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I was watching The Today Show this morning and there was a segment on Middle Children (it’s all over the internet now, I’m sure you saw it too). Are Middle Children on the brink of extiction?
Let’s hope not! It made me recall how strangers will occasionally ask me if my three girls are “all mine” although, that may just be they are all girls and we are kinda loud and kinda rushing so we definitely stand out! Anyhow, it did make me think of how I am seeing a little bit of the decline in larger families that they were talking about and with that, the middle child is becoming an endangered position in the American Family.
The study on Today mentioned that in 1976 59% of Families had 3 or more children and 32% had 1 or 2 children but times are changing! In 2014 the numbers have almost flipped! While 32% of families have 3 or more and 53% of families have one or two children. I also hear so many people say “We were going to have three but…”. Typically the “but” is cost and our ever-changing economy as well as balancing their careers and family life. All of this makes complete sense but let me fight for that at times, dramatic (hence why I am writing this after my “Dealing with School Drama” and “Are you a Dramatic Parent” Post) middle child position that is becoming a thing of the past.
First off, I am the oldest child so it is important that this post doesn’t get to my Brother or my Father who are both middle children that have pow-wows with my middle beauty and talk uninterrupted middle child talk. Now that we got that out of the way let me tell you more about the middle child and how we can’t let them go extinct!
The Middle Child Brings Balance
Yes, as much as you think it’s the opposite, I disagree. I feel like they are often pick up where the oldest leaves off (okay, I wrote this and then I read the quote below, it looks like the experts agree with me haha). They are also a compliment in the family, whatever personality was maybe lacking a bit, is full filled by that middle child and although I do not believe all middle children are the stereotypical outgoing extroverts, I do believe a majority of them are opposite of that oldest sibling. With my girls, my middle is the stereotype, super bubbly and extroverted. In my family growing up, that extrovert was (still is) me but I was the oldest so my brother has always been the cool, calm and collected sibling. The fun part, your third will likely be a balance of both since that will be their influence.
“Once a role is filled by the first-born, the second-born will seek out a role that’s completely the opposite.”
-Author Kevin Leman of “The Birth Order Book”
Middles are Adaptable
I remember having my third daughter and life was definitely starting to pick up and get busy. Before I had her, I imagined her being the “go with the flow” child. I mean, she since she was just thrown into our hot mess so she had to roll with it. Nope, she had other plans. She was actually my toughest. Thankfully, my middle figured it out and became much more “go with the flo” that my youngest at the time and my brother, that guy was born easy going! So see, if you have another, your now middle child will be just fine.
Middle Children Make Awesome Friends
I tell ya what, if I was 11 years old I would definitely want to be my daughters friend! She puts everything she has into her friendships, it’s THE BEST and so much fun to watch. With this one study suggested that middle children are often better in relationships as whole. I have read that it might be because they are lacking attention from family but I disagree. I just think they are born with a little extra something that you as a parent may never experience if you don’t have another.
They are Natural Negotiators
Anyone that has a middle child has thought about them being an attorney. Currently that is on my middle daughter’s radar. Being in the middle they learn to manipulate their side of every situation. They will us this in adulthood as well and it will take them far!
The Middle Child Marches to the Beat of Their Own Drum
Middle Children are often more independent. They are better at entertaining themselves and they march to the beat of their own drum. Middle children rarely care if they are different from those around them. They are okay with doing their own thing and don’t necessarily need Mommy or anyone else to make them happy. In fact, they often enjoy the independence and may be your first child to venture out on their own. They may be your trail blazer as they us their superior negotiation skills to change the world!
Middles are Team Players
Since the middle child is never without family, they are often great team players. They kind of have to be because and of this they make great leaders that undertstand the concept of team. When they have at least one sibling on each side they learn very quickly that comprimising will be a way of life. With that, they learn understanding and empathy and will often be your most empathetic child.
They Keep Things Interesting
Since the middle child is exactly that “in the middle” I think they are always keeping thing interesting! Life with a middle child friend will take you by surprise sometimes. Then you will find out they are the middle child and it will all make sense. They might be risk takers, comedians or the person working the room. Even if they are more introverted, I bet it isn’t in all areas of life.
I don’t know if I’ve sold you on saving the Middle Child from extiction, but I do promise that you will not regret having another child. I am confident that however many you choose to have, it will be the right number for your family without regret. Our family would not be the same without the big and beautiful personality of our second beauty! She gives zest to our family when we need it most!
Cheers Middle Children!