Loan or Gift Amongst Families

Loan or Gift Amongst Families - Disinherited

Zellweger v Zellweger 2018 BCSC 1227 discussed inter alia the criteria for determining if monies advanced within the family context are a loan or a gift.

Zellweger cited Byrne v Byrne 2015 BCSC 318 at para. 43 in which the court sets out the relevant factors for determining whether funds advanced in a family law context are loans or gifts:

“These were addressed in Kuo v Chu 2009 BCCA 405 at para. 9 , where the Court of Appeal adopted the factors described in Locke v Locke 2000 BCSC 1300 as applicable to the question of whether alone or gift was intended:

• Whether there were any contemporaneous documents evidencing a loan;
• whether the manner for repayment is specified;
• whether there is security held for the loan;
• whether there are advances to one child and not others, or advances of on equal amounts to various children;
• whether there has been any demand for payment before the separation of the parties;
• whether there has been any partial repayment; and, whether there was any expectation, or likelihood of repayment.

After reviewing the facts of the case, the judge in the Zellweger decision held that the funds were properly characterized as loans.

In Berry v. Page (1989) 38 BCLR (2d) 244 BCCA the appeal court discussed the importance of properly characterizing the nature of alone in order to determine when the limitation period under the previous Limitation Act begins to run:

“the characterization of the loan as either a contingent loan or demand loan determines whether or not the action is statute barred under the Limitation act. It is well-established of the cause of action accrues, and the statute of limitation runs, from the earliest time at which repayment can be required. For demand loan, the statute of limitations runs as of the date of the advancement of the funds, and not from the date of the demand. No demand is necessary in order for the cause of action to arise.”

Dysfunctional Families: Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry in Dysfunctional Families and Estate Litigation

In estate litigation, what euphemistically might be called “sibling rivalry” but in a dysfunctional family, often in reality borders on sibling hatred and jealousies.

In some species, fortunately not humans, the firstborn is known to deliberately kill the second born.

Sibling rivalry can happen in any family, but is particularly common in dysfunctional families when individual children have had negative experiences in childhood. These might be the death of a parent, drug or alcohol addictions, a narcissistic parent, a step parent who is abusive or non-loving, and many other factors that are prevalent in dysfunctional families.

Any lack of a nurturing environment in childhood and the experience of having to go without something so essential to a child as love and bonding, will have a very detrimental effect in adulthood.

If one child or more is favoured over the others, this severely heightens the probability of extreme sibling rivalry that might start in childhood in matters such as fighting over a toy that later may lead to protracted bitter litigation over a parents inheritance.

In my experience most siblings seek a fair and equitable share of their parents inheritance which in most case means exactly equal, and will resent, and even litigate rather than accept that one or more siblings will inherit a greater share of a parents in the absence of reasonable and rational reasons, such as a major disability.

After 45 years of dealing with inheritance litigation among siblings, I note that most sibling disputes can be rather simplistically reduced to the perception that where one sibling inherits more than another, that sibling was loved more by the deceased parent, and that is simply intolerable to the sibling who received less.

In simple terms money and asset division are equated with the level of parental love and approval.

Invariably in any family the children will spend more time with each other and get to know each other better than they will with their parents. Children confide their secrets with each other and grow up knowing how to “push each other’s buttons “far more than most parents are aware.

It is probably only natural that each child seeks as much love and attention as possible from his or her parents, even if it is to the exclusion of siblings.
If a child actually receives more love and attention than other children in the family, it can lead to greater senses of entitlement to share in the parent’s wealth and estate.

I hear the word greed in my office on an almost daily basis when my clients describe the opposing party, who is commonly a sibling. Invariably I also hear that he or she has always been that way, even as a child.

The problem that arises in estate litigation, is that the family greed or sense of entitlement greatly interferes detrimentally with the healthy family unit and instead tends to fracture it .

