Why Aren't Parents as Strict With Their Younger Children?

John - posted on 12/17/2015 ( 2 moms have responded )




Being the oldest child out of three, I honestly feel resentment toward my younger siblings at times because I am angered by how much easier our parents are on them opposed to how strict they were/are with me.

Perhaps the #1 grievance is the division of chores. As a preteen, I had to mow lawns, wash dishes, mop the floor, and roll out the garbage bins every Sunday night among other chores. My little brother is a preteen and he won't even wash his own dishes after eating breakfast, and our parents do nothing to enforce such rules on him. Whenever I suggest that he take over another chore, they say that he is too young and get mad at me, despite the fact that they themselves made me do it when I was even younger than him.

I get the feeling that they are lazy. That parents think it is easier to maintain the status quo by staying hard on the oldest one because they don't want to go through the hassle of dividing the labor more fairly by introducing new chores to the younger siblings.

But on top of that, my parents were ridiculously strict about everything related to the internet when I was a kid to the point that I never got an iPhone or device with internet access until I was well into my late teens, whereas my brother got an iPhone when he was 11 and has unrestricted access to the internet. They enforce no rules or discipline on him, yet I had it 10x harder when I was a kid.

After talking with many other oldest siblings, this seems to be a common occurrence. Why do parents so often become so lazy after their first child to the extent that they are unfairly easy on their younger children while remaining so strict with the oldest?


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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/17/2015





Oh, my...Kids! Christmas Vaca must have started...

Snookums, here's the deal. You just bunched EVERY parent on the planet under one HUGE umbrella, and I, for one, am a bit pissed. You don't live in MY house (Thank god, because with an attitude like that...yeah, we'd be at odds), where my kids would have let you know that the division of labor is not only age appropriate, but equal.

If you think your parents are lazy, I challenge you to say that directly to them. See how far it gets you. First, it sounds as if you are no longer in the 'preteen' ages...and you present your brother as being so much younger than you...I'm wondering why you're still living at home and putting up with (in your opinion) abysmal treatment! Do you have a job? Do you go to school? Do you pay room and board? Both of my kids did, from the age of 18 until they feel the need to move on. (Actually, the youngest is still finishing HS, so he won't pay room/board until he graduates)

You're living in your parents home, scott free. Consider your chore list your room and board. Honestly, you're coming across to me as a jealous older sibling. Yes, I have seen parents do this with kids...SOME PARENTS Not all.

So, rather than couching your question as an accusation towards ALL PARENTS, how about you address the situation with YOUR parents?

Sarah - posted on 12/17/2015




To accuse parents of being lazy for changing rules is unfair. Initially when new technology was available parents were novices themselves. I only got a smartphone four years ago, so obviously my kids did not have one before me. My eldest got one at 14, as did the 2nd and 3rd. Now the youngest is not quite twelve, and seh may not have to wait until 14, but that is my choice and my decision.
If it makes you feel any better my younger kids do far more chores than the elder sidings at the same age. Partly because I did not work full-time and I also realized my kids were capable of contributing more to the household. If you feel there is an injustice, talk to your parents. Don't moan and complain but present objective data; maybe you can squeeze a bump in allowance?

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