Trials of being the oldest child

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Family is a blessing. Siblings can be the equivalent of best friends for one’s whole lifetime. However, for those who are born the first child, there are many struggles as well.

First of all, it seems like there are stricter rules for the oldest than the other kids. If they’re past their curfew for five minutes there’s basically an Amber Alert sent out and a lecture to come, but if the youngest child is missing for a few hours, we all hope they make it home safely. They’re probably at the neighbors. Maybe.

Many elder siblings know the struggle of always feeling like the responsible one or the boring one. They have to keep their siblings in line and be the bigger person even if they’re being endlessly aggravated and picked on. Once younger siblings hit a certain age, they should all be expected to know better and shoulder some of that responsibility.

There’s nothing more annoying than always having to be the mature one and be okay with sharing everything. One’s little sister may have have seventy red shirts, but she needs the one in her older sister’s closet. Then, when the older sister wants to borrow a shirt, it’s not going to happen because all the sudden, the younger sister really wants to wear that one the very next day. What a coincidence.

It can seem like the younger ones get privileges very early without earning them. This can come in the form of experiences, material items or other benefits. For example, the teenager may have waited a long time to be rewarded with an iPad or cell phone, and at the same time their little brother will be given the exact same thing. Why would a six year old need a phone? That’s a very good question.

Now, it’s not all terrible. While those things are quite bothersome, it’s great to have a sister or brother to laugh with. It’s good to have allies when one or the other is having a bad day. And in the end, they usually look up to their older sibling.

To work as a team and build a good relationship, younger siblings should appreciate the hard work and values of their older sibling. Older siblings everywhere understand these responsibilities, and while they love their younger sibling, sometimes it feels good to get a share of the attention too.

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