The breakup of the family unit in recent years has eroded to the point where there are now more blended families than ever, which is a breeding ground for increased sibling estate litigation.

Probably the most difficult sibling rivalry cases are situations where one child has either never left home and became a long time caregiver for a parent, or alternatively, the one child who wants to operate the family farm whereas the others cannot wait to vacate the farm and move to the city.

The remaining siblings while appreciative that their sibling has undertaken the thankless role of either parental caregiving or managing the family farm, and are often dumbfounded when following the death of the parent, it is found that license has been taken with the parent’s resources, or that the caregiver has unilaterally placed a price tag on his or her low by seeking compensation for caring for the parent.

Very often the parent obliges by putting the property into joint tenancy with a right of survivorship with the child who remained at home.

The other siblings invariably take the view that while the caregiver or farm operator has in fact carried out the activity that the parent may have asked for and required, they invariably point out that that child lived room and board free and had and eye on inheriting the entire parents estate.

Estate litigation has been increasing in the last two decades at an almost exponential rate, as the wealth of the older generation increases and the Boomer generation wants to retire with enough wealth to live happily ever after.

Estate disputes arise for a number of reasons, but are very often the result of real or perceived preferential treatment by a parent of one sibling over another.

The so-called greed among siblings is not just all about the money but instead is also a way of validating or not validating parental love and affection.
The division of assets under a parents will often becomes the lightning rod for years of underlying sibling emotions. The parent’s will becomes something much larger than paper dolling out bequests –it is perceived as a monetary quantification of a parent’s love and approval or alternatively distrust and disappointment in a child.

To avoid estate litigation, parents should strive to divide their assets equally between their children, or to at least communicate well in advance to reach child why there may not be an equal division and provide supporting reasons for doing so.

Quiz: Is Your Family Dysfunctional?

Quiz: Is Your Family Dysfunctional?

I have blogged many articles on aspects of dysfunctional families and thought it might be helpful to have a questionnaire to assist in analyzing just how dysfunctional ones family might be.

The list of course is not exhaustive and is simply an indicator as to whether one’s own family is dysfunctional or not.

If you suspect your family is dysfunctional, then you are probably correct. Every family is somewhat dysfunctional, even the most communicative and loving are on some level. Other families are simply toxic from the start and that function may be perpetuated through generations.


Dysfunctional families: 17 questions to ask yourself

1. Do members of your family go long periods of time without communicating with each other? Particularly when angry over something supposedly slight.

Obviously communication is better than non communication and counselling can help a great deal to overcome this particular problem;

2. Did you experience favouritism by your parents? Were one or more children treated substantially different as favourites from the others?

This obviously should not happen as in an ideal family children are treated equally in all aspects, particularly when it comes to reward and punishment.

3. Do members of your family abuse alcohol and/or drugs – particularly your parents?

4. Is the household full of sarcasm, insults, yelling matches and other inappropriate forms of communication?

Simple things such as teasing about one’s weight or other sensitive issues can go a long ways to causing problems within the family that can last a very long time;

5. Did your family ever discuss negative emotions or negative mishaps and instead express emotions such as love and caring?

Many dysfunctional families display behaviour known as passive aggressive behaviour.

6. Did your parents ever listen to your problems are your siblings problems? Or were they simply never interested or around for counselling?

7. Were you raised by other siblings or relatives rather than your actual parents?

8. Did you miss out on your childhood by assuming adult responsibilities at a very early age?

The roles that you and your brothers and sisters had as children will often impact relationships with each other and possible mates into the future.

9. Was money a very sensitive topic in the family? Particularly when there is not enough for social activities and the necessities of the children.

10. Were there mental health issues in the family that were typically avoided and not discussed?

11. Was one or more parents overly controlling?

12. Was one or more parents verbally, emotionally, physically or sexually abusive?

13. Did your parents show interest in you by attending school events, or sporting events in support of yourself?

14. Did your family take holidays together and if so, where they pleasurable or disastrous?

15. Were you raised in a so-called blended family where your parents had been involved with multiple partners and have multiple families?

