Pros And Cons Of Being The Eldest Child
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Pros And Cons Of Being The Eldest Child

Sure, you learn how to be responsible at a young age, but at what cost?

Pros And Cons Of Being The Eldest Child

I’m the oldest of three, and a point of contention among me, my parents, and my two younger brothers has always been: which is hardest, being the oldest child, middle child, or youngest child? Now, both of my parents are the youngest children in their families, so while my two younger brothers often gain sympathy points for being the youngest and the middle child respectively, no one seems to believe me when I claim being the oldest is actually really difficult.

“But you get everything first!” they say. “And you don’t have to deal with hand-me-downs!” And yes, I’ll admit, being the oldest definitely has it’s advantages alongside the disadvantages. So, I decided to lay them out—the biggest pros and the biggest cons of growing up the eldest sibling.

Pro: You were always in charge of your siblings whenever your parents went somewhere. Meaning you got to tell them what to do, and they had to listen.

Con: But you also got blamed whenever your siblings did something wrong (a.k.a when they broke something or got hurt), no matter whether or not it was actually your fault because “you should know better.”

Pro: You get to do everything first—first to watch an R-rated movie, first to get a cell phone, first to get your driver’s license, the list goes on and on.

Con: But your parents were also a lot stricter with you, so your siblings were generally allowed to do things at a younger age. At age 16, you had to tell your parents every last detail about where you were going when you left the house: the who, what, where, how, why, and when, and if you arrived back home so much as 2 minutes past curfew you were in for a lecture at the very least. Now, at age 16, your younger sibling rolls up to the house at 11:30 pm having been basically MIA for the past 12 hours, claim they were “out with friends,” and your parents are like…

Pro: You never have to deal with hand-me-downs. Everything your little heart wanted, needed, or desired would be brand-new. (Unless, of course, you have older cousins and your parents insisted you take their hand-me-downs, in which case, bummer).

Con: Being the guinea pig, a.k.a the biggest complaint of every oldest child out there. If you are the oldest, it’s practically guaranteed that your parents had less than 0 idea how the hell to raise a child when they had you. Every milestone you reached in your life was a milestone for them as well, and not necessarily one that they entirely knew how to deal with. Of course, this also has some slightly more desirable side effects, such as….

Pro: You got tons of special attention for being the first. Chances are, if you’re the oldest, there are about five million pictures and videos of you as a kid because your parents wanted to document everything about their new baby! Once you get around to the second or third kid and the novelty wears off, the number of baby pictures decreases rather dramatically, and it’s highly unlikely that your distant relatives even know your siblings' names.

Con: Losing out on that attention when your siblings are born. I was only 3 when my first younger brother was born, so I have only very vague recollections of what that time in my life was like, but we have the home videos to prove that I was an attention-seeking mess of a child after my brother was born. I can only imagine what it would be like to lose out on all of that sweet, sweet undivided attention at say, 7 or 8.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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