Let’s face it: Being the oldest child isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes it really stinks. Your parents are always getting onto you more and letting your younger sibling(s) get away with more, and everyone always calls them the “cute” one. Oh, and almost everything will be your fault and your responsibility, because “you’re older and know better.” It’s easy to think that being the oldest sibling means drawing the birth order short straw, but in this case, all the pros majorly outweigh the cons. Being the older sibling can really rock, and here’s why:

Your younger sibling will always be your biggest admirer.

Sure, it can be annoying when a sibling copies what you do, but it really is because they admire you! After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. To me, it’s always heartwarming to see a little sibling “copying” their older sib. Once you start seeing it as a compliment, your entire sibling relationship will change for the better.

You always have someone to laugh at your jokes.

Your younger sibling will almost always think you’re funny. Siblings have this special thing when it comes to humor. What you and your younger sis or bro think is funny, you and your best friend might not. It’s weird, but that’s just one of those sibling things.

Sibling hugs are the best hugs.

There’s so much love! And be honest with yourself, there’s nothing better than hugging your favorite munchkin.

You get to help carve a path for them.

You do everything before they do, like driving and going to prom and entering middle school and (probably) getting married. They’ll learn what to do (and what not to do) from watching you do all these things! Plus, your parents will know what to do by the time your sibling gets to that age, because they figure it out with you. Also, all the teachers in school will remember you when they have your sibling… But this could be good or bad, actually.

It’s like training for parenthood.

This and the last one go hand in hand. Being an older sibling is like being a parent, just with fewer responsibilities. Sure, you get them something to eat sometimes and babysit them and give them rides places, but it’s more than that. You get to give them all the life lessons that you’ve learned from experience, and you also influence them greatly.

You know that they’ll never stay mad at you for long.

And you won’t stay mad at them for long, either. Okay, so I’m guilty of using this to my advantage sometimes, as I’m sure many other siblings are. But that just means that the jokes and pranks are funnier! Sure, they’ll be angry for a little while, but you know that eventually things will be back to normal between you two… Plus that prank was probably real funny.

You have your own life-sized dress up doll.

This is more relevant when all parties are younger, but it still counts. Seriously, just think of all the times you dressed up with your younger sister (or brother!) and painted their toenails and did their makeup. It’s like having your own fashion model! And they’ll always go along with it, because they love you 🙂

It feels good to watch them succeed.

One thing that comes with maturity is realizing that it’s just as satisfying to watch someone you love succeed as is it to succeed yourself. The joy an older sibling feels when they see their younger sibling light up with pride is indescribable.

You have the ultimate partner in crime.

Siblings are great minions, but they’re also great cohorts. Think of all the times your younger sibling had your back by putting out an excuse for you, or helping you get something (or get AWAY with something). Plus, some schemes just require two.

They understand your parent problems.

Always. Always. Always. They will understand the things about your parents that make you tick more than anyone else, because they have to put up with it, too!

Halloween costumes are always great.

Sibling costumes always crack me up. The possibilities are endless, and they’ll never say no to it either!

Siblings fight with each other, cry with each other, and laugh with each other. It’s just what they do. But through it all, there’s always one thing that is true; you love your sibling, and they love you. You’ll do anything for your sibling, absolutely anything. Remember, the best gift you can ever be given is a sibling.

(Images via here, here, here, and here.)