My brother was the youngest sibling (and the only boy). It might be my firstborn perspective, but he was definitely spoiled while we were growing up. His big brown eyes and chubby baby cheeks may have also played a hand in the fact that he was able to get away with much more than I ever could.
According to research by NPR, birth order does have an effect on personality. I am organized (well, mostly), conscientious, and studious. My brother procrastinates so often that I send him articles on how not to procrastinate so much. Parents also notes that the youngest children are described to have a "come what may" attitude because their parents loosened up a little by the time they were born.
Another survey showed in The Huffington Post found that the youngest children also happen to be the favorite of their parents. It doesn't bother me now, but my brother was the favorite of many people because he was the baby in the family and an incredibly cute kid. I am a firstborn child. So, I never realized what it was like for those who were born last in their families. These stories from the youngest child were enlightening, to say the least. Their parents certainly did their best, but...wow, what it was like to be the youngest child!
25 Most Of The Money Went To Older Siblings
One Reddit user pointed out that the youngest children often did not get to do what the older siblings got to do. Both of their older siblings got to go to Japan in high school, but the Redditor in question did not. "I'm the youngest, and as a result, there was never any money for stuff for me to do," writes @Senichi in the thread. "All the money was spend [sic] on my brother and sister." Being the youngest child wasn't all that it was cracked up to be in this case.
24 The Perks Of Being The Youngest
Even so, there were still definitely perks to being the youngest child. Reddit user @Xxilo shared a story that dad would always pay for their movie ticket, while their older brother had to cover everything himself. Maybe it's because @Xxilo was still seen as a baby...
"Best thing is that I get away with things my brother didn't," wrote @Xxilo. "I am essentially the favourite child...and fully exploit the perks." Older children are often told to become responsible earlier on and expected to help care for their siblings. Not having to pay for things is a huge perk for being the youngest child!
23 Oh Yeah, And #YoungestSiblingsProblems Abound
How could jealous older siblings get back at their younger brothers and sisters? Maybe place them under a bunch of dumbbells or get into a pillow fight with them? Redditors posted a photo of a little boy beneath several dumbbells who would need someone to "spot" him quickly. Older siblings can certainly have a mean streak when playing tricks on their siblings, and the youngest child usually had to deal with it. Sometimes parents will catch on in time and spare the younger sibling from embarrassment.
22 So Many Hand-Me-Downs
Stephanie Dawn shared her "youngest child" story with BuzzFeed. She said that she was always stuck with her older sibling's hand-me-down clothes. Why buy more clothes when the younger child can fit the old ones, right? It's all about being economical as a parent. And hand-me-downs only work well when the kids are still really young. It starts to get dicey when the children become teenagers and want to be wearing the latest trends or the coolest styles. Wearing a sibling's used clothing would be a fashion faux pas at that point.
21 Older Siblings Sometimes Set Them Up
Jason Green told me about the time that his older sister found a clever way to get him into trouble. They were playing Frisbee when it landed on the roof. "She asked me to get it, I did; she locked me out and yelled for my parents," he tweeted. "I was the one who got in trouble. #BabyBrotherFail." Blaming the baby of the family is a favorite pastime of older siblings (this I know!), so it's no surprise that Jason Green was the one who was on the receiving end of his older sister's pranks. Being the youngest could be a pain.
20 There Are Definitely Ups And Downs
@Catface111 of Reddit had some "first world whining problems" about being the youngest child. The ups-and-downs include being treated "like a baby" all the time—no matter what—and getting hand-me-downs. Sometimes the youngest child wants to be taken as seriously as an adult does on some topics. But other times, it's convenient to not be expected to take responsibility for one's actions. The hand-me-downs, on the other hand, seem to be a major complaint among those born as the last child of their parents.
19 Always 'The Baby,' Never The Grownup
Another Redditor had something to add to that effect. This person happened to be 22 years old at the time of the posting and was always told that they were "a baby." Well, how long are younger children seen as babies? The youngest child in the family becomes an adult like anyone else. Calling 30 and 40-year-old people "babies" just because of their birth order is a little illogical in the real world. It's hard to see the youngest child as an adult, but that's what happens when they reach 18 years of age.
