Middle kids sometimes get a bad rap. Some of the stereotypes about middle children and “Middle Child Syndrome” include feeling neglected and resentful, having a negative outlook on life, feeling like they don’t belong and having no drive.
Psychologist Catherine Salmon and Katrin Schumann debunk many of the myths of middle children in their book, “The Secret Power of Middle Children: How Middleborns Can Harness Their Unexpected and Remarkable Abilities,” available on Amazon.
Bruce Hopman, an advertising executive and middle child, takes credit for creating National Middle Child Day, celebrated on Aug. 12 each year. Much like middle kids themselves, the special day is sandwiched between Son and Daughter Day on Aug. 11 and Left-Handers Day on Aug. 13.
According to a Stanford University study, middle children are considered the most envious, least bold and least talkative of all birth orders. National Middle Child Day is the perfect time to challenge some of the misinformation about middle children and share some awesome traits many middle children exhibit.
Despite being overlooked at times, many middle children are the family peacemakers. Most middle kids have smiles on their faces and see the best in people and in the world.
Although middle children don’t enjoy the privileges of being the oldest child or the spoiling that the youngest child may experience, most middle kids are happy-go-lucky optimists.
In large families, the middle kid may never have her own bedroom, a new bike or a new wardrobe. Middle kids in smaller families may seem to strive to keep up with the oldest child while keeping the youngest child from getting too much attention.
Middle children are often very social, great team players and successful leaders. More than half of our country’s presidents were middle kids, including Abraham Lincoln.
Middle kids are known to trust others, avoid conflict and help everyone to get along with each other. Because of these traits, middle kids may be taken advantage of by others. Middle kids also look for injustices in the world in their quest for equality for all.
Some say that middle kids suffer from low self-esteem and that may be true. Without the spotlight that often shines on the oldest and youngest kids in the family, middle kids have to look within to find their sense of self-worth.
Happy Middle Child Day to all the middle kids from someone who understands. I cried, “It’s not fair” more than once while growing up as one of our family’s middle kids. Spend the day celebrating the unique personality and strengths of your middle child — and don’t forget the cake and ice cream.