If you’re lucky enough to love an oldest child, here’s what you need to know.
By Alex Alexander
Last updated on Nov 20, 2023
Photo: Tobi Toun | Pexels
Oldest children are the best kind of children. (But, of course, I’m biased because I’m an oldest child myself — of five!)
If you have the good fortune of loving/dating/marrying one of us, congrats to you, good sir! You’re in for a fun ride. Just buckle your seat belt first and pay attention to these safety instructions, will ya?
Here are 8 brutal truths about loving a first-born:
1. We’re bossy
Oldest children are used to ruling the roost and telling their pep squad of little siblings what to do and how to do it. This works until little bro and sis get old enough and put you in your place. But still, the bossiness remains.
2. We’re a little entitled
Our parents gave us every opportunity in the world, fawned over us, took more baby photos of us, and were more careful the first time around with us, so we’re used to being treated a little special. Life, and all its hardships, have a way of chipping away at this perceived “uniqueness” but still, we got more attention than the rest of our siblings and it’s something that sticks with us forever.
3. We get along great with the youngest children
I have no scientific data to back this up, except to say that nearly all my ex-boyfriends (and my current beau) are the youngest kids. Maybe they like the authority; who knows?
4. We seek validation
Our parents praised our every move and yes, I know, they really should’ve cut back on that a bit. But as a result of this, we like to be patted on the back and given gold stars when we’ve done something positive. This leads me to…
5. We’re over-achievers
We like to be praised, therefore we achieve. It’s almost an addiction.
According to Dr. Kevin Leman, author of The Birth Order Book, when parents gush over the oldest sibling’s “firsts,” it feeds into this attitude, motivating them to achieve further.
Apologies to younger siblings everywhere who have to live up to their oldest siblings.
6. We take initiative
It’s just what we do. If something needs to be accomplished at work, we will accomplish it — or delegate it to one of our younger siblings (er, employees) to do it for us.
7. We’re great organizers of large groups of people
We can do this with our eyes shut. We’ve been herding our family of sheep into minivans/airplanes/restaurants/etc. for YEARS now; corralling people into a semblance of unity should basically be on our resume. In fact, I think it is.
8. We don’t like to share our stuff
Because seriously, our little sisters have been stealing our sweaters/eyeliner/CAR for like, 20 years now and we’re really over it. Don’t touch our stuff without permission!
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Alex Alexander is a pseudonym. The author of this article is known to YourTango but is choosing to remain anonymous.