Growing up with siblings prepares you for the real world.
The middle child, is almost always the opposite of the first-born, can efficiently read people and tends to be independent. The last-born, is generally always looking to have a good time, is the least financially responsible and is classically spoiled…rotten.
While most of these birth order characteristics can be debated, one seems to always remain tried and true; the youngest is spoiled. It’s just a fact of life and, if you’re denying it, you’re either a parent, or the youngest out of your siblings, which means you’re spoiled and would naturally protest.
Being the youngest is just a recipe of spoiledness waiting to happen. The parents have exhausted all, or most, of their punishment abilities on the older siblings, they [the parents] are struggling with the fact that their last child is growing up, which basically means they dump out their pocketbooks on the ‘baby.’
Growing up as the middle child of my 6 siblings, three above and three below, I’ve managed to observe both ends of the spectrum and firmly believe that the youngest sibling is always going to be spoiled. When I was 11, we had one prehistoric computer with just Wheel of Fortune and Solitaire (no internet).
For a few years, we had a hand-me-down Super Nintendo (that was kept under lock and key), but any use of either the computer, or Nintendo was strictly timed. If we wanted more time; too bad! We had to go outside and build forts, or make up games to play–which we did.
Tonight, when we were on our way home, I was smashed in the back seat next to my youngest brother, Robert.
As we made our way down the highway, I couldn’t help but reminisce back to all the road trips we had all gone on together as a family. Much has changed since the good ol’ days and now most of us are all grown up…most of us anyways.
Robert, who is 11 and the youngest, doesn’t just have a computer and a Nintendo, but also an iPad, a Wii, an Xbox, multiple GameBoys and no time for building forts outside. When I compare my childhood, with that of my younger siblings, I can’t help but notice all the things they get away with and the many luxuries that I never had, which all seems a little unfair.
Then again, I’m sure my older siblings could come up with a laundry list of items that I got away with, or luxuries that I had that they lived without. The more siblings that you have, the more chances of unfairness, which is especially true when there’s a 20-year difference between the youngest and the oldest.
I remember back when I was in high school, and asking the parents permission to do something, I would always receive a large response of “That’s not fair! I never got to do that,” from the peanut gallery.
At one point in time, my parents had 4 teenagers and 2 preteens living under their roof…no idea how they managed to live through that.
Along with the fact of believing the youngest is always spoiled, I also believe that it’s impossible to raise multiple children in a manner that is completely, 100-percent fair. It’s just not going to happen.
When I was 11, my parents didn’t have the money for expensive toys and I, unlike Robert, had other siblings close to my age who I could play with and/or annoy. I’ve never once felt like my parents loved one of my siblings more than I and, if they were unfair, it was only because the circumstances changed a bit.
There have been times when I’ve attempted to come up with some negative aspects of growing up in a family of 9, and observing the unfairness between siblings is the closest to something negative I’ve ever gotten. But, when you think about, life is completely unfair–from birth to death–and growing up in a large, unfair family actually prepares you for the real world more than anything.
I guess my youngest brother hasn’t experienced the unfair world of siblings, but there’s still time for that. I’m sure his older siblings and I can come up with a few things to teach him about the unfair real world that’s waiting for him just around the corner.
Having siblings can make life unfair, but not having any siblings just seems unfair. I’m glad life isn’t fair and that my parents, apparently, didn’t watch a lot of TV.
Look at these two siblings getting along perfectly: