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Should Older Sisters Be Entitled to Financial Compensation?

Okay, don’t be too scared by this title Mom & Dad, I’m kidding. But am I? 

I saw this post on Instagram the other day, created by an older sister, claiming that the psychological damage she experienced carrying the weight of being the oldest girl in the family should warrant some financial benefits. This got me thinking. Technically, I’m not the oldest sister in the family (I have a twin), but I was born before her, so I guess you could call me the oldest. 

Growing up, I was constantly told that I had to be the one to set a good example for the rest of my siblings. Actually observing the difference between myself and my youngest sister, who’s still in high school, is a little mind-blowing. I think the major difference between us is that she is super laid back and relaxed at all times. Not kidding, I don’t think I’ve seen her stressed about anything in the past 2 years. She and my parents are the only ones left at home after my brother, sister, and I went off to college, and she definitely has the run of the mill nowadays. It makes me a little jealous sometimes that she’s able to just let everything roll right off her back, never seeming bothered. 

When I saw this video, though, it got me thinking. What’s the main difference between my sister and I? Probably our birth order. 

Apparently, according to this article written by Nashia Baker (https://www.marthastewart.com/8040316/big-sister-key-to-success-new-study), in a working paper published through the Center for Global Development, researchers found that older sisters were more likely to “promote child development-leading younger siblings to potentially have more success later in life.” So, to my younger siblings, you’re welcome. I guess I’m not so lucky though, because according to this Duke study (https://today.duke.edu/2008/04/children_punish.html), parents are prone to punishing their oldest children more harshly. 

Overall, I definitely think that being an older sister has shaped my personality. I think I’m more responsible and aware because of it, but I’m not entirely sure if that warrants financial compensation…. Or if I’m just better because of it.

Caroline Sullivan

Holy Cross '23

A Lover of books, coffee, and style from Long Island, New York!
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