16. Do family members dread seeing each other and rarely see or communicate with each other?

17. Was any form of abuse, particularly physical or sexual ever discussed openly amongst the family or was it hidden and never to be discussed?

Dysfunctional Families: Cultural Differences

Dysfunctional Families: Cultural Differences

I was in mediation last week with a Southeast Asian family where I represented four daughters in an inheritance dispute against their two brothers.

The sole asset in the estate was a proximally 75 acres of farmland, upon which all of the siblings had worked since early childhood doing hard manual labor. In addition to that labour the daughters also did most of the housework and cooking and in later life most of the caregiving further elderly parents.
After both parents died the daughters were left $150,000 each, and the two sons approximately $4.5 million each.

There had always been a great deal of bitterness between the daughters in the sons and the disproportionate inheritance only accelerated and inflamed what had always been a dysfunctional family, largely due to cultural differences in the treatment of the two boys over the four  girls.

It is not uncommon in Southeast Asian cultures for the parents to leave most if not all of their assets to either the oldest son, or alternatively to the sons, and provide very little to the daughters.

Apparently the rationale for this behavior is a “cultural norm” based on the daughters will marry and be taken care of by their husband.

Similarly, in Islamic cultures there is Sharia law, where in inheritance situations women are typically awarded one third in comparison to two thirds awarded to the men.

I have over the years, met with many embittered women who wish to challenge the distribution under their parents will but feel tremendous guilt and social pressure not to do so.

In such  situations the family can only be described as dysfunctional and upon closer examination, the women will invariably tell me many episodes of behavior that by Western standards can only be described as very  dysfunctional and even abusive.

Even when many cultures are functional at home, this can drastically change when a child, typically a daughter, marries someone outside of their culture or religion.

In my previous example involving the South East Asian family, three of the daughters agreed to an arranged marriage, while one of them married a beloved Caucasian.

As a result of she was barred from any family contact for over 20 years.

It is clear that one should never underestimate the depth of the roots of one’s culture and upbringing as a breach of same may very well involve a breakup of the family.

I have even witnessed relatively calm and functional families explode into almost violent litigation over the funeral service of a deceased when there is a division of religious practices within the family.

In British Columbia S.60 of the Wills, Estates and Succession act (WESA) allows a disinherited child, such as a daughter in favour of a son to challenge the distribution of the will, which may very well be varied by the court in favour of the daughter so as to provide a more equal distribution.

The courts in British Columbia have stated that despite cultural norms that may exist in other societies and other countries, the law of British Columbia will be applied rather than the laws or norms of that culture that may exist in their place of origin.

4 Unhealthy Roles Created in Dysfunctional Families

4 Unhealthy Roles Created in Dysfunctional Families

It is well-established that dysfunctional families create some very unhealthy roles for its participants.

It is beyond doubt that early childhood trauma and its wounding effects are carried well into adulthood for the remainder of one’s life.

I venture to say that most “street people” are there as a result of being  the victims of a dysfunctional family that cause them to live a life of drug or alcohol addiction and various forms of antisocial behavior.

The dysfunctional family itself may be affected from a range of afflictions such as mental illness, drug or alcohol dependency, extremely poor parenting skills and many other factors  that give rise to a range of conflict, neglect, manipulation and abuse of all sorts.

Some of the basic roles of personal behavior that arise from the dysfunctional family may be categorized according to the list below (though not exhaustive).

Common roles within dysfunctional families:

1. The Loser

The loser is often identified by one or both parents at an early age, and the label may stick for the remainder of the child’s life. The loser typically has difficulty in school for a variety of reasons, and likely will have difficulty in obtaining and maintaining employment.

