Don’t make your older children take responsibility for taking care of their younger siblings; they didn’t decide to have babies, and they shouldn’t have the responsibility of being parents or babysitters. Older children do not have to assume functions that do not correspond to them only for the comfort of their parents. Although sometimes it is not for comfort, but for lack of time or other circumstances.
Sometimes it seems that it is inevitable that older children accept roles that do not correspond to them, something that could cause them to behave in a way that does not touch them with their age. This can undoubtedly affect their development.
Too many demands
Sometimes, the demands of parents cause children to make decisions that do not correspond to them, to assume functions that should not be within their competence, to take care of siblings when they should not. Children, when this happens, do not find their place within the family because they feel compelled to be adults when in reality, they are and should continue to be children.
This implies a great emotional load that complicates the life of the older brother and makes him feel confused in his role as an older brother and as a son. He is a son and brother and should never assume an adult role that does not correspond to him in any way. No matter how old you are, it is a burden that you should not assume under any circumstances; there can always be other solutions where the child should not be forced to do things that do not touch him.
The parents tell the child that since he is the older brother, it is his responsibility to do that, but it is not true. They are the responsibilities of the parents and not of the older siblings. It doesn’t matter if they are 6 or 16 years old; it is not the right thing to do.
As if that were not enough, if parents continue to give their older children responsibilities that do not correspond to them, children will begin to feel resentment, anxiety, helplessness … towards life, towards their siblings, and towards their parents. They will feel that what they do is all taxes and that they have no right to think or to have an opinion.
Don’t make these 7 mistakes.
If you have an older child, it is time for you to reflect so that you do not fall into these mistakes. This way, your older child can grow up healthier.
- That the older brother has to help the younger brother in everything he needs, at any time, without taking into consideration the needs of the older brother and putting those of the younger brother first.
- That the older brother becomes the “man of the house” or, in the case of a girl, “the woman of the house” because one of the parents cannot take charge for whatever reason.
- Telling the older brother over and over again that he has to be a good example for his younger siblings. The example should always be from parents to children and never from siblings to brothers; this can generate rivalry and resentment.
- Not detailing responsibilities to children. It is necessary to bear in mind that the responsibilities with the children will depend on their age and their ability to do things. Therefore, the responsibilities of children cannot be equated equally. And always, they must have a limit in the responsibilities, and they must remain children!
- Don’t praise when you do things right. When the older brother does things well or helps, it is good that you praise him. It is good to get involved, but always as an option or a choice and not as an imposition that the eldest son does not agree with.
- Let the older brother have authority over the younger siblings. Never under any circumstances should a sibling have the authorization to punish or correct his younger siblings. It should always be the parents who are in charge of doing this. Siblings are brothers and children, and everything must be equal between them and in the face of the parents.
- Be an example of authority. Children should not be the example of authority of their brothers; they should be children and brothers but never authority as a father or mother should be!