Wednesday, February 3, 2010
THE OMEGA CHILD - UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHILDHOOD PART THREE
Being the baby of the family isn’t always the glamorous position that everyone might think it is. While there are some perks to this position of having the older siblings get in trouble for you because they are responsible, there is sometimes the opposite effect because you are the youngest, therefore blamed for everything.
Since you’re the child bringing up the rear of the family, you may be the family’s last hope for achievement if your other older siblings have ‘failed’ your parents in some way. You also may have it tougher in the discipline department because your parents discovered what mistakes they made with your older siblings because they were too lenient with them.
You are the wearer of the hand-me-down, hand-me-down, hand-me-down…. And your parents may be too tired to do things with you by the time they are done raising all your older siblings so you may not get to do all the activities that your older siblings did. But on the flip-side, you may get to do more because your folks are feeling ‘empty nest’ syndrome and they hang onto you tightly and want to do all the things with you they didn’t have time for with the others.
It’s a very unique position to be in – to be the baby of the family. Most likely you will have to take on quite the load in caring for aging parents also – because your older siblings will be too busy with families of their own.
But there is hope for you. As the observer you can watch all that came before you – including your siblings, your parent’s ever-changing behavior and society. Unless your parents had the kids in your family back-to-back every year- there’s a pretty good bet that there is at least 5 or even up to 10 or more years between you and your oldest sibling. Times change and this can be to your advantage.
Seeing this while growing up gives you leverage in being more adaptable to life, life’s changes and challenges and you have more flexibility in your overall personality and coping nature in daily life. As the world changes, you can readily adapt with it a bit more easily than your older siblings. You have the role of ‘teacher’ – and can teach your nieces, nephews, older siblings and aging parents a thing or two as the world progresses. This is your opportunity to be the educational cohesive component in your family unit. This not only will provide you with essential life skills to handle it better than most, but you have a chance to be more of a humanitarian/good will peacemaker in your family as well.
You can help your family adjust better to life/death situations that will inevitably come up and be the stronger and the wiser for it. Wisdom is priceless.
Ultimately it’s the youngest child who has the opportunity to help the pull all of the family pieces together and help older siblings see the bigger picture.
***** STAY TUNED FOR PART FOUR ***** THE ONLY CHILD
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