The Party-Stickler, The Forgotten Child, and The Spoiled Brat

The Party-Stickler, The Forgotten Child, and The Spoiled Brat

Ethan Vu, ENN Staff

From the constant tattle-tailing, food fights, and threats such as “snitches get stitches,” siblings are the one inevitable thing that no one can escape. Often times, many disputes such as “She’s taking too long in the bathroom!” or “He won’t let me change channels on the TV!” can be a result of the order of which individuals are born into. According to a 2013 Parents article which states that Dr. Kevin Leman, physiologist, believes birth order affects an individual’s personality, as well as how their parents treat their children.

Because of birth order, many oldest siblings are led to believe that their youngest sibling are spoiled while the youngest believe that the oldest have more access to certain things, such as getting a car, credit card, or even brand new clothing to which the others get hand-me-downs. According to Brailey Harris, sophomore, she believes the youngest being spoiled definitely applies to her family as she tends to get more things over her older siblings.

“Since I am the youngest, I am expected to be slightly less responsible than my siblings, but because I’m a girl and boys ‘age slower.’ I’m expected to make wiser choices than my brothers. I am pampered more because I’m the baby. It’s easier for me to ask things and because I can be seen as more responsible, my family let’s me do more. I do think I fit the age stereotype a bit because I am given more things than my parents did with my other siblings,” Harris stated.

Although many individuals may or may not be treated differently based on their birth order, Sarah Cole, sophomore, believes that being the middle child puts some expectations onto her because of how successful her older sister is. 

“I feel as if I’m always being compared to my older sister. The oldest sets the standards for everyone else to live up to. My sister is perfect at everything. She graduated high school at sixteen with a year of college already finished, got a full ride to UTA, and she’s graduating college at nineteen with a bachelor’s degree. Needless to say I have a lot to live up to. Whenever I do anything, instead of it being seen as my own accomplishment, it’s always seen in comparison to Rachel and what she did,” Cole said.

The oldest is traditionally expected to set the expectations parents expect the other siblings to follow. This sort of pressure is easy for freshman Chirstin Campbell to understand.  

“I’m sort of the leader, because I’m the oldest. I always have to do what’s right so he doesn’t do anything bad also. I know if I mess up, then my brother will be influenced by that and it’ll all lead back to me so there’s definitely some things I know can and can’t do whenever he’s around,” Campbell stated.

Due to this birth order, many siblings are often treated differently than the others. The youngest, such as Harris, may be babied by her parents while the oldest, such as Campbell, may seem to be more responsible and have higher expectations by their parents. This does not seem to be true for Erica Williams, Spanish teacher, as she treats her children based on their age group rather than order of birth.

“I have two children, both boys. I treat my children based on their age. My oldest, I give him more responsibility than the youngest. I give him what he can handle at his age, to teach him to be more responsible. My youngest, I hold him responsible to his age. What a five-year-old can be held responsible for,” Williams said.

Along with having siblings, some individuals, such as Kayla Nguyen, sophomore, have step siblings to contend with. According to Nguyen, the change from being the only child to being the middle child of six step siblings has changed the way her parents have treated her throughout the years.

“I am technically the middle child, but for most of my life I’ve been living as an only child so I was spoiled as a kid but not overly. As I got older and started to live with people on my mom’s side, it became different because my mom started treating me a different way than she had never done before. My parents have compared my grades to my other siblings more often. Being the oldest on my mom’s side, they have been setting their expectations higher,” Nguyen said.

Despite being treated a certain way due birth order, this does not hold true to all individuals as parents tend to treat their children differently based on different circumstances and changes throughout their life. Along with the order families are born in, many siblings can agree that their siblings are the best frienemies they’ll ever have. Too bad that the constant disputes and arguing doesn’t stop after your childhood ends because siblings are family members that’ll be there for you forever.