Why is that the youngest child gets most attention in a family?
Not always, but usually that's the scenario. May be in 70% of the cases..!?!
In multichild families, youngest children are viewed as the most fragile and needing parental protection. After all, the youngest child in the family is viewed as the baby, the jewel, and the precious one. H/she is the one who is adored, even adulated by parents and other family members. Since h/she is the baby of the family, it is considered that h/she will be in MOST NEED physically, emotionally, and even psychically.
The youngest child furthermore by virtue of his/her ordinal birth order is also the one who will receive the most preferential treatment over his/her oldest/older siblings. H/she will get away w/things that his/her oldest/older siblings would be chastised, even punished for. H/she also has the LEAST responsibilities of any birth order. H/she is seen as "too young" to do certain things and assume responsibilities because h/she is THE BABY. H/she uses this fact to get away with things, get away from doing things, and using the fact of being the youngest to coax and get the most attention possible. After all, NO ONE can/should deny THE BABY the attention h/she needs.
The youngest child is considered by parents and sometimes by oldest/older siblings as incapable of taking care of himself/herself. H/she is viewed as vulnerable by parents. Even as adults, this label sticks with the youongest child who oftentimes must out-prove and outdo others in the family to prove that h/she is capable and responsible. Many times, h/she falls into the label of being "the baby who cannot take care of himself/herself" because of the expectations of parents and siblings who maintain that H/SHE CAN'T. So the H/SHE CAN'T becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for the youngest child.
Also the youngest child is NEVER disposable as the oldest/older children in the family were. This factor furthermore is correlated to him/her receiving the lion's share of parental attention. Then the remaining factor is that the youngest child is THE LAST child in the family. Parents do not intend to let go of the youngest child SO FAST so they will give him/her the attention-pamper, indulge, even spoil and infantilize him/her for if/when he/she grows up, their parenting role is.....OVER.
Mostly parents denied that they love one children more than other. But as the researches showed that in most cases they favour and support younger children more. And as grace says, I'm totally agreed in the fact that they need more attention and love because they are the baby of the family and it's obvious that a baby will get more love than an older one.
IMO, the oldest child gets the biggest share of parents love because it is their first born. They always try do what is right for her/him and are very careful. By the time their youngest child comes along they think they are expert and might neglect how it is brought up. People talk about indulging a child and pampering it. But that is not true love. Parents do that for selfish reasons and not for the well-being of the child. Being an indulgent parent might hurt the child in long term. If parents truly love their child they teach her responsibility, do not indulge or pamper her and make sure they grow up right. As a youngest one of the family you are supposed to respect and obey your elders including your sisters and brothers irrespective of their intelligence. If you come from a middle class family you have to use used books, used clothes, used bicycles and you cannot complain. Also there are those endless, inevitable comparisons with older brothers and sisters. And if you are any lesser than them in anything you will never hear the end of it and if you are absolutely better than them in everything you will never hear about it from your parents's mouth. For the youngest child the mold is already set,s/he has to break that mold and prove herself/himself, not just once but again and again.
But it is also advantageous because being the youngest one you try harder, you try to be better than your brothers and sisters, you try to become independent, you try to follow a path different from your sisters and brothers, you try to avoid mistakes your brothers/sisters committed, you get good advice from them.But all this only if things go right else the youngest child might be lost for life.
On the face of it, it seems that youngest kid has it good, but may be s/he does not . Being "Baby" of the family may not be as good as it is made out to be. Of course I can also enumerate many other advantages of being the youngest of the family .
It is really difficult to say if the oldest, the youngest or the middle one has better life than others. Just trying to bring in a fresh view point.
BTW Sumi are you the youngest or eldest or somewhere in the middle ?
I am the oldest of seven in the Family. Il believe l got the most attention from my parents. So I guess I am in the 30% profile as you mentioned.
I think parents still see them as their baby. They are the last child they will have and in some cases if there is a big age gap between children they will be the last to leave home.
Also parents have spent all their previous years parenting their other children. Now they will give the youngest one more attention because they might feel that the older ones are grown up and don't need them any more.
Of course, youngest children receive THE MOST & PREFERENTIAL parental attention. They are viewed as precious jewels by their parents. They have the lion's share of parental attention. After all, they are the precious ones in the family. The youngest in families are catered to by parents & secondly/begrudgingly by older siblings.
After the youngest, there are NO MORE children hence the youngest will be the CENTER of the parental universe. H/she will receive the attention & treatment that the older, particularly oldest sibling(s), never received. Youngest children KNOW that they will never be cast aside in favor of a succedent sibling because parents are DONE. So youngest children have it made in the shade so to speak. Youngest children are the LITTLE EMPERORS/EMPRESSES of their familial castle. What they say goes as far as parents are concerned.
Remember as the youngest, your parents finally GOT IT RIGHT w/you & they stopped. You are THE FAVORITE & you KNOW it! Sad for the older children though who were discarded & cast aside IN FAVOR of YOU!
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