Leave The Little Man Alone

Andrew - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on February 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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Leave the Little Man Alone

I believe in the youngest child. I believe that they should receive the respect they deserve from the rest of society.

I am the third and youngest child in my family among two older brothers. My Great-Aunt Pat loves to remind me how the day I was born, she bought me a miniature baseball bat in order to fend off my older brothers. Right from the start I was expected to have to fight my older siblings. It’s a shame the way society views the youngest child as the punching bag of the family.

But sure enough I was arguing with my brothers as soon as I could speak. It all went down hill over the years. I went through my different phases of defending myself. At first I ran because I was faster than both of them. But when they discovered how to corner me in our house, I substituted running for biting and scratching. When my mom scolded me for making my brothers bleed, I resorted to crying for help from my mom. When I was about 7, that defense mechanism had run out of use since my mom refused to help me out any more. This is when I learned to fight back with logic.

Unfortunately, I still suffered plenty when my parents weren’t looking. I went through everything from being tied to a bed, to being whipped by a belt, and even being thrown from a balcony. But in the long run, the bruises healed, and no bones were broken, so no major damage was done. However, nothing will excuse my brothers for their obscene actions against me. I may admit that sometimes I might have started a fight, but being the youngest automatically multiplies the chances of my brothers fighting back.

The troubles of the youngest sibling don’t end with violence. Oh no. There’s also the way that everything gets blamed on them. Since they are the smallest and most defenseless, they seem to be constantly accused of committing deeds solely due to their age. Such accusations should not be thrown about for such pitiful reasons.

Other problems occur when the youngest child is automatically thought to be less mature than the older siblings. I don’t agree that maturity comes with age. I believe that maturity comes with experience. Life changing experiences happen at different times in everyone’s life. For this reason I believe that the youngest child should not have to withstand the presumptions of the bias older siblings.

The last and possibly the worst part of being the youngest child is the darkness that we must live in due to the shadow cast by the older siblings. If my brother had done something amazing at my age, I am automatically expected to do something equally remarkable or even better than he. Or the opposite of this situation, if an older sibling had done something terrible, the youngest sibling is automatically assumed to be just as terrible based on the actions of their older brother or sister. The youngest child should not be compared to their older siblings. They should be viewed as a individual.

I don’t assume that since I am the youngest child, I should always live in the shadow of my older brothers, waiting, until we are all mature enough to put the past behind us. So why should the rest of society? I believe that I and every other youngest sibling should not be a label, and should get the respect we deserve.