14 Ways Growing Up In A Big Family Prepares You For Adulthood

Modern Family
Modern Family

1. You form a very thick skin. 

Coming from a huge family often means you grew up surrounded by people who teased you, even if it was mostly good-natured. Especially at a young age, siblings tend to pick on each other and sometimes leave each other out. Even if it occasionally upset you as a kid, it helped you to develop a tough outer layer and learn how to deal with feeling uncomfortable.

2. You’re used to having to compete for attention. 

When you’re an only child, you don’t have to demand attention, you just get it automatically. When you’re from a family of just a couple of kids, the attention is spread out pretty evenly. But when you start getting into the 3 or 4 or 5 kid range, attention is a hot commodity. You’ve learned that in the real world, people aren’t just going to give you attention merely because you exist. You’ve therefore become really good at knowing how to get attention right when you need it.

3. The fact that everything didn’t come easy to you has only helped you in the long run. 

Growing up in a big family doesn’t necessarily mean that you had a tough childhood or life was extremely difficult, but it does usually mean that things were not handed to you on a silver platter. There were a lot of kids around you, each with various needs that your parents had to tend to, which taught you at a young age that things are not always going to be given to you just because you want them. Your childhood experience has been a big help in preparing you for how the real world works.

4. Your sense of imagination is strong and well-developed. 

You were constantly surrounded by other kids, thanks to your siblings and cousins and your friends and friends of your siblings. So at a young age, you were exposed to lots of different personalities with lots of different ways of thinking, which has really helped to expand your imagination and keep you open to all sorts of different ideas.

5. You’re usually pretty quick and witty. 

You’ve spent your childhood and entire adult life learning how to defend yourself at the drop of a hat. You and your loving, compassionate siblings love to insult each other about every five seconds, so your defenses are always up. The minute that someone teases you, your retort is out and sizzling.

6. Conflict is not something you’re afraid of. 

Coming from a big family means you probably grew up surrounded by love and laughter and support. But it also means that there was constant conflict. You getting in a fight with your brother, or your two sisters screaming at each other, or one of your siblings driving your parents insane. You understand that people can fight and still love each other at the end of the day, which is a very useful thing to understand when you come into adulthood.

7. Competition is something you’re used to.

You never stress out or break under the pressure, because you realize that competition doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s just a normal part of life and can actually be essential in improving your performance in any area.

8. You have a good sense of humor and you know how to take a joke.

People that come from big families are used to being around lots of big personalities. You and your siblings formed a sense of deep camaraderie that allowed for you to also poke fun at each other. So when someone cracks a joke at your expense, you know how to laugh it off, and even enjoy it.

9. Learning how to speak up comes more naturally to you.

You grew up at dinner tables and sat in cars and spent time in family rooms where several different people were always trying to speak at the same time. You got used to having to earn your attention, and you know how to speak up and demand that people listen to you when you feel that you have something important to say.

10. You know how to pick your battles.

When you’re in a situation where multiple people are arguing with each other left and right, you know that not every issue that comes across you is worth your time. Thanks to growing up in a large family, you’ve developed the skill of understanding what is worth the fight, and what you should just let go of.

11. You understand the balance between being the life of the party and knowing how to share the spotlight.

It’s fun to be the person in the room who everyone is paying attention to and laughing with. But nobody likes a showoff. You know when to request the spotlight, but you also know when to back away and give someone else a chance.

12. You know the proper way to behave while watching a movie, since your family behaved pretty much the opposite way of how you’re supposed to. 

In order to enjoy watching a movie, people should be quiet, no one should fight over the popcorn or candy, and you’re not supposed to shout out that you don’t understand what’s going on when the movie is at the peak of intensity. Your family pretty much did everything you’re not supposed to do, and even though watching a movie together was pretty comical and funny, you now understand what to do in order to make sure people actually appreciate and enjoy what they’re watching.

13. You learn how to fend for yourself.

Your parents took good care of you and gave you everything you needed to live a safe, happy, healthy life. But at the same time, they didn’t wait on you hand and foot and do everything for you. Because they were busy taking care of multiple kids, there were some things you had to figure out on your own, which has been a big help in your transition into the real world.

14. You feel like you have your own normal, less creepy version of the Duggar family.

Except everyone’s first name doesn’t begin with J. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I’m a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

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