Dear Straight Talk: I’m the youngest of five siblings with 20 years between my oldest sibling and myself. Because I am considerably younger, I sometimes feel like I don’t fit. I am fairly introverted while they are outspoken, so I have trouble finding my voice. I am funny and smart, but they try to parent me and tell me what to think, do and feel. I’m 18, but they still see me as a child and not equal to them. How do I speak up for myself in such a big, loud family? — Adeline, Los Angeles
Lyric, 16, Santa Rosa: There are positives and negatives to each birth-order “spot.” I’m the oldest of three siblings, and yes, we “oldests” get the cool things first, more freedoms, and we sometimes feel the right tell our younger siblings what to do. One of the negatives is that there’s huge pressure to set a good example, even outshine the others. Although it may feel like your siblings are trying to parent and outshine you, they want you to shine as brightly.
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