By Ann Tatko-Peterson
Monday, May 5th, 2008 at 11:03 am in Other.
Vindication! For years I tried to convince my younger sister that she had it easier. Mom and Dad let her slide, I was sure of it. Now, a study by a Johns Hopkins University sociology professor has my back. The study has found that first-born children are subjected to stricter parenting, more discipline and higher expectations and that they receive less money from their parents than younger siblings when they dropped out of school or teenage girls got pregnant.
OK, so the latter two don’t apply to me. But hey, for years I complained pretty loudly when I heard the “you’re older, you should know better” line. Not to mention all the things I couldn’t do — wear makeup at 13 (No!), date at 14 (No!), drive at 16 (No!) and have my own phone line and TV in my bedroom throughout my high school years (Not a chance!) — that my sister, who is my junior by 2 1/2 years, got to do. It wasn’t really favoritism. It was parental testing of the waters. Once they saw how my wearing makeup, dating and driving didn’t tip their world upside down, it was a lot easier to be more flexible with my younger siblings. Still, my sister didn’t see it that way. Now, maybe she’ll have to.