The cross of the first child

Being the first child comes with a lot of responsibilities and everyone around especially parents, seem to lord it over you. You are meant to be responsible for your younger ones. In academics, you are expected to be the first. Socially, you are meant to set the pace for a bright future. Physically, you are expected to be strong. Even your younger ones look up to you for support in crisis situations because they expect you to be the leader.

Unfortunately, being first also makes you a scapegoat. The sins of the younger children are borne by the eldest simply because you should have envisaged their wrongdoing. You should have cautioned them when they were about to set foot on the path of destruction.


This tradition of the “responsible first child” moves from generation to generation. Check every generation you have come across, the first child is always believed to be the pacesetter. The one who should shoulder all responsibilities. Woe betide the first child that falls short of expectation. The child is seen as an outcast. A disgrace to the family. A nincompoop. This is the reason why even the elders pray that the first child will always remain ahead of his/her younger ones.

If the younger one begins to shine brighter than the elder in any area of life, he becomes a yardstick for the older one. The older one begins to get compared to his younger one. Individual differences are thrown out and it is never considered that each child has his/her own strengths and weaknesses. In extreme cases, the first child is considered a failure. For a child with low self-esteem, the decline begins.

If responsibility for younger ones are dumped on the shoulder of the first child, who is responsible for the first child? Has anyone ever thought that the first child sometimes might just want to be left alone without having to premeditate the actions of his/her younger ones? Does being the first automatically make him/her immune to mistakes?

Can you relate with this? Either as a first child or observed the toga of responsibility and perfection being placed on an older one? Please share your experience in the comment section below.


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About Olubukola

Olubukola is a writer and blogger. She loves reading and imaginative writing. She has authored two romance stories namely “Second Chances” and “To Love and to Hold” which have been published on and on Her author page on Amazon is Olubukola is the creative director of NDJs; a fashion label, whose mission is to create and provide classy yet simple pieces with African prints for the everyday woman regardless of the function she finds herself in. Asides writing, reading and fashion designing, Olubukola is also passionate about inspiring music, dance and arts. She currently works and lives with her family in Lagos, Nigeria.

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