Being the Youngest Doesn’t Have it’s Perks

There are always these false accusations of the youngest being spoiled, the youngest being a brat, the youngest getting all the attention. Not everyone is the baby of the family. Only those who know the feeling can tell you the true meaning behind “last born.”

Having older sisters or brothers has its perks. They can take you out late at night and treat you when they can. Whenever you need support or assistance on an important project, they can lend their skills to achieve the highest grade possible. My sisters are nine years and eleven years older than myself. I’ve enjoyed it, most of the time.

Besides the benefits of staying up late and having help with your homework the fun and games have to come to an end.

There comes to a point where the sibling relationship is lost and is replaced with judgmental and paternal attitudes. Depending on their age, older siblings take on the responsibility of looking out for us when under their care. New rules are set and new boundaries are placed.

With older siblings come the hours and hours of lectures. Parents’ tend to be lenient on the youngest, but not the oldest, so they take on the responsibility themselves to tell us when we’re wrong when our parents are fine. Oh, the irony.

Not only is the sister-to-sister, brother-to-brother, or sister-to-brother relationship different, but it is very difficult to become a “young adult” in your parents’ eyes. I know, I’ve tried.

According to psychologist Dr. Rachel Andrews, parents would make more of an effort to create a happy lifestyle for their youngest child then their oldest, leading to all the assumptions and accusations of the “youngest getting the attention.”

However “this can lead to them subconsciously wanting to keep their child ‘little’ by doing everything for them,” says Dr. Andrews. “A cycle can start where the youngest takes on the role of ‘the baby’…”

The baby. The one name that the youngest detests to hear. Whether you are sixteen or forty-five, you’re not allowed to date or stay up late with friends according to “mommy or daddy.”

The youngest isn’t spoil, just taken care of. The youngest isn’t a brat, just “a baby.” The youngest doesn’t get all the attention, just taken cared for to the extreme. It’s hard to express yourself and show the family that their little one is maturing and needs to spread their wings, making mistakes from time to time. Without them, how would we learn?

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