Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Advantages - Disadvantages of being first born

This topic is from the jar.
Maybe it is a good thing that my two siblings don't frequent the Internet so that they might have access to this blog. They may have much more to add than me.
Being first born, you, of course, are the trial run for the parents. Everything is a "first time" for them. They might be over protective but at the same time, may have higher, unrealistic expectations. Realism may set in when number 2 comes along and both may diminish somewhat.
I was 4 when Jeff was born. I could be out and about playing when my folks were so busy with the resort. Jeff, on the other hand, was left in a play pen for hours on end. (So, I was told by him) I personally never felt I was favored over my brother or sister; they might have a different opinion. The child raising was left primarily up to our mother and she punished us all equally, I felt. I don't remember them being beat/spanked like I was but I assume our mother was an "equal opportunity mother".
One disadvantage might be that my father's free time was greater when I was out of the home so Jeff seemed to get more time with him than I did. Trips to Canada, trips to Isle Royal etc.
Since I got my driver's license first, I must have been the taxi for my siblings but that is not such a bad deal; you don't care where you drive at that age, as long as you get to.
When we were older, and Mom alone with Dad being gone, she took great pains to treat and give equally to each of us. She told me that many times for she did want us to feel that she was favoring one of us over the other.
A note on Rita. She was adopted when she was six years old. I was 14 at the time. Even when she came, the parents first daughter, I never felt we lacked for attention because of her. So, I really don't see any stark contrasts with being the first born.
I wonder how Don would answer this?


  1. thoughtful post. interesting, dad. thanks, david

  2. The first born probably gets the most attention from the parents. Sure it is their first kid so maybe they aren't as "good" at parenting as they might be with later kids, but I don't know if that is much of a factor. Most parents have the best intentions at heart even if something they are doing turns out not to be the best way to go about it.

    One disadvantage if you come from a family with many kids is once you leave the home for college you do not see your young siblings grow up as much as if you were still around. My youngest sibs were only about 7 and 9 when I left for college.

    It isn't like a kid has any control over their birth order so "advantages/disadvantages" is kind of a weird way to look at it. I've not found any disadvantages to being the oldest other than "having" to go through some of life's major experiences first w/o older siblings first breaking ground (moving away, college, marriage, children, etc). First-borns are stereotypically more organized and responsible and maybe that is a natural necessity. They don't have a peer family member to follow and they have to do it for themselves.

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