Being the youngest child in your family, with multiple older siblings, definitely had its advantages when you were a child. You could get away with murder and were spoilt rotten, knowing that your older siblings and parents were always looking out for you. But it also had its disadvantages, as you were often left out of “older children” games, and it could sometimes feel like you were living in the shadow of your older siblings and their achievements.
You would think that growing up would eliminate this distinction of being the youngest child in the family, but Youngest Child Syndrome never really goes away, even as you enter your 40s, 50s and even 60s.
We take a look at the 8 things you will understand if you’re a grown woman, but you’re still the youngest child.
1) You’re always seen as the baby
Even if you are in your 40s or 50s now, your parents and older siblings will still see you as a baby. You may have a successful career, or a family, but they will still tell you off for having your elbows on the table, and disbelieve the fact you are capable of changing light-bulbs by yourself. Once the baby, always the baby!
2) You can always play the “young” card
Although being treated like a baby can be irritating, it does also have its benefits. If you’re really tired and need some help looking after the kids, or you really don’t want to go to a doctor’s appointment by yourself, you can flash those puppy-dog eyes at your parents and your siblings and they’re sure to come running; it’s the same at fifty as it was at age five!
3) You hate being left out
As a child, you would often be excluded from things your older siblings were doing; whether it was staying up late, going on a fairground ride with a height restriction, or just not understanding their conversations. Whether or not you are actually left out any more, you have a constant insecurity about being left behind and not included.
4) You are always compared to your siblings
You will always be held up to their standards. This could be a good thing, as it could mean the pressure and expectation is eased from you, or it could mean the expectation placed on you is increased. Whether it’s your job, your partner, your children, or your decisions, everything will be compared to your older siblings.
5) You’re great at being bossed around
When you were young, you were at the bottom of the sibling hierarchy and therefore everyone else could boss you around. Although you might have been spoilt and loved immensely, your older siblings were bigger and smarter than you (so they said) and therefore you could be easily pushed around. Although being the biggest annoyance of your childhood, it has helped you greatly as an adult; tough bosses don’t phase you at all.
6) …But you also like to have your own way
Although you’re used to being pushed around, you were also much more spoilt by your parents and therefore you became comfortable with the idea of having your own way. Unfortunately, this has never really subsided as you have entered into adult life; you are much more likely to lose your temper with your own children if they don’t tidy their rooms when you’ve said “now”!
7) You find it easier to socialise with people older than you
After years of tagging along with your older siblings as they had friends round and went to parties, you’ve always found it comfortable being in the company of older people. You’ve always acted older than you were (despite everyone distinctly recognizing you as “the baby”), so you’ve always enjoyed being in with a more mature crowd.
8) You always know how loved you are
Even though your family might expect a lot from you, treat you like a baby, and boss you around, it doesn’t really matter because you are always aware of how adored you are. As the youngest child, everyone always wanted to protect you, and you know you will always be looked after by your older siblings and your parents. You have an amazing support system, and you know you wouldn’t change being the youngest for the world!