What are the MAIN MISTAKES that parents make in terms of raising their OLDEST child?
Oldest children usually have quite a difficult time. They are expected to be on their Ps & Qs at all times. Parents usually place VERY HIGH expectations on them, forgetting that they are children.
The biggest mistake is to think as they grow older, their needs lessen. Their needs do not lessen. They simply change. Although they are much more self sufficient physically, their emotional needs are starving if not attended to. Their decisions are no longer about which toy to play with or which cartoon to watch. They are ones that set the stage for the rest of their life. A young child grows, matures and learns at a much faster rate than an older sibling. Therefore we make the mistake of believing they are beyond their years. No matter how resistant they seem to our suggestions, they want and need them. Nowadays, children mature physically, much faster than emotionally. Don't look at them. Talk to them. Communication is the key.
(1) Inundating them w/responsibilities FAR BEYOND their level.
(2) Viewing & treating them as proto-adults instead of seeing & treating them as THE CHILDREN they are.
(3) Forcing them to be parents to younger siblings, it is THE PARENTS' job to raise children, NOT THE OLDEST CHILD!
(4) Expecting them to be the example-setters in the family. Again, it is THE PARENTS' job to set the example for the family, NOT THE OLDEST CHILD!
(5) Not spending as much time w/them as you do your younger children. Oldest children need time w/their parents. However, parents oftentimes fail to realize this, believing that oldest children do not really need them. This explain why oldest children are jealous of, even hating their younger siblings because parents spend very little, if no time with the former.
(6) Not giving them individualized attention & love. Parents of oldest children often feel that their oldest do not need as much individualized attention & love because they are "big boys" or "big girls" and being such they are "too old" for such.
(7) Treating them as they are disposable. Oldest children are oftentimes dethroned, if not discarded or disposed in favor of younger siblings. That negatively impacts upon an oldest child's self-esteem. Many oldest children are needy as adults because of this dethronement. They are also envious, even spiteful of their youngest siblings because of this. This neediness & spitefulness goes into their future relationships w/peers, friends, spouses, & even children. They may become bullies towards others because of the slights they experienced at the hands of their parents as children.
(8) Putting their needs last. Parents seldom consider the interests & needs of their oldest children. They are oftentimes put on the proverbial backburner in favor of the interests & needs of the younger siblings. Oldest children learn early that their interests & needs do not count at all. As a result, they either become self-abnegation or exhibit strong braggadocio-asserting their abilities at every turn, even downgrading & criticizing others to elevate themselves.
(9) Giving them adult responsibilities & roles in childhood.Children are supposed to be children, enjoying an unencumbered childhood.There is ENOUGH time to become an adult. Let your oldest child.....be a....CHILD.
(10) Blaming them for things their younger siblings do.This is tantamount to child abuse.It is beyond child abuse, it is EGREGIOUS behavior on part of the parents.
Not only expecting them to be an example to younger siblings but act as a junior parent, giving them that responsibility without the authority.
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