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Is It the Best to Be the Youngest in the Family?

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Many people think that being the youngest child in the family is the best, because the baby of the family can have the privilege as well as special treatment from family members such as being taken care of well, having many things done for them, and being without many responsibilities. But, as the youngest child in my family, I realize that being the "little child" isn't all its worked up to be. Two disadvantages of being the youngest child for me: I am not mature enough; “having a lot more to learn,” says my parents and I am often compared with my siblings. I guess you could say I am my parent’s last chance to get everything right. Currently my brother Danny is not in school, living in an apartment with his girl friend in Sarasota and my sister, Laura, is in her third year at the University of Connecticut on her way to a prestigious dental school; therefore I am the only child living at home and that fixates me under my parents’ radar. Laura and Danny had fewer expectations, pressures and demands from my parents when they were my age. But here I am running track, taking dance classes and playing the piano almost every day of the week, and still expected to get the flawless grades Laura did when she was in high school. I constantly fall victim to anxiety from all that my parents expect from me. Danny has always been the “favorite” child out of the three of us, and remained the favorite when kicked out of engineering school, without consequences from my parents. After all my accomplishments, he is still the favored child; always first on everyone’s mind. For instance, after Laura got home from college last summer my whole family went out for dinner and instead of my parents asking Laura all about her semester, the chosen topic of the night was anything about Danny. I suppose being the first freshman at my high school to make student of the month wasn’t enough to get my parents’ attention either. Asking for a simple plaque to be hung on the wall was apparently an unsurpassable task! Being the last chance for my parents to correct the mistakes they had made in the past means they control every aspect of my life. I am limited to where I can go and who I can hang out with. Lately they have been criticizing my friends and acting overly paranoid when I go to the movies or to a simple sleepover at my friend’s house and these limitations have affected me socially. My parents also don’t have the time or the energy to devote to me as they did for my brother and sister. My last struggle growing up as the youngest is following in my sister’s footsteps. She has always excelled in school, making the Dean’s list, keeping a 4.0 GPA or above and balancing her social life with school work. I am expected to make the same remarkable grades she did, though she never committed to the mass amount of extracurriculars as I have, but according to my parents, I should be able to fit it all in. My main concern is I won’t make the grades, won’t get into any higher level classes or a good college. I also fear the disappointment of my parents. As I grow up, I’m starting to understand the two unpleasant effects being the youngest child. And from now on, I’m starting to learn how to overcome them, be more mature, independent, and responsible. I am working on listening to what my parents have to say even though I disagree and always trying to put them first hoping they do the same. I think this is a good opportunity to train myself to have a mature personality and then become a more mature person in my future.

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