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The Middle Child Legacy

When I think about the traits I want passed along to our children, I think of things like kindness, compassion, and honesty. I want all of my children to find their own success and be happy. I never thought a lot about the birth order, though. It's not exactly something we can decide; however, my husband, Brian, discovered something interesting in his family history about middle children.

For the past year, we've been actively trying to conceive Baby No. 3, which would move our son from youngest to middle child status. In all honesty, I hadn't considered how birth order may or may not affect my kids. I only knew our family didn't feel complete yet. Birth order was the farthest thing from my mind... until now.

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The middle child myths say he'd feel lost, ignored, and confused, but I'm not sure how much I believe in "middle child syndrome." Then again, I never really experienced the dynamics of birth order growing up. While I was the youngest child, my sisters did not live with me. This made me a last child-only child hybrid. However, my daughter exhibits several classic firstborn traits, such as the desire to be a leader. Even as a toddler, my son is already feeling his older sister's competitiveness.

So, what will happen to him if he suddenly finds himself with a little sister or brother too?

My husband is fascinated by genealogy and has been researching his family since before we met. He's earned his title as the Family Historian. After deciding to try for a third, we joked about making our son a middle child like him. As it turns out, not only is Brian a middle child, but so is his father. Middle child born to middle child. And his discovery doesn't stop there! If we have another baby, our son will be a fifth generation middle child.

The more I read about birth order, the more I think we overlook the positive research about middle children in favor of perpetuating the myth that they are overlooked.

We call this pattern the Middle Child Legacy. If we succeed in making our little boy a middle child, then perhaps he'll have three or more children of his own, passing it on. Who knows how far it could continue?

The more I read about birth order, the more I think we overlook the positive research about middle children in favor of perpetuating the myth that they are overlooked. In fact, I found that they have many wonderful qualities. According to "The Secret Powers of Middle Children," they are driven, ambitious, and successful. They learn how to negotiate and make great team players. They are also loyal to their partners and friends. Sounds great, right?

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When I look at my husband, I don't see the stereotypical middle child. I see an amazing husband and father. So, being a middle child and carrying on this legacy wouldn't be so bad for our son. He already takes after his dad in many ways, this would be just be another.

Plus, he'd have a crazy cool family story to pass along to his own kids and that's a legacy that keeps on giving.

Image via Twenty20/darby

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