Matt Damon might need a few more movie sequels to find out his real identity, but here at Candy, we've done the dirty work and read up on the psychology of birth order—the science that says you are who you are because of your family ranking. We may not have exploding cars and kung fu scenes, but it’s just as fun. Trust us.
Cast Of Characters
Dependable, disciplined, determined—that's you! As the eldest child in the family, you tend to take on the role of a mini-parent or a vice president. You run the show when your mom and dad aren't around—a definite panganay perk.
Big Sister Act
Most firstborns also bear the brunt of high parental expectations.They are expected to always do their best and set an example for their younger siblings. Because of this, firstborns grow up to be the sort of people who seek control. If you’re the eldest, you may seek control by being a nurturing mother hen, clucking over her friends and making sure they’re always all right. You may also seek positions of leadership—president of the class, head cheerleader, or the director of a play. Lord Aragorn himself would quake at the sight of you, for you are far stronger than any warrior of a mythical realm, you are…(insert dramatic music here) the indomitable Ate of the household!
The Usual Suspect
“Ikaw ang panganay, dapat sinuway mo na yang kapatid mo!” Sound familiar? That’s how the proverbial polvoron crumbles: Whenever any of your siblings get into trouble, all scolding signs point to you as well. Parents usually expect their eldest children to exercise maturity and good-decision making, sometimes to a fault. Because of this, eldest children occasionally fall into the trap of bullying their younger siblings, as a coping mechanism.
How To Deal: Being the big sister of the family is a lot like wolfing down a tub of popcorn with a tub of soda—you gotta learn to balance the salty with the sweet. No matter how stressful being the eldest can be, remember that you’ll always be the first to experience things: the first to have a late curfew, the first to have a date, the first to have a heart-melting, toe-curling, eyeball-popping kiss. Now that is a reward in itself.
Read more about you and the psychology of birth order on the next page.