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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Why there is always pressure on the eldest of a family?

    I am not talking about the head of a family but the elder or the eldest of a family, say the the elder/eldest daughter-in-law or an elder son or a daughter. Of course, a son -in-law is exempted everywhere quite interestingly.

    A Whats App message prompted me to sign in here to know the views of our learned members. An over-enthusiastic parent like me asks his elder daughter to go for Engineering and Medicine and at the same time involves her in learning dance and at the same time playing Casio. He pressurizes her to learn Kuchipudi with one leg and the western with the other! Finally the message ends up asking his younger one, "Learn whatever you want to do, we tried precious things on your sister and it didn't work out"! And the little child smiles being younger to have freedom.

    It is applicable everywhere. When the elder son gets married, there would be lot expectations on the new daughter-in-law and I have seen even negligible mistakes on her part were not spared and finally she would be branded as arrogant, insubordinate and root cause for a split in the family. All the ingredient people get tired and realise the fact of the life and become soft cornered while it comes to their younger daughter-in-law.

    What is your take on this?
  • #599230
    Yes, I do agree there is always pressure on the eldest brother or sister. This is everywhere in India. I do know it very well because as the eldest children I understand the pressure and responsibility. My wife being the eldest in her family knows it. But at the same time, eldest brother or sister get the respect from the younger ones, can't be explained in words.
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #599233
    Mr. Jagdish, I accept what you said 100%. It is my personal experience.. As told by you I thought my elder son may get a seat in IIT and I get him coaching etc. But he got a good rank in EAMCET only. After seeing the outcome, I asked my younger son whether he has interest to take IIT coaching. He said " No ". I stopped there.

    The parents without knowing the reality may think of may things about their children. They will try all that on the elder son/daughter. After getting an understanding on realities they may limit their wishes.

    By the by I am the eldest son of my parents and my wife is the eldest daughter in law. We know all realities.

    always confident

  • #599252
    I accept the observance of the author in this regard. Being eldest is the awesome responsibility position. Though I have four sisters and three brothers, and after the death of my elder brother, I became elder to the family and thus from that day precisely from 1980 the onus of being elder fall on me and all the rituals of my father, my mother and my brother are being performed and even I had other responsibilities too. So my wife is also getting attention being elder in the family but in reality she is young. The position is elder. My two brothers are elder to her but the position she wields is eldest.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #599256
    The eldest is supposed to be of help and support to the parents. This was the custom and habit till a few years ago. I am sure this will change in a few years hence. That is because, the modern parents have the wealth and health to look after themselves and the family without any external help. So they can allow their children to pursue their own choice.

    It was not so earlier. There was only one earning member in a family. Even in a small(divided ) family also it was the case. The all-in-one eldest male (the husband to his wife, son to his old parents and father to his children) will be the sole earner. He will go on working hard and even overtime and get his health also spoiled to keep his family going on. He will be reposing all his hopes on his eldest son, who may be ready to take up a job before he retires from service.
    So being groomed as the next hope for the family's sustenance, for conducting the girl child's(sister's) marriage,to look after the old parents etc. he is not allowed the luxuries of childhood and youth. He has to be the most obedient, has to suffer and be patient and forgiving to his younger siblings. Sometimes he will have to sacrifice his own food also for the sake of younger siblings.

    Then it gets imprinted on him that he is only to sacrifice and give, but cannot demand. Younger siblings also looked upon eldest brother as next to father. The when he gets married ll the responsibility and liability falls on her also. Many of the current senior and middle aged are of that genre.

    ( However in many families at a later stage, last the younger siblings used to have their own comfortable life and the eldest was looked upon as nuisance fool and even an enemy.)

    There were many a movie till a few decades ago, depicting this theme.

    Hopefully that situation is going to end very soon.

    From now on families have just one or two children. Both parents earn and keep good savings. Girls also earn and select and marry their own choice grooms. Dowry is disappearing. Law also says that boy and girl have equal responsibility to take care of needy parents.

  • #599264
    Traditionally In Indian society the eldest is considered to be responsible and prudent in the sense that in the unfortunate case of early demise of the parents he will have to take care of all the younger ones and function like the head of the family.

    This tradition is still there and the eldest has to do some efforts to come to the expectations of all.

    However there are exceptions also in which case the eldest on some pretext shirk away from the responsibility and some other member has to take the lead.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #599274
    Everybody has to take his equal responsibility in life. In our view it looks that the elders take more responsibility but I feel other way that elders may be getting overdue respect even without doing nothing or doing a little. Its like you believe that opener in a cricket team has more responsibility than middle order. You never know whose turn will become more pressurized in life so everybody has equal responsibility. Problem is that we have a infatuation of first. First love, child, car, mobile so may be the parents and other relatives go for the eldest.
    Farid Akhtar
    ISC-Joined for fun but learn and earn.

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