This is something I have been wondering lately. Both my husband and I are the youngest of 3 in our families and we have both noticed that we were less encouraged by our parents to sort of go out into the world and capture it than our older siblings.
We are both in our mid-20’s now.
My husband for instance, is very smart and successful. He went to college on a full scholarship, he basically could have gone anywhere short of Ivy League (but maybe) but he chose a school that was close to home so he could live home. Looking back, he feels he was very much pressured by his parents to stay close even though he had better grades and more opportunity than his older siblings who went to school far away with the encouragement of his parents. Even after he graduated and got a job at a very well-known company, his mom always seemed to be discouraging him to really reach for success. The company was too long a drive (30 minutes, same as his commute to college every day had been) she would say.
I notice this even with my own parents. We are looking at houses. My mom will often drop subtle hints of how big their house is and how it has so many extra bed rooms that we could certainly live with them. Now, I am greatful that I have parents that would love to have me, and being Italian (my grandmother lived with us) there is a certain comfort for her in multi-generational households, but still, I felt like she encouraged my older siblings more to get things on their own.
Anyways, those are just a couple of examples but my husband and I have noticed thousands of small examples of our parents, moms more specifically, sort of sending the message for us not to “reach too far” because it will ultimately lead us away from them. I think it has to do with being the “baby” in the family, and a parents own insecurities about being alone, and being the last to leave the nest they probably cling a little more. Sometimes it is hurtful because it feels like they are saying they don’t think we can do it on our own. But really I think it is their own fears. In some ways, I am sure we have played into it to. In my case, doing less because less was expected of me. In my husband’s case, holding himself back in certain ways because he would hurt his mother by being too independent.
Anyway, what does everyone else think about this? Either if you are the youngest and get this feeling from your parents OR if you are a parent and you have found yourself doing this either intentionally or subconsciously.