What are at least TEN factors that make being the oldest child THE LEAST DESIRABLE
birth order position imaginable? Why is being the oldest child a very undesirable birth order to be?
My answer is my own perspective of how I was treated as the eldest child and also of how my eldest child is treated by us.
1. The eldest child is the “trial and error” child and unfortunately with most parents being new to raising children there are usually many errors. Luckily by the time the next kid comes along they are much better at this parenting thing, and by the time the third come, they are experts, though they don’t put in as much effort anymore.
2. Parents are usually stricter with the eldest child, they expect more of them because they are older than their siblings.
3. Once the eldest child reaches a certain age many parents expect them to provide (free) babysitting services to their siblings. This is great for the parents but not always for the child, who many times does not get the respect from his/her siblings as they would give to a different babysitter.
4. “You should set a good example for your sister”. There is more pressure on the oldest child because parents know that the younger siblings look up to them and watch and copy their behavior.
5. Similar to no. 3 the eldest child has more responsibility (this might also cause pressure).
6. Ask any eldest sibling and they will tell you that the thing that annoys them most about being an elder sibling is that they had to wait to reach a certain age to get certain privileges (eg. pierced ears, watch a TV show), and once they reach that age their siblings are automatically allowed to do the same.
7. On the same note, you will have a younger-you following you around and copying the things you do and the clothes you wear.
8. It can be very infuriating to see younger siblings getting away with things that the eldest was/is not allowed to do.
9. You are expected to help your younger siblings with homework (or anything else they need help with).
10. Whenever your friends come over you can expect to have your younger siblings there, all the time, bugging you.
11. Even if all of you are fighting, you, as the eldest child, will be the one to get in trouble, because you should know better.
Just the ones I could think of off the top of my head.
(1) Being treated the most differentially, oftentimes in the most disparate, not preferential way. Oldest children are treated the most disparately in the most negative way by their parents.They are subjected to harsher parental treatment than their younger siblings, especially at similar ages.
(2) Being held to higher, stricter, & even the most stringent standards. Oldest children are expected to tow the familial line so to speak.
(3) Being punished severely if they miss the mark. Oldest children are expected to be perfect, if they fail, there's often HELL to pay.Parents are also more UN-forgiving of oldest children if they err or fail than they would ever be of their younger, particularly their youngest children.
(4) Having to be there for parents & sibings 24/7/365. Oldest children MUST be there to serve parents & siblings. In fact, oldest children are the familial au pairs, servants, & nannies.
(5) Being viewed & treated as adults even though they are still children. Oldest children have childhoods shorter than the winter solstice, they are expected to be adults early & quickly.
(6) Being constantly inundated w/responsibilities.Oldest children are oftentimes "the responsible one".They are "the serious one".They are expected to shoulder familial responsibilities for their parents & siblings, even in adulthood.
(7) Being expected to be strong, NEVER WEAK.Oldest children are expected to always show their strength which means that they are mature. To show any type of vulnerability means that they aren't mature, even childish & such is frowned upon, even derided by parents.
(8) Being shown THE LEAST parental affection, attention, & love. Oldest children are hugged THE LEAST by the parents.They are also kissed less & the least attention is paid to them.Parents feel that oldest children can take care of themselves & don't really need them as they are "big boys" & "big girls".
(9) Having LESS interaction w/their parents.Parents don't spend as much time w/oldest children, except to assign them parental & chore duties.There is little to no discussion & interaction between parents & their oldest children.
(10) Never being seen nor respected as an individual but for their usefulness to parents & siblings alike. Oldest children are only valuable to their parents & siblings only for the services they provide & as to how USEFUL they are. As soon as they are no longer useful to parents & siblings, they are routinely DISCARDED.
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