Losers  seem to impulsively get into trouble, and may even develop various personality disorders or mental illnesses which may be more extreme than would normally have been expected if he or she had roots in  a “normal” and not dysfunctional family. The loser often chooses a series of inappropriate partners who have their own serious problems and are dysfunctional in their own particular way.

The loser is typically criticized throughout his or her life by their parents and likely also their siblings. The loser may become dependent or try and become dependent for financial assistance and emotional help from his or her parents, and in certain circumstances end up living with their parents throughout their adult life.


2. The Good Son and Dutiful Daughter

The “good son and the dutiful daughter” always do the right thing for which they receive laudatory acknowledgment and compliments, but invariably their self-sacrifice comes at  great cost to their own happiness and personal development.

These individuals have always been “perfect” in the sense they did well in school, never got in trouble, always did what they were told, and went  the extra mile to please their parents. They often end up selfless caretakers for their parents at the expense of their own partners and family.

They become the fixers for the family’s problems, and while they appear to be extremely self sufficient, they are often sad and unfulfilled individuals.


3. The Escapists

The escapists simply always wants to never be around the family and becomes deeply involved in virtually any activity to an extreme, so as to avoid being around the home and its conflict.

Escapists typically leave home early and may move far away from their family and remain distant. While they can physically remove themselves from the dysfunctional family turmoil, they cannot escape the anger and hurt that dwells within them.

Their denial of their feelings develops early in childhood and may well continue into their own adult lives, so as to deny adult emotional intimacy. They typically fail to connect on a deep personal level with friends and partners.


4. The Rebel

We all know a rebel-they are easily identifiable at a very young age. They are the ones who are sent to the office in elementary school and likely suspended from high school. They may be involved with drugs, gang life, early pregnancy, and have an attitude that “rules are to be broken and ignored”.

They are the “bad girls and bad boys” who are acting out and often self-destructive behavior, bullying, or simply a caustic attitude.

Rebels are often scapegoated by the family as their behavior often warrants negative attention in negative affection. While other rebels may look up to them and acknowledge them as peers, they internally often feel empty and unworthy long into adulthood.

Dysfunctional Families: Depersonalization Disorder

Dysfunctional Families: Depersonalization Disorder

Most of my clients at come from what generally might be described as dysfunctional families that ultimately result in a disinheritance for a number of complex reasons.

Part of my job as an estate litigation lawyer is to try and understand the complexity of the family from which my client has presented him or herself so that I can better both understand the client and the potential approach to resolution of their claim.

I occasionally am told by a client of that his or her parent was unable to express any feelings of love or warmth, especially to his or her children.

The emotional coldness may be caused by any number of factors, but could also be as a result of a depersonalization disorder from which approximately 1 and 100 people suffer.

I am certainly not a psychologist or psychiatrist, so I am not quick to put a label on what caused my client’s parental emotional abuse, and lack of love, but when I hear such a factual scenario, I sometimes think of this disorder, which results in the person suffering from a sense of disconnect from the world around them, their own body, and particularly those to which they should express love and affection.

As previously stated, a person’s inability to show love or affection may be caused by any number of emotional factors that result in a different label, such as a narcissistic personality disorder (which I have written about in separate blogs).

Depersonalization disorder, strictly speaking is where the person has persistent feelings of being disconnected or detached from oneself, and a feeling of loss or control over their thoughts or actions.
Their actions are often described as “out of body”

They may perceive their surroundings as dreamlike, foggy and distorted. An actual diagnosis is very difficult due to the ambiguity of the language used when describing such episodes.

Although the disorder is a distortion of reality, it is not a form of psychosis as the person is able to distinguish between their own experiences and the objective reality of the real world.. In other words, they can distinguish between reality and fantasy.

The diagnosis typically is made when the symptoms cause family distress, or impair social or occupational functioning.

The depersonalization experienced is such that the person feels completely disconnected from their physical body and their loved ones, feeling detached from their own thoughts and emotions and living their lives as distant from others.

