Parenting Advice From a Last Born

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Yes, I admit it; I do get disciplined the least. It causes lots of friction between me and the siblings. When you’re not around, they pressure me and tease me, saying, “Baby, baby, you are the baby. Gonna go cry to Mommy again?”

Too Many “Parents.” I “Get Set Straight” a lot. The siblings think they’re my second mother, like it’s their duty to tell on me. When they do, can you at least listen to my side of the story too? And don’t let the other kids dominate or tease me.

What Rules? Rules don’t mean much to me; they’re just meant for other people. I’m undisciplined in my personal life. I procrastinate all the time. Tonight is soon enough to start a school project due tomorrow. I’m late for some activities or I just don’t go. I need some help or I’m going to be dependent on others forever. I hate to admit it, but I need you to encourage me to be more independent, more thoughtful, and self-reliant.

How About Something New? Involve me in decision making. I want to choose which hand-me-downs I want to keep. I know we have a budget, but I like to get some new things once in awhile. But I want to pick my toys and clothes to buy, even if you don’t really like them.

Nothing I do is really new or original. Be sure you don’t make me compete with the older kids. Give me plenty of complements for my accomplishments, even minor ones.

I’m glad you started reading to me early with my siblings. My intellectual development is as important as my other endeavors. I might seek out expert advice but then I’ll argue against it.

Trouble at School. School has lots of challenges for me. The teachers are always calling you because I’m goofing off. Don’t let me get away with it. Quit running to school all the time. Don’t bring my homework or projects to school because I forget them. I’ll never learn to be responsible. Call my bluff; give me a choice. “Either you shape up at school or you’ll have to drop baseball.” I can’t believe I just suggested that.

Taking Advantage. “Ahh, you do it your way, you cute little guy,” can hold me back. The most damaging effect of permissiveness is making things too easy for me. I’ll take advantage. I’ll become too dependent and stay baby-like if I’m coddled too much.

My Fair Share. Don’t assume I’m too young to be useful. You really need to give me my fair share of household duties. I’ll complain and act helpless, but it’s best for me. Try not to do everything for me. Err on helping me stand on my own two feet or I won’t be prepared for life. Resist the temptation to hold on to me when you fear being left on your own.

I promise I’ll come visit you. And hey, can you try to get my baby book done before I turn 21?

 

Compiled Story Sources:

1. The Achiever, the Peacemaker and the Life of the Party: How Birth Order Affects Personality, Dr. Gail Gross, Ph.D. Ed.D., Human Behavior and Education Expert, Speaker, & Author. Posted: 12/23/2013, Updated: 02/22/2014 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/birth-order/ Accessed 10/10/2014.

2. Birth Order Blues: How Parents Can Help Their Children Meet the Challenges of Birth Order, Meri Wallace, Owl Books, 1999.

3. The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are, Dr. Kevin Leman, Revell, 1998.

 

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