Got three kids? Me too.
And as a mum of three, I often feel sorry for my middle child.
A quick scan of the internet and you’ll come across the ‘middle child syndrome’ and theories that the middle child is undervalued, that they feel neglected, that their personalities are not properly developed. Yikes!
I recently read a story titled “Why Being the Middle Child is the Actual Worst” which, of course, left me feeling like the actual worst mum in the world for choosing to procreate that third time and placing my second baby into this horrible position.
But is it really THAT bad?
Sure, middle children don’t get us to themselves (like ever), but they are still loved, and valued, and awesome. In fact, my middle child is the coolest of all my kids. And I’m not just saying that because #mumguilt got me feeling bad about her middle child status. She really is the coolest. She’s funny, kind, smart, helpful, sweet and most importantly, least likely to annoy me on a daily basis.
And it’s not just my middle child who is awesome. Turns out, middle children, in general, are pretty flippin’ cool. Here are 11 reasons why your middle child could very well be your most successful kid and your greatest asset in the parenting game.
11 Reasons Why Your Middle Child Rocks
1. They actually listen and appreciate you
Perhaps it’s because they are so “starved” for attention that when you do pay them attention, they are so grateful that they listen and behave. I doubt this is the case, but what I do know is my second-born child actually comes when I call her and it doesn’t take 15 tries (ahem… oldest child).
2. They are feisty little fighters
Middle kids can hold their own in all sorts of arguments and debates. They’re awesome at negotiating too.
3. They can entertain both other siblings
I LOVE this about my middle child! There’s an eight-year age gap between my #1 and my #3, so they don’t have a lot in common when it comes to playing. One wants to play X-Box and baseball. The other wants to play with puzzles and DUPLO. But my #2, she’s just the right age to play ALL the activities. Which means I don’t have to. #winning.
4. They aren’t fussed about material objects
The middle child will get hand-me-downs for life. Plus, they are used to having to share their stuff – their rooms, their toys, their clothes, their parents. And, if they happen to have something that just theirs? They are so excited and grateful for it!
5. They can play both leader and follower
Middle children happily accept being bossed around by the older sibling and being the boss with a little sibling. This is a pretty cool skill to have – to be able to effortlessly go from taking orders to giving orders. I reckon it will come in handy down the road too.
6. They are literally your #2
#2 child, but #1 helper. My middle child is my constant shadow and amazing at helping, especially with her little sister. I think it has something to do with the desire to please? Or perhaps it’s all part of that sense of identity that middle children apparently struggle with. #whatevs
I don’t really care what experts wanna call it – if it means she puts her sister to sleep when I can’t be stuffed, then I’ll take it.
7. They don’t need constant babying
Middle children aren’t precious. They don’t need bubble wrap, they know where the Band-Aids are and they aren’t afraid to give things a go. This is most likely because our parenting style relaxes the more kids we have. We don’t fuss over our middle child like we did our firstborn or the baby of the bunch.
8. They are chilled out
Middle children understand from day one that it’s not all about them and are perfectly okay with it. They just go with the flow, do what they need to do and we adore them for this laid-back attitude. Of all my babies, my second born is so far the easiest in every stage – newborn, toddler, school age. We haven’t hit teenager yet though so I might be eating my words here.
9. They are funny little things
Another thing I love about the middle child is their cheekiness – often the joker of the family, middle children don’t take anything too seriously and are keen to make their mark in the family by making us laugh.
10. They are pretty independent too
They get that we’re busy with other jobs and are able to just do their own thing, which makes them less annoying, more creative, less demanding and more self-sufficient. My first and third… different story, especially my third child. OH MY GOD, talk about a little Diva.
11. They really are destined for great things
Forget middle child syndrome, growing up in the middle puts kids in a unique position. Middle children can take directions, but they can also lead the pack. They can play independently, but they also play well with others. They are resilient, grateful, helpful, creative, chilled, social and flexible.
Not only are these qualities ideal for the next-gen of successful leaders, but they are also the qualities that make for decent human beings. Successful, kind, grateful, decent people, which, let’s be honest, is what we all hope our kids will become.
So stuff the ‘middle child syndrome’. One day, our awesomely chilled-out middle children will rule the world. And they will have our decision to go for another baby and have three kids to thank for it.