Childrearing

Being The Oldest Kid In The Family Is The Best

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oldest kid

I suppose I am only qualified to speak to this from my own perspective so take this with a grain of salt, but I can say after 33 years of living it that I would never want to be anything other than the oldest kid. I know sometimes the oldest is thought of as a tough position to be in- you get the brunt of the discipline because your parents are still trying to figure things out and are more on top of your comings and goings than they will be for subsequent children. You might also have a lot more asked of you because you are supposed to be “responsible.” These things were true for me but all of The Awesome far outweighed it. Oldest kids, unite. We really have it pretty good, despite what some may say.

The benefits of being the oldest child are many but for me, the best part was being in charge. I have two younger brothers and I enjoyed the title of oldest because it conveyed a certain authority. I was also allowed the most privileges- the later bedtime, the bigger allowance and my pick of sports and activities because my parents were still excited and not jaded about traveling back and forth to practices and lessons. When you are the oldest, you get your parents at their most ambitious and energetic, no doubt.

I’m not saying life isn’t good if you are elsewhere in the birth order but I do think the oldest gets crapped on a lot and it is thought that it’s not a great spot to be in so I felt like dispelling that idea for my fellow oldest kids. When you are the first to do everything, there is a certain specialness there. My high school graduation, my wedding, my kids being born- it was all pretty exciting because in my family, it was the first time we were experiencing all of it.

I also think being the oldest helped me become more of a leader where I may not have otherwise. I am comfortable taking charge because of my years spent calling the shots as a kid but as I get older, I realize that my natural tendency is to take direction rather than give it. I think being the oldest taught me how to lead, even if it’s not necessarily where my heart is. It also helped me learn conflict resolution, firsthand. I had to get along with both of my brothers and was also frequently in the position of referring between them. Naturally, this has informed me a great deal as a parent of two kids close in age who bicker now and then. I know how to broker a deal over the coveted toy or figure out the best compromise because I lived it for years.

Of course, I see how my younger child has benefited from my calmer demeanor as a more experienced parent. I also see how much he has loved growing up with an older sibling. There are good parts to all sides but I have to say, I think the oldest kid has it the best overall. Where are you in the birth order and how do you think it has affected you throughout life? Do you wish you were elsewhere in the family order? Talk in the comments, please!

(Image: holbox/Shutterstock)

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  1. Pingback: It's Hard To Avoid Babying Your Youngest Child

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