My son. My middle child.
Ever since the birth of my now 15-month-old girl, I've struggled with the feeling that my son is slipping through the cracks.
My oldest daughter knows how to speak up for what she wants/needs and does so easily. She's a preteen girl and words come easily to her. She knows how to get my attention pretty quickly.
And my baby girl knows how to speak up for what she wants/needs... not with words, but with cries and fits. She makes her needs known and she's not very patient about waiting for them to be fulfilled! She too knows how to get my attention. She's a squeaky wheel...
And that leaves my son. He's 7 now. He's a boy. He's physical, not social. He doesn't like to "do school" (at least not the "book work" part of it). He likes to play. He's ok by himself for long periods of time. He will gladly run off to his room and lose himself in Lego creations for hours. If I don't make it a point to call him back to where I am, to interact with him, to include him, he falls through the cracks.
When my toddler was just born, my son dealt with some anger and aggression issues. Those have faded with time and he's adjusted well to having a little sister around. But, perhaps part of that adjustment has been him learning that he can slip away and be unseen and un-noticed. I fear that he may also then feel unwanted or un-needed.
Since realizing this recently, I am making a greater effort to interact with my son. I'm saying "not now" less often and coming immediately when he wants to show me something. Instead of "maybe later," I drop what I'm doing and make him a priority whenever possible. I am making school with him a greater priority - not letting it slide as much as I have in the past.
Each birth-order position has its advantages and disadvantages. Being a middle child seems to be the hardest spot, though. And I certainly don't want my boy to fall through the cracks or to feel unwanted in our family. So even though he's not a squeaky wheel, he has needs that must be met. I am thankful that for these insights and a chance to correct my course and spend a little more focused time on my middle child. He's precious to me!