I'm the eldest child in my family and Duncan is the youngest in his. We've had some interesting discussions over who is hardest done by.
Here's why it's tough being the eldest:
1. You're the 'guinea pig', the 'experiment'. Every mistake your parents made with you, they (hopefully) learn from with your younger siblings. What you suffered through, they get a cushier ride. When I finished high school and went to uni, I had to spend three years languishing in cruddy student housing. By the time my brother started a bridging course (which he later dropped out of) to get into uni, my parents had bought a house in Perth and he got to live there by himself. Although my parents pestered him to get a housemate to help them pay the mortgage, he refused and they eventually gave up.
2. There are greater expectations placed on your shoulders and the bar is set higher. You have to be the responsible one, you're the 'heir'. If I'd got the poor grades my brother got in Year 12, I would have got my butt kicked.
3. You not only get blamed for things you do wrong, you get blamed for what your younger siblings do, too. Younger siblings dob on you and your mum believes them, but if you dob on them, you get told not to dob.
4. You have to be in charge when your parents are out, kind of like a third parent (hence #3).
5. You have to watch your younger siblings get presents as well on YOUR birthday (because they'll throw tantrums otherwise), but you don't get any presents on theirs.
Are you the eldest child? What do you think are the hardest things about being the eldest?
Stay tuned for '5 Reasons Why it Rocks Being the Eldest Child' next week.