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The Baby Of The Family

May 17, 2008
When adult siblings are asked how they feel about the youngest child, most will generally describe these "babies of the family" as being spoiled, lazy, and as "having the ability to get away with everything." Parents describe these same children as being affectionate and sensitive. Both these descriptions are accurate. Many youngest children display all of these traits. Being a youngest child is not necessarily a bed of roses, however.

Parents take several different approaches when dealing with the youngest. Some look upon their last child as being their final chance to "get it right" and put undue pressure on these children to succeed. Others embrace their last chance at parenting and give in to every demand that the child makes to ensure that the child will never be unhappy. Neither one of these attitudes can help your child grow into a healthy adult.

The youngest child's relationships with their siblings can be difficult as well. The older children can feel jealous and even threatened by the youngest child's very existence and act out by making this youngster's life as difficult as possible. They may use the child's lack of experience to put him up to doing things that can be just plain stupid and in some cases even dangerous. The youngest child, in an effort to impress his elders, can usually be talked into to doing anything that they say. Youngest children also tend to idolize their older siblings, especially the oldest. The oldest child may take advantage of this idol-worship and push off their chores and other responsibilities onto the younger.

On the other hand, these youngest children often use their youth and helplessness to their advantage. These youngsters may try to refuse to do chores, stating that they are too young and little. These youngsters become born negotiators, learning to talk their way out of difficulties with their siblings. They may also be good at manipulating people, telling their parents things to purposely get the other children into trouble, using their age as an excuse that they "didn't know any better" and setting one sibling against another. These actions can lead to the other children excluding them from certain activities and can make the youngest child feel alienated and separate from the family group.

Other youngest children refuse to recognize their helplessness and stand up for themselves with persistence and tenacity. They fight for their position and stand up their older siblings, leading them to become highly independent.

As a parent, these are several ways that you can ensure that your youngest child grows into a healthy, well-adjusted adult. If your child is using the excuse of being too little and helpless to do anything, you should make him do chores just like the other children. You should also check on his progress to make sure that he has not conned his older siblings into doing them for him. You should praise him for accomplishments in areas that he excels in instead of giving him attention just because he is cute and adorable. You can also include your youngest child in an activity in which he is in charge, such as planning a family outing or helping to pick out a meal. This will help to teach him to be a leader as well as a follower.

Many youngest children grow up to be affectionate and creative adults and often have a great sense of humor. Some famous youngest children are Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Carrey, and Cameron Diaz. These examples prove that many youngest children grow into successful and independent adults with a little care and guidance from their parents. Remember that your baby needs to grow up one day, and anything that you can do to help along the way is beneficial to both you and him.
About the Author
Find helpful and creative ideas for parents and grandparents while you shop our affordable kids furniture. For more information, visit this article on wooden toy boxes.
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