True Power

True Power

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Birth Order Part 2

Parenting is not an exact science. There is not a manual handed out in the delivery room. Most of us do what our parents did. While watching a documentary on the cannibal serial killer, Jeffery Daumer, his mother was very agitated at the idea of others blaming her parenting skills for her sons actions. Did I say parenting is difficult? We should never stop trying to improve our parenting skills, we owe it to our children. Every little insight in this endeavor of being mom and dad should be weighed for its value in helping your child to grow up happy and healthy.

The MIDDLE CHILD, better described as the "iffy" child is hard to pin down.

It can be said of the middle child that they were either born too late or too early. They fall into that no man's land of not being the first-born, the star of the family in which mom and dad lavish attention on them over the meagerest of accomplishments. They were not the baby, the last of the line, no more babies for mom and dad so they cherish the last one. Too late to get privileges and special treatment of the first-born and too early to benefit from the relaxed rules of discipline most of the last born enjoy.

There is not an easy list of personality traits to attach to the middle child because they are most directly influenced by the first born child. This continues to role down hill. The third child will be influenced by the second child and so forth until you reach the last child of the family (who is a different can of worms).

The middle child looks above and sizes up the older sibling. If he or she senses he can compete with the older sibling, they may do so. But if the older sibling is stronger, smarter, etc., the second born typically shoots of in another direction, making their known personality traits difficult to nail down; thus they are "iffy." So the second born may become a pleaser or an antagonize, a victim or a martyr, or a manipulator or a controller. Any of these options are up for grabs, but one thing you can be sure of is that the second born will play off of the first-born. EXAMPLE: the first born child may be perfectly compliant and the second born will be a handful.

It is not unusual for the middle child to have more friends as a substitute family in which they find the attention they feel is lacking within the family structure. Friends become very important to middle children. The middle child is usually the child who leaves home the quickest and is more of a free spirit giving themselves permission to reject the family's do's and don'ts at least in part. They may become mentors or even at times be manipulative. Because they could not have mom and dad all to themselves and get their way, they learn how to negotiate and compromise.


1. Middle children are the most sensitive of all the children and do not confide in many people. This can pose a problem in marriage more so than in everyday life. Learn to share your opinions and ideas with others.
2. Less likely to seek out services from helping professionals such as psychologists, counselors, or ministers (first-born engineers and doctors lead in seeking out help, followed by last-born). Don't be so tough and independent until you will not seek out what you need.
3. Running with the "pack" is fine when a choice group of people with values, morals, ethics is the criteria for your group of friends. Don't spread yourself too thin with all of your friends.
4. Middle children are the kings and queens of monogamy. Enough said. Good for you.
5. You are prone to embarrassment and reluctant to admit it. Everyone makes mistakes and embarrassment is part of life.

I am a mother of a middle child and we, as a family, Mom, Dad, and other siblings, put forth effort from day one to ensure that our middle child did not get lost in the shuffle or get ignored. We call her "middle baby" from time to time and joke about how she is invisible and forgotten. We can joke about it because we made sure she was neither invisible nor forgotten.

So, does she have any of the "iffy" characteristics of the middle child? You bet! She is the peace maker and negotiator of the family; we call her the 'glue.' She bridges everything between everyone in the house. Did she sum up her big sis? Yes she did. She picked up her older sister's HOBBY of drawing and will be entering college to major in Graphic Design while her older sister will graduate medical school. They bonded (eight years difference) while drawing and it is their special thing and the student surpassed the teacher in their case. She hates being embarrassed on an almost psychotic level. We had to keep an eye on her when she was young because she would be too embarrassed to tell us if she fell and hurt herself. We have been working on the embarrassment issue for years.

She is not a social butterfly though, her two sisters are her best friends as she gets older her circle may expand; who knows. All in all I believe I had a typical middle child, if anything the family overcompensated for our middle baby, which I'm sure there are some ramifications for by some other psychologist.

So, I have discussed the first-born and the middle child. My group will be next: THE LAST CHILD


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