.
Katie
This book gave me what I was looking for - understanding general personality traits coming out of family dynamics to aid in my child observations - however it started feeling a bit preachy toward the end of the book. If a person has not looked at who they are and why, this book might be a good place to start, but by the end of the book I was a little annoyed how pigeon holed Leman made people to prove his theory. Hid theory was a little rigid by the end of the book and I wondered how he works in ...more
Naomi
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I talk about this ALL the time. I find it fascinatingly correct. Being the oldest, it unlocks to many insights into why I am the way that I am:-)
Dawn
with the estranged family of siblings that i have- i'm always interested in how birth order relates to who we are today..
very interesting reading.. lots to learn and relate to..
L
This is my 2nd time reading this book and I still really enjoyed it & found insightful tips and information to reflect on as an individual and as a parent. Is it hard fast rules? Or strong statistical proven research? No, simply trends & commonalities that help you decipher how to interact and engage in life with others. A great book to have on the bookshelf and flagged so you can refresh or glance over when feeling stumped on how to address communication that isn't working with spouse, ...more
Michael
The title of this book makes it self-explanatory. The author used decent examples to back up his claims.
Matthew
Saying that there is science behind birth order while only providing vague examples from clinical practice and family anecdotes is akin to telling a chef at a restaurant how to cook an entre because you can see the kitchen.

Dr. Leman is certainly proud of his family and their dynamic, but their experiences alone don't make for science. The book should be more accurately presented as a collection of observations and opinions rather than science.

If you like generalizations about affluent Western
...more
Marisa
Listened on CD. I felt a lot of what he said made sense but a lot of it was BS. It seemed he was trying (and failing) to be humorous in much of the book. Making a joke that he didn't want to fly with a pilot/co-pilot that were babies of the family wasn't appreciated. It's as though birth order completely cancelled out education and experience. Also didn't appreciate his comment on Barak Obama's sister being "only a half-sister". He states that many other factors go into an individual's personali ...more
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Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally recognized psychologist, author, and media personality. He was the first to popularize Adlerian psychological concepts in the United States, which are based on birth-order and family dynamics. Dr. Leman holds Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Leman is the founder and president of "Couples of P
...more
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