Cultivate Theme

For someone with only one child, I read a lot about birth order. While there are some experts who say that it is all speculative - characteristics that are applied to first born children can be applied to children from any place in the family line - there are many others that point out how nurturing is a major factor in the type of adult we become.

When reading birth order studies, I am always fascinated by the way that middle children are described - usually as patient peacemakers or as struggling to determine their place in the family. I know adults who are also middle children that fit into both of those categories - ones who are determined to help their siblings get along and mellow out, and those that point out that there are almost no baby pictures of them because they were often overlooked.

What I didn't think about until I read this long article in The Cut, is that middle children are a dying breed. As more and more families settle on only having one or two children, there are fewer and fewer middles being created. This movement has been a long time coming: The modern parent wants to stay involved with their children's lives and that task becomes a lot harder when both parents are working and the children in the household outnumber the adults.

The bigger question is what will happen as this generation of singles and pairs grows up? Will finding out someone is a middle child be an anomaly to them in the same way a single child was 50 years ago? And, maybe even a bigger question: Who will be around to keep the peace?

Are you a middle child? Tell me what you like about it in the comments.

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