Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Middle children often are the forgotten children. This is especially true if the older sibling happens to be the same sex as the middle child. I was a middle child who had an older sister and a younger brother. My sister was the first born so needless to say received tons of attention. By the time I came along, everyone was hoping for a boy, but instead they received me. My younger brother came and everyone was once again excited. I tried in the beginning to get attention but after several failed attempts I just started to act like I didn't want attention. I built a protective barrier around myself. My barrier was a smart mouth, bad temper, and constant back talking and complaining. This was very effective in keeping everyone at a distance. I then told myself that I was rejecting them, not them rejecting me. I think that middle children learn to be independent survivors. All children need love, affection and a feeling of belonging. If you do not receive it, which is very common for the middle child, you go through life distancing yourself from others. As a parent now of a middle child son who has an older and younger brother, I make sure to follow the following steps to help him avoid the same pitfalls of my childhood:

1. Always be affectionate, even if they try to push you away, they really want it!

2. Spend quality alone time with your middle child.

3. Take time to listen to their problems, disappointments, hopes, and dreams.

4. Take an interest in their activities.

5. Tell them that they are important.

6. If they try to distance themselves from you, tell them that you know what they are trying to do and it won’t work because you will love them anyways.

7. Do not point out there bad qualities and ask them why can't they be more like their brother or sister.

8. Do not let them hide behind their sarcasm, anger, or bad attitude. This is just a cover up for a deep longing to be loved!

9. Be patient with them, they are good at controlling situations and lashing out to protect themselves from their self imposed barrier.

10. Last and most important, tell them that you love them, hug them and then when they test your patience, do it again!

The ultimate goal is to raise healthy, happy and well adjusted children. Middle child syndrome is very real and these kids seem to need extra special attention to establish a worthiness of being loved and accepted. Take the extra time needed to care for your forgotten child!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Can You Make A Difference In A Day?

I went to work today and my boss said she had to tell me something and I have to say yes. I said, "Not until I know what it is," I’ve learned my lesson in the past. She said, "I am going to take you shopping for groceries today for your family!" I started to cry and told her, "No, I can't allow you to do that". She said, "It's on my "bucket list" (things to do before you kick the bucket) to perform acts of kindness and you can't deny me my wish." I cried more, hugged her and thanked her.

My husband and I have been praying and trying to have faith that we would be able to come up with enough money to buy groceries and make our house payment this month. I have to tell you that it was an answer to our prayers.

We went to the grocery store and she kept adding more things into the basket, despite my protests that it was already more than enough. We had to get another basket just to hold all of the food. We went to check out and I couldn't believe that the bill came to $500.00! I had an instant headache because I was so stressed that she had spent so much money on us. I hugged her and told her, "Thank you for being our angel."

On my way home I stopped by another store (I had forgotten to get milk while we were shopping, I guess I was so overwhelmed...I forgot a basic necessity). As I entered the store a homeless man was sitting off to the side of the store. I wished that I had money to give him after the gift I had just received. Once inside the store I remembered my husband's paycheck had just been deposited and the whole amount was supposed to be used for our house payment, but I decided to take $20.00 of it and buy him some food. I had been given such an amazing gift, the least I could do was give to someone who had even less than I did. I walked out and looked over to see someone else walking away after dropping off a box of pizza to the homeless man. Wow, I thought what an amazing day this is. As I reached him, he had just finished scarfing down three pieces of the pizza; he looked up at me and said, "Do ya want a piece of pizza?" I was shocked...someone with absolutely NOTHING was offering me a portion of the small amount of food that he had just received. I told him, "No thank you," and set the three small bags of groceries down. I ran to my car and grabbed a blanket that I had kept in there for an emergency (it was very cold out). He said "Thank You!" He covered up and continued eating the pizza.

Leaving your mark and making a difference in the world can seem like a huge task. I have been privileged enough to have been the recipient of a caring person, a witness to the giving of others and a contributor to serving someone less fortunate, all in the span of a single day. If a difference can be made in the lives of three people in a single day, imagine if everyone did an unselfish act for one person each day. Whether it is helping an elderly person put groceries in their car, opening a door for a handicapped person or offering food to a person in need. Kindness and love can change the world.......one person at a time. Today is the day YOU can change the world, someone is waiting for you!