The exact cause of the depersonalization is not known, but childhood abuse is suspected, along with severe stress, major depressive disorder and hallucinogenic drugs.

Men and women appear to be diagnosed in equal numbers and onset is typically in the teenage years or early 20s.

The 6 most common signs of a depersonalization disorder are:

  1. A feeling of no connection to the person that is seen in a mirror
  2. a feeling of detachment from one’s environment- the feeling is a disconnection from the world, but also an unfamiliarity with individuals and inanimate objects and all surroundings
  3. a feeling of being “ robot like”
  4. a complete separation feeling from one’s body, as if wound up in cotton and the body is lifeless;
  5. a feeling that one’s memories belong to someone else
  6. knowing that you are not delusional, but that there is something wrong with the way you view the world

Relationship Between Parent and Child Is Fiduciary

Relationship Between Parent and Child Is Fiduciary

A (LS) v A. ( WH) Estate 2014 BCSC  1910  (Antrobus v Antrobus) discusses that the relationship of parent and child is fiduciary in nature, and that parents have an obligation to care for, protect and rear their children .

This line of authority was also  established by the BC Court of Appeal in  in M (M.) v F (R.) 1997 BCJ 2914.
The traditional focus of breach of fiduciary duty is breach of trust. A child is particularly vulnerable to her at the mercy of the fiduciary holding the discretion of power. Morelli v Morelli 2014 BCSC 106.
In the A (LS) v A. (WH) Estate case a 62-year-old female plaintiff was awarded in excess of $400,000 damages against her parents who knowingly allowed their child to be sexually abused by her grandfather and his friend as a child,  who were both  deceased by the time of trial.
The plaintiff’s evidence was  accepted that her parents permitted her  grandfather to have opportunity to sexually assault and sexually abuse or even though they knew the grandfather was a child molester .
The Court  found such behavior to be a breach of the parent’s fiduciary duty owed to their, as well as negligent in their parental duties.
The court held  that the parents owed their child a duty of care to take reasonable care to protect her from the danger that they knew of and that their failure to take such reasonable care was responsible for damages caused to the plaintiff daughter.
But for the negligence of the parents, the injuries that  the plaintiff suffered would not have occurred.
The plaintiff was able to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused or materially contributed to her injuries.
The primary test for causation asks ” But for” the defendant’s negligence, would the plaintiff have suffered the injury.
The “but for” test recognizes that compensation for negligent conduct should only be made where there is a substantial connection between the injury and the defendant’s conduct. Hanke     v Resurface Corp. 2007 SCC 7
The plaintiff also sued her father for the intentional infliction of harm or mental suffering, alleging that he verbally psychologically and physically abused her and intentionally inflicted mental suffering on her by inappropriate and cruel forms of discipline.

The elements of the tort of intentional infliction of mental suffering are set out in the Ontario Court of Appeal decision Prinzo v Baycrest Centre For Geriatric Care (2002) 60 O.R. (3d) 474 at paragraph 48, as follows:

1) flagrant or outrageous conduct;
2) calculated to produce harm; and
3) resulting in a visible and provable illness.

Dysfunctional Families: How to Recognize Them

Dysfunctional Families: How to Recognize Them

As a boomer growing up in the Leave it to Beaver age, it was not until I practiced estate litigation exclusively  that I learned  to recognize dysfunctional families and the mess that they leave behind (typically my clients).

In discussing the family dynamic with many clients, it became apparent that many of them did not actually realize they were in a dysfunctional family until many years later, after years of therapy and looking back.

There are certainly recognizable patterns and traits that many of these clients will reveal in their history that could lead to no other conclusion than they came from a dysfunctional family.

The fact that they are in my office, having been disinherited, is usually just the last straw of a straw house.

The will is the last kick from the grave.

