Downsides To Being The Youngest In The Family
by Sam Kasse
I know, some of you first and middle born siblings clicked the link to this article and thought ‘Oh what does a last born have to complain about?” Well, let me tell you, there are grievances!
We last born kids have been poorly represented, and as a result have an awful reputation. It is almost as if there is a stigma attached to us. Apparently we get more freedom than our older siblings did, and our parents let us get away with all sorts of things. Some feel, that since the older children have paved the way, there is less pressure and expectations placed on the youngest child. Then of course, there is that nasty little rumour about how we are constantly pampered and coddled.
I am not trying to deny that there are certain perks associated with being the baby of the family. My favourite one has to do with the aging process. It is just nature’s way of paying you older ones back for all those years you picked on us. Now you get to go grey first, to wrinkle first, and to be the first one in the adult dippers.
The downside to being the youngest? Well, listen up because there are a few.
Nothing we do is a novelty.
Everything from our first steps, to our first ‘A’, to our graduation. The rest of the family has been there and done that. Now finally, we have too, and because the newness of it all has worn off, our achievements are received with lukewarm enthusiasm.
There are constant comparisons being made.
You older siblings sure set that bar! Now all we hear is how we should be more like you. Or in some cases, or less like you. The point being, we live in your shadow. Even our personalities are not our own, they are measured against yours.
Family members do not take us seriously.
Our opinions/suggestions are drowned out, or simply pushed aside by the older and wiser in the room. As bad as that is, it is still better than when we are patronized for our views. For what could we possibly known, seeing as we have lived for such a short amount of time!
We are the household errandboy/girl.
You know that you abuse your older sibling power by having us go and get you something when you need it. The parents do it too, skipping everyone in birth order above us, to call upon the youngest to retrieve some item from some random location. It is not as if we have a choice in the matter, no, as the youngest we were born to serve.
We spend the least amount of time with our parents.
I am not talking about quality time, I am talking about physical time. Realistically older siblings enjoy healthier parents, for a longer time. This goes for grandparents as well. For those of us whose siblings are quite a few years older than we are, the reality of this is heartbreaking.
So you see, the bottom of the birth order is not all about being spoiled. Though, admittedly a lot of that does go on – and truth be told we enjoy it. However, after reading about all that we put up with, I think we have earned a little spoiling now and then.