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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Being The Youngest Child - 762 words
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Being the youngest child in a family has definite advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, babies are fussed over and pampered. They enjoy special status in the pecking order and often get away with behavior that other family members can't. On the other hand, many youngest children feel that they never quite measure up to their more experienced and accomplished siblings. To borrow a phrase from a famous comedian, they get no respect.Psychologists use a variety of words to describe last-borns: affectionate, sensitive, people-oriented, attention-seeking, indulged, dependent, laid-back, tenacious, absent-minded, relaxed, fun, flaky.
What family relationships might be at work molding youngest children into these diverse shapes?Relationships with parentsSome parents look on their youngest child as their last chance to do everything right. In these families, the youngest may feel a great deal of performance pressure, similar to a firstborn. Other parents seem to decide that they will never allow their last child to be unhappy, ever. The predictable effect of constantly catering to the child's wishes is to make her into a demanding, dissatisfied tyrant. Psychologists sometimes refer to such a child as being 'enthroned.'In most families, however, last born is a relatively low-pressure position. The parents have more experience under their belts and are more likely to take a laissez-faire attitude toward such issues as developmental milestones, toilet training, dating, and so on
They are more confident that things will work out for the best., and their relationship with their last-borns is less intense than with the older children. This makes sense because the parents have to divide their attention among more children.Having somewhat more distance in their relationship with their parents can give last-borns freedom to explore new ideas and new places. On the other hand, if the emotional distance is too great, youngest children may feel disconnected, as though they somehow don't belong in the family.Relationships with siblingsSince last-borns are rarely the strongest or most capable during childhood, they often carve out a place for themselves by being clever and charming. If you're the smallest, it's important to be able to make people like you, and many youngest children develop impressive social skills. Within the family, they often become skilled politicians, learning to get through negotiation what they can't win by force.
They may become the resident peacekeepers--but they're also perfectly capable of stirring up trouble when it serves their purposes, teaming up with one sibling or another.Many last-borns capitalize on their position as smallest and weakest by elevating helplessness to a high art. They learn that they don't have to do housework, for example, if they can get others to do it for them. As adults, they may have difficulty keeping track of commitments and finishing what they start. Playing the 'baby card' also allows them to avoid the consequences for wrongdoing, for example, breaking a sibling's toy.Other youngest children, however, refuse to accept the helpless label. Instead, like determined terriers, they grab hold of a position and just hang on.
The years of sticking up for themselves against the might of their older siblings prepares these children for careers as successful advocates, often championing the cause of -appropriately enough--the underdog.What you can doHow can you, as a parent,help your 'baby' develop into a fully grown-up person? Make sure that your youngest has her share of household responsibilities. If everyone is cleaning, she might be able to handle a dust cloth or sponge down the kitchen table. Don't let 'she's too young' be an excuse for excluding her from chores completely.Give her attention not only for cute or charming behavior, but also for efforts to do things such as schoolwork or creative projects that she takes seriously.Find some situations in which the youngest can be in charge so that she is not always the one who goes along with someone else's idea. It may be choosing the main course for dinner one night or picking the family bedtime story. On the other hand, don't allow her to constantly dictate every activity just because she's the youngest.Let your youngest know that you value her (and everyone in the family) for who she is, rather than for the skills and abilities she possesses.
It's hard for children to grow up in the shadow of older, more accomplished siblings. Approval that isn't dependent on performance helps youngest children blossom, free from limiting comparisons.Check out our articles on firstborns, middle children, and only children for more information, as well as the lighter side of the birth-order issue.
Research paper and essay writing, free essay topics, sample works Being The Youngest Child
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