Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A child’s birth order is one of the many factors in the formation of a child’s behavior and identity. Unknown

I’m reading a book called The First Born Advantage by Dr. Kevin Leman. I’m a middle child, the middle child of nine in a blended family. I’m also the oldest of Mom and Dad’s five children.

The middle child has a developed or natural ability at compromise. This is I believe true of me, I am the peacemaker. My parents were middle children and pretty easy to get along with, pretty good at seeing other sides of arguments. Pretty good at realizing you need to live and let live.

Could it be that one of the problems we now have is too many only children, firstborn and youngest children and not enough middle children? It seems in politics the middle is missing. The idea of if you aren’t for us you are against us is not middle child thinking. We spent our lives making peace with older, younger and explaining what was meant instead of what was heard. We get nuance.

When I looked at who became American Presidents I was surprised to find that the majority of Presidents have been middle children, firstborns are the second group, seven of the Presidents have been youngest siblings, and there are no only children in the group.

As more of us only have one or two children middle children are missing, where will the peacemakers come from? Is there any truth to birth order differences?

From what I am reading the best marriage partners are the oldest born and youngest born. Both of my children are oldest born/youngest born couples. I suppose it makes sense, they spent their lives in that dynamic making it work for them with siblings, so they are well equipped to make it work in marriage.

Sisters and brothers just happen, we don’t get to choose them, but they become one of our most cherished relationships. Being sisters and  brothers means being there for each other. Unknown

My husband is the oldest child who didn’t have a middle sibling. No wonder I confuse him. One of the problems middle children can have when their marriage partner is the oldest child is they tend to mold themselves around their partner and might not follow their own dreams. In studies of marital satisfaction, middle children fare best. Their sensitive, compromising nature gives them an edge in keeping a relationship healthy.

The highest divorce rates occur when only children marry an only child. Dr. Leman says when marital problems occur later in the marriage it may be because each partner gets sick or weary of the roles they have assumed, many times it points to birth order.

One of the best marriage templates is when an older sister of brothers marries a younger brother of sisters. This would be the same as why the oldest/youngest coupling works.  It would also mean all the problems and frustrations you had in your birth family you will also have to deal with in your marriage.

According to research middle children have the best track record for being faithful. Although we are peacemakers in the family we may have trouble asserting ourselves. The middle children tend to be good listeners. One of the problems middle children have is we tend to be cautious about telling the truth about our feelings because we are worried we won’t be heard, but I also think we are worried about being judged.

This explains so much as I look at relationships that work and those that haven’t stayed together. There are forces at work in our lives we don’t understand, they made us who we are, they make us react to things the way we do. We don’t understand each other because we have never seen that side of life. How could a firstborn understand the dynamic a middle child or youngest child was born into?

Studies show that middle children grow up to be skillful manipulators, successful leaders, and cooperative problem-solvers because they aren’t used to getting their own way. They’re typically more patient, adventurous and open to new ideas, and they’re more likely to affect change than any other birth order. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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The Birth Order Book by [Leman, Dr. Kevin]
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