I’m betwixt and between. Sometimes I’m lost in a crowd. Sometimes I’m kind of popular. Other times I feel left out. Do you know that there are fewer research studies on middle kids than on the oldest and babies?
Another Baby? When I arrived, I was immediately the younger sibling. Just when I was getting used to that you told us, “We’re having another baby!” What’s with that?
When my oldest brother puts me down, please say something to him. Make him stop being so mean to me. He gets mad because he used to be the only child, but now he has to share. Can you talk to him about that too?
Involve Me. But I do enjoy it when you involve me in some of his activities. Like when I got to collect leaves for his science project. That was fun.
My Feelings. Don’t assume that everything’s fine just because you don’t hear me complain. I don’t really feel like you’ll listen so I hold my emotions inside. I hate to admit it, but I need more emotional support. Ask me about my feelings. Help me understand why I’m jealous of my siblings. When you hear me talking trash about myself, teach me how to express my feelings constructively.
Life’s Not Fair. I’m usually confused about who I am. I go back and forth from tying to be grown-up and good like my older sibling and trying to act helpless and cute like the baby. Life’s not fair – I don’t get away with everything like the baby. I don’t get the privileges my older brother gets. When he has a friend over, can I invite a friend too?
Things I’m Good At. I like it when you treat me with care and respect. You let me try different things, like piano lessons, soccer and art classes, so I could find my own interests. I’m glad you help me find activities that I’m really good at. When you say nice things about me and the things I do well, like my soccer and crafts, I feel proud of myself. I feel even better when you say it in front of others.
Academics? Do you know that middle born children like me are the lowest achievers academically and least likely to go on to university? I want to go to college some day. Sometimes I feel like I’m not good as good as my oldest brother so I don’t even try. When you compare my academic skills to his, I think I won’t make it because he’s super smart. I feel worse when you go on and on about all his success.
Make Me… Ask for my opinion sometimes. Make the time to listen to my answers or explanations. I need to learn to think independently. To avoid failure, sometimes I don’t stick with anything very long. Make me to finish what I start. Like make me finish my craft project before you buy me new supplies.
I Want to Feel Important. Help me feel special. Set aside time for the two of us to talk without the other kids around. Spend time with me in different ways than the other kids, like when you watch my soccer practice.
When you make a big fuss over my soccer games and the whole family cheers me on, I feel important. It would be great if I had a special routine with you that the other kids don’t have.
Oh, be sure the family photo album has its share of MY pictures in it, especially some photos that are just of me.
1. Birth Order and You: Discover how your sex and position in the family affects your personality, career, relationships and parenting. Dr. Ronald W. Richardson, Lois A. Richardson, Self-Counsel Press, 2nd edition, 2000; 2004, pp. 137-139; 152. Canada.
2. Birth Order Blues: How Parent Can Help their Children Meet the Challenges of Birth Order, Meri Wallace, MSW, An Owl Book, Henry Holt and Company, NY, 1999, pp. 51- 54; 61; 66
3. The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are, Dr. Kevin Leman, Revell, 1998, pp. 319-320.
4. Image: hand-prints-779426-s Hemdall [stockpholio.com]