10 Things Only Middle Children Understand
Being in the middle has its ups and downs.
(SPOT.ph) From melting in the shadows to playing peacemaker, we break down what it means to be a middle child.
People tend to forget you...at least that’s what you think.
There’s the panganay and the bunso. Who cares about the in-between? Kidding. But really, if you think about it, there’s always something special about “firsts.” First kiss, first car, first kid. And the last and latest one still has that novelty that never really rubs off...until someone new comes along, that is, and you’re both stuck together in the middle. There’s a bright side to that—at least there’s someone who understands and will take sides with you...hopefully, if they don’t see you as competition.
Being bibo is a way of life.
In your effort to get attention, you try to be louder, better, and spunkier than your sibs. It can go both ways—you try to outshine their achievements, or you do your best to outdo their mishaps. Hey, those strategies do work in getting attention, you know.
Deflecting attention has its advantages.
Or you can take the opposite route—this means shying away from the limelight, slinking to the sidelines, and being as unobtrusive as possible. And if at a party you accidently let out a tiny squeak and your parents’ kumare reacts with a “What’s that?” And your mom looks around in confusion and shakes her head dismissively, you smile in victory and melt into the shadows. Growing up, you left all the dancing and singing in front of relatives to your siblings, and until now it’s still up to them to hold the fort at parties as you go demolish the food.
Pressure? What pressure?
Parents feel pressured to do everything right with their eldest. Once they have found out what they’re doing right and wrong, they tend to be more lax with the next kid. And once other children come along, whatever pressure put on you somehow gets transferred to them. No wonder you’re a pretty chill person!
Independence is an ace up your sleeve.
With all the attention being showered on your other sibs, you’re left to your own devices. You surprise everyone with your streetsmarts, your skill in navigating tough situations, and your ability to get things done. And they say middle kids have issues. Who wins at life now?
Peace depends on one person: you.
Because the moment you take sides, all hell breaks loose. As the middle child, your role is to be the middleman. You’re supposed to be the one to yank your siblings apart when they fight. It’s on you to listen carefully and be objective when both parties confide in you. So what do you get out of this? Respect—because you are all-knowing and neutral. Oh, and peace and harmony in the family, too.
You’re not maarte or picky with belongings.
Because as a kid you had no choice, you had to accept ate or kuya’s hand-me-downs. And bunso gets new stuff because by the time the clothes reach the end of the line, they’re too threadbare to be used. It’s this particular trial that helped shape you into the practical, no-nonsense individual that you are now. So, thank you, hand-me-downs.
Generosity is a given (actually, you’ve resigned yourself to it).
Because you had to share your older sib’s stuff, and share them in turn with the one who came after you. Your kuya or ate staked a claim on your baon, and you couldn’t resist your younger sibling’s puppy dog eyes. Material things? They are fleeting. Money? It ebbs through your life, flowing in and out, just like water. And you exist in calm and contentment with the universe. Though now that you’re an adult you know how to demand for your money back.
You exist in your own little bubble.
Roughly translated, “may sariling mundo.” Nothing else matters except what’s inside your little world. This can include your hobbies, barkada, and even that invisible friend that you had as a kid.
Happiness is being in the middle.
You have older siblings to come to your defense and make you feel safe and secure, and you have your younger sibs to tease, coddle, and generally treat like kids even if they aren’t anymore. It sure is a good life, being in the middle.