I have basically been an older sibling my whole life. I was barely a year and half old when my younger brother, Parker, was born. Fast forward nearly 17 years later, and I am the big sister to five brothers and two sisters ranging from ages 16 to four. Granted, I do not live in the same household with all of them, and I don’t see all of them on a daily basis, but I still think about them, care for them and love them dearly. Being an older sister most definitely has it trials and tribulations, but it’s an overall amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. It has taught be many life lessons in my years and I’m sure there are plenty more to come.
One of the best parts of being the only kid in the family is that your younger siblings believe you are full or worldly wisdom (whether they want to admit it or not). Both my 16-year-old brother and seven-year-old sister come to me for advice on what to wear, how to handle situations and what toy they should get with their tooth fairy money. Being older than your siblings, you are most likely the first one to experience life’s hardships -- like being picked on or failing a test -- and although those were hard things to go through, you learned something valuable by enduring them. Now, when your siblings come to you for advice on whatever challenge they may be facing, you’ll have firsthand experience and be able to tell them exactly how you were able to get through it and tell them how not to make the same mistakes you did, allowing you to put your hard times to good use.
Another reason why I love being an older sibling, specifically an older sister, is because I got a head start on learning motherly duties. Since I was capable of doing so, I loved helping my parents with my younger siblings. I’ve changed diapers, made bottles, given baths, picked out school clothes and several other small tasks to help out my parents. In doing this, I learned responsibility at an early age and it has become a characteristic of mine that I am very proud of. Also, when I finally decide to have some kids of my own, it won’t be as overwhelming because I’ve had a lot of practice with my younger siblings.
As an older sibling, you are constantly setting an example for your brothers and sisters. It is so wonderful and also scary to hear your baby sister say, “I want to be just like Sissy when I grow up.” You hear those words and think to yourself, “But what if I mess up?” Having younger siblings pushes you to be the best “you” you can be because you know there is someone watching your every move. There is someone who, even through the fussing and fighting, through the good times and the bad, thinks you’re one of the best human beings on the planet. You are their role model whether they know it or not and when someone is following in your footsteps, you want to make sure you are stepping in the right direction.
Having a sibling means having someone who will always love you, someone who will always be there to listen and someone you can always count on to let you know you’re having a bad hair day. Being an older sibling means you get to be the one to make sure this happens. As the older sibling, you are the one they look up to, the one they go to when they’re in trouble and sometimes you are the one who has to be strong when no one else can. Being an older sibling can sometimes be one of the hardest things to do but it always the most gratifying.