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August 16, 2004



This is so true. It can be very pervasive. I have noticed that it is particularly true of oldest daughters.

When my step-grandfather died five years ago, I actually had to take one of my uncles aside and explain to him that his oldest sister (my step-mother) had also lost her father, and her crankiness was motivated by her own grief.

The behaviour patterns were so ingrained that he couldn't figure out why she wasn't continuing to hold everything together. That job fell to me - the oldest granddaughter.


Being the "baby" myself I have to take offense of this....if only in theory.Kidding.But really my sister,whom is the oldest is much more serious than me.She definately had the most responsibility of all of us.

Mitchell Cohn

It's not a joke. The oldest paves the way and is saddled with responsibility. I'm afraid I did this to my oldest, my only daughter. The boys never have quite gotten the hang of silly little things like "responsibility." I've been trying to rectify this for years, but once you've gotten a child trained (the oldest), it's just so darned hard to start training another child all over, again.

Mitchell A. Cohn, D.O.
Author of Common Sense Parenting and
The Parenting Weblog - covering
Parenting, Family, and Child Health

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