What it’s Like Being the Older Sibling

There are many responsibilities of being the oldest sibling that are looked past.

Photo by: Celebindiaworld

Photo by: Celebindiaworld

When you are the oldest sibling, you have a lot more responsibilities and pressures than your younger siblings. Those who are not the oldest don’t always see the pressures and responsibilities older siblings have to deal with. It can at times be very difficult to deal with.

A lot of parents both work full time, are a single-parent, or just need some help around the house. Parents typically go to the oldest for extra assistance, so being the older sibling can affect how you perform in school due to the long list of things you have to make time for. You could have to help your younger siblings with their homework if your parents either don’t know how to help or just don’t have the time. You will then have to stay up later to take care of your homework, leaving you tired and exhausted.

“I have to help my younger siblings with their homework, and I will have to do my homework later. When I do my homework later, I don’t get as good sleep that night, and I won’t have as much focus on the work I’m doing,” said Sarah Stoyell Ocejo, 7.

You could also have to do chores, such as vacuuming or washing dishes. This leaves less time for you, the oldest, to complete homework and study or do things that you want to. You then will have to do your homework later and have to study later than you wanted. This is a struggle for all older siblings, but especially those at Edgewood. We already have a heavy workload and need as much time to do homework as we can get. With so much time being taken up by other things after getting home, it makes it that much harder to keep up. 

older siblling helping with homework“When my parents leave to go run errands, I am expected to do most of the work like seeing if my sister needs a snack or help with homework. And I will also have to feed our dog dinner and take him for a walk. Since I have to do all of this, I have less time to study for tests and less time to do homework,” said Mychelle Docurro, 8.

Another pressure older siblings face is always having to watch their younger siblings. When parents leave, you are expected to babysit. You also are expected to make sure they don’t get hurt, especially when parents are busy with things like cooking dinner. And if they get hurt, you, the older sibling, will have to comfort them and take care of the injury.

“One of the pressures I have as an older sibling is always having to watch my siblings when they are doing something so I can make sure they don’t get hurt. And I will constantly have to watch them, even when I have things to do that day, so it can get annoying,” said Sarah Stoyell Ocejo, 7.

And something that older siblings have to put up with a lot is getting unfairly blamed for things. Sometimes, the older sibling and the younger siblings both do something wrong, and only the older sibling gets blamed because the parents think they should know better. It is very frustrating when you don’t do anything wrong and get fully blamed. Especially when you are the only one blamed when you aren’t the only one guilty in the situation.

“Sometimes both me and my younger sibling have to do certain chores, and if they don’t get done only I get in trouble for not doing them. It will make me very frustrated and then I might not be able to do something that I wanted to do that day,” Mychelle Docurro, 8.

A lot of times, parents will tell the older sibling that they need to make sure the younger sibling gets something done while they are gone. And usually as soon as they leave, the younger sibling will give attitude about doing it, usually ending with it not getting done. Though this seems like the younger sibling’s fault, the oldest will get blamed for not making sure it gets done, even though the oldest couldn’t do anything about it.

“Whenever my parents tell me and my siblings to get something done, my siblings will always give me an attitude about doing it and constantly complain about it. Then I will have to do a lot more work because they will refuse to do it with me.  It will make me really frustrated the whole time I’m doing it, and make whatever it is we’re doing take way longer,” Sarah Stoyell Ocejo, 7.

Another thing is before the family leaves to go anywhere, the older sibling will have to make sure the younger siblings have what they need and are ready to go. And sometimes, they will take forever getting ready, and when the older sibling tries to help, they won’t let them. So it will continue to take a long time, then the whole family ends up late. This will also make the parents frustrated, since the youngest won’t listen.

“Most of the time, before we leave to go anywhere, I have to make sure my younger sister has done everything she needs to do and is ready. But usually she isn’t, so I have to help her find what she needs or get a snack. Then I have less time to get what I need to be ready, and we are late to where we needed to go,” Mychelle Docurro, 8.

Overall, older siblings have a lot of pressures and responsibilities. It can sometimes be stressful or even annoying. But they still push through and get the job done. If you know an oldest sibling, you should give them more credit for all they do and have to deal with at home.