This is a sentence I find myself saying more and more often to my dear oldest daugther...
"you're the big sister...you need to set an example."
"because you're the oldest...we expect you to know better."
"you should know that you can't do things like that...you're the big sister after all"
I'm starting to bore myself with this rhetoric...I can only imagine what she is thinking. It is for sure a weight on the shoulders of the oldest in the family...whether you are the oldest of 2 or of 10 there will never be anyone else that can take your place as the "example".
I don't remember feeling the pressure of needing to set a good example when I was growing up. For one thing I was a little sister but also much like an only child because of the custody agreement. But also - I think I just never felt it because I was always way too mature for my own good and pretty much acted like everyone's mother from a very young age.
I'm not saying I was a total bore but when I was 12 I spent my Saturdays sorting out my closets and bagging up clothes for charity donation. Sooooo...there's that.
And I don't want either of my girls to feel like they have to be a parent. Or that they have to act grown up. That they can't be kids or act like kids or be stupid like kids are supposed to be.
They are - after all - just kids. Personally - I think the younger children get away with a lot of crap because of the they "just don't know any better" theory.
This is something I'm becoming more aware of and watching for as they get older. Because my youngest knows how to play the "what?!? don't blame me I'm just a sweet, adorable, clueless little kid" card to perfection.
Right down to the double eyebrow raise of innocence...it's impressive to behold.
So while being the oldest child will always come with the perception of setting a good example I think it should also come with a few perks.
Like staying up later. Or getting that extra cookie. And little perks like that.
Just don't tell your sister.