Chapter 2. Characteristics of the Eldest Child
The Eldest Child is the first child for parents. They must purchase baby clothes, a crib, everything anew. If this baby happens to be the first grandchild of the family, the excited grandparents will not hesitate to buy and prepare many things with delight. Besides, this child will be showered by many gifts from family friends and acquaintances from birth. Every aspect of child rearing is new to the parents, so they treat their first baby extremely carefully.
Thus, the eldest is same as the only child until the second child is born. The eldest receives enormous attention and material things. It is usually the case that s/he has most photos taken among the siblings. Due to birth order, s/he naturally acquires the titles of “the eldest son or daughter,” “the first grandchild,” and “family heir.”
Since this is the first pregnancy and first parenting for the mother and father, they have a large amount of worries and expectations about their first baby. Their dreams and wishes will be projected onto their first child. Hence, the most prominent characteristic of the Eldest Child is that s/he is the only one child who can monopolize the parents. The child is allowed to behave like a noble prince or princess for a while.
So far, it is the same as an only child. The difference is that the Eldest Child will lose the monopoly when the second child is born. Then parents will tell him to take care of the younger sibling and to act as his/her big brother and sister. The younger sibling is told to obey the eldest. This is a new status for the Eldest Child that is not available to the only child. The eldest can earn this status and respect as long as s/he takes care of the younger siblings. Taking care of others is needed as payment to acquire status and prestige, because now s/he has his/her retainers. The image of the eldest is “king” or “queen.” Naturally this elevates his/her pride. This is the ultimate purpose of his/her life.
As for the negative side, the basic trauma will occur to the eldest when the next child is born. The mother starts taking care of another child while the eldest still believes that the mother should be devoted to only him/her. S/he becomes shocked that his/her empire was annihilated by this lowly newborn baby. S/he feels something unreasonable has happened. S/he becomes skeptical about love, believing, “Love ends someday (This depends on the time span until the second child is born).” This deep disappointment will be harbored in his/her mind for life unless s/he modifies this misunderstanding.
A: S/he puts importance on material things.
B: S/he clings to status, assets, reputation, brand, and appearance.
C: S/he has great pride and believes that s/he has priority over others without any reason.
D: S/he makes a great leader, is responsible, and can give orders. S/he is good at taking care of others.
E: S/he doesn’t like imitating other people and will avoid doing something if s/he must copy someone else.
F: S/he sees importance in tradition and protocols and believes that seniority matters.
G: S/he seeks organization and ranking within the society. S/he is good at maintaining personal relationships within the social order.