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The Firstborn Advantage: Making Your Birth Order Work for You Hardcover – September 1, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What do Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie have in common? And how do they share that certain something with Ulysses S. Grant? They're all first-borns, and in this breezy book, psychologist and birth order expert Leman delves into how birth order influences the first-born personality and upends some conventional thinking (e.g., only children and the first child of either sex is automatically a first-born—hence Jolie who has an elder brother can be classified as such) and illustrates first-borns' classic traits: reliability, perfectionism, a penchant for list making and black-and-white thinking, some social introversion but strong leadership abilities. Gender, parental treatment and family size are just as important as chronology, argues the author, who does an admirable job balancing the hope and hype of familial ranking and integrates compelling theories about how schooling and relationships work to address how first-borns can maximize desirable personality traits and minimize liabilities. His spirited and exceptionally easy read will appeal to those readers interested in understanding better whence they came and how to move forward with success. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Inside Flap

How can you put your firstborn tendencies to work for you? The Firstborn Advantage reveals the secrets. In this fascinating book, bestselling author, humorist, and psychologist Dr. Kevin Leman shows you how to • take advantage of being a firstborn • overcome the perfectionism that holds you back • learn how to bounce back when you fail • find balance in your work and relationships • find out what you really want from life • motivate your children to do well in school without doing their homework for them • relate to others who are not firstborns--a spouse, a friend, a co-worker Whether you are the firstborn in your family or the functional firstborn, The Firstborn Advantage can help you win every time, all the time, without sacrificing your dreams in the process. Dr. Leman shows you how it's done.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Revell; 1St Edition edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800719115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800719111
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
What's your birth order? Were you a firstborn, middle child or the baby of the family? Were you an only child? No matter what your birth order, odds are that it's affecting you more than you realize. In THE FIRSTBORN ADVANTAGE, bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman helps firstborns make the very most of their birth order. Here's the fascinating twist in Leman's assessment: birth order not only deals with the ordinal position of a child but also his or her functional birth position. This means that even if you aren't the oldest in a family, you still may have firstborn tendencies that affect your outlook and approach to life.

Leman points to a variety of variables that play into birth order. For example, if you're from a large family, it's not just the oldest who is a firstborn; there are others with firstborn tendencies. The reasoning is that in a large family of six or eight or more children, the family divides down into subunits. So among the three or four youngest children, one may assume the role as the oldest.

In addition, gender can play a role in firstborn tendencies. Leman writes: "You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that if there are four boys and one girl in your family, there's something unique about one of your kids." He points out that both the oldest male and female could have firstborn traits. An age gap of five or more years can also create firstborn traits in a non-firstborn. Other factors that can influence these traits are blended families and significant mental or physical differences among children.

Why is this so important? Because even if you're not a firstborn, you may have firstborn traits. If so, this book is for you! In an easy-to-read manner, Leman takes a good look at the firstborn personality.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm married to a super first born who always had me wondering about why he does what he does. After reading this book, I have a better understanding about him and how he operates. I see things differently now, after gaining more insight into what makes him so organized & business-like. I appreciated this book for what it offered me. Although I am the middle child in my family, I bought this book to help me understand my spouse and it really did. Great read. Funny. Insightful.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This audio cd is right on target. Dr. Leman, as usual, does an excellent job in pinpointing the myriad advantages of being the first born in the family. It is true that first borns which include us onlies are more mature, conscientious, and goal oriented than later born children.

Dr. Leman is an excellent theorist and practician regarding birth order typology. However, I learned something new about the psychology of the first born-there are people with first born and/or only child characteristics although they were not technically the first borns in their respective families.

I am an only and my mother is a first born. My mother was a typical first born-she loved being in charge and believed that she was always right. As a first born, she was often in conflict with superior staff because she believed that she knew more than they did. Even though we are close, we often clashed because of our strong personalities. I, too, believe that I am right and always gloat about it. I am also fiercely ambitious and believe in achieving the highest and if not, I would be miserable. The Firstborn Advantage is an excellent read and/or a good listen. It can be purchased in either book or cd form. Please purchase this enlightening treatise on the first born experience.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My first disclosure, I'm an only child and read this to learn more about my spouse and understand her a little more. I have two children and wanted to see where my children might fall out. The first section that I took issue with was "Firstborns and Only Children". "Reliable and conscientious, they tend to be list makers and black-and-white thinkers. They have a keen sense of right and wrong and believe there is a "right way" to do things. They are natural leaders and achievement oriented. Only children take those characteristics a step further. Books are their best friends. They are mature beyond their years -- they are little adults by age 7 or 8. They work independently. And they can't understand why kids in other families fight." For the most part, I agree with this; however, making such a grand statement with no real backup of those statements. Moving to "Lastborns." I am married to a lastborn. "these social, outgoing creatures have never met a stranger. They are uncomplicated, spontaneous, humorous, and high on people skills. To them, life's a party. They're most likely to get away with murder and least likely to be punished." Now this section is early on in the book and set with me wrong. This is an assumption at this point with little fact to back it up. While it is later explained, I still believe that Dr. Leman should have remembered that grand statements need some more focus with more fact. Overall, the book is good information; however, I find that this subject needs more academic rigor. More academic resources. For me, without those resources it didn't give this book much legitimacy to me.
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