General Question

atr408's avatar

Is it better to be the oldest kid, the youngest kid, or in the middle?

Asked by atr408 (357points) June 8th, 2008 from iPhone
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36 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

As an only child, I’d have to say it’s best to be all three!

buster's avatar

Im the oldest son. I have two younger sisters. We are 26, 23, and 17. I would say being the youngest is the best. My parents were young when they had me. I think their parenting skills got better with experience. I got whipped frequently when i was young. The middle sister got whipped a few times and baby sister maybe twice. I alway had more responsibilities around the house. I always had to mow and weedeat a three acre yard. My sisters never had to mow. My parents worked so starting when i was twelve or thirteen i was the babysitter. They bought me a car when i was sixteen so I could play taxi. My youngest sister is seventeen and like most babies she is more spoiled. Part of this my parents careers and income has gotten better over the years. And with two grown children theres more money and attention spent on my baby sister. Im not complaining though. I think being the oldest and having the most responsibities is role your supposed to have in a family. I always had the things i needed and was a happy child. And I only got whipped because im sure i needed it.

TheCouncil's avatar

As the youngest, I actually think the oldest would be best. Your the first and it always seemed like my parents were jaded when it came to me. They had already done it all long before it was my turn so I was told either I didnt need to do something, I wouldn’t like it, or it wasn’t worth the money even after I would hear the stories of how much my brother or sister had enjoyed that exact same activity or membership. @buster- my brother and sister have both told me they feel I was spoiled. I think it is largely based on perspective. The grass is always greener type of thing.

teejay0514's avatar

I think it’s best to be the youngest child because they’re usually the most spoiled, and they can get away with more because the older siblings made it easier for them. I experienced this firsthand, my parents were way more lenient with me because my older sister did every possible thing that was bad. So when it was my turn, they really didn’t care anymore.

wildflower's avatar

Since I’ve never been the middle or oldest, I don’t have a good insight in to what that’s like.
I know being the youngest meant my mum wasn’t as strict and protective with me – since she’d already gone through it all with my siblings before, but at the same time, that also means you have to try that much harder to be original. Also, the feeling of being lesser because you’re younger/smaller is annoying, but on the other hand, you’re the latest addition and score some extra attention for that.

One other thing in my experience is being the youngest of not only siblings, but cousins too and by the time I was born, noone had been named after my grandfather, so I was. This has left me with two names that I always have to spell and/or repeat when I’m abroad (and I’ve lived abroad for the last 13 years)

Skyrail's avatar

Although my brother possibly gets a little easier on life (being younger) due to some of the things buster said (more parental experience, more settled in life etc.) I prefer to be older as I am less likely to be affected by my brother role model wise, I’m also more experienced in life, can provide help to him, I can give advice and support where I see fit and I feel more respected by my parents :)

sccrowell's avatar

I was born the middle child and I wouldn’t it for anything! Not only the was I a middle,
I was the only daughter!!! I have two brothers, both of which were always over-protective. I was spoiled, but not rotten! I got to hang out with my older brother and he never minded me the there, I almost became everyones little sister.I was taught how to ride motorcycles which led me to racing motocross, climb the best trees, there isn’t anything I can’t shoot and hit with a deal of accuracy(sp) I have my hunting lic, fishing lic which led me t become interested in Taxidermy and then to get my lic. So, no I“m glad I was born a middle child. My brothers both related & non-related have taught me to become independent and still remain a lady!

SuperMouse's avatar

I am number four of six and from where I sit – you can double check this with gimmedat – youngest is the place to be.

gimmedat's avatar

OK, NVOldguy was done raising kids by the time it was my time. I am the youngest of six kids and I had a TON of freedom and the funding to go with it. It was cool, I got a ton of life experience, but my family connections are so totally different than those of my siblings. Supernutjob was the closest thing to a mama I had, and with a name like that, need I say more? Youngest is most spoiled, obtains most favored nation status easier, and is opinionated, bossy and always right. So there.

Miss_Lys's avatar

i think the oldest because my parents had us young as well and i’m the middle child. It doesnt seem fair when my sister gets to do things i not able to.Except me and her are treated the same kind of. I dont think the youngest because they already went through all the problems with either the oldest or middle and they know what to expect for the youngest so they wouldnt be able to get away with anything.

iCeskate's avatar

I always debated this and wounderd this

robmandu's avatar

I think I saw recently that the first-born kid gets, on average, something like 3,000 more hours of direct time with the parents. As a result, the authors of the study believe that leads to higher intelligence scores and long-term greater career success, emotional stability, social acceptance, yadda yadda yadda.

The 2nd, 3rd, etc kids all end up getting roughly the same number of hours of direct attention from the parents (that is, 3,000 less than the 1st).

Personally, I don’t put much stock in such things… way too many variables, and way too many exceptions in real life.

Note: all that’s from recollection only, for example, the time difference might just be 300 hours. Whatever the details, the authors of the study believed the difference to yield significant difference in the children’s upbringing.

Oh look, I found the article. Again, any mistakes above are my own, refer to the article for the real details.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Im the oldest, and quite fond of it actually. Theres never the whole “but mooooooooooom you let so and so go out” argument or anything like i hear from my younger siblings. Plus no older siblings that boss you around like many of my friends grew up with.

gailcalled's avatar

I am the oldest by 7 (bro) and 10 (sis) years and had an entirely different childhood from them. My paternal grandparents were nearby and doting (having had 5 sons before golden-haired Gail arrived); my uncles were all unmarried and doting and I was precocious and smart and bossy and everyone thought that I was adorable.

