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Navigating the role of the Firstborn

Updated: Apr 2

Being the oldest sibling has its perks but it also comes with responsibility, especially for 16-year-old Nellie. The oldest of 5 children, she shared with us the struggles that she has gone through as well as the motivation that keeps her going.

This is her story:

“As the oldest in the family, I am not that close to my siblings who are currently in primary school, so it’s a bit difficult to connect due to the age gap. Although I have cousins whom I am close to, our busy schedules keep us from being able to spend more quality time together. I have always wanted to have an older sibling or cousin so that I could be taken care of when things aren’t going well.

Usually, when there is a fight at home among my siblings or my parents over mundane things, we reconcile by pretending that nothing happened after giving each other silent treatment. There was an incident that I remember took place in January this year when I borrowed a series of books from my friend and my sibling tore one of the books out of anger towards me.

It was so upsetting because my sibling knew that the books didn’t belong to me and still took out their anger on the books. Even though I was so upset, I kept this incident to myself because I didn’t want to burden my parents when they already had their hands full taking care of 5 kids.

I have juniors who I share my problems with but very seldom because I want to be there to listen to them instead of burdening them with my problems as well. There is a friend of mine who encourages me because we are both in similar situations in life. We talk on the phone and talk about life, encouraging each other positively.

For anyone who is going through the same things as me, I want to encourage you to not let discouragement stay in your mind and stay patient. Especially when it comes to your younger siblings, they will grow up just like you will too. Soon, you will see them in a different light!”

We hope that this story inspires you, till the next one!

*Names have been changed to protect youths' privacy.

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