Dr. Shannon McMahon
We were sitting at the bottom of the stairs, dressed up in the silly Christmas outfits our mom picked out for us, just waiting for the minute our grand parents would arrive so we could run up and see all of the presents we got for Christmas. It was this time that the fighting began for who would get to run up first. My older brother pulled out the “I’m the oldest I should go first,” card. My younger brother argument was that because he was the youngest so he should go first, and I was left with almost no argument. The only card I had was the “I’m the only girl, so ladies first,” but when your older brother can beat you up your argument really doesn’t matter. So, either way if we went oldest to youngest, or youngest to oldest I would still be second best, never in the lead in the sibling race of modern everyday family. The Oldest Child:
The best thing about being the oldest child are they are typically the “boss” of their younger siblings, hence why the oldest ended up always going first up the stairs on Christmas mornings and spoiling the surprise for everyone else. They get the first of everything, luckily for me we were a different size in jeans so I got new jeans too, just after he would get his. They have more responsibilities, earning my parents trust with ease, as for me
The down side of being the oldest is they often get put on a pedestal, and can’t get away with near as much as the siblings in their shadow. It’s too bad my older brother didn’t live up to my parent’s standards and they turned to me to over achieve. They also are relied on the most, fortunetly for my older brother he wasn’t relied on past the eighth grade. The last thing is, they typically, get annoyed by their younger siblings, as if they were only made to bother them, this was my specialty as a younger sister. The first-born children in contrast to their siblings are more likely to be responsible, ambitious, and authoritarian. This is probably because they are born into an environment of high expectations, and they usually receive a great deal of attention. They are used to being leaders, taking responsibility for others, and sometimes taking on an almost parental role. My older brother happened to be an exception to this, and made life as a middle child that much harder. The Middle Child:
The middle child doesn’t have near as many pros as the youngest or the oldest child, but the best thing is you can get away with almost anything you would want. This is not always the case though. Your parents typically watch your older sibling so intently that you can pass under a radar and have freedom, until you are drug to everything your older brother is in. The middle child is often the most creative too and with careful practice can manipulate your parents, but if you have two brothers who would rather see you miserable, this may not happen. Middle children also can get advice from the older sibling and learn what not to do and avoid trouble, which typically doesn’t happen when your older brother isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box.
The list of cons definitely out weighs the pros, or in my case there are only cons, in this case as middle children often feel neglected and ignored because they don’t get as much attention from their parents, I’m not too needy, but I’m just saying it would be nice if my older brother came to one of my softball games. Even though us middle children don’t get attention we are often blamed for the most. Middle children exhibit different characteristics from firstborns. They are often not as determined as firstborns, and tend to be more passive and solitary. Having to share family attention with older and younger siblings, middle children have a tendency to be more realistic, creative, and insightful. They learn from the oldest siblings mistakes, and take part in raising the younger sibling, because this give the middle child a sense of purpose. The Youngest Child:
The pros of being the youngest child are great. You are normally coddled or babied, which can allow you to get your way more often. Not to mention your older siblings took the pressure off of you to be the “ideal” child. By the time you are born the parents are more likely to be tired especially if you are born into a large family, which means the rules will be less strict and your life will be easier. You have older siblings that will look out for you. They will be able to help you with your schoolwork and you learn from both of their mistakes, so typically you never get in trouble. But being the youngest child isn't all fun and games. Your parents aren't as likely to have the time and energy to devote to them that they did to the oldest child, good thing for you that you will have two older siblings to teach you everything you would need to know. The older siblings will try to intimidate you and boss you around. They will be eternally known as the baby in the family and their siblings and parents will have a hard time believing that they could ever be anything but the baby. The youngest will be the most protected, which can mean less freedom, but really it will just be lectures of staying safe. The youngest sibling will also be compared to the older siblings on a regular basis, but they did have the standards of your parents to live up to. Youngest children are often more protected than their older siblings. As a result, they are more likely to be dependent and controlling. They are often as creative as middle children, but usually more easygoing and social. . They also get a lot of mistreatment and disrespect from their siblings, because they are smaller and the older children were spoiled with attention and are upset someone is taking more of it. The youngest child usually gets the short end of the stick, as the parents think all their parenting is done by the time their youngest is thirteen, while the oldest and middle got attention all the way up until they were old enough to move out. Although, all of these roles in the family are interdependent I think it’s very clear who gets the short end of the stick (the middle child). The oldest is the first or best and gets everything they want. The middle child gets to watch the older sibling, and raise the younger sibling. The youngest child has the road paved for them, through high school anyways. This is my interpretation of the modern family with three kids.