1. They learn best by being mentored.
Youngest children learned everything they know through imitation and this is blatantly obvious when they enter the work force. Walk them through the steps of a process and you’ll only confuse them. Sit them next to the most successful person in the office and they’ll be miracle workers by next Wednesday.
2. They show love by showing up.
You know that friend who jumps on board with every crazy scheme and never misses one of your slam poetry readings? Probably a youngest child. We understood from a young age that love means going to every hockey game, dance recital, spelling bee and soccer practice…even if we only had to go because it was cheaper than hiring a babysitter.
3. But they have no problem doing things alone.
Nobody wants to travel to Africa with me? That’s okay, I’ll just go by myself. Replace ‘Africa’ with ‘the Park’ and its third grade all over again.
4. They expect everyone to think that they’re younger than they are.
Youngest children don’t have quarter-life crises: They’re too busy gloating in the fact that their older sibling just turned thirty. The tables are finally turned on who holds the more desirable age and the family baby loves to revel in their relative youth. ID-ing me at twenty-seven years old? Damn right you are. I’m youthful and I know it.
5. Socially however, they gravitate toward an older crowd.
There is nothing more badass at age seven than hanging out with your twelve-year-old sister and her friends. Even as adults, youngest siblings often feel most comfortable around people who are slightly above their age bracket. It just makes them feel cool on some subconscious level.
6. They display a general disregard for the rules.
Youngest siblings grew up with a general sense of “Nobody’s watching me TOO closely…” And took whatever liberties they could with that. As adults they have an innate sense of which rules are flexible and how to use the innocence card to their advantage. Any youngest child could probably finagle their way out of murder.
7. They have absolutely no fashion sense.
Youngest kids survived off hand-me-down clothing, which means they never bothered keeping up with trends. This manifests in one of two ways in adulthood. They either neglect a sense of style and routinely pair skinny jeans with runners, or they overcompensate by becoming incredibly stylish and spending 80% of their income on shirts they only have to wear once. There is no in between.
8. They are super low maintenance in romantic relationships.
Youngest kids don’t expect to be anyone’s first priority. They have their own stuff going on and expect that their partners do too. You forgot to text me back for four hours? No worries. One time my older siblings didn’t talk to me for fourteen years.
9. …But they love being the center of attention in social situations.
Youngest children never stood out at home so they took every opportunity they could to harness recognition for themselves. Is the party growing dull? Don’t worry, I’m a youngest child. Attention is a novelty for me. Let me dance for you.
10. They understand that success is all about who you know.
Most teachers either loved or hated the youngest sibling based on how their older siblings behaved in their class three years prior. This is a lesson they internalized growing up. Nobody can schmooze their way into jobs, opportunities and nightclubs quite like a youngest child.
11. There are several basic life skills that they will just never master.
By the time the final child came around Mom and Dad were over those cute little “Learn to make dinner for yourself” sessions. As a result, the youngest sibling usually has one or two life skills that are grossly underdeveloped. Need to drive somewhere? Sorry, I never learned how. Take-out for the sixth time this week? Don’t mind if I do.
12. But when it comes to the big things, they’re unstoppable.
Youngest children learned early on that nothing was going to be handed to them on a silver platter. If they wanted recognition they were going to have to fight for it, approximately three times as hard as everyone else. Which gives them a natural advantage in any situation. Nobody wants to be up against the unrelenting underdog that is the youngest sibling. Sorry big brothers and sisters of the world.