Common Characteristics of a Dysfunctional Family

  1. The children  are simply the product of long conflict and their life history is often one of going from one conflict or bad relationship to another. The conflict may present itself as everything from passive- aggressive to overly angry responses to relatively minor things  said or done. The conflict is  usually most intense and noticeable around family members.. Resentment to the world at large is often displayed.
  2. Perfectionism and general frustration with imperfection is a surprisingly common trait that is often a reflection  of  low self- esteem , or trying to meet unrealistic expectations towards other family members initially,  and then towards others.
  3. Various addictions such as drugs, alcohol, gambling , promiscuity  and the like are common amongst one or more members of the family . The addiction issues invariably cause major disruption within the household ranging from emotional to financial to lack of communication.
  4. Abuse of all nature is rampantly abundant in dysfunctional families. While the abuses can be sexual and physical,  they are invariably extremely emotional , demeaning and hurtful in their nature. The victims of the abuse are often singled out  and picked on  by usually one or both of  the parents, although there appears to be a surprisingly  large amount  of physical, sexual and emotional abuse that goes on between siblings while living at home.
  5. If it is apparent that  all of the family members share the same interests and beliefs , such as rigid church attendance, then there is a high probability that one or both of the parents is highly controlling and manipulating the others. This is called a lack of diversity in common interests and is a often a sign of  dysfunctional families.
  6. Overly controlling parent(s)  can certainly be indicative of a dysfunctional family . Examples might be a parent not allowing their children to see friends after school, participate in school events,  or do anything other than come home and clean their room.  One spouse may  control the other spouse , which invariably spills over unto the children and can result in stunting their emotional growth . It is difficult to express one’s opinion and individuality in such a controlling environment , leaving the  controlled person feeling  guilty and unworthy.
  7. Fear and anxiety are often common traits caused by the unpredictability  of the dysfunctional family household . Not knowing if the rent will be paid,  food on the table, or  if violence will erupt at any time  is extremely stressful. The fear is often caused by one particular family member, but  may be caused by more
  8. Communication amongst family members is often  strained at best, let alone nonexistent or  evasive or hostile . Family members never learned how to express their needs and wants to each other  or were picked on or were favored by  parents  any of which can lead to misunderstandings, anger and estrangement .

Vancouver Estate Lawyer -Dysfunctional Families Result in Disinheritances

Dysfunctional Families Result In Disinheritances

Vancouver lawyer Trevor Todd has 50 years experience in understanding and getting justice for parties disinherited from dysfunctional families.


Fifty   years of litigating contested estates has led me to conclude that dysfunctional families are much more inclined to result in disinheritances

The reason is rather simple-dysfunctional families are toxic.

I have no statistics to back up this assertion other than anecdotal as I venture to say that virtually all of my clients have come from a family that is almost by definition dysfunctional .

This is not to say that so-called functional families do not get involved in estate litigation as of course they do, but it often has a different flavor in that the legal issues may be more technical in nature as opposed to vitriolic and hostile as  dysfunctional family litigation can be.

I read in a news report approximately 30 years ago that one out of three people and British Columbia expected to be disinherited.

Not to believe everything in the news, of course, but again anecdotally, I have over the years come to estimate that as many as  40% of the general public may be involved in some form of estate dispute.

There are certainly a goodly number of people who are surprised to be disinherited, as opposed to the third that expect to be.

Needless to say estate litigation is a growth area in the practice of law primarily by reason of demographics, but it huge contributing factor has to be the relatively recent breakdown of the nuclear family and the rise of the single-parent or so-called blended family, both of which are a breeding ground for estate disputes.

I have previously blogged on  various aspects of  the dysfunctional family , including the various factors that comprise it,  the unstable environment  at best , and the lifetime of   ugly memories , anxieties , insecurities  and the like  that carry on for life .

The ultimate and probably inevitable conclusion  for the dysfunctional family  is after the death of the last parent  the final implosion  of the remains of the family  with the deceased parent  often taking a last kick it his or her children from the grave by disinheriting one or more  of them.

