You know how people always say things like “I wish I had an older (or younger) brother or sister?” Well, not me. I have ‘em all. I’m like the middlest middle child I know. I’m talking perfectly middle-born. I’m the third kid of 5, in between an older sister and brother and a younger brother and sister, all spaced 3 years apart.
And like most middle kids, I think we’re judged rather unfairly — like we’re all supposed to be these insecure, emo kids who get the least attention. So not true!
I saw this hilarious piece on Buzzfeed yesterday showing 18 Photos of Middle Children Being Middle Children, and while it cracked me up, I was like “Awww, poor us!!”
Here are a few samples so you see what I’m talking about:
See what I mean???
Anyway I felt the need to rise and defend the Middle Kid Kingdom, so here goes. As far as birth order personalities go, middle kids are actually the most interesting of all. Here’s why:
1. There are more of us.
In any family, there’s just one first-born and one last-born. But there could be lots of middle kids in between. So we’re much harder to pin down to a certain personality type.
You’ll notice that first and last-borns tend to carry very distinctive traits, which are easily recognizable. This is why when eldest kids are bossy, we’re all “Gosh, man you’re such an eldest kid.” — or when youngest kids are acting helpless or whatever, we’re like “OMG you’re such a bunso!” Only kids are easy too —- when only kids don’t share or play nice, we’re all “Hmmm, only kid. I get it.”
But middle kid qualities aren’t quite as clear cut.
Seriously - my two “co-middle-kid” brothers and I couldn’t be more different, in terms of… well, EVERYTHING. I imagine that the birth order and gender of middle kids play some part in the differences as well, but the thing is, the differences are definitely there. And sometimes they’re huge!
Plus, middle kids are usually more secretive, so there you go. Middle kids. You can’t pin us down. We’re so much more mysterious and unpredictable… and therefore so much more FASCINATING. :)
2. We’re more creative and independent.
I think the whole “middle kids don’t get as much attention” thing is a bit of a generalization, to be honest. But assuming that that is sometimes true … (Ah crap, okay, let’s just admit it. The eldest is always off trying to impress all the adults, and the youngest is somewhere being cute and/or irresponsible and no one’s ever looking at the middle kid) .. this lack of attention makes middle kids pretty inventive and creative.
Psychologists say that if the first-born typically has a CEO personality, the middle kid is most likely to be an entrepreneur. Middle kids are also most likely to develop hobbies and interests that are different from those shared by the rest of the family.
And in my experience at least (not just in my own family, but looking at most of the other middle kids I know) this is pretty true.
3. We’re more versatile and adaptable.
As I mentioned, first and last-borns tend to be easier to spot because they’re kind of stuck in their roles. But we middle kids, not so much. We’ve switched roles before, and we have to switch pretty often. Sometimes we’re the older one, sometimes, we’re the younger.
It isn’t difficult for us to adjust roles to suit a specific situation, and that carries over to our relationships outside our families as well.
See? Middle kids are the COOLEST, I tell you.
So cheers to the middle kids! We rock. :)
Note: Like any personality type theory, the whole birth order thing isn’t set in stone, and there are lots of factors that could cause you to act “out of type” — but it’s interesting anyway, right? I’ll go into it a little more deeply in my next Rappler piece, but in the meantime, here’s a quick peek at the different birth order traits. (Just click the pic if you need a larger view)
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