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Old 07-17-2013, 10:55 AM   #16
wiigirl
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KUDOS to your whole family! I truly believe it takes a whole family, to raise a Middle child!
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:12 PM   #17
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I have no advice, OP. I just stopped in to sympathize with you. I have three children, all boys, ages 14, 8, and 3. The 8 year old has Classic Middle Child Syndrome, and it's a daily battle in our house. It's hard and confusing.

Mostly because you can never make the 8 year old happy. He wants to be independent and do everything the 14 year old is allowed to do, yet at the same time, he wants to be babied like the 3 year old is.

"(The 14 year old) gets to do everything and you don't let me do anything!!!" Of course he does things, but those things don't matter. Only the things he's not allowed to do yet matter. And no amount of explaining why a 14 year old can do those things when an 8 year old can't (shouldn't) makes it any better, because he simply refuses to see the logic.

And the same can be said for the 3 year old. He gets away with certain things because he doesn't know any better yet. But the 8 year old can't get away with it, because he does know better.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:32 PM   #18
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Op, you mentioned that you wanted to help your DS "find his passion." I think that would be a great step toward helping him feel more independent and fulfilled. However, he's still only 6 years old. My advice would be to let him try lots of things. Let him choose, but gently steer him towards activities where you think he would excel. My DS14 started with t-ball and soccer when he was 5. He played both sports through 6th grade, but was never particularly good at either. He liked hanging out with his friends at practice and games. He was an OK player, but he never seemed to work as hard as he could at either.

When he was in 4th grade, he said some of his friends were signing up for the school musical, which was going to be Mulan. He wanted to sign up too. He came out of the audition and said they had him sing the part for Captain Shang several times. He was very excited and said he thought he could actually get the lead. The next day he found out he got the part! He really embraced the whole theater experience. He worked hard, practiced at home, learned his lines before the deadline, and worked on his singing with DH (who is a chorus director). In the past 5 years, he's done 12 musicals, getting leads in almost every show. He's taking voice lessons and started tap this summer. He loves watching musicals, listening to soundtracks and, of course, acting in them. He even auditioned for and was accepted into an invitation-only theater training/performing group.

My point is that your DS might have to try a few things before he finds his real passion. He will suddenly get a really good feeling about something (sports, acting, an instrument, etc.) and he will run with it. At his age, just be encouraging and supportive. Let him try the things his older brother does. If it's not for him, he'll let you know. What you don't want is for him to say, "You let older brother do everything and you don't let me do anything." Let him go ahead and try. When he settles on something he really loves, you'll both be thrilled!
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:08 PM   #19
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Yes, it is and I know that, but I need him to see that too! I love him dearly and he has some amazing traits that are his own. His is the craziest, funniest one of the bunch! He's tons of fun to be around when he isn't melting down. It just seems like whatever I do to make him see that isn't enough for him. I think he if had his own activity that he truly enjoyed and was passionate about it would help him find his way. But I feel like he's stuck trying to do what his big brother does instead of doing what he wants to do. He has said he wants to play the drums. He's taking electric guitar lessons now - again because his brother started taking them so he wanted to do it also. I'm thinking we need to switch him to drums and let him be able to do something his brother doesn't do.
Interesting thread.

We have 5 kids, so not sure if I have 1 "middle child" or 3, lol.

My "middle kids" are the best! They're caring, mature, thoughtful, considerate, insightful, smart, kind and loving. They have a healthy level of competiveness regarding academics and sports, but they aren't the type to push and shove to be first in line, and never expect to have the biggest or most of anything. They do have peace-keeper tendencies but not to the point of allowing others to walk on them. A couple of elementary teachers that have 2 or more of my children over the years have made the comment... "Wow, I thought so & so was easy-going, this one is even more laid-back." Our oldest child is a real golden child and a tough act to follow, but somehow the other kids manage not to feel as though they were in her shadow. They carved their own path and we supported whatever they chose. (Our baby, DS11, is a true "baby of the family"... a real charmer, but a bit lazy. We aren't worried about him, though, he's coming along.)

Continue to focus on his individual traits and help him realize what makes him special. Empower him by pointing out his strengths. I agree with... Being fair doesn't mean treating all children the same. Being fair means making sure each child gets what they need.

With 5 kids, we look for any moment to grab some one-on-one time with each of the kids, although we never deliberately schedule it to exclude any of the other kids. (I always felt leaving someone out might bring about jealous feelings.)
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:24 PM   #20
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KUDOS to your whole family! I truly believe it takes a whole family, to raise a Middle child!
AMEN!
I truly believe in the middle child syndrome~
and so does my middle child, she doesn't let us forget it, lol.
If you think middle children are challenging, wait until they are teenagers.

We work really hard at trying to take challenging qualities and turning them into positives with all our kids. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

Wishing all parents hugs and pixie dust loving our kids.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:03 PM   #21
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I could have written your post!!! It was so bad, many around us were noticing. I joke that my son had middle child before the third ever came. He is just as you mentioned and same age.

After some research awhile ago I learned a little bit more about 6 year old boys and their state of mind. It is very much a transition time period. They see the world very differently and around 6 the way they see thing starts to change. They usually do not like it and couple that with being a middle child, it becomes extra hard on them. They are becoming more aware of the the things and people around them, therefore realizing they are not the center of the world.

I felt hopeless a couple of months ago. However we went on a family trip and we were able to spend quality time with each child individually and it made a huge difference! I finally see him starting to adjust much better. So yes, I think quality alone time and some patience makes a difference. I don't have it all figured out yet but taking it day by day. It has been a good few weeks.

