jump to last post 1-5 of 5 discussions (10 posts)

In what ways are large/very large families UNJUST, even INHUMAN to oldest/older

  1. gmwilliams profile image87
    gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago

    In what ways are large/very large families UNJUST, even INHUMAN to oldest/older children

    in the family, oftentimes depriving them of a normal childhood/adolescence that oldest/older children in small & medium families have & enjoy?In large/very large families, parents often abdicate their parenting duties, forcing their oldest/older children parent younger siblings. Oldest/older children are THE REAL, even UNSUNG parent in large/very large familiesTHEY'RE the ones who also MUST be secondary breadwinners. Oldest/older children in large/very large families exemplify PARENTIFIED children.They're  ADULTS & PARENTS from childhood while their "parents" are parents in name only.


  2. FeniqueS profile image74
    FeniqueSposted 2 years ago

    Being the oldest of five, at 9yrs old I had to take over the raising of my siblings and run of the household.   My childhood was gone and I was now in adulthood.   We had lived with my grandmother all my life;my mother, two brothers and a sister, the youngest came along after my grandmother left.  My grandmother got fed up with my mother having babies every time she turned around and not married to the men.  And he was married anyway, so a marriage would not be happening.  She found herself a man and got married and moved to Texas. 
    Leaving me to care for my siblings.  My mother couldn't cook and she was to busy going out with the married man, and either working or quitting a job because they didn't do like she wanted.  So to show them she quit.
    I was a very stern older sister/surrogate mother with them.   Yes, they feared me and hated me.  But, when they grew up they thanked me, because when they'd look back at the friends in their childhood.  Most had gone either gone to prison, was on drugs, had 1-5 babies by different girls and no job.  My siblings one is a manager and owns a few properties, one is a over the road trucker owns his own house both of these are married for decades, my sister is a social worker in Chicago at a hospital no children and not married, yet.  The baby boy is a radiology tech has three children he is divorced and has custody of the kids and is engaged.
    The ones that did hang around with them, knew they too would be under my care just like my siblings were and also very successful and never been in prison or involved with drugs. 

    The money was in very short supply.   When I was 14yrs old I looked a lot older I got a third shift job and went to school during the day.  But it got to be to much and I made a choice of which was more important, make money to help feed my siblings or stay in school.  The job won, I left high school, but I did return and achieved my GED and got it a month after my class graduated and before I had my first child. 

    I'm not sure I'd call it abusive, true I didn't have a childhood, but the way I was raised everyone helped and the oldest had the  major part and important part of responsibilities.    I made sure the kids didn't want for anything and didn't go hungry, did same with my own children.   I didn't get a break between families, went from raising siblings to raising my own and still cared for my siblings. My dad, was 10 when he became head of house, raise 6 siblings and work fields.

    1. FeniqueS profile image74
      FeniqueSposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Good question, I liked it.

    2. gmwilliams profile image87
      gmwilliamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Being the oldest/older child in a large/very large family is akin to being a slave or a forced laborer.  You have to be there 24/7/365!  It is a VERY SAD "life" really. I feel sorry for such oldest/older children!

    3. FeniqueS profile image74
      FeniqueSposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      True it can be, but If I'd not stepped up my brothers and sister would have ended up in foster care.  And I would not have allowed that. If I/we were to struggle, then we would do it together and I could see them grow and rep the rewards later.

  3. gmwilliams profile image87
    gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago

    For oldest/older children in large/very large families, it ISN'T the proverbial day at the beach nor walk in the park. They're expected to be adults early, be perfect or near it, & place others FIRST. read more

  4. Craig Suits profile image75
    Craig Suitsposted 2 years ago

    You already answered the question thoroughly. It is up to the parents to raise younger children properly, not the older siblings, although there is a measure of experience gained learning to take care of younger children but it should not become a required everyday chore that will be the case in larger families. Today, around the world and even in our own country, parents have children simply to help out on the farm. Families that have excessive amounts of children will usually require social assistance as well. The bottom line here is how intelligent and how capable and loving the parents are in the first place. Some can properly raise 6 or more children while others do a poor job raising just one or two. As a single parent, I raised four great kids of my own and two others that had no father and a criminal junkie for a mother for many years. One is now in collage and the other is now pushing thirteen. I know for a fact what their lives would be like today if it wasn't for the positive influences I gave them over the years. Again, it's all dependent on the abilities, love and 24 hour care of the parents no matter how many children they have within reason of course...

    1. gmwilliams profile image87
      gmwilliamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Mr. Suits, RIGHT ON!

  5. lisasuniquevoice profile image76
    lisasuniquevoiceposted 2 years ago

    I'll tell you, as the second oldest of nine children I knew all of my life what a difficult job it is to raise little ones. In fact I didn't want to have children since I was 12. Later, at 30 I had one child.

    1. gmwilliams profile image87
      gmwilliamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Lisa.  Oldest/older children in large/very large families have it TOUGH. They are parentified children.  Thank you again Lisa &Feinique for your statements. Why do so many REFUSE to acknowledge this or iare in denial......