18 Parents Didn't Take As Many Photos
Mary tweeted about her experience as the youngest child. "You know you're the younger sibling when you can't find any baby pictures of you by yourself," she posted online. Her statement makes a lot of sense. After parents have more children, then all of the children are photographed together at the same time. Individual photos are nearly a luxury at this point. The firstborn children were exciting, but the rest are just an "old hat" for parents. Parents have already settled into the role of parenthood.
17 Oh, The Stories That Older Siblings Would Tell Them
If the youngest child ever feels like they belong in a different family, it could be because one of the older siblings told them that they were adopted or from another planet. Caitlin Carpenter tweeted that her older siblings would often tell her that she was adopted. The goal was to play mind games with her. Being the youngest child comes with its own pitfalls when we consider all of the things that the older siblings will say to them. It's where the youngest child has to learn how to discern fact from fiction.
16 Sometimes Parents Gave Them The Most Rules To Follow
While Newsweek explains how science shows that parents are more lenient on the rules for youngest children, that was not the case for Elizabeth. She tweeted that her parents gave her even MORE rules as a result of her older siblings. Now that makes me wonder what her older siblings used to do that caused their parents to become stricter over time. A child who is the combination of Dennis the Menace and Home Alone's Kevin McCallister might be enough to send parents into making up additional rules. Who knows? Kids are cute, clever, and devious.
15 Often Compared To Their Older Siblings
A downside to being the youngest child is that parents and other adults will ask questions like, "Why can't you be more like your brother? Or your sister?" That's what Joy tweeted about in the #GrowingUpTheYoungest hashtag. Being compared to siblings by everyone around would start to get on one's nerves after a while. Youngest children are their own individuals, and we should let them become their own person as they learn about themselves and the world. Comparing them to the oldest child is unfair.
14 An Irresponsible Tale Of Losing A Dollar
Guilia Rozzi wrote an article for The Muse about the time she lost a dollar when she was 10 years old. It was a sign of how irresponsible she was when it came to money, she wrote. Did it have to do with the fact that she was the youngest child? Being responsible was expected of her older sister, not of her. She has learned how to be more responsible with money now that she's an adult, of course, but our birth order does not have to determine our futures. Responsibility can still be learned.
13 Forgotten In The Rain
@Atari_Lynx of Reddit shared a story about being the youngest child. "When I was about five years old, my older sister and I went walking out in a field together in the rain," writes @Atari_Lynx. "I then got my boots stuck in deep mud and couldn't move." @Atari_Lynx's older sister promised to go get help and left the future Redditor in the mud trap. The older sister ended up not getting help. @Atari_Lynx had to find another way out, which was getting out of the boots and walking home barefoot in the rain. Let's just say their sister had simply forgotten to get help.
12 Getting Tricked Into Doing Everyone Else's Chores
Few kids enjoy doing their chores. Those of us who are adults are not too fond of doing them either. Well, @PurpleCactus42 of Reddit had some clever older siblings who got them to do all the chores. Their older brother and sister claimed to work for Santa Claus and would report bad behavior to him. @PurpleCactus42 wanted to stay on the Nice List so they did what they were told. "I did chores for them all month long in fear they'd tell Santa I was being bad," writes @PurpleCactus42. The older siblings were probably patting themselves on the back for this trick.
11 The Youngest Child Called By Any Other Name...
I'm the oldest child in my family but was still called by my sister's or even my brother's name. Youngest children have the struggle of being called by an older sibling's name ALL THE TIME. Why did we bother naming the youngest if we can't remember their name? An article on Bustle showed that being a younger sister could be harder than it looks. Being a youngest child was probably not always a picnic, either. The youngest child by any other name is still the youngest child.
10 But The Youngest Child Can Become A Very Successful Adult
In words of hope, Maureen Hoersten wrote for Fast Company about her experiences as the youngest child in a family of seven children. Being the youngest of seven is certainly a different experience than being the youngest of two or three! Anyway, she was able to learn a lot of things that have made her into a successful adult. From how to get attention to how to be creative, the skills she gained were invaluable. Being the youngest can really help children to grow into adults who are successful in what they do.
9 Getting Left Out Of Things When Siblings Were Much Older
If the youngest child happens to be significantly younger than the older siblings, it is very common for the younger child to feel a little left out. A teenage sibling isn't going to want a toddler to hang around all the time. In an Elite Daily article, a youngest child shared the story of always being considered the baby and automatically getting left out of stuff. That would change over time, of course, when everyone has reached adulthood. But when you're still a kid, it can be rough to feel behind just because of being younger than your siblings and all their friends.
