This paper examines the benefits and downfalls of being on older child as it particularly relates to family relations and other siblings. These children are considered more successful and confident, and they have also been shown to be the star in which their siblings follow. They have more responsibilities in the family than the younger siblings. They are respectful to their parents and elders. This is in contrast to children born later in the birth order, as they tend to be more unconventional, flexible, and rebellious. How true is this belief? As much as being the first-born, people dote on the child and illustrate the extent of their love by giving gifts. There are also cons associated with this position as much as there are pros.
Some of the pros of being the oldest child include:
1. These children are well provided with material things as being the oldest child means one is provided with all the better things that their parents could afford, they also get the best opportunities such as being sent to the best schools. This is because their opportunities seem to be clearer and more, especially if the parents were organized when they got married. This is more enhanced in education, travel, parent's attention, and love. Oldest children are also usually pampered with everything they need and want since they have no siblings yet to rival them.
2. Respect - As an oldest child, an individual gains respect from their younger siblings. They always consider their ideas and thoughts prior to making any conclusion in family matters. The younger siblings also worship them especially if the oldest child is kind and caring.
3. Born with Love - though this does not necessarily mean that there is no love for the other children but being the first child is significant to the parents whether born out of wed-lock or not, their birth dates are the most joyous moments of their parents and other family members. They are usually filled with love, attention and care as all things are new.
Some of the more obvious cons of being an older child are:
1. The oldest child automatically becomes the baby-sitter if the parents are both working and they cannot afford to hire a baby sitter. The oldest child is also responsible for most of the work at home, as he or she is often the helper of the parents in their work.
2. Older children are also always often bear responsibility for things they did not do as they are the oldest, they often take the blame of the younger children. Most of the time they are always forced to give up a lot for their younger siblings such as toys, play time as they spend most of their time looking after their younger siblings. They also tend to forget themselves in the process because they are often the protectors of their younger siblings until they get old.
3. Responsibility - As the oldest child, one is expected to be a model for their younger siblings and this is not an easy task especially if one has grown up in a poor family. They are in-charge of their parents and if anything was to go wrong, it was the older child's fault."
4. Hardship - As an Older child one experiences all the hardships that sometimes one cannot imagine how they went through it. If their parents were married at an early age, they would have knowledge especially on how to look after them or how to raise them.
For some, being the older child is a continuous responsibility that requires strength of character, purpose and a lot of zeal on the child's part. This will enable them stand on their own and support their younger siblings. Their superiority also puts them at a difficult place thus affecting their personalities in general.