What It Means to Be an Older Sibling
If you are an older sibling, you probably know that younger brothers or sisters naturally look up to their older family members. While this can sometimes seem like a nuisance, it can be an opportunity for you to have a profound effect on your immediate environment. As an older sibling, you have the power to lead and provide support in many ways.
Responsibility Changes a Person
Older siblings can have a lot of advantages over their younger siblings, especially if they are the firstborn over multiple siblings. There can also be plenty of challenges that he or she might have to deal with. Globe Life Insurance explains, “almost immediately, older siblings can be saddled with more responsibilities that he or she will find hard to get out of. This is especially true when it’s within families that cannot afford to pay for any kind of childcare.”
This means that, when mom and dad are not home, older siblings are often in charge once they get to a certain age. They are responsible for the safety and emotional comfort of their younger siblings. It might also mean having to help with household duties, which might include cleaning up when your younger siblings make a mess or cooking family meals.
The Power of a Role Model
Whether older siblings like it or not, their younger siblings will copy and emulate their behavior and attitudes. A role model can shape a person’s character, and this can have a decisive effect on that person’s ability to succeed later on in life. Older siblings are more likely to take the position of a type of substitute parent during many troublesome situations.
Boys and girls who are older siblings will be faced with different challenges when it comes to setting a good example. For example, Potty Genius explains, “having a male role model, such as an older brother, makes potty training go much faster and easier for boys.” Older sisters might have more complex issues to deal with. Being a female can be challenging, especially in today’s world. An older sister can guide her younger sibling to carry herself with dignity and counsel her on possibly upsetting issues, such as receiving her first period.
Accepting Responsibility with Enthusiasm
Being a sibling means you may not receive all the attention you could want. However, as an older sibling, you can be the one to bring the joys and rewards of having an older brother or sister. The Odyssey explains, “oldest siblings have a sense of responsibility at a young age to teach their younger siblings all the ‘important stuff’ in life. And they usually believe their older siblings unquestioningly. They also get the opportunity to see their siblings grow up in front of them.” Human beings need other human beings to stay mentally healthy and well rounded. You may find more joy in your situation if you accept it and take pleasure in this. It can be surprisingly fulfilling to be the support that your younger siblings need.