It sounds like the best thing to the younger siblings until it’s not the best thing. In theory, you’re given a few younger siblings to boss around, you can pull the “I’m the oldest” card whenever necessary, and you can the pleasure of gloating about when you had your parents to yourself at one point in time. There are lots of positive things about being the oldest sibling, but there is a whole lot of negative as well. These are only things you can understand if you’re the oldest. Even if you’re a middle, you still can’t understand because you are not the oldest.
Growing up in a household as the oldest to three younger sisters and one younger brother, I have experienced everything I listed above. Sometimes I wish I could trade place with one of my other siblings, but then I’m grateful and thankful that I was born first because the oldest are just natural born leaders. That describes me perfectly.
One of the hardships of being the eldest sibling includes you are always expected to be the responsible one. There is no room for you to be irresponsible, make mistakes, or do anything to merely mess up. Automatically, “you know better.” You’re always expected to be the mature one so, no getting into fights with your younger siblings or else you’ll get blamed for not being the bigger person. Also, you’re automatically the baby sitter because you are free. Your parents don’t have to pay you. You also must be an example. So, there were probably many lectures about why you must be responsible.
An annoying thing about being the oldest is your younger sibling like to follow you round. If you ever wanted to do anything by yourself, then that wasn’t happening. Your parents probably encourage your younger siblings to tag along with you. It’s annoying right? They invade your personal space, personal belongings such as clothes, anything electronic, and anything brand new.
Another thing that happens when you’re the oldest sibling which can have a big affect on you is that younger siblings come to you when they have problems with the parents. You’re find yourself stuck in the middle because you don’t want to choose a side, but you care from both aspects and understand both sides. You also feel like you’re always listening to your parents and siblings, but you can’t go to them with your own issues because they treat your problems like you have no problems because you have always had to have that strong persona and leader appearance about yourself. This creates depression in you because this dynamic never goes away and you never get to talk to your family about what’s going on with you in your personal life. It’s exhausting being the older sibling sometimes because of that reason. Sometimes you want to have someone you can talk to and depend on for advice. You learn good communication skills being the oldest because you learn to listen and know when to talk.
The oldest child also gets treated very strictly. The younger siblings get away with more things than what the older sibling can get away with. It’s like you’re the test child. After that, parents get less strict as the siblings keep coming.
There are good things about being the oldest. You always get the front seat, you can get them do to as many things possible as you want, and sometimes being the responsible one has a great advantage. You become trustworthy in the outside family members eyes which is a good quality to have. You become really reliable in both of your parent’s eyes. You get all the cool stuff. As you get older, you get in trouble less because you’re the oldest and “you know better.”
One thing I will say is I hate how I’m just expected to pass down my wisdom to my younger siblings. I feel like it doesn’t work that way. Wisdom comes with age, time, and life experiences. We are all not going to experience and go through the same things. Also, we all have different personalities and ways of thinking. I don’t like to compare my sisters to me. It used to get to me because I always will want to be a great example for my younger siblings, but I also want them to be great individuals. I want them to take everything that they go through, experience it, live and learn from it, and then make choices or decisions that will benefit them in the end. I will always be there to help them, but they have to kind of know what’s right for them. I think people expect them to be just like me and I would never want that for them. I want them to be them, just smart. I’m me because I’m me, just smart.