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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to understand my kids, learned about myself too!
I bought this book because I was pregnant with my third, and I wanted to avoid my children falling into the "stereotypical" birth order roles. I no longer feel that my youngest daughter's new middle role is the kiss of death. I learned how to handle my oldest's perfectionist tendancies without causing her to lose heart when things don't go right.
Probably the best...
Published on September 26, 2002

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108 of 119 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent presentation
This book is a general overview of Leman's beliefs about birth order, personality development, and family relationships. It is organized into 5 parts: introduction, first-borns, later-borns, marriage and birth order, and parenting and birth order. At the end of the book are end-note references and a short list of other works by Dr. Leman, as well as his contact...
Published on May 11, 2004 by Amazon Customer


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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to understand my kids, learned about myself too!, September 26, 2002
By A Customer
I bought this book because I was pregnant with my third, and I wanted to avoid my children falling into the "stereotypical" birth order roles. I no longer feel that my youngest daughter's new middle role is the kiss of death. I learned how to handle my oldest's perfectionist tendancies without causing her to lose heart when things don't go right.
Probably the best thing though, is I learned something about myself (a firstborn) and my husband (a middle child) which has helped us work together in our marriage and in parenting. I also learned how to drop the firstborn critical perfectionism expectations with my children and myself.
My only complaint is that he uses much of the book as an autobiography on his life as the "baby" of the family and also a biography on his children and their roles in his unique family. He does spend alot of time on firstborns and only children- which can be gratifying to those of us in that category- talking about how they can overcome the negatives of their family birth order and the positives of their birth order, including all the wonderful job opportunities that first borns have due to their ingrown leadership skills and sense of responsibility. But he does not do the same for middle's and babies. Leaving them somewhat more of a mystery to me. If he ever redoes the book, I would urge him to give the other birth orders the same in depth review and less about his personal experiences which are definately not general enough for the general audience.
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108 of 119 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent presentation, May 11, 2004
This review is from: Birth Order Book (Paperback)
This book is a general overview of Leman's beliefs about birth order, personality development, and family relationships. It is organized into 5 parts: introduction, first-borns, later-borns, marriage and birth order, and parenting and birth order. At the end of the book are end-note references and a short list of other works by Dr. Leman, as well as his contact information if you would like to schedule him for a speaking engagement.
Leman summarizes his own and others' work on birth order and personality development. He claims that first-borns and only children tend to be well-organized and reliable perfectionists, middle-borns loyal and independent mediators, and last-borns charming and manipulative people persons, and that these characteristics can be traced directly to the family dynamics resulting from the addition of each individual child to the family. He notes that while many readers or attendees to his seminars may be reluctant to go along with these generalizations, he observes that specific birth orders tend to be over-represented in certain professions, such as first-borns as academic architects and last-borns as used car sales people. He notes that first-borns tend to seek professional counseling more often than others because they are such stressed-out perfectionists, and that middle-borns tend to grow up to be relatively well-adjusted (perhaps because they had ample opportunities to learn to deal with unfairness as youngsters). In each of his descriptive chapters, he offers self-help advice for a happier approach to daily life. He also suggests which birth-order pairs are likely to result in better marital relations, and he provides parenting advice for children specific to their birth orders (drawing heavily from and strongly promoting another of his books entitled Making Your Children Mind So You Don't Lose Yours).
Leman's style of writing in this book is very informal and anecdotal. He doesn't present or acknowledge any specific research findings concerning birth orders and personality. He also gives no consideration to other factors affecting personality development such as genetics or family environmental factors beyond birth order. At the end of many chapters, he brings in a spiritual dimension, but these passages often come across as pasted on, since they are not well integrated with the rest of the text. Despite these flaws, the book is still somewhat informative, and it can provide the general reader a basic understanding of the theory of birth order and its affect on personality development.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Know Who You Know Better and How To Get Along With Others..., February 8, 2006
By 
L. Mullins "StylishGirl" (Atlanta, GA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Birth Order Book, The: Why You Are the Way You Are (Paperback)
I read this book when I was in college studying to be a teacher and once I was in the classroom with children, I was amazed at how I could figure out the birth order of each child in my classroom within the first week. Years later, I find myself working in Corporate America and the same holds true. No matter our age, gender or race... our birth order truly sets us with a pattern of characteristics that follow us through life and can assist everyone in how to work better with others if you have this knowledge. I think it should be a required reading for anyone in management or customer service as well as anyone who works with children or has even one child. Knowledge is power and better understanding our fellow man is a step towards peace. Give it a try!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A let-down, July 13, 2001
By 
I purchased this book because I wanted to understand more about my birth order (2nd born/last of two). I quickly found myself frustrated with the first chapters because the focus seemed to be on the first born.