My sibs had almost no contact with the greater family (who had moved to FL or married and started their own families) and I was too old to be very interested in them. When I graduated from high school at 17.5, my sister had just turned 8.

She still reminds me (often) of what a lousy older sister I was. I recently found some old home movies, had them transferred to video and proved to my sister that I had done a lot more things w. her and for her than she remembers.

I got lots of extra attention but also much more scrutiny and supervision so it was a toss-up.

Bri_L's avatar

I am the oldest (twin brother who is 11 min. older and he never lets me forget). I see how different it was for my younger sister and youngest sister and I preferred it. They had to watch things they wanted to do but where to young. My youngest sister was sort of alone by they time we all moved out. not good.

melly6708's avatar

im the youngest.. and there are some advantages.. but when ever we have family get togethers im always teh subject of the jokes and conversation amongst my cousins.. it does suk cause they are mean.. thats one thing i can change about being the smallest.. but i would prefer the middle child

bridold's avatar

I’m the youngest and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

scamp's avatar

I am the youngest of 5 children, and the only girl. I am a SPOILED BRAT!!!

Whattodo's avatar

We jokingly call my first-born “the practice child.” By the time you figure out how to raise a child, the second one gets all the benefits: More relaxed parents, rules in place, bad ideas discarded because they didn’t work on the first kid. Our health insurance company made life difficult, however, when they designated our daughters #1 and #2 on the forms and cards.

gooch's avatar

Middle children usually are the least sucessful and have the most mental issues. The first is usually the most sucessful and smartest. The youngest is usually the most spoiled but has a good life. So first born is the best.

gailcalled's avatar

Our middle (my brother) was the smartest person I know. He made me sound like chopped liver. And was probably better adjusted than either my sis (youngest) or I.

chill_out's avatar

I’m the fifth of six children, the third of three consecutive boys…. I gotta say being near the youngest of a larger family has been pretty good for me. It seems like my parents were more strict with the older children and more lenient with me and my younger sister. Probably because they had too much on their plate to be so strict with me or because they simply got tired of it by the time I came around :) Thanks mom and dad :)

emilyrose's avatar

i’m the oldest and it’s nice to be looked up to, but my brother had it way easier in terms of lenience and things he was allowed to do

susanc's avatar

It’s best to be oldest because you get a lot of attention right away and learn to expect it and do whatever it takes to get it.
You will always be popular, as well as overly responsible to
other people’s expectations. This makes for easy successes in a society that expects people to be friendly.
Go live in outer Norway if you don’t want to live in this kind of society.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

I’m the middle child, and i think it’s the best because being the middle child, you get to see how it is to be an older sibling, and a younger sibling. :D

The_Inquisitor's avatar

@gooch, why are middle children usually the least successful? :\

The_Inquisitor's avatar

@susanc, Not exactly true, but most likely with others, but i’m the middle child, and most responsible, my older sister is really lazy, and i have to deal with everything, i get a lot of attention too, with all the things i’m doing and choices i make.

scamp's avatar

@curiouscat and gooch, The middle child in my family has the most problems emotionally, but because he felt so out of place, he worked harder and is the most successful one in the family.

gooch's avatar

@curious mainly because most parents give the middle child the least attention. The first is was an only child and the last was the baby while the middle child was forgotten.

gailcalled's avatar

In my family, I was first, a novely and very special; my brother as number two was treated like royalty because he was male, and when my sister arrived – 9.5 years after me, my parents were less interested in parenting

Miss_Lys's avatar

@ curiouscat- i’m a middle child as well and i agree that i get a lot of attention because of the choices i make but there not good choices so i get attention i dont want.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I am the youngest, out of siblings and cousins, and it is really is “da bomb.” I was spoiled by my sisters as well as my parents. Nothing was ever expected of me. Luckily I have never been “wild” or the freedom my parents gave me could have been a bad thing. Luckily I have my own ambition or I could have turned out to be a looser. Everyone enjoyed teasing me, though. As it is, I am attracted to guys who tease me. My husband was an “oldest” out of 7 kids, and I agree with the experts who say an oldest man and a youngest woman makes the best match. I would flirt and manipulate; he would tease and find me charming.

LouisianaGirl's avatar

the youngest and because I`m the baby I always get what I want!!! Yay go me!! :P

Sariperana's avatar

Im the oldest of 3, the youngest of 3, and only child and the middle of nine…
(Oldest of my dads 3 kids, youngest of my mums 3, the only child between my parents, and there is a total of 9 half-siblings)
Regardless of family position, each pecking order has both its advantages and its disavantages!

Sariperana's avatar

Oh and our family occassion sure as hell are dramatically entertaining!

xxfluffyxx123's avatar

I’m the oldest to my dad but not to my mum my step sister gets lots me and her were 6 years apart but when my mum got with my dad i was born I’m 1997 Regan was 5 then 3 years later mum and dad had Katie in 2000 she is really lazy she is ten she can sit there and yell at mum and she gets what she want her voice is so irritated then three years later they had jasmine 2003 she doesn’t have to clean do work she sits there and watches me and Katie clean then 7 years later they had Jacob he will be ones soon he doesn’t get much but jasmine and Regan get what they want with mum because Regan doesn’t live with as I’m the oldest i get told off when rooms aren’t clean when mum can’t find mum walks my sisters to school even when they are older to walk them self. Mum can’t buy me things like pads, books,shoes,clothes or makeup without having to buy them dad buys me a TV mum had to buy then a TV. I got my own room they had to have their own room. I got my first phone at 11 and that was from my mate she had to have her phone at 10 from mum. I want to be the youngest.

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