Since the beginning of time, it’s been an argument on who has life made more. Each level of birth order has its pros and cons, as well as its common stereotypes. For example, the youngest is always spoiled. Or the middle child is always the troubled one. As someone who is the oldest child in her family, of course, I see the pros and cons of my birth order. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t change anything about the timing of when I was born. It’s been the best thing for me, and I wouldn’t change it if I had the ability to. Here’s why I LOVE being the oldest:
1. You have the most responsibility
As the oldest, you’re the guinea pig child. That means your parents have to test out the rules and the do’s and don't’s. It can sometimes be a difficult concept because your parents expect that since you’re the oldest, you’re the most responsible. Even when they haven’t taught you, from a young age you’re supposed to hold the most responsibility.
2. You get the blame for everything
Even if you had nothing to do with the situation, you’ll still get the blame because you either know better or should have been there to help tell your sibling right from wrong. By the time you’re in the double digits, you can already predict what’s going to happen to you…even if you weren’t there at all.
3. You’re a second parent
Because you are now responsible for helping take care of your younger siblings, you’ve become like a second parent to them. You not only have to take care of them and help them at all times, they may sometimes even come to you for advice. You’re the person they can look up to and talk to without being embarrassed or feeling awkward, which is what they would feel with a parent. Sometimes this can be a really rewarding benefit of being the oldest.
4. You’ve used the “I’m older” card
In order to get your way during arguments, you’ve whipped out this statement once or twice. If you want the remote to watch TV, the computer to finish your homework first, or when you’re older and you need the car, this excuse can work a majority of the time and you know it’s your golden ticket.
5. You’re born with three jobs: chauffeur, babysitter and tutor
Mind you all of these job descriptions are non-paid. It’s just expected that you drive your siblings around the moment you get your license. When it comes to homework, you better believe you’re the one helping them with homework and assignments, and when your parents are working, going out, or just not around, you have to stay home and babysit them. Luckily, this is the only babysitting job you don’t have to be 100% attentive for, right?
6. Your punishments are worse than your siblings'
When you and your younger sibling decide to do something stupid together, it’s a given that you’ll get caught and get in trouble. However, the punishment that the two of you receive will more than likely not be the same. Because your sibling is younger and doesn’t know any better, it relates back to you having to take most of the blame. Which means your punishment is either more severe or longer.
7. You’ve convinced your siblings to believe something made up
In order to mess with them or to get what you want, you’ve made up some ridiculous story. Or have had to go along with something. I told ghost stories and tales of the boogeyman in order to get my brother to leave me alone. When I was old enough to know the truth about Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, it was my job to go along with it for my younger sibling and to make sure I didn’t ruin the magic for him. And if I did…all hell would break loose.
8. You get the brand new things. Your sibling gets the hand-me-downs
Because you’re the guinea pig child, you get the first of everything. You get the first back-to-school wardrobes, the first of the textbooks in school, and the first car even. Your sibling has to take down what’s yours and hardly has a choice in getting the new stuff.
9. Your siblings get to do things before you were able to
Did you get a cell phone in 8th grade? Your sibling will get one in 5th. You got your ears pierced at 13? Your sibling will get theirs at 10. It’s just the way it goes. By the time your siblings come around to wanting the same things you wanted, your parents don’t see the harm in letting them get it right then and there. Meanwhile, you had to beg and plead to get what you wanted, didn’t you?
10. You have a control freak tendency
Because you’re the oldest and you have had the most responsibility, it finally kicks in after a while and you start taking the initiative. As your younger sibling gets older and can start doing things for themselves, you end up taking control because you can get it done faster and more efficiently. This is a great trait, but it can be a nuisance when it comes to friend groups and significant others. They might think you’re too type A and you need to calm down. But you can’t help it, you’ve had to do it for years and you can’t just stop now.
If any of these relate to you, chances are you’re the oldest of your family. Although it may seem like being the oldest is a negative thing, there are a lot of perks to it. You’re more prepared for the real world, you get to take the lead on things, and you get to be a role model for the rest of your siblings. How great is that?
It goes without being said, but your parents are so thankful for you, as you’re kind of like their right-hand assistant. So flaunt it, and continue pulling the “I’m older” card. You deserve it!