I’m 21 and I’m the oldest of 5 childern. The difference between me and my youngest sibling is 5 years.  Growing up, my family has always been close because we were all close in age. 

I don’t have a good relationship with my sister who is one year younger than I am.  I’ve tried so hard to be her sister and friend, and she refuses to reciprocate the effort. I can’t even go shopping or to the movies with her b/c we are two totally different people. I grew up, and she still wants to be a kid, even though she has her own child, sometimes she acts more like a baby than her son.  I’ve given up on that relationship because its gone past the point of no return. I don’t know if we’ll ever be close because I’ve bailed her out of so many situations in her life and has warned her not to get involved with certain people, but she still does what she wants. 

The relationship I have with the oldest of my brothers has become stronger, probably b/c we both attend the same school now. There is still a lot about him I don’t know, b/c he keeps to himself a lot. He definately has characteristics of being the middle child, and it makes me not want to have an odd number of children in the future.

My relationship with my second youngest brother is non-existent at the moment b/c he’s in a rebellious stage. We’re both strong academically, but his ego is too big so I just ignore him. He always thinks he’s right and never listens to what anyone else has to say. He takes after my dad with his anger. He’s very hypocritcal and doesn’t pratice what he preaches. Hopefully one day someone can break him down.

I guess you could say I have the best relationship with my youngest brother. Although he’s also rebelling and going through an identity phase, he makes the most effort to talk to me and listen to things I have to say. We always joke around and have similar personality characteristics. He also has the closest relationship with my boyfriend and understands people skills.

Coming from a big family is a huge part of my identity. Even though I’ve grown up in a society that focuses on individualism, I’ve been brought up in a family structure that focuses on community and collectivism.  I’m always thinking about others, fairness and equality. When I’m with others in large groups, I’m always focused on those around me, more than myself. I think being the oldest of 5 has also shaped me into taking on leadership roles rather than letting others take the lead.  I have so much confidence when I’m around my family or when I eventually take on a lead role during group work, but when it comes down to being alone, I have zero confidence.

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