Where, in birth order, do you come among your siblings? Are you the youngest child in the family? Do you see yourself as different from your brothers and sisters? Are you aware of a gulf between them and you? Having previously written about eldest child syndrome and middle child complex, here I’m going to begin a study on the concept of the youngest child in the family. Is it really the effect of birth order on the last born child that results in demanding behaviour and a spoilt child? Or could this conceivably be a disorder associated with indulgent parenting?
The Youngest Child Stereotype
Let’s take a look at the commonly perceived features of being the youngest child in the family:
- everyone thinks they’re cute
- they’re the center of attention
- they’re precocious
- their love of the limelight is considered entertaining
- they demand attention
- they’re indulged
- they’re spoiled rotten
- they get away with murder
- they’re molly-coddled
- they may be obnoxious
- they may be hated by siblings
It depends from whose viewpoint these features are seen as to whether they are considered beneficial or deplorable. Clearly, if you are the youngest child in the family, you may enjoy being thought cute and indulged with your every wish. However, this may infuriate your siblings, and the pleasure conferred on you will surely be countered by their displeasure. Who wants to be hated by their brothers and sisters?