Troublemakers or trouble -- it's the label that children born after kuya and before bunso get. It even has a name -- middle child syndrome -- and based on studies, these kids are less close to their parents and struggle with identity. Well, the good news is there are child development experts who say the so-called "middle child syndrome" has its benefits. 1. They tend to be independent. They may get the least attention from mom and dad, compared to the panganay and bunso. But a beneficial side effect is middle children tend to be more independent, according to Frank Sulloway, Ph.D., birth order expert and author of Born to Rebel. They are more inclined to find their path in life and become more open-minded to try new things, Dr. Catherine Salmon, a psychology professor at the University of Redlands and co-author of the book The Secret Power of Middle Children, told Business Insider.
But there is a downside. In a study conducted by Dr. Salmon, she found that middle-borns were more susceptible to peer pressure compared to their siblings.
2. They’re great negotiators. From being stuck in between older siblings who often get all the privileges first and baby sister or brother who often get away with a lot of things, middle children have learned to negotiate for what they want. “Middle-borns are the most willing to wheel and deal,” Sulloway told Parenting, making them agreeable, compromising and able to handle disappointment well.
Plus, there are more upsides to getting used to being in the middle of things. In an interview with Psychology Today, Katrin Schumann, co-author of The Secret Power of Middle Children with Dr. Salmon, said, “They can see all sides of a question and are empathetic and judge reactions well. They are more willing to compromise and so they can argue successfully.”
3. They value their relationships. Compared to the eldest and youngest, middle children are more likely to perceive friends as their main resources, said Schumann. “Middles are social beings and often spend a lot of time with friends,” she said. They can also get along with everybody, unlike the firstborn and the youngest child whose personalities can conflict with those who are in the same birth order. Again, it's because middle children are more willing to compromise and are more open-minded.
4. As parents, they allow their middle children the freedom they need. A study conducted by Dr. Salmon and Schumann specifically for their book revealed an unexpected finding, according to the latter. One would think that parents who were born last in the family would be the most permissive as parents. Instead, parents born in the middle allow their children the most freedom.
“Middles want to give their children structure and rules, but also want them to be free to make choices,” she said. In comparison, parents who are the bunso in the family are also permissive, but often it is more about not wanting to be bothered with the rules, she added.
5. Middle children make loyal spouses. Because they value their relationships, they’re great friends to have, and they make irreplaceable life partners. Why? Middle-borns have unwavering loyalty and dedication to those they love and are less likely to cheat on their partners, according to Dr. Salmon and Schumann. A word of caution, however, said Schumann. They should be aware that others can take advantage of their loyalty.