My parents have two children: me (18yo) and my little brother (15.5 yo) so I have experienced being the oldest ever since I was 2.5. Over my time growing up with my little brother, I have noticed these seven aspects about myself and my relationship with my brother and parents. I love my little brother so much and all of these aspects definitely have their pros but not a day goes by where I don't also feel the cons.
1. You get your license first.
I first got my license in June of 2016, and with relatively new laws in place, I was not allowed to drive anyone else (under 18) for a year, with the exception of my younger brother. My brother is still fifteen so he doesn't have his license yet which means I have been driving him around for two years now.
Overall Pro: You have the license and therefore some power, after all, if they are too mean to you, who will take them to their friend across town?
Overall Con: Your newfound freedom is immediately limited when instead of driving whenever/wherever you want, you still have to be back in town by 3 to take your sib to soccer practice.
2. You have a 'blank slate' in school.
I've always been able to forge my own path in school. No teacher has ever had preconceived ideas about me or my abilities based on an older sibling. Although, several of my teachers in high school did have my mom (that's a story for another time though).
Overall Pro: You don't have to work extra hard to prove yourself against the slacker reputation of another sibling or feel pressure to live up to extremely high expectations by an overachieving sibling.
Overall Con: No one knows you, it's completely up to you to foster impressions and relationships that will affect you and possibly your younger sibling - it can be a bit overwhelming.
3. You have less hand-me downs.
Well, this wasn't an issue for my little brother in the clothes department but he still had my hand me down toys, textbooks, blankets, etc. Don't get me wrong I used plenty of hand me downs from older cousins and family friends but for the most part, older siblings, myself included, normally get more new things than the younger one simply because the family did not have the supplies yet.
Overall Pro: You get the newest things!
Overall Con: You end sharing with your sibling or having less because your parents had to spend more money on the new equipment.
4. Your parents tried harder to be the model parent with you.
My parents put in the effort with both my brother and I but they definitely tried harder to follow everything by the book with me than with him. Some examples are types of food, later bedtimes, types of shows, types of music, etc.
Overall Pro: Every recommendation for child growth and development was followed to a T for you.
Overall Con: You have to sit and watch your younger sibling watch shows at 9yo that you weren't allowed to watch until you were 12.
5. You parents view you as more responsible ( most of the time).
Just by virtue of being older, your parents view you as more responsible. The only other children your parents have are younger and therefore you seem more mature and responsible by comparison. This view gives you more privileges and more responsibilities.
Overall Pro: You get privileges such as staying home alone first, going out without parents, getting a pet, etc.
Overall Con: You get more responsibilities such as household chores, being a built in babysitter and source of entertainment for your younger sibling.
6.You get the bigger bedroom.
I know some siblings share rooms but my brother and I each have our own room. When we first moved to the house we are in now, I was older ( I still am, obviously), and bigger, so therefore I had accumulated more things so naturally, I got the larger room. It was fine when we were younger but now that my little brother is bigger (a good 5 inches taller than me) he harbors a little resentment for the difference in room size.
Overall Pro: Pretty simple, you have the bigger room and therefore more space.
Overall Con: You live in constant fear that your younger sibling will steal your room while you're away at college.
7. You get to be in charge.
Being the older child meant that when I reached a certain age my parents would go out and no longer feel the need to hire a sitter or drop us off with our grandparents because I could be "in charge" for various amounts of time. When you first started staying home alone with your sibling, they were probably young enough that they listened to you because mom and dad said too. After a while, however, they realized that mom and ad weren't there and so they started to challenge you, knowing you had no real power as you probably wouldn't complain too much because you wanted your parents to trust you home alone.
Overall Pro: You get to be the boss and mom and dad actually want you too.
Overall Con: Even if you don't touch a thing, but your younger sibling does, you will still be blamed because "you were in charge
I love my little brother so much and I know we will miss each other while I'm at college on the other side of the country. That being said, sibling relationships are hard, as you come from the same place but try o hard to be different. There are certainly days where the cons of being the oldest outweigh the pros, but there are also times when the pros outweigh the cons. Sibling relationships are a constant give and take, but a deep love and bond nevertheless. I'll always be here for my brother, and as for now, I'm patiently waiting for the day when he reimburses all the gas money I've spent on him.