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How to celebrate your middle child

National Middle Child Day is celebrated each year on Aug. 12. This day gives special recognition to the middle child or children in the family. 

Studies have shown in a family with multiple children, the oldest and the youngest get the most attention from their parents while those in-between tend to be left by themselves, possibly feeling ignored and forgotten. Middle children sometimes feel they have to fight for the attention of their parents or like they do not belong to the family.

On the other hand, being a middle child may help develop skills that can serve children well into adulthood. In the eyes of the middle child, oldest siblings reap all the privileges and the babies get away with everything, so middles learn to negotiate to get what they want. They are independent, agreeable, diplomatic and the least likely to be spoiled.

As a parent, you may hear your middle child say, "No one ever listens to me!" or "I'm always left out." If that's the case, set aside extra time for your middle. Spend one-on-one time together, demonstrating how important they are as part of the family.  Also watch for behaviors in middle child teens that go beyond the usual isolation and could indicate something more concerning like depression. 

Whether you have a middle child—or are a middle child—celebrate the day and make an extra effort to foster feelings of inclusion. Do something special to show your middle they are not overshadowed by older or younger siblings. Spending one-on-one time sharing their unique interests and activities is a fun way to spend the day.

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