The youngest child is often termed to be the favourite of the lot. But, being the youngest is not always as joyful as it seems, there are certain realities that are undeniable when it comes to being born after a couple of children or as in my case as the fourth child in the family.
1. Parents lose interest
I’ve seen a number of parents with their firstborn, and there is a vast difference when it comes to how my relationship was with my parents. With the first child, everything is new and everything is wonderful. While the child learns everything about the world so do the parents learn much about children and by the time they get to the fourth there is more of a sense of dread as they foresee the sleepless nights, early mornings for school, and the much-dreaded math homework.
When your siblings accuse you of having more freedom to do things than they did the truth is it’s only because your parents are too tired to put the same amount of effort into you.
2. Parents can’t wait for you to grow up
Parents and children will always have the complex equation of age. While a child grows from a baby to a toddler, the parents slowly approach their old age and with each child their enthusiasm and energy towards their child’s antics keep decreasing. It’s not their fault but just the course of nature.
So it shouldn’t come by surprise when parents want a bit of relief from their parenting duties and just enjoy their time without tantrums, constant whining and crying.
3. Siblings become parents
In my personal experience there have been many times when my siblings have played a parental role in my life than our parents. Whether it was a school performance or a school achievement, the face in the crowd was of my sister or my brother and the expectation remained so.
The bond with siblings sometimes allows one to be more open and frank than one can be with say their father. But, othertimes the wisdom and hugs from your mother can never be ranked equal to those from your sister.
Parents sometimes forget that while they may have lived through all of it before their child hasn’t.
4. You’ll always be considered a child
It’s something you might have heard countless of times by many people but cliches are cliche for a reason. As the youngest you will always be considered as the less experienced, protected and fragile. While the first is a fact the latter two are again a natural feeling an older person feels towards someone younger, whether its your parents or a sibling.
As the youngest you are often kept away from the realities of the household, extent of a situation and more so the control of your own life. Your siblings who are enthusiastic to teach you how to walk forget that once you’re an adult you want to leave their hand and stumble on your own. It can be frustrating to constantly be looked out for but one can’t deny that it’s not a blessing.
Being the fourth child brings about many perks when you have siblings who are willing to spoil you but the downside becomes that you have to accept bitter reality of the absence of your parents at many moments in life.
While it hurts at moments, the disappointment slowly fades and one gets more concerned with spending as much time with them as they can. You can see the increasing wrinkles and the symptoms of rapid old age while you enter your early twenties.