3 Pros and Cons of Having an Older Sibling

by Jessica Tambunting   |  Jan 5, 2022
Image: Pexels/Jhosua Rodríguez
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Sometimes, I think about what it would be like if I was an only child. There are things an only child does not have to experience (for instance, power trips or comparison among siblings). I realized, however, that as much as there are things that I dislike about having an older sibling, there are a lot of things that I am also grateful for. Based on my own experience, here are some of the pros and cons of having an older sibling. Can you relate?

Pros and cons of having an older sibling:

Con: They set the standards.

When you have older siblings who are achievers, there is added pressure in being the younger sibling. Sometimes, parents expect you to follow in their footsteps. Meanwhile, in school, when you end up with the same teacher as they did, it's highly likely that they will have the tendency to compare you to them.

Pro: They test out the rules.

Since they are the firstborn, they experience things ahead of you. From here, you get to know what you can and cannot do. You can avoid repeating the same mistakes. You can also note what you are allowed to do. Personally, I like using the line, “But you allowed Ate to *action* at my age," but of course, I do so responsibly and without crossing the line!

Con: If they make a mistake, you have to listen to the sermon of your parents.

Even if you have nothing to do with what your sibling did, there’s a good chance that your parents will let you listen when they reprimand your older sibling. This is to ensure that you do not repeat their mistake. The first time you sit through it, you experience an awkward feeling being there because you feel bad, but at the same time, you are relieved that it is not you. The second time it happens, and it is for the same reason, you might start to get annoyed as well.


Pro: You can ask for advice.

You can share problems with them which you are not comfortable sharing with your parents or even your friends. More or less, they might have experienced it already, so you can ask for tips and advice on how to overcome your problems. 

Con: They can be your frenemy.

You are bound to argue with one another, especially if you are close in age. As kids, they probably made fun of you, pranked you, and made you cry. As teens and young adults, they can still get on your nerves and vice versa. You spend a lot of time with each other, so just simple things can tick each other off sometimes. I noticed that with age, fights are less physical and more verbal. 

Pro: They are your protector, supporter, and kadamay.

It's usually an instinct for older siblings to *not* want to see you hurt. As much as possible, many older siblings would protect and defend their younger siblings from people who want to cause or are inflicting any kind of pain on them.

Most, if not all, older siblings support your dreams and aspirations in life. They want what's best for you. Lastly, they are your kadamay. When dealing with family drama, no one can understand how you're feeling but your sibling. They are there with you through it all. 

Our older siblings may annoy us, but at the end of the day, we love them. As much as being an only child may sound appealing at times, I can't imagine a world without my older sibling. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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