19 May 2013

Middleborns: March to the Beat of Their Own Drum

Today's post is dedicated to Marky boy.  Any information italicized is from Thriving Family (Focus on the Family) Christian magazine.

I thought for sure Mark would be our final baby (although something always told me our family wasn't finished growing yet!) With practically four years between he and Micah...I bet Mark thought he was too!  But then came the baby.

Thank goodness for all the prep we did beforehand reminding the children that Micah was going to be "their" baby and that we would really need their help and especially good behavior.  They have doted on Micah since day 1...however...Mark has started to change.  His personality has changed so much so in the last 2 months that John and I have looked at him and then each other and whispered, "Who is this boy?"  He takes longer to get dressed now.  He changes his outfit at least 3 times a day.  He plays pretend more in his room.  He still loves to wear his super hero costume.  And he is always whining about Julia hurting his feelings.  When playing a game with Julia he ALWAYS has to win or tears will break out.  He's always comparing himself to Julia and everything has turned into a race: who can get out of the car fastest, who can brush their teeth fastest, who can tie their shoes fastest, who can put their seat belt on first.  It drives me nuts!!! I am constantly saying, "Mark, it's not a race!"

Middleborns-The hardest to pin down of all the birth orders but they are the OPPOSITE of the child above them in the family. (SO TRUE) If the first born is very conventional, the second will be unconventional.  Middle children walk to the beat of a different drummer.  They are competitive, loyal, and big on friendships.  The middle child of the family is often the negotiator who tries to keep the peace.

6 Tips For Parenting the Middle Child

1. Recognize that your middle child may avoid sharing how they really feel about things.  Set aside times for just the two of you to talk. (I'm so thankful for John because he has done this a lot on Fridays and Saturdays with Marky...just "man" time where they can talk and enjoy a smoothie together and/or play together...Mark has really needed this a lot lately).

2. Take extra care to make your middle child feel special.  (This week is Marky week because his birthday is May 27 on Memorial Day...we are going to the zoo, going to Wonder wing museum, we are going to bake a cake together...and do all the things HE enjoys!  We will let him choose where we go to dinner as well on Friday and Monday!  This all comes down to TIME...we have to take the TIME to do this and show each of our kids how much we LOVE them)

3. Set up some regular privileges he or she can count on having or doing every day or every  week--this is the middle child's exclusive territory.  (I'm thinking about this one...it may involve the IPAD or the garage which is covered with work out/taekwondo mats)

4. Make a special effort to give your child a new item of clothing rather than a hand-me-down. (No problem...he's our first boy and gets tons of clothes! But I can remember wishing I had my own clothes growing up, I never felt like I had clothes that I liked.)

5. Listen carefully to your middle child's answers or explanations for what is going on or what he or she thinks of situations.  The desire to avoid conflict and not make waves may get in the way of real facts.  (Yes, I have learned this the hard way.  I have scolded a child before really knowing the full story.  I'm learning to be a better listener, especially to Mark since Julia is so verbal and likes to speak for Mark.  I'm giving him a chance to use his voice.  Growing up I never felt I had a voice as the middle child.  My parents were often too busy to listen so I gave up trying.  I pray I can do better to really listen and take the extra time.  My parents had good intentions but both worked so time was few and far between.)

6. Be sure the family photo album has its share of pictures of your middle child.  And be sure to take photos of your middleborn alone.  (No problem!!! We love taking pictures in this house!)

Dear, Marky

I hope you know how loved you are!  You are so special to us!!! We love you buddy!

Love, Mom and Dad

Tomorrow's Post: Lastborn Child!!!

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