The call for justice of youngest siblings everywhere

Spoiled younger sibling stereotype does not reflect truth

By Andrea Boyn

The youngest sibling has it the hardest. The truth of birth-order stereotypes can only be confirmed when the story is heard from all perspectives.

Growing up as the youngest most definitely has its perks, yet, there are some major struggles the elder siblings will never understand.

The oldest sibling is often allowed more leniency in curfews and academic expectations. Illustration by Andrea Boyn.

As the youngest, this is the last chance parents have to raise a child right. This is the root cause of many complications from the primary years, to all the way past high school graduation. The youngest always has to battle for independence.

From miniscule mistakes to dramatic ones, any blunders older siblings have previously made will predispose an extensive list of unnecessary rules.

The varying age gaps between siblings seem to be the way of determining the amount of imaginable equality assigned. This works as a disadvantage for the youngest, as the gap grows bigger.

Then there is the emphasis on the innocence of the youngest sibling. With innocence comes assumptions of immaturity, leading to being treated as a kid even though you have proven yourself to be responsible.  

Other scenarios that cause further complications for the youngest sibling is the glorification of the eldest. Often found, the oldest sibling has already set the bar high, and as a result the youngest are expected to meet or surpass said standards. These expectations heavily influence a child’s development, according to Dr. Sylvia Rimm. They encourage feelings of inadequacy and encourages unhealthy competition.

These scenarios are most often disregarded as a nuisance one has to deal with however, there are situations where these disadvantages can be manipulated to mislead parents and serve to one’s own benefit.

There will come a time when the youngest siblings will no longer have to accept getting left out, not being taken seriously nor being tormented by their older siblings. But until then, we’ll have to live with it.