“Are You Okay Or Are You The Eldest Daughter?”: 68 Hilarious And Painfully True Tweets About Being The Eldest Daughter

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the phrase, “Oh! So you’re the middle child.” The term itself comes along with a host of assumptions and implications, and while I may not personally relate to them all, I certainly feel bonded to my fellow middle children out there.

If you have siblings, you might find yourself fitting into an archetypal role as well. The baby, the middle child, the older brother, the little sister, or even if you don’t have any siblings, the only child. They each have their own expectations, but one group that seems to have it particularly hard is the oldest daughters

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If you’re an eldest daughter, we see you and we hear you, so we’ve gathered this list down below of tweets that you might find painfully relatable. Be sure to upvote all of the pics that make you laugh or feel uncomfortably seen, and let us know in the comments what your favorite and least favorite things are about being a big sister. Then if you’re interested in another Bored Panda article about how older siblings are treated vastly differently than younger ones, we recommend checking out this piece next.


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Even if you yourself are not an older sister, you might be familiar with the concept of what it is like to be one. In fact, the psychology of being the oldest daughter is even referenced in media, with one of the most famous recent examples being Isabela in Disney’s 2021 film Encanto. The movie is brilliant in many ways and features a beautiful, whimsical and heartwarming soundtrack, but the rich characters and story are what really draw audiences in.

Isabela is expected to be perfect at all times, and has a bit of “Golden Child Syndrome”. The family relies on her to marry a young man from the village and grow the family, despite her having no interest in that. But she has never had the opportunity to experiment or make mistakes because all eyes have always been on her. Isabela finally feels immense freedom when she stops worrying about being polished and perfect all the time, because for most of her life, she has been given no room for error. Isabela passionately sings, “I make perfect, practiced poses, so much hides behind my smile” and “I’m so sick of pretty, I want something new… What can you do when you know who you wanna be is imperfect?” She perfectly encapsulates how many oldest daughters feel, and the character has become very popular because of that. 


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People that grow up being expected to be the golden child can deal with an overwhelming need to please, being required to grow up faster than they would like, becoming high achievers to satisfy their families, and having a fear of failure. As adults, they can also encounter some difficulties in relationships. “On the one hand, the grown-up golden child might become excessively attached to another person, not knowing where they begin and end. For example, they might display excessive people-pleasing, seeking the validation they never received as a child,” says neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez. “On the other hand, they might truly struggle with connection in relationships, seeking validation from outside sources like work and never becoming emotionally available to a partner.”

Work and school environments can even be challenging for golden children, if they never learned how to take criticism. “These children will also grow into adults who become defensive when they receive criticism,” Dr. Hafeez says. “Because golden children are accustomed to only receiving positive feedback from their loved ones, they struggle to accept any form of negative feedback as an adult. They will automatically believe that they have failed.”


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Although Isabela is the oldest daughter of the three Madrigal girls featured in the film Encanto, Luisa, the middle daughter, represents another experience that many older sisters know all too well. She sings a song titled “Surface Pressure” detailing all of the heavy burdens (literally and figuratively, she has superhuman strength) and responsibilities she is expected to carry due to her role in the family. While hauling donkeys, boulders, pianos and a church building, Luisa sings, “Give it to your sister, your sister’s older, give her all the heavy things we can’t shoulder. Watch as she buckles and bends but never breaks. No mistakes.” 

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According to psychotherapist Dr. Caroline Plumer, oldest daughters often start taking on more than they should at a young age. “Eldest sisters will have spent at least a small portion of their lives as only children, and as such have largely had adults, and particularly their mothers, to model their behaviors on,” Dr. Plumer told Metro UK. “Even today, women are still typically seen as the family caregivers, and if the mother is incapacitated for whatever reason, expectation can fall on the eldest child to step in to her role.”


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Dr. Plumer explains that it can also be common for parents to delegate some of the responsibilities of looking after and taking care of the younger siblings to the oldest daughter. This can be confusing for a child, when they are just trying to grow up and enjoy being a kid, but they are expected to fill a bit of a maternal role so their younger siblings can have the “full child experience”. “[This can] result long-term in a lack of boundaries and a tendency toward people-pleasing behaviors as eldest sisters believe it is their job to be responsible for everybody else’s wellbeing and happiness,” Dr. Plumer says. While it may seem like being the oldest kid has the perks of getting to make decisions or being able to boss younger siblings around, oldest daughters often don’t get to embrace the joys of being an older sibling. They might be too busy babysitting, changing diapers and helping mom and dad prepare dinner.  


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Being the oldest daughter can be a very complicated role to fill. On one hand, you may be expected to be perfectly poised and polished at all times and feel the need to please people, but on the other hand, you might be controlling and develop an unhealthy competitive attitude. To try to reduce or prevent “oldest sister syndrome” from rearing its ugly head, parents are recommended to keep an eye on bossiness and ensure it is not tolerated. Constantly speaking over younger siblings or telling them what to do may seem harmless, but it’s not a great habit for kids to develop. At the same time, parents must make sure that their oldest children feel loved and valued regardless of their accomplishments. They need quality and quantity time with their parents, so they do not feel that their value rests on how well they do in school or activities.    


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Parents might often assume that their oldest daughter is fine because she never voices her concerns or that nothing is going on in her life. But when parents get in the habit of not checking in with their oldest daughter to make sure she is okay, she might start to feel unsafe sharing when something is wrong. The expectation has been set that she is always perfect and under control, so she may fear failure or admitting defeat. It is vital that parents never make assumptions about what is going on in their children’s heads and that they consider all of their feelings, even if they are not the “baby” or they appear to have it all under control.


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Oldest children seem to receive the worst punishments as well. They are likely to be the first ones being caught drinking, getting a speeding ticket, skipping class or failing a test, so parents might be shocked and disappointed by many things that no longer phase them by the time the youngest sibling makes it to high school or college. Parents must be careful not to be too harsh or strict on their oldest because they are the guinea pig in many situations. Parents are navigating how to deal with punishment and taking away privileges for the first time, so they might feel the impulse to be very hard on their oldest daughter. But I assure you, she will remember this. So try not to be overly cautious just because she’s the first one going through something. 


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Now, it’s not all bad being the oldest daughter. There are always some perks to being an older sibling as well. For example, oldest daughters tend to be excellent leaders. As Lisette Schuitemaker and Wies Enthoven wrote in their book The Eldest Daughter Effect, “Eldest daughters are responsible, dutiful, thoughtful, expeditious and caring. Firstborns are more intelligent than their siblings, more proficient verbally, and more motivated to perform.” In fact, oldest daughters are 16% more likely to excel in academics than their younger siblings. 


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Oldest siblings also have unfiltered access to their parents’ attention, for at least a small portion of their lives. As babies and perhaps some of their childhoods, they were given all the attention in the world and were able to soak up as much knowledge as possible from their parents. They also usually get things first, whether its clothes, a cell phone, a car, or a variety of other things. Older siblings tend to get less hand-me-downs than their younger siblings, if there are no older neighbors or cousins to hand things down to them. They might even have the largest funds for college stored away, as the money might be slowly depleting as the baby makes their way to university. 


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Every family is different, and not all oldest daughters are the same. But if you are one, I’m sure you can relate to at least some of the posts on this list. Whether you are bitter your younger siblings never felt the wrath of your parents as strongly as you did or you’re thankful that you grew up to be so ambitious and successful, we would love to hear about your experience being an oldest sister down below. Be sure to keep upvoting the pics that you find to be spot-on, and then if you’re interested in another Bored Panda article examining the unique relationship between oldest and younger siblings, check out this story next. 


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Source: boredpanda.com

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