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The Guinea Pig Child

Being the oldest sibling, that makes you the guinea pig child. Your parents don’t know how to take care of another human being, and they are learning as they go. By the second or third child, parents learn from their mistakes from their guinea pig child and are pros at parenting. However, no one ever tells you  the job that you unwillingly obtain when becoming the oldest sibling.

No one ever tells you that with being the oldest, you have to set the example. The good examples as well as the bad. You have to always be the role model because your younger siblings are always watching, even when you don’t think they are. On top of that, you are the example for your parents. When you misbehave, you’re always the one who gets punished in front of your younger siblings so that they know to not follow your bad examples. This is a lot of pressure for almost every oldest sibling. The pressure to be perfect. Nobody’s perfect, however, you’re expected to act as if you were.

Not only are you expected to be the ultimate role model, you also lose your parent’s attention. Whether some parents admit to it or not, the newborn child is always the favorite. It may be because they’re so pure and innocent that parents are hypnotized by their level of cuteness. So when they mess up, they have the cuteness factor that protects them from getting in trouble. Being the oldest, you no longer have that luxury.

Lastly, in a sense you lose your freedom. When it comes to younger siblings, you have to be the responsible one. This means that you have to help take care of your younger sibling, whether it be changing diapers, or clothes, or even helping put them to sleep, you always have to be around to help. You sort of become a mini adult in a way.

Being the oldest sibling isn’t easy at all. There is so much pressure that your younger siblings will never even begin to understand. Having to always take care of them and teach them right from wrong can be stressful. You always have to keep an eye on them no matter what because unwillingly, they turned into your responsibility. However, in the long run, even though it may not feel like it now the relationship you are able to build with your younger siblings is worth the struggle.


Hi, my name is Gabby. I am currently a Junior at Adelphi University. I am a psychology major and I wish to pursue a career in child psychology. I am originally from Staten Island, New York. I am also on the Equestrian team at Adelphi. I am a coffee fanatic and enjoy yoga. I enjoy having movie nights and staying in. I love everything Disney and my favorite Disney princess is Ariel from The Little Mermaid. 
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