As the first child of the family, certain responsibilities are expected of you at an early stage and some in the later future, either way, you are responsible for something. The actual ghetto!
I decided to speak to two firstborn children (Lovelyn and Bosun) on what it is like being a first child.
How many siblings do you have?
I have 2 siblings (a brother and a sister) – Lovelyn
Three (two sisters and a brother) – Bosun
Are there any perks of you being the first child?
I’m not sure this counts as perks but my opinion counts in some major family decisions. – Lovelyn
I can scold any of them and be rest assured there is little chance of them shouting back. (We are Yorubas), also it’s my birthright. Sadly, there isn’t much benefit. – Bosun
What are the weird myths you’ve heard about first children?
Being a lab rat. – Lovelyn
If you aren’t the richest or most successful amongst your siblings, then there is a spiritual battle to fight. You already have what it takes to lead from heaven. – Bosun
Do you ever feel any difference in how your parents disciplined you as compared to your other siblings?
Yeah, a whole lot. I was beaten and punished (not wrongly though) to an extent but my brother is just 14 and he says it with his chest that my mum can’t beat him. The nerveee!!!! BTW, I can count how many times my mum ever flogged my brother. – Lovelyn
Yes, blamed the most for any disagreements between me and my siblings and extra ass whooping for failing to recognize that I am the oldest – Bosun
Have you ever had to take ‘parental responsibilities’ over your siblings?
Yes I have, by traveling from wherever I am to come home and stay with my siblings when my parents are going out of town and also, waking up early in the morning to get necessary things done and also waking up my siblings to get ready – Lovelyn
Yes, my early teenage years. I looked over my sibling in secondary school and times we had to travel home during the holidays. – Bosun
Do you ever feel pressured as the first child?
Yes, I do feel pressured a lot, like doing things right so I can be a good example to my siblings also the need to be successful to set the bars for my siblings and also do well to make the right decisions – Lovelyn
A lot of times. Financially, you need to be extra considerate even if your siblings don’t care or are negligent. Emotionally, sometimes my siblings come to me if they have issues. And as the oldest, you are expected to tend to their emotional needs. If there is a fight amongst them, I am summoned by any of them to deal with it and get things back to normal. Mama and Papa also call on me to scold and talk senses into any of my siblings whenever they mess up. – Bosun
In a second life would you mind being the first child again?
Yes, I do mind; because it comes with so much stress and expectation from your parents and even extended family members so in my second life, let me just be the second life because I don’t even want to be the last child – Lovelyn
No, I wouldn’t. It’s a great responsibility God has given me and I wouldn’t mind taking it up again in a second life. Moreover, my siblings are the best. – Bosun