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When you are not the oldest sibling in the family, but people assume you are, it can come with some unexpected responsibilities and perceptions. While some may find it uncomfortable to be mistaken for the eldest, others embrace the role and excel at the responsibilities that come with it.
Here are 10 signs that people would assume you are the oldest sibling, but actually, you are not:
1. You are an expert babysitter
As a middle or youngest child, you may have spent a lot of time looking after your older and younger siblings. You may have even become the preferred babysitter for family members and friends. While you may not get paid for this role, it is one that you naturally fell into and excel at.
2. You are a measuring stick
Whether it’s your parents or other family members, they may use you as a measuring stick for your siblings. Your achievements in academics, athletics, or other areas become a benchmark for your siblings to strive towards or avoid. While it may come with added pressure, it also speaks to your abilities and successes.
3. You are blamed for everything
When things go wrong in the family, you may find yourself being blamed for it. Perhaps because people see you as a role model for your siblings or want to set an example for humility. Regardless, you are expected to get things right as people see you as the responsible one.
4. You are the one your siblings turn to
Your siblings come to you for advice or support when they have done something stupid. They know that you will be the first person to be questioned when any wrongdoing is made. So, they solicit for your support when they find themselves in trouble.
5. You are the capable one
Whether it’s an innate quality or because you feel capable, you often stand up to the challenges of the household. You set an example for your siblings on how the real world works. People see this quality in you and assume you are the eldest child, but you are just being a capable hand.
6. You are the one who never leaves
Home is where you belong. Every other person may live and stay away for a long time, but you are always not too far away from home. You become the one who never really moves away from your hometown. This may be due to a sense of responsibility or a desire to maintain close family ties.
7. You don’t get away with many wrongdoings
Somehow you had to stand up for something. Your curfew was the earliest, and you just had to show responsibility with the role you were assigned. You did not get away with many wrongdoings, unlike your siblings who may have gotten away with more.
8. You got the good stuff last
Toys, cellphones, and video games went to your siblings first. Somehow your parents did not want to spoil you and make you seem favored to the others. You had to appear responsible and wait for the “right time.” You just had to learn how to accept the word “no.”
9. You had to tutor your siblings
Tutoring your siblings is an added responsibility that falls on you as the perceived “oldest sibling.” As if babysitting your siblings isn’t enough, you had to tutor them and help them succeed in school. The interesting twist is that you have to do it for the love and expect nothing in return.
10. You have siblings who are willing to admit you may just have been the oldest one
Even though you are not the oldest, your siblings sometimes assume you should have been the eldest since you excel at what is expected of you. You play by the book and show much maturity. They always want to hang out with you because it sort of makes them look older, smarter, and cooler to their peers.
In conclusion, sibling roles are complex, and sometimes the perceived responsibilities can create added pressure and expectations. While being mistaken for the eldest sibling may come with some unexpected responsibilities, it also speaks to your capabilities and successes. Regardless of your birth order, it’s essential to appreciate the unique role you play in your family dynamic and embrace the qualities that make you distinctive.