Patty’s Ponderings: Middle child? Perks or Problems?
Maybe I’m different from the stereotypical middle child, but I never felt neglected or overlooked just because of my birth order. I felt neglected and overlooked because I had two parents who worked a lot, had a troubled marriage and probably should have given at least a second thought to having children.
The new book, ‘The Secret Power of Middle Children’, reveals that middle kids quite often have better relationships and careers because they learn adaptive strategies. According to one of the authors, Catherine Salmon, middle children have more freedom than their older siblings, who tend to get more pressure from mom and dad. Middle children are freer “to find out what they’re really good at on their own time and in their own way, and then excel at that.” Middle kids are negotiators, who tend to be more independent and freer thinkers.
I was a middle child who was all of the aforementioned things. I also spent an inordinate amount of time living in my imagination, due to an extremely difficult family situation. That led to my interest in acting, which led to alternate forms of employment to support my theater habit, which ultimately led to full-time employment in the radio biz. A bumpy, convoluted ride, I’ll admit, but ultimately life-saving.
I’ve also found that middle children are the caretakers, the peacemakers and sometimes, the outsiders. Or is that just me?