Is my middle child destined to be a menace, simply because she’s the middle child? That’s what I found myself wondering as I made the trek to Vancouver with all three girls and caught myself thinking, “This would be so much easier if Karenna had stayed home.” (I know, worst mom EVER.)
Avelyn just turned five and is a delight to be around; Brinley is cute and agreeable. Then there’s Karenna: she’s fiery, angry, grumpy, unpredictable and full of tantrums waiting to be unleashed. She starts endless fights with her big sister and is so volatile. Part of it is her age, I know. She’s two years old, almost three, and she is constantly pushing the limits of my boundaries (and sanity). If she’s anything like her older sister, the Terrible Two’s (which actually start just after the first birthday) will start to ease up a bit just after her third birthday. I am hoping that her going to preschool a couple mornings next week in the fall will give her the structure and challenge she needs to learn how to be a decent human being. She will be in a safe environment where sharing will be the norm, waiting your turn (and not freaking out about it) is the expectation, and being part of a group is fun. Preschool will fix her, right? Or…or is this just how she’s always going to be? I have heard quite a few people reference the “Middle Child Syndrome” and it has me quaking in fear. Will she always feel desperate for attention and try to find it in negative ways? Will she not be secure in her place in our family, jealous of her big sister’s accomplishments and her little sister’s cuteness, angry that she’s lost in the shuffle? I don’t want that. I really am trying to meet her where she’s at: praising her for all the great aspects of her personality (and there are many, really…she’s hilarious and kind and smart and quirky and full of words of love and affirmation), consistently disciplining her in loving ways, and taking the time to do things she loves (sitting down and reading a book together is her most favourite thing ever). But part of me wonders if it won’t be enough. What else can I do to help her escape the Middle Child Syndrome? (Maybe not griping about her on my blog is a start? Hahaha….oh.) Or is that all a load of bung?
What do you think about the birth order traits? Do you fit the descriptions of a typical firstborn, middle child, or baby of the family? (I am a firstborn, but do not fall in line with the traits at all! I am lazy, about as far from a Type-A personality as one can be, and not particularly aggressive. There may be some latent leadership skills in me, but again, remember The Lazy? It usually wins.) Any tips on how to help Karenna not become the angry black sheep of our family?