Struggles of Being the Oldest Child

IMG_8188So lately my youngest brother (10 years old) has been going through this sassy phase. He sits and plays his video games and whenever anyone asks him to do something he yells or simply says “no”. He talks back whenever anyone tries to tell him something. If I would have done that at that age, I definitely would have gotten grounded. Also, I wasn’t allowed to have more than an hour of “screen time” per day. Not that I care. (I do actually, a lot.)  Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great kid, but lately I’ve been noticing some struggles of being the oldest child and figured I’d come up with a funny, lighthearted list of things that only the oldest child will understand.

1. Your parents don’t actually know what they’re doing with you.

Although they’ll probably never admit it, they actually have no idea how to deal with a lot of situations you throw their way. They don’t know how late of a curfew to give you on prom night, so they might as well stick with your normal midnight one. They don’t know how much freedom you should get with the car. So you’re really just the guinea pig, while your younger siblings get to enjoy the luxury of your parents knowing how to deal with certain milestones.

2. They have super high expectations for you.

For me, this wasn’t such a big deal. My parents were never crushed when their expectations weren’t met. However, it’s hard because you always have to be on your A game no matter what you’re doing, because you know your parents will be at least a little disappointed if you don’t do the absolute best.

3. They’re way more strict with you.

Like I mentioned earlier with screen time. Or curfews. I will guarantee you right now that in 8 years, my brother will not have the same curfew I do. I bet he’ll be able to leave the house without actually telling anyone where he’s going, too. Also, up until about a year ago, I was never allowed to have sleepovers because “nothing good happens at sleepovers after age 16”, which is probably true, but they don’t have that rule with any of my other siblings.

4. Your younger siblings can get away with way more stuff than you ever did.

The first time I ever got drunk and my parents found out, they were livid. I think I was grounded for 3 weeks. That won’t happen to any of them, because “it’s high school and it happens and just pretty please stay safe.”

5. Also, they never seem to be grounded for anything.

Like being a sass. Because if that were me, it would be a 1 week sentence at max.

6. You’re bossy because someone has to take charge.

This is a seriously great life skill to have. You know how to lead a group because you’ve been doing it your entire life.

7. You always get in trouble because “you should know better”.

My sister and I always used to fight when we were younger and she figured out that if she started crying and acted like I had hurt her, Mom would believe it because I’m older and I should know better.

8. You can’t seem to schmooze like your younger siblings.

They know how to get whatever they want. It’s seriously a gift.

9. There is absolutely no privacy for you.

They will want to come in your room, try on your clothes, dig through your drawers, and find out everything they can about you because you’re older and your life is so much more glamorous. Although it’s flattering, it’s also super annoying because you have absolutely no privacy.

10. Oh, you want to go out the same night your parents do? That’s too bad, you’re staying home and babysitting.

It’s not negotiable.

11. And when you’re babysitting, they NEVER listen to you.

There’s NO WAY they’re going to bed on time. Or cleaning up after themselves. Or really just doing anything you say. So basically it’s pointless for you to even be there.

12. When you hear someone talking shit about them and you know its absolutely true, but have to defend them anyways because you’re the older sibling and thats just what they do.

I don’t mind. I’ll defend my younger siblings till the end. I know they’re annoying and weird just as much as the kids at school say, but nobody can mess with them except for me.

Being the oldest is a blessing and a curse. I may be jealous of the luxuries they get for not being the oldest, but I still love my younger siblings more than words can describe. Being the oldest has made me stronger as a person and has taught me so many useful life skills. This list may make it sound miserable, but I promise you that being the oldest child is one of the biggest blessings ever.

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