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jim Finnegan

Oh boy! I'm the first to comment on this one... The study was interesting and I agree with it to a point. The only mentoring I really remember was my eldest brother's ability to get my younger brother and I to ruin yet another family photo. Whether it was bunny ears or how many grapes we could stuff in our cheeks, we always seemed to fall for it. John would say, "Wouldn't it be funny if we all put as many grapes in our cheeks as we can?"

Somehow the pictures showed the eldest brother in perfect pose and smile with his two younger siblings with stuffed cheeks and stupid expressions. Joe and I were always in trouble for that. John was never caught "mentoring" the young ones.

Coercion? Influence? We did it anyway. Maybe it was good old fashioned mentoring.


I'm also the youngest of several siblings with a rather big age gap between us. In fact, my oldest sister was my first grade teacher for 2 weeks until my Dad said, "Enough!"

This same sister describes me as a "psychological only" child, meaning I have the characteristics of a first-born and an only child.

And yes, I was pampered and spoiled too!

Norma (Tomte) Finnegan

Family dynamics - an interesting subject!
We always said it was our eldest who "stirred the pot". Two generations back it was said that Grandma Isabel (the eldest)
"made the balls" and Edna (younger sister) "fired 'em". But where do you categorize me - a first (and only), but due to family circumstances raised as a youngest with two older sisters?


Mom, probably you are like me, and Katherine in the comment above: pampered and spoiled, but independent and self-sufficient. Quite a dangerous combo if you ask me...

Scott Springman

I guess I can take comfort in the fact that I am not alone in being the youngest with a large gap between myself and the nearest sibling.

I know I was somewhat spoiled, but there were always many excuses I could use. For example, when I got a computer (an Apple IIGS) in 8th grade, and my siblings said, "We never got a computer when we were your age," I could simply reply "Because computers back then wouldn't have fit in our house."

Yes, I too was treated as an only child, but I always felt lucky simply because I still had a good sized family every holiday.

My only beef with growing up like this was that my siblings treated me as though I were twelve until I was about 28 (and got married). (Did either of you experience this?)


Scott: And how! I will be the "baby of the family" till the day I die. Of course, this also entitles me to refer to my older siblings by saying things like, "This is Bobbi. She is my MUCH OLDER sister." Heh.


Scott: my sibs still treat me like a kid--and it drives me crazy!!

And yes, independent, self-sufficient and sometimes pretty stubborn!

jim Finnegan

As my baby sister has pointed out, she will always be my baby sister (with a phd and tenure).

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