Thursday, February 20, 2014

Middle Child Syndrome

Yes people, this is a real thing. Not just some pop-psychology bologna. And in our house, between me (middle child) and boyfriend (the baby of his family) ... you can often hear these words come out of my mouth -
"Gah! You're such a youngest child!"

A prime example of boyfriend not doing something simply because he "doesn't want to"
I'm a compromiser, an eternal people pleaser and I get an intense feeling of joy when someone tells me they're proud of me. And apparently, so do other middle children. But because of the 13 year gap between my older sister and me, I have some qualities of an oldest child as well. Regardless, sometimes when boyfriend and I squabble, I can see his needy, youngest child ways coming out. And I like to bring up this bit of information, while he rolls his eyes.

Not that it's our parents fault ... Birth Order Psychology is serious stuff folks. I've read that every child is parented differently, and I think that all of my siblings would agree that happened in our house. How about yours?

Here's a nice article from Parents called Birth Order & Personality. Author Jocelyn Voo breaks down birth order and their respective personality traits for us here -

Information from Jocelyn Voo
I see parts of my personality in both the firstborn and middle children lists, and I specifically see "manipulative" in boyfriend's personality profile. I think that's an awful scary word for his need to get me to do things, like lace his boots or make him nachos for breakfast ... he always says please and thank you folks. Fun-loving and uncomplicated are also great adjectives for his personality. I just think the science behind our actions is interesting!

One part of the middle child syndrome I personally identify with is this bit from Everyday Family - "Middle children often feel left out and invisible, a contrast from their older and younger siblings. While older children get the benefits of all of the “firsts” a child accomplishes, younger children benefit from the emotional impact of being the baby of the family, often being spoiled and coddled. Middle children, however, often feel as though they have nothing special that is just “theirs.”

Sometimes at *family events I feel like I have no "home." I can't keep up with the farming talk going on with the old men, I'm too old for college talk with my cousins, sports don't interest me, I don't watch any popular television (unless Food Network counts) ... so unless someone is talking about livestock or online shopping or food, I just stare and try to participate.

*Family: this is not an insult, just a fact. I'm trying to work on getting better at small talk. Please help me.

Another disclaimer, I may have started writing this blog as part of my perpetual need to be "right" in our relationship (and no, I didn't find anything about that particular quality in my research), but I decided to hit publish for another reason. I think this philosophy applies to our interactions with others and may help you understand personality differences among your peers and co-workers.

This is a perfect example of #birthorderissues - Joe is mad about something and my mom is concerned about him. I am clearly in pain and no one cares. Deana is just wondering when we're going to get this show on the road. The dudes on the end (my step dad and brother-in-law are just wondering why they ever wanted to be a part of our family..)

In this post from Babble about Middle Child Day (Aug. 12 - who knew?), author JulieMinor says of middle children - "You are flexible, empathetic, innovative, and successful - basically the most awesome person in your family. All the characteristics that make being a middle child hard as a kid also make you an independent, resourceful and happy adult." -- DUH :)

JulieMinor also says, "It turns out that middle children make awesome parents, being more likely to value the balance between rules and structure with permissiveness, promoting independent, happy kids"

Things are looking up for my non-existent children. [One thing at a time people.]

How do you feel about birth order in your family? Think you fit the mold? Do some of these findings align with your own experiences?

Until next time,

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