Birth order has a lot to do with the personality of a child. While not every child shows all the traits associated with their birth order, in many cases, birth order will accentuate some of the traits they possess already. The middle child is the child that is sandwiched in between other children, and these children come with their own set of characteristics. There are specific challenges that come with raising a middle child as well. It’s easy to lose the middle child a bit in the shuffle of family life. To help you out, here is a look at some of the middle child characteristics and some effective parenting tips to help you do the best job raising that middle child.
Characteristics of the Middle Child
In most cases, the middle child has the largest variety of traits. In many cases, you will find that they are totally opposite of the oldest child and they work to be unique. Usually the middle child is very easy going and flexible. Often they are the ones that try to make peace in the family since they are more likely to see all of the sides to a situation. The middle child is usually quite social. Their friends are important because they may feel like they don’t have a place within their family.
They may keep secrets and don’t usually open up about their feelings. Avoiding conflict is another trait, since they like life to go smoothly. Often the middle child is inventive, but they may try to please everyone, making them become codependent. Some middle children even feel unloved and that life is not fair. If you discourage your middle child, there is a chance that they will become a bit of a problem child.
Effective Middle Child Parenting Tips
Now that you know a bit more about the middle child characteristics, you may be wondering how you deal with these characteristics. How can you use them to help your child develop into a wonderful adult? Here are some great tips to help you better parent your middle child for great results.
Tip #1 – Listen to Your Child
One of the most important tips for raising the middle child is listening. The middle child often feels that there is no one listening to them. While your middle child probably won’t try to insist that they get time with you, make sure you take time out to listen to them. This way your child really feels like you are listening to what they have to say.
Tip #2 – Help Them Develop Talents
It’s also important that you help your middle child develop talents. The middle child often feels like they are not special. They often live in the shadow of the oldest child. Find out what is unique about the middle child. Then help them to take their talents and develop them. This will help them find something in life to hold on to, showing them they are special and unique.
Tip #3 – Let Them Make Some Decisions
The middle child needs to feel empowered. You can accomplish this by allowing them to make some decisions. They feel overshadowed by their siblings much of the time, so let them make choices like what you have for dessert or where you go to eat. This will make your child feel important and empowered.
Tip #4 – Add More Pictures to the Album
Start adding more pictures to the family album. In many families, there are many pictures of the first born child. Life gets busier when you have the second child and you don’t do as much with pictures. When your child pulls out the family albums, this can make them feel that they are not as important and that you don’t love them as much. Add plenty of pictures of your middle child to your albums, and work to get some pictures of them on their own as well so they aren’t overshadowed all the time by their siblings.
Tip #5 – Take Time Out for Special Attention
As a parent, you need to take time out for special attention with each child. However, this is especially important when it comes to the middle child. Often the middle child doesn’t get as much attention and they may feel like you overlook them. Take time out to spend some time with them. Have a date night with your middle child; show excitement when they do something special, and do everything you can to make sure they get as much attention as your other children.
Tip #6 – Stop Comparing
It is so easy as a parent to compare your children. The middle child hates this. Many middle children feel like they are always compared to the oldest child, which leaves them in their shadow all the time. You should never compare your children. They are all different and need to be parented in different ways. Stop comparing and deal with middle children on their own merits. They don’t have to be like the oldest child to be special and to get your love and affection.
Tip #7 – Keep Communication Open
Many times the middle child will keep their feelings hidden. Since your more verbal oldest child probably is more verbal, the middle child may just hold their feelings in. This means you need to work as a parent to keep communication open with your middle child. Try to draw them out and ask them about their feelings. This way those feelings don’t get bottled up all the time.
Extra Tip – Don’t Make Them the Referee All the Time
Last, don’t make your middle child the referee all the time. Middle children are often the family diplomats. They try avoiding conflict. However, you should not count on your child to play that role. Sometimes this leads to their siblings taking advantage of them. Help them to stand up for themselves and teach them that they don’t always have to be the referee in the family.
Although kids are often born with certain characteristics related to their birth order, remember that they way they are treated as children has a huge impact. Make sure you tune in to your middle child. Then you can help them grow into adults that have great skills with people and adults that have great ideas.
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