Royal Baby: How Will Birth Order Affect Kate Middleton's Third Child?

Clinical psychologist Dr. Jolie Silva explains how being the youngest of three will affect the newborn.

Kids will be kids, but how with birth order affect the royal baby?

As Duchess Kate Middleton and Prince William prepare to welcome their third-born, the royal family and onlookers alike may be wondering what sorts of personality traits, hobbies or career paths their youngest will take on.

While it’s hard to say who exactly the latest royal baby will grow up to be, clinical psychologist Dr. Jolie Silva of New York Behavioral Health discussed how birth order may affect their newborn.

Citing Adler’s birth order theory, Silva told that some of the markers of the youngest or third-born child is that they tend to be agreeable, open and rebellious.

“Agreeableness, meaning when they grow up to be adults they might be viewed as more trustworthy, as moral, do better in team-building types of tasks and altruism and those types of things," she explained. "There is also some correlation between the youngest child and openness — openness to new experiences, which might lead to artistic kind of careers."

Silva continued, "The youngest tends to be more rebellious — now that might not necessarily be a negative quality, but it might be something that brings on more imagination and more creativity."

In terms of Prince George, as the first born, Silva anticipates he may strive for high achievement and be more conscientious, traits he already shows at a young age.

“From what I’ve read that William reports about George, he is very bright and very verbal about things," she said. "He is inquisitive and curious and shares, which is wonderful as a 4-year-old."

Silva added that many of his first-born qualities emulate that of Prince William, the older sibling to Prince Harry.

"As far as birth order and its effect on William being a father […] he seems to be super conscientious about his children," Silva said. "He seems to try to do the things he is supposed to do as far as being a good father, in which case that makes sense as far as being a high achiever."

Princess Charlotte, as the middle child, shows traits of being more sociable as her interactions with her mom Kate Middleton appear to already demonstrate.

"I read about Charlotte being really close to her mom, which is very typical for a 2-year-old,” Silva said. “I heard about her being her mom’s shadow."

While Silva predicts Charlotte might become jealous of the younger sibling because of this bond between her and her mom, Silva said she foresees George being a protective older brother to the newborn because of his experience with sharing his parents with Charlotte.

"He has already been exposed to that," Silva said. "He might show more of a nurturing kind of behavior towards the baby."

However, Silva said George was probably bitten by the jealousy bug worse when Charlotte was born.

To help older siblings better adjust to a newborn, Silva suggests parents write a note from the baby.

“When mom is pregnant or even right after the baby is born, [they can] write a note from the baby to the older sister, 'I am so excited to meet you, I’m so excited to play with you,'" she said.

But growing up as members of the royal family and even children in full view of the world will unite the siblings and even affect their personalities as they get older.

"Children who grow up in the public eye are being watched a lot more than people who don’t grow up in the public eye," she explained. “It would only make sense that it affected their behavior to some degree."

Silva said the phenomenon is called social facilitation, where children in the public eye perform familiar or simpler tasks better, but unfamiliar or more complex tasks worse.

"[They] are maybe more self-conscious about their behaviors, maybe wanting to strive for more perfect behaviors than a typical child would do," she explained.

Becoming a mother in the public eye, Silva said, comes with its own set of circumstances, but Middleton has more than proven herself as a capable mother, especially by the way she reacts to George and Charlotte throwing tantrums in public.

"[Tantrums are] not fun for a kid — they are doing it because they are not able to regulate their emotions because their brains aren’t developed yet," Silva said. "Kate addresses the tantrum behavior, or what we call the emotional deregulation of toddlers, She seems to address is immediately, which is excellent, that’s what you want a mother or father to do.”

The benefit with the three siblings being this close in age, Silva said, is that they can be peer companions to each other.

"One of the advantages is they are playmates and they learn how to share and they learn how to socially interact and they learn how to take turns," she explained. "They learn how to build that into their family unit."

As three times the duties come with the third child, Silva’s one big word of advice to the duchess: Keep calm and carry on.

"Parents parent based on what their emotions are, to keep their emotions calm and collected is the best advice you could give someone expecting a third," she said. "Even if it’s for a couple minutes a day, practice skills to stay calm and to stay regulated."


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