Bright Side

Middle Children Are the Most Sociable Ones of the Family, and Here’s Why

Believe it or not, middle children are becoming extinct. Families around the world tend to have fewer children these days, usually sticking to 1 or 2, which means there are no longer middle children. And that’s a pity because not only do we think “middles” are cool, but Alfred Adler, a psychotherapist who developed the theory of how birth order shapes our personalities, shares the same opinion.

Here at Bright Side, we’ve already written about the youngest and oldest children, and now it’s the middles’ turn. They have their own special traits that make them truly one of a kind.

Birth order shapes a child’s role in the family.

Even though siblings grow up in the same family and environment, they have really different personalities. It seems weird, but a psychotherapist named Alfred Adler has an explanation. Children have to differentiate themselves from their siblings to fight for parental attention, so they stick to a certain role and, therefore, obtain particular traits.

Firstborn children have a unique opportunity to choose their niche first and, looking up to their parents, they tend to take on a position of diligence. As a result, they obtain personality traits such as intelligence, responsibility, and obedience.

Unlike the oldest children, later-born kids don’t usually consider parents as role models. They have their older siblings who are kids themselves that they usually look up to, so they tend to be more childish.

The role of the youngest is occupied by the right of birth, and last-born children usually get the most of the parents’ attention. Moreover, parents tend to be more chill with the youngest kids who quite often get whatever they want. That results in the youngest children being outgoing and secure but also creative, relaxed, and sometimes a little bit spoiled.

Middles end up being squeezed in between their siblings.

They don’t have the precedence of the firstborn nor the care that the youngest gets, and might feel left behind. The fact that middles get considerably less attention from their parents often results in them having low self-esteem, being more independent, and feeling more detached from their family than their siblings.

All children are looking for their identity, but middles probably need it more than any other kids. Unlike firstborns, who prefer to stick to the rules, middles are bold and are more likely to experiment and try new things. One study showed that they’re also more open-minded than their siblings. In fact, people were asked about different things and the middle children were more open toward controversial topics and ideas.

Middle children become the center of attention in their social lives.

Likely not having the closest relationship with parents, middles tend to seek intimacy outside the family. Stuck with a bossy oldest sibling and a naughty youngest, middle kids obtain the ability to get along with different people and become amazing negotiators.

Quite often, they help to solve conflicts in a family, playing the role of a peace-maker. They learn valuable interaction skills in the family which helps them to become popular and successful in their social lives.

They’re peer-oriented and usually have many friends, being the center of attention in society. All the traits they tend to obtain in a family, like altruism, independence, open-mindedness, and diplomacy, help them to be remarkable outside of it. And it looks like it’s what they were meant to be.

However, the theory is often criticized.

Adler’s theory of birth order not only raised a lot of interest and gained many followers, but it was also strongly criticized. Researchers say that there are too many aspects that can contribute to the environment, like the gender of the kids and their age gap. Many are trying to prove the theory wrong, but we’re of the opinion that there are still tendencies that are hard to deny.

Does this theory work for you? Who’s the most sociable in your family? Let us know in the comments, we want to hear from you!