ETA: about finding the passion thing. Of my 3 kids he is the one that has just taken off with a sport recently and loves it! I also think that this has helped his self esteem and his feelings of being and individual.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:44 AM   #22
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Mostly because you can never make the 8 year old happy. He wants to be independent and do everything the 14 year old is allowed to do, yet at the same time, he wants to be babied like the 3 year old is.
This!! This is exactly how DS6 is. His favorite phrase right now (which we are now working on banning from our house) is "That's not fair!" He now has DS2 saying it every time he is told "no" about something.

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Op, you mentioned that you wanted to help your DS "find his passion." I think that would be a great step toward helping him feel more independent and fulfilled. However, he's still only 6 years old. My advice would be to let him try lots of things. Let him choose, but gently steer him towards activities where you think he would excel.
I think you are exactly right. It's hard because DS9 found his skill/passion so early and he is so passionate about so many things. DS9 enjoys everything and always wants to try something new. So I find myself seeing an event coming up and saying "DS9 would love that!", but searching for something DS6 would love. I will keep letting him try new things until he figures out what he wants to do. He loves to make people laugh. I have always said that drama club would be the right place for him. My Mom thinks he'll be a stand up comedian one day. I need to see if they have a drama club for kids in our area or in his school. I have also learned that I can not coach him in his sports. He wants too much attention from me. I need to stop trying to get him to work on his sports at home with me and let the coaches do it on the field. Or just turn it into a fun activity - not a coaching drill. He responds much better that way. If he loves football, we'll focus in that direction and still let him try other things. If he hates it, we'll move on to something else. Right now he's excited, so we'll see what happens over the next couple of months.

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Interesting thread.

We have 5 kids, so not sure if I have 1 "middle child" or 3, lol.

My "middle kids" are the best! They're caring, mature, thoughtful, considerate, insightful, smart, kind and loving. They have a healthy level of competiveness regarding academics and sports, but they aren't the type to push and shove to be first in line, and never expect to have the biggest or most of anything. They do have peace-keeper tendencies but not to the point of allowing others to walk on them. A couple of elementary teachers that have 2 or more of my children over the years have made the comment... "Wow, I thought so & so was easy-going, this one is even more laid-back." Our oldest child is a real golden child and a tough act to follow, but somehow the other kids manage not to feel as though they were in her shadow. They carved their own path and we supported whatever they chose. (Our baby, DS11, is a true "baby of the family"... a real charmer, but a bit lazy. We aren't worried about him, though, he's coming along.)

Continue to focus on his individual traits and help him realize what makes him special. Empower him by pointing out his strengths. I agree with... Being fair doesn't mean treating all children the same. Being fair means making sure each child gets what they need.

With 5 kids, we look for any moment to grab some one-on-one time with each of the kids, although we never deliberately schedule it to exclude any of the other kids. (I always felt leaving someone out might bring about jealous feelings.)
I have often wondered if he would cope better if there were 4 kids instead of 3. In other families I know, it seems that when there is 4 or more, the middles ones tend to bond together instead of feeling singled out. But I'll have to keep wondering! Three is the limit for us!


I really appreciate all the replies here. It has helped me see that I'm not alone and this is common behavior. You all have given me a lot to think about and it has really helped!
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:57 AM   #23
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I have a classic middle child. Our problem was the oldest was my problem child so she got the negative attention, our middle child felt ignored. Though we saw her as the responsible and independent one and she was very quiet and kept her emotions to herself. Then there was the baby (now 10) so she got tons of attention too.

The middle child was the most praised from accomplishments and now its finally getting easier since the oldest is 20 and being forced to "grow up". So my middle child is going to college next year for her senior year of high school and learning how to drive and the other day she said "its my turn" when we were talking about the two sharing a car and a driving schedule.

She hates when I say she has middle child syndrome but they do need some extra attention, they feel invisible at times. Funny thing is Ive always let my middle one do more due to the fact that she's responsible and independent but Im finding she has no self esteem and lacks some common sense though shes very book smart. So thats what we are working on now.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:04 AM   #24
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OP your middle child sounds like my oldest. My youngest (who will become a middle child in March) is so laid-back and easy-going I have guilt about forcing "middleness" on him!
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:40 PM   #25
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On a positive note, my pediatrician once told me that DS6 actually has the best personality to be a middle child because he's the "spunky" one. She said "He's certainly not going to let anyone ignore him. He will make sure you know that he is there!" She said she thought that it would be a bigger issue if my oldest (the quiet one) was the middle one because he would probably just sit back in the shadows. So I guess in some ways the outbursts and stubbornness is a good thing. I'll have to tell myself that over and over and over the next time he melts down!
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:51 PM   #26
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Fascinating thread! I don't have any advice to offer, but I am reading "The Birth Order Book" right now by Dr. Kevin Leman. I'm finding it a very interesting insight into my kids, myself, and even my marriage.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:00 PM   #27
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Finding a book to raise a child is like one to plan the perfect Disney vacation. It doesn't exist. What may work for you may not be what works for me. What the author knows about the attention aspect may fit your son but the sensitivity may not.

Personally I see it as boys being boys. I grew up with 2 brothers and am a middle child. Its not a big deal as I found my path just like my brothers.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:03 PM   #28
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OP your middle child sounds like my oldest.
And my youngest.

Birth order may magnify personality traits but I doubt it determines them.
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