Being the youngest child: pros and cons

Being the youngest child: pros and cons

The position of the younger child is not always the most comfortable, as it depends on the type of family he will grow up in. In most cases, the mother reflects her wishes on the youngest.

Being the youngest child: pros and cons

Last update: June 20, 2022

It is common to think that younger children are the favorites, therefore the most pampered. At the same time, there are several clichés about the younger child.



As in many other areas, it is not convenient to generalize. The determining factor is the type of family where you are born. If the family structure is loving and healthy, the little one will be cared for and will receive the benefits of a constructive environment.

In the case of a dysfunctional family, however, the minor child could be the recipient of various forms of abuse. It is in a more vulnerable position, as it is born and raised in an already inadequately structured environment. In such a scenario, he will suffer not only from the behavior of his parents, but also from the siblings confused by the family dynamics.

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life itself. "

-Khalil Gibran-

Minor children tend to be more tolerant.

Tales and myths

The younger son has played a decisive role in several stories, myths and legends. In the Bible, for example, the first brothers in history are Cain and Abel. The youngest was Abel and ended up being the victim of his brother, who envied him as the beloved of God.

Jacob's younger son (who among other things bought the birthright from his older brother, Esau, for a pot of soup) was Joseph. He was sold by his brothers to some merchants, because they were jealous of the fact that his father preferred him to them.



In Greco-Roman mythology, Gaia charged her younger son, Saturn, with the arduous task of castrating his father, Uranus. Saturn did and with it ousted him. So, fearing that her own children would do the same to him, she decided to devour them as soon as they were born.

The youngest, however, was spared from such a fate. But here the myth repeats itself: Jupiter, or Zeus in Greece, claimed his brothers and attacked his father, Saturn. He managed to defeat him by becoming the king of Olympus.

How can we see, in mythology and stories the younger son has the double condition of victim and savior.

The younger son in psychoanalysis

Sigmund Freud attached great importance to the birth order of the children. He believed that this exerted a great influence on character formation, identification processes and the configuration of neuroses.

He noticed that very often the eldest son is the one in charge of preserving the traditions of the previous generation, while the younger son discovers new territories.

According to this perspective, the eldest son is destined to identify more strongly with his father. It is a direct identification. The parent expects the child to be the extension of him. His role is to soothe his father's narcissistic wounds. He often stands between these and the other children wanting to be "unique" in that hierarchy.

The younger child, on the other hand, undergoes a more complex identification process. It is common for his mother's narcissistic ideals to be reflected upon him. In other words, she becomes her "favorite child".


It usually represents the force that questions traditions and does not feel obliged to preserve them. Similarly, the desire to unseat the father is greater in the younger son, a situation reflected in Greco-Roman myths.



The younger child may be more insecure due to the overprotection received.

The youngest son in psychology

In psychology there has even been talk of the “younger child syndrome” as an observable reality in many families. Mothers tend to be overprotective of their youngest child. This often makes you more dependent and insecure.

It is common to continue to feel and act like a helpless child even in adulthood. An overprotective mother also leads to a feeling that others are responsible for the negative situations that arise. Likewise, it becomes difficult to distinguish autonomy from powerlessness.


In reverse, the younger child tends to be more open and tolerant than siblings. Although he struggles to assert himself, he enjoys greater social skills that allow him to move beyond differences and be empathetic.

By trusting their own judgment more and by ceasing to fear lack of support, they are sure to become wonderful adults.

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