Why Are My Kids So Different?

by | Oct 24, 2019 | Family

Please share!

By Dr. Kim Grengs, Parent Coach

Do you ever wonder why your children are so different, but have the same biological parents?  I do! I have three children, the youngest is 18 and the oldest is 23; two boys and a girl- she is the oldest. They are all so different in many ways, so what I would do for one to help and support would be different than the other two. Why are my kids so different? Is it because of their birth order or how I parented them- or both? I always thought that I would be better at parenting with each child. I was totally wrong. 

mom kissing baby with girl looking on- why are my kids so different?

All three are very different in temperament. For example ,my daughter was very strong willed and still is to this day. My middle child is very driven in being the best at everything and will push himself, sometimes too hard, to be the best. And my youngest, who was the one that had tantrums as a toddler, is my most mellow young adult ever. He goes with the flow and doesn’t let much bother him at all. So as I was realizing that my children were all very different and had the same mom and dad, I looked into birth order. 

So is it true that birth order has an impact on children? Birth order can have a big impact on a child’s emotions and actions. Because of where they are in the family order it may cause them to have different experiences. For example, parents have high expectations for the first born because they have nothing to compare it to so they shoot for the moon. An example of this is thinking my oldest would be potty trained by two and by the last child I was happy if he was potty trained by four years of age. 


  • Ambitious
  • Organized
  • Leader

A trait of the oldest child is taking  on the leadership role. My daughter also took on the parenting role when her brothers were born. She wanted to hold and feed them, and change their diaper like her parents. 


  • Peacemaker
  • Leader
  • Perfectionist

The middle child is doesn’t get the attention like the first born because there are two children now instead of one. So the middle child finds a way to get the attention from others, which may be friends or others. My middle child did exactly that and still has an intimate group of friends that he has had since fourth grade. They also experience the older sibling getting attention for trying new things that they are unable to do yet and the youngest getting attention because they cannot physically do the same things as the other two. Being the oldest boy, he took on the leadership role too. He is ambitious and studies all the time. But when we have a family meeting or disagreement he is always the first one to try and make peace with everyone. 


  • Social
  • Out-going
  • Fun Loving

Last, but not least, the youngest child is usually the crowd pleaser. They usually were coddled from the older siblings and given a lot of attention based on their birth order. On the other hand, parents were more lenient because they have more experience in parenting. As a result of having two other children the youngest usually was expected to go and do whatever everyone else in the family was doing. This gave them the opportunity to reach out and be social with more people than the other two. This explains my third child because he is the one that is very social and outgoing. He is the best at communicating with others and will go out of his way to say hi to people. 

Why are my kids so different?

The lesson learned for me is that I need to respond differently with all of them. How I respond needs to be unique to that child. The best thing a parent can do is to provide each child with their own time and making sure to know them as individuals. 

If you still feel like you need more support or a listening ear please know that parent coaching may be the perfect fit for you. Parent coaching is available to support you with another perspective and help you make confident decisions in parenting. Schedule your free consultation today!  

Join the conversation in our Facebook Group.

Additional Resources

Other posts you may be interested in

Parent Reactions To Holiday Stress

Holiday stress is everywhere! Of course your stress increases at the holidays! You're a parent. You can find many articles, blogs, podcasts and...

Build Your Teen’s Self Esteem

Parenting teens is tough work. You want your teens to feel confident in their skin. The teenage years can be the most challenging for kids and their...

7 Easy Table Manners Every Kid Should Know

By Lisa Edwards, Parent Coach With any large celebration or holiday, you may find yourself, with your children seated around a large dinner table...

Building Gratitude Around The Holidays

Are you worried about your child feeling spoiled, or ungrateful around the holidays?  It is the season of giving, but also a season of “gimme”. ...

How To Handle Family Holidays With An Anxious Child

The holidays are just around the corner.  A time for joy and merriment.  But if your child struggles with anxiety, holidays or big family events can...

What’s The Importance of Family?

Do you want to be a mediocre parent? Of course not! You want to be the best parent possible. You want to be a champion at parenting. Which means...

Boundaries Are Good For Children!

Boundaries are good for children and parents.Boundaries create a loving family culture based on mutual respect, fairness, cooperation, and kindness.

What To Do When Siblings Fight

Do siblings fight at your house? Sibling arguing is totally normal. One moment they are playing together and having fun, the next moment they are...

What To Do When Your Teen Doesn’t Like You

We've all been there.  Feeling like your teen doesn't like you at all.  Maybe they are yelling at you?  Maybe they are ignoring you?  Maybe they are...