I don’t know whether it is only in Kenya where firstborns are revered as much as the parents if not more than the parents. They are these people who walk around with some air of authority and we look up to them because they either played a big role in raising us or have so many impressive feathers in their caps.
There are also some interesting facts about them and among these is that they always go an extra mile for an education. This is according to the University of Essex’s Institute for Social and Economic Research that revealed that the oldest children in families had a 16 percent greater chance of going to college as compared to their younger siblings.
In 2013, the Journal of Research in Personality revealed that firstborns are born to learn birth order actually affects a child’s lifelong goals. The eldest child, they found, wants to “master” or “learn,” while the second child tends to want to “win.”
Other studies have also revealed that firstborns (and only children) tend to pick more academic-oriented careers as compared to their younger siblings. Despite these impressive facts, firstborns grapple with problems that are only unique to them. Let us look at some of them
1.Expected to have repair skills
This is quite ridiculous but parents do expect their firstborns to know how to repair anything that is broken in the house. This range from the television, iron box, toys, the sink and it is in your best interest to know because not knowing will land you into trouble.
- Ridiculous Expectations
Firstborns are expected to potty train as early as possible, get the best grades at school, be exceptional in extracurricular activities such as sports, acting, playing instruments and so on. They should also cook well, wash well, clean well and as adults, they should also have the best families. They are, after all, the test babies of the family.
- Younger siblings get away with murder
Ever heard of your eldest sibling tell you of horrible stories at the hands of the people you call mum and dad? They always tell of the times they could not go beyond your compound while you can go all over the world and your parents would not even notice. Firstborns always give their parents a funny look when they allow younger siblings to bring friends over or attend a party till dawn and other activities that they would have only dreamt of while growing up.
4.Too old to have a sweet tooth
You still crave for chocolate, ice cream but good luck getting any while they come to the house. When you reach for the extra scoop of ice cream your hand will be slapped away because you are too old and little Lulu will be called and give the remaining ice cream as you watch enviously. While at it, you should also forget about the last slice of pizza or the sweets that mum hides in her purse after indulging the whole day at work.
- Giving out your possessions
While firstborns are privileged enough never to wear hand me downs or have to use worn out possessions that have seen better days, their things are often taken without permission to give to other kids. No one will ask you but you cannot even grunt about it lest your parents go into a long, winded lecture about the need to give and finally label you mean.
6. Private Tutor
If your siblings fail in their studies it is somehow your fault. I remember when my older brother used to beat us with a belt because we failed in maths and he had been told to ensure we only got only good grades. It was very important that we passed and he had no problem with using a belt to achieve his goals. It sometimes worked for him but other times he got a beating of his own because of someone who failed despite his hard work.
- Deputy Parent
Whether it is a family of two, three or ten, the firstborn often finds himself taking on the duties of a deputy parent. They clean their siblings, make rules that are supposed to be kept, discipline them, cook, and ensure that everybody is where they are supposed to be when not in the house. Sometimes you’re like the voice of the children in some cases in front of your parents, neighbors and school authorities.
- Match clothes
As little children, you may not have a problem matching clothes with your younger siblings. However, as you grow up, the young children will want to look like you and your parents will ask you to make it happen. I know it is shady for some teenagers but that is how the cookie crumbles.
- Blamed for their mistakes
It is never the mistake of the young ones as long as the firstborn is around. As long as they make mistakes it is your fault because you did not see it in time or prevent it in time. Don’t you know little Tommy is forever innocent?
10. Role model
Most firstborns are forced to grow up because their younger siblings look up to them. So you can as well forget about the wild parties, extra piercing and some fashionable clothes your friends are wearing. Oh well, who said life was fair?