10 Ways Youngest Children Love Differently

10 Ways Youngest Children Love Differently ©iStock/AntonioGuillem

Being the baby of the family is something that affects every single moment of a youngest child’s life. No matter how old we get, our families still seem a little caught off guard by the fact that we are full-fledged adults with complete and independent lives.

Our experiences as children shape how we live and how we love. If you’re the last born child in your family, you may be able to relate to these ways youngest children love differently:

  1. We need to be with someone that someone that we respect. For youngest children, love and respect go hand and hand. We’ve always had older siblings to look up to, and as much as we fought with them, we respected them and looked to them for advice.
  2. We expect someone to take care of us. We’ve always had someone looking out for us and standing up for us. Now, we need you to fill that role.
  3. We’re suckers for guys that are bigger, taller, and stronger. We’ve grown up feeling safe among our older siblings, and we’re used to being the small and delicate one in the family. Even though we’re independent now, we still like that feeling of being enveloped in love.
  4. We need you to be able to take a joke. Since we were always smaller and weaker than our siblings, we learned how to defend ourselves verbally instead of physically. That means that we can tease you mercilessly. Understand that it’s all in good fun.
  5. We want to be able to be a little bit silly. With our siblings, we learned to laugh uncontrollably and act stupid around each other. We want to be comfortable enough around you to have irrepressible giggle fits.
  6. But we also want to make sure that you take us seriously. As the youngest one, our pet peeve is people thinking that we’re not up to a challenge or that something we want is out of our reach. Don’t make us feel like we’re not capable.
  7. We’re free spirits at heart, and we need you to understand that. While everyone was paying attention to our siblings and whatever important things were going on in our lives, our parents gave us free rein. That means we’re used to having a lot of space to be creative and do our own thing.
  8. We want you to give us a lot of attention. If we don’t get it voluntarily, we may act out. We always had to compete with our more mature siblings for attention. It’s hard to impress your parents with your five-year-old “treading water certificate” when your ten-year-old sister is off winning swimming championships. So when we feel like you’re not focused on us, it touches a nerve. We may last out just to get your attention.
  9. Sometimes we can be a little insecure, so we need a lot of reassuring. See above. Since we were younger, our older siblings always seemed by default to be smarter and more impressive. It means that we may have a bit of a complex. Even though we’re working on how to overcome our insecurities, we need you to demonstrate constantly that you love and respect us.
  10. We’re adventurous and are totally willing to step out of our comfort zone. We’ve always been excited about playing with the big kids, so we still have tendencies to push ourselves and take risks. Take us on adventures and we’ll be indebted to you forever.
Jessica Levy is a freelance blogger and content writer. She’s also a politics junkie, a fledgling foodie, and a frequent traveler. She has lived in Morocco, Israel, India, and Barbados, and never wants to be cold again. Follow her on Twitter!