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Middle children are often thought to be quiet, careless, and rebellious. Many people believe that middles are less driven than older children, and are angry because they often receive less attention from their parents than their other siblings. However, this can be a common misconception. Growing up in the middle can help shape creative and unique personalities.

Often, middles struggle to find their place in the family. The oldest children are always the “first” to do something, and receive more attention and praise from their parents. If a middle accomplishes the same thing as the oldest child, it will not be as big of a deal because it has already been done. Oldest children carry a lot of responsibilities, different from the carefree life of the youngest child. Youngest children are often bold and funny, soaking up attention for being cute and adorable. That leaves middle children in a strange position, with no stereotype entirely shaping their personalities. They are not the oldest or youngest child, just somewhere in the middle. In some ways, it is a nice balance of responsibility. In other ways, it can leave middles feeling neglected by their parents.

Generally, middles grow to be patient from having at least two other siblings. They often have to wait before getting what they want. Middles are open to new ideas, and learn to “go with the flow”. While it is important to voice your opinion, middles learn to accept the opinions of others and try new things. This can make them great friends and teammates. Studies show that 80% of middle children remain loyal to their partners as adults, compared to 65% of first borns and 53% of youngest children.

While many people think that middles are less driven and determined than older children, this is often not true. Middles feel that they have to be just as good-if not better, than their older siblings. They learn from the mistakes and triumphs from their older brothers and sisters. This develops a determined personality. Middles are likely to make change in the world. Famous middles include Martin Luther King Jr., Princess Diana, Abraham Lincoln, and Bill Gates.

Middles often strive to make peace as adults. This quality is born from being the mediator between their siblings. Careers that may suit middle children include education, caretaking, and other creative and leadership jobs. “Middle children have to make alliances in the family in order to get their way, using skills that can serve them well outside the house,” states the author of Sisters and Brothers, a Scholastic book aimed at helping kids understand their siblings and themselves. Middles grow up to be creative, peaceful adults, despite the challenges they face as children. It is important for all middles to know that they are just as important as their other siblings. While middle children are not the head of the house as kids, they can use their creative, calm, and unique personalities to help shape the world around them.