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Benefits of Being the Middle Child

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Benefits of Being the Middle Child

Middle children have a reputation for often getting lost amid the noise made by their other siblings, since they do not get the attention associated with the firstborn, nor are they spoiled as the baby of the family often is.

Middle child syndrome is a term that often is used to describe negative feelings, symptoms and experiences associated with this conceivably undesirable birth order position, including: lack of motivation, feeling like they do not belong and negative feelings towards life in general. Children who are in the middle of the sibling lineup should not be written off, since there are some benefits of their unique position. Here are a few:

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We weren’t ever expected to be as responsible as the oldest sibling was

Being the middle child, we escaped the close scrutiny that often was experienced by our oldest sibling. Our parents often put pressure on the oldest child to get good grades, have a strong extracurricular schedule and take any type of additional educational enrichment courses available. We are glad that that kind of intense pressure did not get passed down along with the hand-me-downs. By the time we came around, our parents were much more relaxed and were more willing for us to do our own thing.

We are really independent

We lack our parents’ undivided attention, but this allows us to learn how to do things for ourselves and forge our own path. We memorized the public bus routes by the time we were in middle school, since our parents were more lenient about letting us go out on our own than they were with the oldest child. We were not babied like our young siblings, so we developed a keen sense of direction that has never led us astray.

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We are great leaders

Due to our strong independent natures, we often turn out to make great leaders. Past U.S. notable leaders that were middle children include Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Bill Gates and Abraham Lincoln.

We like to think outside of the box

We often have a creative mindset, since our parents let us pursue our creative passions, like drama or art. Our older siblings were signed-up to do more traditional activities like sports or music and we are glad that we escaped that requirement.

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We work hard to establish ourselves

Having to constantly fight against our older and younger siblings for our parent’s affection has allowed us to develop a strong work ethic. We do not give up easily, whether it’s for a job or learning a new skill. This also translates to personal relationships- whether we place importance on maintaining a long-term friendship or kindling a new romance.

We have strong personalities

When you do not have a distinct role within your family, it is important to make one up for yourself. We often have a killer sense of humor or have an extroverted nature that comes in handy at social events.

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We are great at being selfless

We never knew what it was like to be an only child like our older sibling, or what it is like to be spoiled like our youngest sibling. The only world we are familiar with is the one where our possessions are passed down by our older sibling and where we often had to share a new toy with our youngest sibling. This translates into being humble as a grown-up and not taking anything for granted.

We are great negotiators

We are used to not getting our own way, so we have a finely developed ability to negotiate just about anything. This skill comes in handy in the workplace when negotiating a salary, and we are able to cope well in travel situations that call for being assertive.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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