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Being the oldest child in my family had taught me that it is not easy being a parent. I spent most of my childhood years helping to raise my sister while having a chaotic as well as busy household. I was definitely given a lot of responsibility as an older child; not to my liking I will say. But nonetheless, it helps you to realize on a deeper level what is working and what is not in terms of parenting skills.
This is tricky with older siblings who have to be both a disciplinarian and a friend. But when parents are busy, it is usually the older sibling who has to take over this arena. I realize it gets more difficult to discipline a sibling as they get older into their teen years; at this point I became aware it is best to talk over an issue and let them decide what is best for themself. This hasn’t always been easy but it seems to be the most productive approach to the relationship.
As an older sibling I was often a mediator as well as a babysitter which in turn has made me more observant and understanding than what I would have been by not being the oldest. I can definitely say I would have been more carefree if I was a younger child, but I think I have gained maturity instead which is on its own just as good.
As an older child I definitely had to take on a lot more responsibilities. I also had to act more like an adult as well. I would say that I could have been more patient and a little kinder but thankfully I realized the need for this later and have made note to do this now.
I have realized I enjoyed and have learned so much from bring an older sibling. I also realize how important it is for children to get one-on-one attention from their actual parents. Regardless, it’s also easy to forget the responsibilities of being an older sibling and how important that is when in everyday life but luckily there is always a new opportunity to be able to shine in this arena.