A lot of people have griped about being a middle child. I’ve heard that Mom and Dad trust the oldest more and let the youngest do more. What say you about being a middle child?
If you’re a middle child, I’d love to receive your input for some research I’m doing.
Feel free to make a comment here OR copy and paste the following questions into an email and send your responses to me at firstname.lastname@example.org:
- As a child, did you resent your older or younger siblings? If yes, whom did you resent the most … and why/why not?
- As an adult, do you still resent those siblings .. and why/why not?
- What are the advantages of being a middle child?
- What are the disadvantages of being a middle child?
- Do you think you’re more, or less, well-adjusted than children with a different birth order (i.e., firstborn, lastborn, or only)?
- In an emotional sense, which sibling are you the closest to … and why?
- Provide me with the birth order of you and your sibs, including only gender and age and where you fit into the sequence. For example, I’m the oldest of four, so I’d say: Me/Female; brother/2 years younger; brother/4 years younger; sister/8.5 years younger.
- Volunteer one or two other highlights (or lowlights) of being a middle child.
I will conduct a drawing of all the people who respond to my shout out. If you’re the winner, here’s how you’ll contribute to the first book in my new series–the one with the middle child as the protagonist/lead character:
- You’ll be able to name one of the characters, AND
- You can choose one of the personality traits of the lead character.
I’m preparing to begin writing the first book in a series that revolves around a family: two parents and four children. I’ve researched birth order in the past and agreed a great deal with the opinions of Dr. Kevin Leman, who wrote The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are. I’m using the information gleaned from his book, and other sources, as I create my characters and–more importantly–their motivations.
Although I’m a firstborn, I admire the traits of the middleborn the most but get along better with lastborns. Why do you think that is?
Well, according to Dr. Leman (who’s a psychologist) people get along best with others who are opposites–personality-wise. He claims the majority of married couples he’s counseled during the past 30 years have been firstborns, onlies, or a combination of the two. (I surely fit that demographic!)
Anyway, here are a few of the things Dr. Leman has to say, followed by brief descriptions of traits that are universally accepted to belong to certain birth orders (by people who agree with the concept, of course!).
- In a family, each child is most directly affected by the next oldest child.
- Each child typically behaves opposite the next oldest child. However, if he believes he can compete successfully with the next oldest child (and “overthrow” that child), role reversal takes place.
- All children want attention from their parents and begin seeking it in infancy; if they don’t get it, they seek either power or revenge–in that order.
Firstborn traits: Goal-oriented, seek control and approval; aggressive; type-A personality; responsible; conservative; organized; serious; self-sacrificing; puts self and others under stress and pressure; perfectionist
Middleborn traits: Peacemaker; easy-going; peer-oriented rather than family-oriented; excellent people skills; adaptable; agreeable; may feel overlooked, unheard, ignored; compromising; loyal to friends; secretive; risk-taker; may be cynical or suspicious
Lastborn traits: Creative; charming; manipulative; identifies with underdog; can be too dependent upon others; risk-taker; spoiled; lazy; temperamental; clown or comedian; entertainer; fun-loving; affectionate; reads people well
Only child traits: (Very similar to firstborn): Struggles with parental expectations; perfectionist; doesn’t handle criticism well; critical of self and others; confident; doesn’t relate well to peers when a child; self-motivated; fearful and/or cautions; self-centered
So, what say you?