Being the youngest child in a family has definite advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, babies are fussed over and pampered. They enjoy special status in the pecking order and often get away with behavior that other family members can't. On the other hand, many youngest children feel that they never quite measure up to their more experienced and accomplished siblings. To borrow a phrase from a famous comedian, they get no respect.
Psychologists use a variety of words to describe last-borns: affectionate, sensitive, people-oriented, attention-seeking, indulged, dependent, laid-back, tenacious, absent-minded, relaxed, fun, flaky. What family relationships might be at work molding youngest children into these diverse shapes?
Relationships with parents
Some parents look on their youngest child as their last chance to do everything right. In these families, the youngest may feel a great deal of performance pressure, similar to a firstborn. Other parents seem to decide that they will never allow their last child to be unhappy, ever. The predictable effect of constantly catering to the child's wishes is to make her into a demanding, dissatisfied tyrant. Psychologists sometimes refer to such a child as being "enthroned."
In most families, however, last born is a relatively low-pressure position. The parents have more experience under their belts and are more likely to take a laissez-faire attitude toward such issues as developmental milestones, toilet trainin...
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Some may say that being the youngest in a family is the best, but I disagree. When you are the youngest, you never become older. At least that is what I thought until last Christmas. On my mom’s side of the family, I am the youngest. She has four older siblings, and 3 of them have families on top of mine. It can get very hectic around the holidays but because of the large age gap between my cousins and me, I always had particular attention. The special attention was something I cherished until I got older.... [tags: Sibling, Birth order, Big Five personality traits]
1549 words (4.4 pages)
- When women become mothers they love and protect their child. All mothers care about their children and always want the best for them. Children also rely on their mothers to take care of them and to love them. But when mothers become older sometimes they have to start relying on their children and their children start to take care of them. In “Youngest Daughter”, by Song a mother relies on her daughter to take care of her in her old age, but her daughter also relies on her for other things as well.... [tags: Family, Son, Daughter, Mother]
1055 words (3 pages)
- Family Obligations as the Youngest Child The role taken on by the youngest child after a death in the family becomes quickly defined when there are no other male figures to become the head of the household. Marta’s father passed away during her adolescent years and she took it upon herself to take care of everyone, in particular her mother. She was the youngest daughter of four. With no brothers or other male figures in their home, she was raised in a matriarchal household. According to Marta, being raised in a matriarchal household meant she had to control all the finances and maintenance of the vehicles because her mother had relied heavily on her father to take care of those type of thin... [tags: Family, Mother, Father, Spanish language]
1629 words (4.7 pages)
- Alice is three years and three months old and has been at nursery for 10 weeks. The nursery has concerns about Alice’s speech which is mainly single words and 2 word phrases. Because Alice is the youngest of 5 children, it may be possible that Alice’s speech may be down to Alice’s older siblings “talking” for her especially as she is the youngest. This is not uncommon in larger families. It could also go the other way, with alice being very loud as she has to compete with her other siblings for attention from her mother.... [tags: Developmental psychology, Learning, Psychology]
884 words (2.5 pages)
- burden of the youngest In most families the youngest is the center of attention, but in mine, it is the burden. I am forced to live with the burden of being the youngest in my family. Inclusion is nothing but a dream to me. My voice is something that is never heard. No matter what the situation is, I am to blame. My sister is the violent one, but I am the one who got kicked out. Throughout the years growing up, I always tried to be like my sister. She was my role model. I wanted nothing more than to be accepted by her.... [tags: Family, Mother, Combat, 2006 albums]
811 words (2.3 pages)
- In the early stages of a child’s character development, the family is the first social group that the child has. The relationship that is fostered between the family and the child is important, because it is the role of the family that influences the child’s behavior. Although the child may be influenced by the father and siblings, these relationships are looked to second. The child realizes early that the family belongs to him. This leads to jealousy towards other siblings because he may strive to be significant, and establish a position of superiority.... [tags: Child Development, Psychology]
1776 words (5.1 pages)
- Rudy Huxtable is the youngest child of Cliff and Clair Huxtable in the comedic, family-oriented series The Cosby Show. Rudy has four other siblings named Denise, Theo, and Vanessa who have different personalities. The mass audience of the show watched Rudy develop from a small child without a care in the world into a teenager who was in the middle of discovering who she was as a person. Rudy Huxtable is a perfect candidate in describing physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development because it is witnessed throughout the show.... [tags: Jean Piaget, Theory of cognitive development]
1472 words (4.2 pages)
- The kids in school looked at the writer differently and bullied because of the difference. Two other children were added to the family and I knew that sharing my mother with them would not be a problem because she had enough love to go around, but my older sister still could not see it. By now the writer old sister was rebellious and sexually active. Ephesian 6:1-3 did not matter to the writer’s old sister, she did not honor anyone. One Friday night, this writer tarried for the Holy Spirit to come and take control, and I received salvation that night.... [tags: Meditation, Spirituality, Prayer, Youngest son]
1199 words (3.4 pages)
- Reflection Have you ever wanted to read someone else’s story. My personal story is a long journey and I am going to take you through it. It has been a wild ride at times but I have learned a lot from all of my experiences and I plan to share it with you. It all started on February 26 1999, in Woodstock Illinois. I am the youngest of three girls. My Mom’s name is Megan and she is Special Education teacher for grades fourth through eighth. My Dad’s name is John and he is a Chief Credit Officer in a bank.... [tags: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Personal life]
1508 words (4.3 pages)
- On September 20th, 1996, my mother finally saw me in person for the first time since she knew I existed nine months earlier. I was born nine years and twelve days after my half-brother, John Paul. For a very long time, it was just the three of us, and I considered myself to be the youngest in the family. That is, until John Paul passed away when I was ten-years-old, during the summer before my 6th grade year, and I found out that I had two younger half-brothers soon after. Since then, I have gone back and forth with telling others that I am the youngest, oldest, and even second-born child.... [tags: Family, Mother, Father, Parent]
797 words (2.3 pages)