Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Middle Child

"The middle child often seems to have the most negative impressions of his lot in life. One approach to help middle children refrain things is to point out that in a sense they have the best of both worlds. They are the youngest to the older sibling and the oldest to the younger sibling. Therefore they are both a big brother/sister and a little brother/sister. Younger children always want to be able to do the things older siblings are allowed to do. And older siblings may feel that the younger siblings get away with things they were not able to when they were the same age.

Typical Middle Child Traits
Has neither rights of oldest nor privileges of youngest.
Feels life is unfair.
Feels unloved, left out, "squeezed."
Feels doesn't have place in family.
Becomes discouraged and "problem child"

or elevates self by pushing down other siblings.
Is adaptable.

Learns to deal with both oldest and youngest sibling."
*Excerpt from:

We have all heard of the Birth Order Psychology. Its funny how sometimes we fit these molds so closely. I for one am a typical older child. It seems though that there is a lot of focus on the middle child. The one who is often at a loss for his/her place in the family.

The photo above is of my middle child. My son D. before he cut his hair off (luckily, no Samson side effects, he's still strong) Who is close to his 17th Birthday. He is his own man. Strong personality. Honest to a fault. Capable. Occasionally pig headed (stubborn, not snouted). However, for all his tough exterior.... Extremely sensitive and vulnerable. He is, as you see, exceedingly handsome. (sure that's a moms' opinion). He could be a Calvin Kline Model in my opinion. Doesn't attitude just ooze from him?

One of my own siblings is a middle child. Out of four daughters, one had to be the middle kid. To boot, the youngest in our family is twins. So she got a double dose of the "You aren't the baby anymore" situation.

There is often a lot of negative vibe around the middle child. I like that last trait mentioned in the excerpt. Adaptable. For all the perceived middle child syndrome flaws. They are strong. At least the ones I know.

So do these traits follow through into adulthood? I think so. As long as we remain a close knit family, our birth order remains intact. I'm still the bossy big sister, always on the lookout for the little ones. Although I no longer feel that being the OLDEST has the privilege and stature, that I felt it had when I was ten!!!

In many ways, my son and my sister seem very alike. Sometimes they butt heads (not buttheads). They share the same sense of humor, the same "Take me as I am or shove it" attitude. (They will probably kill me when they see this, I'm sure they don't see their similarities).

Notice how I discretely managed to focus this post on the middle child, thus directing attention away from my self. That is a subtle skill that came in handy when trouble was being dished out when we were kids!

So what is your birth order and how did it affect your child hood? And does it still play a role in your sibling relationship today?


Please go and see Chana at the Bunny Burrow. She has just lost her dad. Im sure your prayers will be greatly appreciated.


ddddddddddddddddddddd said...

I can see the similarities in them too. They are both such beautiful souls. Very strong.

I am the oldest, but I was the black sheep of the family so I didn't end up being the bossy one.

carol said...

I do see the similarities between myself and D, we ARE so alike actually, the humor, the "take me as I am , or shove it" attitude we both possess, the insecure, cool, peer pressured type, the intelligent, bored easily trait, and the get into a bit of trouble gene.yep we are alot alike, and i'm proud of it cause he is such a great kid, whom never fails to amuse me with his witty responses.
I love him as he is so much like me. H and A are great too, but D is the amazing one.

David said...

First - great looking kid and sounds like he has his head on straight.

I have never understood the middle child syndrom but it is real.

deni said...

I am a middle child, between two sisters. My older sister is nearly 5 years older and 'the boss', and my younger one is 15 years my junior. It was tough becoming the middle child after being the 'baby' for so long, and it was hard for me to accept. Suddenly, I was in a role that I wasn't familiar with.

Karen said...

I'm the youngest of five. It helped me deal with teasing as I got older, I learned to laugh with them (most of the time). I learned not to get into trouble much, because I saw the other's punishments but it didn't keep me out of trouble all the time.

It does apply slightly, but my siblings know I've got a good head on my shoulders.

John said...

Susan, nice site - and thanks for visiting my site! I'm the youngest of two kids [i was adopted though], so I've had to suffer the wrath of big sister when I was young! But we are best buds these days of course. Have a great week! :)

FTS said...

I'm the youngest, but by 14 years, so I grew up almost like an only child. I didn't get the torment most younger siblings get, but I did get a lot of resentment. I'm extremely independent and am a bit of an outcast in my family because I do things my own way and don't follow their *advice.*

The Old Lady said...

Im the oldest and i always felt my brother had things so much easier than me.I always had to be responsible for everything.Having three children myself.I find my middle child,my daughter is the strongest of the three.

Rex Mottram said...

Very interesting post. I was an only child and can't really identify but have a friend, just out of rehab, for alcohol and drug abuse, and being the middle of 5 kids I can now see how "Feels unloved, left out, "squeezed." could upset the balance. I'll share this with him. Thank you.

Walker said...

He is a good looking lad and he looks strong.
He looks like a confident person and with all the qualities you mentioned he willl be quite the man.
BTW I got your Christmas card and thank you :)

Tim-tambolini said...

I'm the youngest. Older sister, 9 years older, and older brother, 7 years older. Everything worked in reverse in our family, therefore I am the strong, independant, bossy child, although, as I'm told by my brother, I am the spoiled one. My brother definately suffers from Middle-child syndrome and has resented me from the moment my mother gave birth to me. Didn't help much that I was born with a dislocated hip so was in a cast for quite a while and that seems to take lots of attention away from my brother. He never had a chance...my father was very much a tyrant and rode my poor brother hard. My brother doesn't talk to my older sister, and they live in the same town. I live 3000 kms. away from them and don't talk to either. Sad but true.