8 Older Siblings Sometimes Taught Them The Wrong Things
@Bardwick of Reddit shared a funny story about being the youngest child. @Bardwick's older brothers decided to teach the baby of the family the wrong alphabet. "For months they taught me: A, B, C, D, R, F, K," writes @Bardwick. "I had to be reprogrammed in Kindergarten." Children are able to soak up information and learn new things easily, but that also means that they can get incorrect information. Older siblings sometimes like to play tricks on the younger siblings. This one was rather inventive.
7 When Older Siblings Used Their Weaknesses Against Them
Another Redditor was considerably younger than her other siblings. @Detourc also had a fear of the hair dryer, which her older brothers used to their advantage. How can you keep your little sister out of your room? Well, @Detourc's brother only had to lay out a hair dryer in front of his bedroom door. She wouldn't go near it. "And that was the meanest thing any of them ever did to me," she wrote. "And it wasn't even that mean. I'm pretty lucky." And she no longer has a fear of hair dryers. Things sometimes work out well for themselves.
6 But Older Siblings Couldn't Hide Anything From The Youngest Child
The youngest sibling of their family wrote an article for Good Housekeeping that anyone who is the youngest child will find relatable. One of the stories caught my eye as an interesting bit about being the youngest child. Older siblings might think that youngest children don't hear all, see all, or understand all — only to be surprised when the baby of the family can repeat back what they have heard. The youngest child knows all of the things that older children may want to keep hidden, like sneaking out at night or taking money without asking to buy snacks.
5 Childhood Mishaps Were Sometimes Brushed Off
Parents want to wrap their firstborn children in bubble wrap and protect them from everything. But once they realize that the child is going to be okay in majority of cases, then they start to release their grasp. The youngest child does not get the delicate treatment that the firstborn child received. In a Cosmo article, a youngest child shared that she was not fazed whenever she had scraped a knee or gotten hurt. Some ointment and a Band-Aid was all it took. She would tell her mom about it later, while her older sister would have gone straight to the ER for scraping her knee after falling off her bicycle.
4 Forced To Run Errands (But Helped The Youngest Get Ahead Of Her Sibling)
Redditor @StriderShizard had an interesting tale of being the youngest child. Imagine the middle school-aged older sibling, asking the younger elementary school child to help them with math homework. @StriderShizard ended up learning some valuable math skills earlier than the other ones in their grade. The older sister would also force @StriderShizard to do her errands and store her stuff when they were growing up. As adults, they took a different path, though. @StriderShizard was able to move out at 21. The older sister still lives at home in their 30's.
3 It Wasn't Fun And Games For Everyone Who Was The Youngest
Reddit user @Uyghur1 had a different experience of being the youngest child. Instead of being lavished with attention, this person felt a little left out. There were the hand-me-down clothes and classic used toys from the older brothers. He says that he did not really like being the youngest child in his case because it did not feel like a special position. "Whenever I tried something out, my brothers had already done it," he wrote in the thread. "I hardly ever had any of my own belongings." Everything came from the older brothers.
2 The Youngest Is Given The Identity Of So-And-So's Little Sibling
For @SerSleepy, it would go something like this: "You're Billy's brother, right?" or "That's just Andrew's little brother." @SerSleepy wrote in Reddit something that youngest children everywhere made find relatable: "I was rarely referred to or spoken to by my own name." Nope, it was always in reference to the popular older brother's name. Sometimes being the youngest means having to find an identity independent of older siblings when they get older. Everyone just assigns the identity of being the older sibling's younger brother or sister instead of seeing them as a different person.
1 By The Third Child, These Parents Had Everything Figured Out
Redditor @Famebrella was the youngest of three children, and by the time @Famebrella came along, the parents had most of it all "figured out" and gave @Famebrella enough trust to let them stay out late. "Turns out they put the responsibility on me and I took it and was responsible," @Famebrella wrote. Trust can go a long way for children who need to gain confidence as they become adults, but it sounds like @Famebrella had a great childhood experience as the youngest child.
References: npr.org, parents.com, huffingtonpost.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, buzzfeed.com, twitter.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, twitter.com, twitter.com, twitter.com, newsweek.com, twitter.com, themuse.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, bustle.com, fastcompany.com, elitedaily.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, goodhousekeeping.com, cosmopolitan.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, reddit.com, reddit.com,