Also, Dr. Leman spends way too much time in most chapters talking about himself, his childhood, his kids, etc. He tries to explain his theories through hypothetical family breakdowns (none of which fit my own!) instead of giving statistics and probability figures.
The most useful pieces of the book are the "trait" diagrams for firstborn, middle, and last born personality types that show strengths and weaknesses. Also, he has a good chapter to help perfectionists deal with extremes and understand that excellence is a more attainable goal.
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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Just Birth Order, January 19, 2000
By 
A. Holder "meemergirl1" (Florida, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the type of book that makes a lightbulb pop over your head. You will understand yourself more, as well as your family. Leman is funny and extremely down to earth in his writing style (and I love his Christian references). He also includes very sound advice on relating to and parenting certain birth orders. I just finished this book, and I now want to read his "Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours".
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have a clearer outlook on my 3 boys and my own personality, August 25, 1999
By A Customer
I love this book. I felt like such a failure in the kiddos department, I have 3 boys and I thought the way they were and their personalities were so different and strange, I was sure they were just my failures. I read this book and it was all put into perspective. These personality differences were actually just typical for their birth order and for that matter my personality and hang ups were typical for my birth order. It just all made so much more sense after reading this book and since I have read this book, I have bought 3 other copies and given them to friends. I recommend this book all of the time.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen up, counselors!, February 15, 2000
As a mental health counselor who works with parents with children birth - 4, I use birth order in most of my sessions. It helps parents understand the differences between their children and APPRECIATE THOSE DIFFERENCES! Birth order also helps parents understand their "own place" growing up with their siblings. As a twin myself, birth order is RIGHT ON TARGET! I recommend this book to everybody!
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent study, October 22, 2000
By 
Kate Slan (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
My friends get sick of me recommending Dr. Leman's books. Quite frankly, they are all excellent, this one being no exception.
This is an excellent study in birth order psychology, and I would recommend it to anyone. Not only did Dr. Leman's book make me realise I was a perfectionistic FREAK, but it helped me become OK with myself.
Dr. Leman's research is excellent, and his writing style is funny, personal and very easy to read. I have found his conclusions ring true again and again, and I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to learn more about themselves or the people around them.
I have read several of Dr. Leman's books, all of which I would recommend. He is an excellent psychologist and an excellent author.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Birth Order Book Review, October 15, 2002
There are many aspects which affect the way a person will behave in life. Most people point to genetics, environment, or other variables as reasons people develop the personalities they have. However, The Birth Order Book by K. Leman introduces a new factor to consider when investigating the origin of someone's personality. This book cites the order in which one is born as the primary factor in deciding one's personality. The book is a very interesting and entertaining read for anyone.
Everyone from firstborns to middle children to lastborns will find The Birth Order Book both interesting and informative. The book can also help anyone deal with anyone else by teaching them to better understand the other birth orders. It will also help a person to better understand and improve upon themselves. Firstborns will find ways to get over their perfectionism, in the same way as lastborns will find ways to concentrate more and `tone it down a little'.
The Birth Order Book's best attribute is its sections on marriage and parenting. This part of the book is perhaps most helpful because it can teach couples to work together according to their differing birth orders. It gives a run through of just about every birth order combination and how they can have the most effective and happy marriage. The section that concerns parenting is also very helpful. It lets parents know that every child should not be treated the same; rather, they should be parented according to their birth order personality.
The Birth Order Book is a great read for anyone and everyone who wants to improve upon their life. The way Leman informs us about a certain birth order and then relates it back to his own experiences make the book interesting and entertaining.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So that's what's wrong w/ your siblingď¿˝.., March 17, 2004
If you ever wondered why your older sister screamed at you for misplacing her nail polish or why your bratty little brother couldn't sit still at the dinner table, the two of you would do well to read this book. Author and psychologist Kevin Leman, a last born child, investigates the psychology of birth order, which deems that our sex and where we fall among our siblings can have profound affects on our attitudes and behavior. He provides plenty of examples from his own family and ensures that you aren't the only one who thinks your siblings need straightening out.
The whys of each "birth order," i.e. first born, middle child, last born, only child, are examined. First borns and only children, for example, can be pressured from a young age to act as little adults because they don't have the benefit of interaction with siblings. Hence, they often fill leadership positions. Middle children prove to be great mediators because they have learned to juggle the extremes of older and younger siblings, while last borns capitalize on the mistakes of their older brothers and sisters.
This book is an amusing yet insightful read. In addition to explaining "why you are the way you are," Leman suggests how we can adopt the positive qualities of other birth orders to make our lives more enjoyable and fulfilling. As he carefully points out, birth order psychology is not a sure bet on everyone you encounter in life, but what you pick up from his book will leave you with some pretty good guesses.
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Birth Order Book, The: Why You Are the Way You Are
Birth Order Book, The: Why You Are the Way You Are by Kevin Leman (Paperback - September 1, 2004)
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