What causes parents and other adult figures to be quite unsympathetic, even ruth

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  1. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 9 years ago

    What causes parents and other adult figures to be quite unsympathetic, even ruthless in their

    attitudes and expectations towards the oldest child in the family?


  2. IslandBites profile image89
    IslandBitesposted 9 years ago

    Do not know where the generalization comes from. I'm the oldest child in my family and the assumption can't be farthest from reality.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Oldest children are expected to be TOUGH and ADULT from early childhood.They are expected to be THE RESPONSIBLE one among their siblings.Oftentimes, they are saddled w/responsibilities from childhood on.They are punished THE MOST of all siblings.

    2. IslandBites profile image89
      IslandBitesposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Maybe that's your experience, doesn't means that's always the case. Sorry, but that's a cheap generalization.

    3. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      From my observations,oldest children must be little stoics&soldiers from childhood.They must be adults,they have the shortest of childhoods of all birth orders.They must be ON for parents&siblings,esp. those from large families I feel sorry f

    4. profile image0
      CalebSparksposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      It's ok, IslandBites...GM evidently just likes to hear her side of the story! ...delete...I know...

  3. profile image0
    Sri Tposted 9 years ago

    People don't do any research on how to raise kids. So when they see the unpredictable nature of a child's mind and the constant disobedience due to a lack of understanding, they react with rage and violence. It was how they were raised too. In some ways it works but it leaves scars and damaged personalities. If the kid cannot get rid of those memories, they may be tortured for life. It requires a new self image. Parents and teachers are known to destroy confidence because they don't want the kids to have an ego or think they are great. So they use verbal and physical abuse to keep the kids in check. Fortunately most kids are able to throw it all off when they become adults but sometimes employers take over from there and continue the ego bashing. They have excellent material available on the subject of raising kids without violence, through love and the use of correct suggestions but nobody bothers. They prefer the old school of violence. It gives their ego a feeling of victory, like a prize fight and it is an emotional catharsis.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Oldest children are told to be PERFECT, they are not encouraged to be children.They are EXPECTED to be the STANDARD BEARERS and EXAMPLE SETTERS for their siblings.They had to toughen up and not show any vulnerability.They MUST grow up AND FAST!

    2. profile image0
      CalebSparksposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I am the oldest of my siblings and nobody demanded I be perfect. Also, I was not "forced to grow up and fast." Would you please stop putting everyone into your little theory box? I know...your finger is on the "delete" button already...

  4. duffsmom profile image61
    duffsmomposted 9 years ago

    You may see this in your practice (I assume you are a practicing social worker) But honestly, I haven't seen that in my life or my relationships. Parents that are ruthless towards children of any age have more problems than just expectations for an oldest child.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Oldest children, with very few exceptions, are held to a higher and tougher standard than their younger siblings.They are not granted any quarter and are expected to be perfect or near perfect at all times.They must be adults from early childhood.

  5. stclairjack profile image81
    stclairjackposted 9 years ago

    why does raisig kids have to be so complicated?.... seriously?.... how on earth did the human race not socialy implode by now if it were so hard to raise kids,... i mean,... at some point it was so easy even a cave man acomplished it yes?......

    we over complicates things in order to deflect blame for our short comings,.... and to sell books,.... there was little of this silly whining banter regarding child rearing 150 years ago,... but now we sell books,.... and perscriptions,...

    in the end the human being is a resiliant creature that endures inspite of all odds,... singularly we might fail, but as a species we've done quite well,.... horible parents wind up raising outstanding children that go one to touch lives and change the world,.... and by-the-book parents with all the I's dotted and T's crossed wind up raising sociopaths,....

    in the end its a ballance between nature and nurture,..... but parents who are ruthless,.... are ruthless people who would treat people in this way weather they had children or not,... this is not an eldest child problem,.... its a personal problem on the part of the adult who behaves in this way,.... chances are they treat others this way too.

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I completely agree. I know many children have it rough, but I think we tend to compartmentalize too much and over analyze.

    2. profile image0
      Sri Tposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      It's better to learn the right way than to wing it. Education is always better than ignorance. There should always be improvement. There is no reason for parents to be abusive today with the new knowledge. If they are, then they need help.

  6. dashingscorpio profile image84
    dashingscorpioposted 9 years ago

    Being the oldest child I can't tell you how often I was told "You should know better!" There is a certain amount of wisdom or leadership expected from a (first child) even when their siblings are only a year or two apart.
    Having said that I'm certain the economics of a family and how the parents were raised themselves come into play. Some first born children are put on a pedestal leaving their siblings to find ways to gain the same amount of attention from parents.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      YES!  Oldest children catch HELL. They are the little soldiers in the family.They have to be on 24/7/365!  I would not be the oldest child for all the tea in China. They have such harsh lives, whew! They are blamed for the things younger siblings do.

    2. profile image0
      CalebSparksposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Many oldest children have no idea what you are talking about, GM. You must have seen some extreme cases.

    3. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You are correct, Dashingscorpio. OLDEST children have it the toughest of all birth orders.  They are held to a more extreme standard than their younger siblings will EVER be held.Parental expectations are more draconian regarding their oldest child.

  7. CraftytotheCore profile image75
    CraftytotheCoreposted 9 years ago

    Hi GM!  This question is very interesting to me.  I have a different perspective.  I'm not nearly the oldest.  I am an older sister by my mother.  But she didn't raise me.  I was raised by my grandparents.  They had 7 children and took me in.  So technically I was the youngest.

    But the answer still applies.  Because even though I was the 8th go around, I was held to a higher standard that I couldn't even begin to live up to.  My grandmother wanted me to be unlike my mother who failed in everyone else's eyes.  So I became the "perfect" result of an "imperfect" situation. 

    I have to tell you, life was very difficult.  In the end, I was more mature, but also more outspoken which drove a wedge between me and the woman who tried to mold me to conform.  I had to grow up fast, learn my way, and I'm accomplished because of it.  But I did miss out on all of the joys of childhood that my sister had being raised as an only child by my mom.

  8. DDE profile image44
    DDEposted 9 years ago

    The younger children and parents expect better from the oldest I am the oldest in my family and had to take care of my sister and brother. They off-course depended on my decisions. The oldest in the family has to show responsibility,  and has to in many situations prove to other members of the family they can handle situations. Sometimes it can get so complicated and definitely ruthless when understanding fails in such cases.


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