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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Sandwichkind

In #Lifethisweek we're discussing birth order. I want to limit that specifically to the middle child, in German the apt 'Sandwichkind'. In an article by Sabine Haas, she talks of the middle child needing to find their role in the family as 'the middle child feels like the famous fifth wheel on the car - is superfluous'. I watch my own middle child struggle at times to find his place, and as the teen hormones kick in, I'm fighting to eliminate a lonely distance that normal teen withdrawal may create in the child that possibly feels neglected by his parents and victim to his siblings who gang up on either side. The trick is to plan some time alone, some time when they get the attention, some time when they come first - and let them hear you telling the others exactly that. That today the middle child's activity or needs takes priority.

In the holidays, when my youngest went to a friend's house, we had a day to do his heart's desire. I love the fun we have together when it's the two of us. The dynamic changes significantly. I'm already planning a date night to watch Kingsman (and we went to Baywatch together a deux - these teen movies are OUR thing). It doesn't really matter what you do - play monopoly, cook a meal together. The activity isn't important, it's the exclusion of the others and the undivided attention that counts. It doesn't happen often enough in our house, but I am trying to work in a regular celebration of the Nacht des mittleren Kindes. You may remember when 2 school camps resulted in an almost empty nest; in the year since then there's really only been 3 or 4 times we've managed to really celebrate our wonderful boy.

On the plus, the middle child learns to be a diplomat and an ease that helps them make friends. So this finding their place in the family helps them eventually find their place in the world too. We just need to make them feel important and secure in their role until they get there.

What do you think about birth order? Do you notice the difference?

Linking with #MummyMondays #KalCols #GlobalBlogging #DreamTeam #Humpdaylinky



17 comments:

  1. We joke that my brother has middle child syndrome (he's the third of four children). And I notice that the oldest and youngest were so far apart in age growing up that it was a rocky relationship between them.

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  2. I have met middle kids and can actually tell they are middle children. The "what about me" mindset can often travel through to work relationships etc. It would make an interesting study.

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  3. I love that name 'Sandwichkind'! Perfect for the in-betweener!

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  4. That's a great idea, giving them alone time and attention. I need to do that more often with my middle boy. It only happens sometimes. Thanks for the reminder.

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  5. It's a challenge having an only child being raised as one of three. Wondering how he will learn about the sibling dynamics on his own. He is close to his cousins which I hope will help.

    SSG xxx

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  6. We always joked that my sister had middle child problems (poor thing) but for that she is definitely the stronger one of us all! #dreamteam

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  7. How very interesting that there is a term for middle child. I have known families with 3 and it is interesting to note how the middle child often makes a point of being different to the eldest and youngest. Your time with just one was a great idea. I hope more parents cotton onto to those special times. Thanks for linking up this week for #lifethisweek. Next week: Ideal Meal

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  8. I found this really interesting to read. I was an only child, and we have two children. I already find it fascinating to see the dynamics develop between my two and I can really see how that would change if we introduced a third child to the mix. Great read. Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x

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  9. Family dynamics are the stuff of wonder! I have an older sis, my Mrs., she has a baby sis, an older bro, and two older step bro's. Smack dab in the middle. It really plays out... Great read. #dreamTeam

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  10. I hated being the youngest and feeling left behind. As an adult, I feel like an only child (long story). Our older kids are close in age and then there is miss 4 who relishes being the baby :)

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  11. I think birth order definitely plays a role in family dynamics. #globalblogging

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  12. I have four kids and definitely notice a big difference with the first and last but not so much the middle two, either way I feel it is important to spend individual time with each of them. Thanks for linking up to #kcacols hope you can join us again next time :)

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  13. I'm the last born but my husband is a middle child, he has an easy time making friends and he gets a long with everyone #KCACOLS

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  14. I find this sort of thing really interesting! I'm the youngest of 3, and I do think my place in the family has had an effect on who I am. x #KCACOLS

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  15. I was sure I had commented here, but maybe it didn't go through. I am a middle child myself, and while I don't think I've ever really noticed I do notice my middle son going through the middle child syndrome thing right now :( #KCACOLS

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    1. It can be hard to watch...:( yet ultimately I think it works out for them in the long run...

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  16. I think any position in the family has its upsides and downsides. I was the eldest, and think I often suffered as I had to pave the way for my younger sisters. :D I am conscious of how difficult it can be to be the middle child though, so I do try to make time for my middle son on our own (as I do with my eldest too. My youngest has no choice, he is stuck with me every day for the time being! :D)

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