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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

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  5,888 ratings  ·  716 reviews
With insight and wit, Dr. Leman offers readers a fascinating and often funny look at how birth order affects personality, marriage and relationships, parenting style, career, and children.
Paperback, 362 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Fleming H. Revell Company (first published January 1st 1984)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  5,888 ratings  ·  716 reviews


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Mary Mascari
Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Tori
Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Any Length
Apr 08, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discarded
I give this book one star for managing to fool a number of people into believing the authors ridiculous ideas.
Here is what Leman did. I shall create three basic character types. I shall call one the first born, one the middle/second born, and one the baby (or last born). Then I claim to know which one you fit in. Say I call you a first born. Then when I find that you are not a first born I shall redefine my theory, by making you a first born by proxy because you either switched identities with y
...more
J.C.
Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  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. ...more
Robin
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Stacy Beck
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Margaret McCamant
Mar 11, 2013 rated it liked it
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
SoulSurvivor
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow , I read this book in the mid-1980s ! It was a pretty popular book in those days and seems to have played out in my experience . Today's child psychologists would probably disagree with his analysis , but I enjoyed it way back when . ...more
Grace Snow
Sep 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Angie Libert
I read this book years ago and really enjoyed it. I came back to it because I was hoping to gain greater insight into my children and how to parent them within their birth order but the book was not that helpful. Really nothing on middle born children. Most of the last born child info was all about the author's experience. In fact, a good portion of the book was just about the author's personal experience of birth order. I guess I was hoping for something less anecdotal and more philosophical. I ...more
Tracie
Oct 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Stephanie *Eff your feelings*
Apr 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Very interesting. This book surprised me. Lots of good information and I was not expecting to much.
Josh Broccolo
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting observations on how birth order affects people throughout their lives from the lens of a clinical psychologist. While I think the conclusions are a bit too broad to make assumptions about particular people (although I suppose I would have the opposite critique were Leman to assert hard and fast rules), it's always interesting to learn about how others think.
What stuck out to me most about the book is the effect of parenting and "nurture" on a young child. In essence, all of Leman's f
...more
Kiri Dawn
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Lehman isn't as funny as he thinks he is (or perhaps I don't share his brand of humor), but his assessment of birth order was fascinating and easy to see in my own family and friends. Many reviews criticize this book for keeping birth order generalized, but he does it well and intentionally. Birth order is not a firm mold; it is merely a general pattern that can be worked out differently in each family.

I listened to this book on audiobook, but I would like to get my hands on a paper copy. Th
...more
Mandy
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
The author was completely accurate when explaining the firstborn child (myself and my son), the middle child (my daughter and husband), and the marriage dynamic of a middle child and firstborn (my marriage). My youngest did not fit the mold of the last born child, but I believe that has a lot to do with her being parented by an oldest and having two oldest siblings. The theory behind the birthing order is fascinating and clears up so many questions regarding family dynamics. The last few chapter ...more
Mallory
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my sisters, friends with kids
Loved it! What neat psychology. I learned a great deal about myself and how I see the world and why I'm different from my younger sisters in how I approach life. There are chapters that didn't apply to me right now about raising a family, but I listened to them anyway and found them fascinating all the same. Also appreciated the information on birth order and marriage compatibility. Easy and fun to listen to. ...more
Varina Denman
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was so interesting, not only in regard to myself but also my children and siblings. I actually read it as research for a novel I'm writing (about sisters), but I enjoyed it a lot. Nice surprise. ...more
Nikki
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book very interesting. It connects a persons character with their birth order. It’s not too generic, Lehman personalizes it based on different family situations. The only issue I had with the book is that the author likes to pat himself on the back.
Candice
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great book full of truth and humor. Very enlightening. I wish I would've read this years ago. I recommend this book to anyone with children! ...more
Tiana
Oct 05, 2017 marked it as unfinished
If you like biased stereotypes coming from a very self-congratulatory narrator, then this book is for you.
Josh
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read

Walked away with some good guidelines as to why I function the way I do. A little long, but Worth the read.
Dorothy Alva
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great book (should have read it 30 years ago) but very insightful. Gave me a lot to think about myself, my kids and my spouse. Would like to read some of his other books.
Julia Klarman litwiller
This book is appropriate for Christians who have three or more children and happened to be scared of vasectomies and amazed by ending up with new children at 48 years old. I went into the book hoping they were going to talk more about two children families but he really glossed over that topic. It was an interesting, fast audiobook and made housework a little easier to get done.
Lissette H
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great book, you will definitely will start understanding people and their peculiar behaviors!!
Michelle Halliwell
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very interesting. I am not sure if birth order is as important as Leman makes it out to be. Nevertheless, this book gives us much insight into family dynamics and how they tend to shape the individual.
Maureen Russell
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating look at families and birth order and how one influences the other. Really helped me see my twins in a different, more realistic light (even though the time spent on multiple births was about a paragraph). Also helped me figure out some things about myself! Definitely had some ah-ha moments! Would recommend it to anyone.
Slayermel
I found this book really interesting, and found myself thinking a lot about the birth order of my sisters and I, as well as our Parents. It seemed to shed a little light on why our personalities are the way they are. I'm definitely interested in how some of my coworkers fit into this.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who finds birth order interesting.
I do like that there are layers to it, it's not all black and white. Age gaps between the children make a difference as well as th
...more
Emily
Dec 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a lot I liked about this book. I would actually recommend it to parents because I think it's really important for us to be aware of the patterns that our kids fall into because of their birth order, and how we can help them avoid developing many major weaknesses of their birth order.

That said, I think the author gives a little too much weight to birth order. He does admit that birth order is only one aspect of personality, but he also acts as though knowing someone's birth order tells
...more
Caitlin O'Neill
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read. It really nailed both me and my sister and had a lot of great information and stories. Informative and entertaining. I laughed out loud at least 15 times.
Shannon
Jul 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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Dr. Kevin Leman, an internationally known psychologist, radio and television personality, and speaker, has taught and entertained audiences worldwide with his wit and commonsense psychology. The best-selling and award-winning author has made house calls for hundreds of radio and television programs, including The View with Barbara Walters, The Today Show, Oprah, CBS's The Early Show, Live with Reg ...more

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