It seems like the youngest, because they get to be the "kid" of the family. They don't see to have as much pressure on them either. I was raised as an only child (adopted). I always envied others with brothers and sisters. However, I don't envy the oldest. It's as though they have kids themselves. This is only my opinion.
While the youngest seem the luckiest, they are often bullied by their older siblings. The youngest child is often a "beta" birth order. In other words, the youngest child is the lowest of the pecking order. ONLY CHILDREN are the happiest!
However, I've always thought the middle child was luckiest and more developed. Because, they get the best of both worlds-someone to look up to and someone underneath them.- But, I was told otherwise. But, I honestly wouldn't know.
Middle children are the most $%^# up of any birth order. They are the ones in between the oldest and youngest child in the family. They are also the least individualized and appreciated of all the birth orders. They are just nebulous !
My dearest mav04, I don't want to sound like a know-it-all because that I AM NOT. But I read a lot on psychology and I have learnt that the family is the root to our happiness or unhappiness. To whatever degree.
For some reason I only have so many words it allows me to share. Ok. So, what I'm getting is, depending on how happy my family made me, I would be happiest as the only child. I've read up on psychology for years-just not this subject. Interesting
It's no wonder only children are the happiest. They have the parents' full and undivided attention, they are lavished by love and gifts by the relatives, they can choose their friends who then become like siblings and they mature faster since they have only adults to deal with at home. You see, life compensates for everything: lack of siblings is made up by so many other ways.
To Garifalia, Amen to that! You have described my childhood to a "T". I remember in school, my classmates who had siblings endlessly kvetched. When I told them how HAPPY I was being an only child, they said, sure I can have ANYTHING I wanted!
gmwilliams, how do you know only children are happiest if you never had siblings? I'm just curious. I've always wondered about that. I've always felt something was missing in my life and lonely without them. I wish I had someone to validate me.
I am an only child and had friends who were onlies. We were the happiest. We had no sibling rivalry, undivided parental attention, and no sibling drama. We never missed not having any siblings. The people we knew with siblings hated it!
I know you think only children are the happiest, but really it's the youngest child, only when he/she is born *after* the other children move out. They are only children, in the sense they live in a household by themselves, they have their parents' time, their parents tend to be older, more financially stable and prepared (having raised other children).
I got to experience being the youngest, being in the middle and being the oldest. I personally preferred being the oldest. I think it depends whether you're a person who likes to be looked after or prefers to look after others/ If you're independent or dependant as a child. As the oldest you get the most freedom, but with that comes the most responsibility.
In my opinion that is just all nonsense. I am the youngest of 3 children. There is a 4 year age differ. between my sister and I and an 18 month age diff. between my brother and I. I couldn't imagine ever being an only child. I love coming from a big family and I have great memories. There was always someone to play with, to build forts with and get anxiety with waiting up for Santa. My parents raised us to be individuals so we all had our "things". I think all of us are well adjusted adults and we are all great supporters of one another. I did get babied a little more because after all I was the baby but I have always been really independent so I didn't hang on to living at home or my parents taking care of me. My brother and sister are even now my closest friends and the first people I call to tell something funny, sad or exciting too and vise versa. What is really nice is that we now all have children (total of 9 between the 3 of us) so holidays and trips together are very memorable. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have them. I can't imagine it any other way. I never envied friends who were only children, I always felt bad for them. I now have 3 girls and a stepson and I make sure to give each one attention and make sure noone is left behind. They all have their own things and I treasure that. They are so helpful and because of how I treat them, they all get along very well. Noone is left if in the dark and I love every loud, laughing, crazy moment of taking them to somewhere as simple as the grocery store. Big families are a blessing I know they will be able to sit around when they get older and laugh about the things they did as kids like me and my siblings do.
You're absolutely right. But what gmwilliams is referring to is besides personal experience a recent study that was conducted. I don't know how many participants were involved but surveys and studies are limiting depending on the country studied, etc
There are many books on the only children, notably by authors Ellen Peck and Susan Newman, Ph.D. Studies have shown that only children are indeed the luckiest of all birth orders. Only children have their parents undivided attention etc.
lindiesel, how were you able to write such a long comment. It won't let me do that.
I'm sorry this seemed like all the answers were based on personal experience. I did study this a little in college (I took psych as a second major) a lot of time the studies are controlled and it is easy to manipulate the situation to find the answer
I am the youngest, but my 2 siblings were much older than me and technically my "half-siblings" and they spent their teens living in other households, so I was pretty much like an only child from age 4 & up, only interacting with my siblings during holidays and when we visited them. I remember really looking up to my sister and hating my brother (during our short time living together he was extremely abusive to me).
I have always like being the youngest/only child because I did get more of my mom's attention and was the "baby." I was also a lot closer to my mom than my siblings because of that--especially since I stuck around through my adult years. However, I also do remember being lonely a lot as a child and wishing I had had a younger sibling to play with and look up to me. But now, as I've firsthand witnessed the hell multiple sibling households put each other through, I think being a little lonely at times is better than constant drama. I hate drama!
Anyway, as far as maturing goes, it was sort of a toss up. I was overly babied and my mom was very overbearing, so I stayed dependent much longer than I should have. At the same time, however, I was very mature for my age in other ways, intellectually and etc, many adults were impressed with my level of maturity as a kid and teenager. My mother also had time to teach me some of her life lessons because she didn't have me until she was 30 (as opposed to 18 & 21 with my siblings) so I got a more mature upbringing.
The downside of being "the baby" however is that everyone (family members) treat you like your a kid even as an adult and don't take you as seriously. I find this very frustrating, especially by age 32. I swear sometimes that my sister thinks she's my mother...but I digress.
I think it all depends on how your parents raise you, how old they are when they have you, how many siblings there are, and the age gap between. These factors all affect things just as much if not more than the actual order of birth. But that's just my humble opinion.
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