Think your kid has middle child syndrome? It’s possible.

I’m not a middle child, but I was raised by one, lived with one and now have one.  Let me tell you my little middle surprises me everyday.  I used to think my middle sister was just crazy, or had middle child syndrome.  My younger sister and I (I’m the oldest) used to think she was secretly transplanted into our house from another mother.  Now that I have a middle child of my own, I understand her uniqueness, and often ponder how difficult it must have been for her living with us.  Middle children are resilient, have a huge capacity for understanding and are very loving and affectionate toward those they hold dearest to their hearts.  But, don’t get it twisted the one in the middle is not the one you want to mess with.  All-in-all middle children don’t have some type of mental syndrome nor should they be thought of as the black sheep of the family, they just live in a world that’s not ready for them and here’s why.

lilmack2

Mommy’s middle baby, Mack, Jr.

1. They don’t take it personal

My middle kid beats everybody at video games in my house.  We play a fight game called Soul Caliber and he’s just a beast at the game.  But, what I quickly realized about him is that he quickly shakes off a loss.  A big part of his strategy is that every loss is a chance to learn.  So, he doesn’t sulk.  I mean at all.

This behavior was familiar to me as I seen my mother do it a lot growing up.  As a single mom of three girls, and the middle child among her siblings, she had very little time to stew in her troubles.  She just moved on.  This is something I really admire in middle children.  They don’t take anything personal.  Maybe because they’ve become used to getting less attention, they learn quickly that it’s not personal, it’s just the way it is.  My middle boy is always giving the other two boys a look like “Get over yourself.”

2. They learn early how to manipulate to get what they want

Mack, Jr. is very, very good at recognizing opportunity.  He’s also learned how to embrace moving below the radar and rakes in the profits of that daily. (He gets that from his dad, also a semi-middle child)  He makes it a point to give me a hug and kiss everyday and double on the days he wants extra time on the video game.  He understands, more so than my other boys, that the less a person has to say you’re name, the more they will like you.  He is like a spider in the room.  He sees everything and hears everything, but you’ll never know he’s there.  He’s busy collecting information to use at a later date.

3. They are very independent

At 6-years-old I was still bathing my oldest son.  (Don’t judge me, I didn’t know any better)  Around about 5, Lil’ Mack was like “mom I got this.”  He would close the shower curtain and take the rag off of me.  He just didn’t want me to have anything to do with his shower time.  Now, I do occasionally go in and force him to allow me to wash him up.  But, for the most part I have to trust his judgement. I understand from growing up with a middle that his independence is what makes him unique.  In addition, middle kids don’t deal with people they don’t know.  All of the middle children in my life don’t deal with strangers.  Rather than ask someone they don’t know for help or advice they will learn how to do it for themselves.

4. They are better than their siblings at EVERYTHING, and they know it

When I was growing up my sister taught me how to tie my shoes, do my hair and ride a bike among other things.  She was always good at everything.  A better dancer, cheerleader, but I had her beat at the books.  Needless to say my mother was and is very similar.  It seems middle children tap into their natural, God given talents sooner than the rest of us.  They define who they are and want to be at an early age and they give it 110% of their effort.

 

Now if those aren’t reason enough to un-diagnose you’re middle child syndrome, than I don’t know what is.  What interesting characteristics does your middle child exhibit.

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Muffy MendozaAuthor posts

Muffy Mendoza is an author, speaker and founder of Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a support group for nearly 4,000 African-American moms in the Pittsburgh region. To further fill the void Muffy has created a line of educational products focused on helping Black moms be the best moms, too. Her first book, The Brown Mama Mindset: A Blueprint for Black Moms on Life, Love & Home, was featured at the 2018 Essence Festival and is currently sold in various cities across the U.S. Muffy champions the beauty of Black motherhood everywhere she goes, even on the TEDx stage. Find out more about Muffy on muffymendoza.com.

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