One of the sadder aspects  of dysfunctional families that I have witnessed is that after many years of this functionally hanging together, as the needy parents age and become more dependent . They frequently fear or experience, abandonment by their children and may even come to believe that  they are only after their money .

typically after the death of the last parent  I have experienced  children of dysfunctional families desperately  tried to write the perceived wrongs suffered by each of them during  their childhood and early adult years . Family possessions that might not sell at a garage sale suddenly become precious and invaluable as they are memories of a fantasy childhood that never happened .

In my world of estate litigation , it is difficult for children to accept that one child or another will inherit  substantially more or has been treated  more favorably  throughout life – the financial gain  somehow then becomes equated  with the amount of parental love that has been denied .

Birth Order and How it Relates to Dysfunctional Families

Birth Order and How it Relates to Dysfunctional Families - Disinherited

Studies have shown that the birth order of children plays a significant part in their development in functional families that can be exacerbated in dysfunctional families given their extreme dynamics.

It is common for families with more than one child to joke about the innumerable photos of the first child, followed by a considerable drop off in the number and quality of photos almost algorithmically in proportion to the number of children. While it is presented as a joke  it is not funny when development issues such as self-esteem are examined.

The first relationship a child has in this world is with his or her parents.

The entire purpose of that relationship at that time is supposed to focus  on the needs of the child   more than the needs of the parents. This basic bonding  right from the upstart  is often not present in dysfunctional families .

It really does not take much to become a parent as I am fond of saying , but it is extremely difficult to become an excellent parent  and create a reasonably functional family .

Parents have children for many reasons including  accidentally  and  simply do not bring their unconditional love  to the table .

What could be more hurtful than being told by your mother that you were an accident and she wished you were never born, or being told that you are” just like your father ,a lying son of a bitch”.

In dysfunctional families the parents may place their needs on the child and expect the child to sacrifice his or her needs  to soothe the parents anxiety .

The First Born:

The firstborn is by birth right the center of the world forever within the family. The problem is that the parents often promote the idea while other siblings reject it.

The often insufferable attention that the first child receives can pay off in spades in terms of how that child develops:

  1. Research has shown that the eldest child often has a higher intelligence on average than their younger siblings of 2.3 points. It’s probably as simple as when the family grows the parents have less time to spend with each child;
  2. Eldest children are typically the ones that focus the most on family loyalty, traditions, and achievements, and are often more obedient and responsible.
  3. Oldest children are typically the rule followers , are competitive and conventional
  4. Given their high self-esteem the eldest child often performs better in school and becomes more successful in the professional world . They are by their birthright more prepared to take on leadership roles.
  5. Firstborns were typically found to be slightly more conscientious and more agreeable.


The Middle Child

Caught in the middle  this child often  reflects on  not being the oldest, but not being the youngest and walking that balance .

In general middle children tend to possess the following characteristics :

  • People pleasers  after having learn skills to attain attention ;
  • Somewhat rebellious
  • Have a large social circle and thrive on friends
  • The peacemakers in the family

Middle children are actually hard to pin down as they play off  their older sibling . It can also make a great deal of difference if the middle child is a girl, and the first child is a boy  or vice versa.


The Last Born:

Youngest children tend to be the least photographed, but the most free-spirited due to their parents increasingly laissez-faire attitude towards parenting after each successive child.

The last  born will always remain the baby of the family and tends to be:

    1. Fun-loving
    2. Outgoing
    3. Self-centered and attention seeking
    4.  Manipulative
    5.  Uncomplicated

The Only Child:

Without siblings to compete with the  only child monopolizes his or her parents attention and resources, not just for the short period of time like a firstborn, but forever .

The only child has the privilege and the burden of having all of his or her parents support and expectations  throughout their life .

Thus only children tend to be:

    1. Mature for their  age
    2.  Diligent
    3.  Conscientious
    4. Perfectionists
    5. Leaders