Calling all middle children! Do you suffer or have you suffered from Middle Child Syndrome? No, I am not kidding, it is a real syndrome, look it up. Apparently middle children suffer from a syndrome that involves having to fight harder to get the attention of their parents and to be recognized. Does the order in which you are born really affect your personality?
There are some common birth order personality traits that envelop families. Theory offers that oldest children tend to be the strongest and that they make the most confident leaders. Almost all United States Presidents were either the first-born in their families, or the first-born son. Middle children tend to me more laid back than their older siblings. This is most often a result of parents being less anxious the second time around, and having the opportunity to learn from the mistakes that they made with the oldest child. The baby of the family tends to be the most spoiled as well as the most affectionate.
I am not sure how true to form these common birth order personality traits are. However, what I find most interesting about this theory is Middle Child Syndrome. It gave me pause; I hope that my two-year old is not suffering from the hardships related to this syndrome. Are my parenting choices making the effects of the syndrome better or worse? I must say, I’m skeptical at best, that such a syndrome actually exists. However, since I’m not a middle child I guess I have a limited perspective on the validity of its existence.
I may not be a middle child, but I have a middle child, and I’m one hundred percent certain that she does not feel like she has to fight to be recognized or to get attention. She is recognized plenty and gets a lot of attention without having to try too hard. She is not a wall flower, and she is not passive. She is however, more laid back and easy-going than her big sister (thank god!). She is loveable, cuddly, and a peace maker. When her big sister is throwing an ever-living temper tantrum she often attempts to calm her down and make peace with the situation. The other evening we lost power and she kept walking around with a flashlight telling everyone, “It’s going to be ok guys, I’m going to take care of you.” And you know what, she actually made us all feel better. Even though she is only two, I believe that my middle child will transcend the stereotypical birth order personality traits. She is already showing signs of being a great leader; a different type of leader than her bossy, head strong older sister, but a leader in her own right. As her older sister would say, she is one “spicy” young lady.
I am eager to see how long birth order personality traits last. Is there a statute of limitations by which they expire? I have never met an adult who has attempted to explain their behavior or decision-making choices on the order of their birth. On the other hand, I have met several adults (who happen to be middle children) who seem to have a huge chip on their shoulder. Perhaps I have been too quick to judge such individuals, when all along they have been suffering from an acute medical syndrome, Middle Child Syndrome.
Do you believe that birth order has affected your personality?
Do you see these personality traits in your children?
Do you believe that Middle Child Syndrome actually exists?