Does the way you act today come from the order in which you were born? Youngest child syndrome is a very real thing and can stay with people long after childhood.
The birth order in a family can develop the traits and personalities displayed by each sibling. If you’ve displayed certain traits that can’t be explained, it may be because of this syndrome. The good news is that it’s very common and you can take comfort that many others share this.
This article will look at what youngest child syndrome is, and 6 signs you may have it.
What Is the Youngest Child Syndrome?
If you grew up with older siblings, some of this may hit home. Youngest child syndrome doesn’t impact every youngest member of the family, but it shows up often. Since the youngest is the “baby” of the family, they can carry this with them for years and into adulthood.
Since the parents are no longer experiencing any real “firsts” with the youngest, they tend to vie for attention more than the older siblings. They need to find their own way to stand out and this can help them develop more self-confidence. They have had to learn to develop more of a commanding presence to keep up with their older brothers and sisters.
The easiest way to define youngest child syndrome is that they will do everything they can to stand out. There may be a few downsides to being the youngest as we may see them to be babied more than the other siblings. They are more likely to be coddled, sometimes seen as spoiled, and willing to take unnecessary risks.
Youngest child syndrome may present itself in a few different ways. Here are 6 signs to look for.
1. Trying To Get Out Of Things
We can often see the youngest child as a little more “fragile” and certain chores or responsibilities can end up being passed to older siblings. This can give the youngest child the ability to get out of many things in the coming years.
Tired and frustrated parents will often just get the older kids to do something as they are more able to complete various tasks. This can be easier than having to go through another round of training and instruction with the youngest kid.
The youngest will recognize this and manipulate it to get out of things they don’t want to do.
2. Being The Center Of Attention
Another part of the syndrome regarding the youngest child is that they are often the center of attention. It’s tougher for them to command attention and this often leads to the youngest member of the family being the funniest. This is one way they can stand out in the family.
These are the kids that are more likely to put on singing and dancing shows for the whole family. When you look at many famous performers, singers, and actors, you will find they are often the youngest in their families.
3. Being Overly Confident
Other signs of the syndrome include being very self-confident as they have had to develop more of a commanding demeanor to keep up with older brothers and sisters.
The youngest is always the one who has to tag along with older kids and forced to do everything that the eldest siblings desire. When the youngest child gets with kids their own age, they are more likely to take charge and be more commanding as they don’t see anyone they have to answer to.
4. Being Very Social & Outgoing
This isn’t always connected to the youngest child in a family as people from any birth order can be social and outgoing. It is more prominent in the youngest, however. This comes back to having to stand out to be noticed.
Unlike a child who grows up without siblings, the youngest child is accustomed to always being around other people. They don’t know a world where there wasn’t a full family – like the first-born might – and they have learned to adapt to a group dynamic. This can make them more of a social butterfly in the real world with a more outgoing personality.
5. A Lack Of Responsibility
We can chalk this up to many things, but the youngest child has always had the ability to get out of things as mentioned in point 1. The downside is this can lead to them being irresponsible.
There is always the sense that “somebody else can do it” and it’s something that needs to be nipped in the bud. The youngest child needs to be given responsibilities and duties within their family. It doesn’t have to be complicated but they have to learn to contribute.
6. Feeling Pressure To Measure Up
The youngest child will always be behind regarding learning and development compared to their older siblings. This may lead to feelings of inadequacy and pressure to be as good as their older brothers and sisters. This can lead to frustration and a feeling like they are always coming up short.
It’s been acknowledged that the first-born child may be more intelligent than the younger siblings, but it’s only by a few IQ points. We should not hold the youngest child to the standards set by the oldest sibling. It will only leave them feeling frustrated and insecure.
Youngest child syndrome is very real and it may impact you without you realizing it. It’s important to recognize that it may be behind why you act the way you do. It is something that can be worked through and doesn’t have to define a person. Learning to recognize the signs of this syndrome can be helpful to identify it and then work through them
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