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What makes oldest children the most unhappiest, depressed, & angriest of all bir

  1. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago

    What makes oldest children the most unhappiest, depressed, & angriest of all birth orders?

    What makes so many oldest children highly resentful of their parents & their siblings?  One can say the being the oldest child is one of the unluckiest of all birth orders.  Oldest children can't seem to get a break.  They are marionettes, having to be on 24/7/365 for their parents & siblings.  They have NO individual life to speak of.  Is it a wonder they are depressed & unhappy?! However, oldest children in small families have it GOOD but those in large/very large families go through....HELL & MUCH WORSE!


  2. Tusitala Tom profile image62
    Tusitala Tomposted 2 years ago

    Why ask a question and then spend the next half-a-dozen sentences answering the question yourself.   Firstly, you generalize, saying 'What makes oldest children..."   Then you drop back to, 'What makes so MANY oldest children."     You've already answered the second part to some extent, namely, by saying the responsibility parents so often load upon their eldest to look after and set examples for the younger ones.

    But it is a generalization.   My elder sister, four years older than me (I was the middle child of five kids) didn't seem to have this problem.   But then, we did have a full time, stay-at-home Mum, and not someone who had to duck off to work leaving an elder child to 'take the weight.'

    It could well be that the 'Elder Child' syndrome has been exacerbated by the two-parent working family.   That is, being   obliged to undertake the work to keep house and home together.

    This trend started around the 1960s and continues to this day.  Though there are a few stay-at-home Mums still around.   Prior to that, there were distinct lines of demarcation between what Mum did and Dad did.   

    I'm not advocating we attempt to 'turn back the clock,' but simply to explain why, there is so much angst in so many elder children today.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      No, in small families, the position of oldest child is GLAMOROUS, in large/very large families, oldest child is synonymous with SLAVE, NANNY, & MAID for parents & siblings even though mom is SAHM.

  3. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago


    Oldest children are........the three Ds-dethroned, discarded, dismissed, & disregarded.Those components are enough to make a child feel unhappy verging on depression & angry. Oldest children really don't have a prayer as far as their parents & siblings go. They used to be the center of their parents' universe but lo & behold, a new sibling is born.  Now, the child goes from only to oldest. Naturally, h/she feel dethroned by a succedent sibling. H/she believes that h/she isn't enough or good enough in his/her parents' eyes. H/she resents the new intruder in his/her & his/her parents' life.

    This new intruder is taking away the attention that H/SHE should receive. Many oldest children feel that they aren't being paid attention to so they revert to previous childhood behaviors in order to get the parental attention they need. If h/she protest the new intruder,h/she is considered to be a bad boy/girl. So h/she sublimates his/her feelings towards the new sibling so h/she becomes the perfect child so his/her parents LOVE him/her.  With the arriving of succedent sibling(s), besides being dethroned, h/she is displaced.H/she is not as important in the parental scheme of things as younger siblings are.  The younger siblings NEED the parents' time & attention SO MUCH MORE than the oldest child. 

    With this displacement, h/she is disposable.Yes, h/she is discarded in favor of the younger sibling(s). H/she is viewed as the adult or protoadult so h/she is oftentimes not shown as much parental affection & attention.Studies show that oldest children are hugged less by their parents than younger sibling(s).Now, since the oldest child is considered an adult & protoadult, h/she is expected to man/woman up & be the parent to his/her sibling(s). His/her desires & needs are secondary to that of his/her younger siblings & even parents.H/she is there to SERVE the parents & younger siblings.His/her desires mean absolutely nothing to the parents & particularly the younger siblings.  H/she is disregarded, even dismissed as parents contend that h/she is nothing in himself/herself.  H/she is objectified in his/her family & held to far stricter, even stringent standards than anyone else in the family.  H/she is oftentimes blamed for what others do.With such conditions that oldest children live under, it is no wonder that they are unhappy, angry, & depressed.Being the oldest child in many instances is equivalent to being in hell. It is indeed a Cinderella "life".

  4. adrianna vaughn profile image62
    adrianna vaughnposted 22 months ago

    i am the oldest and trust me i have a lot of problems. i guess we get that way more than the other kids because, we see they are getting everything and we are about to get to that point where stuff isn't handed to us anymore.