Thursday, October 24, 2013

Are Middle Children an Endangered Species?

Birds of a Feather: It looks like
Middle Children are going the
way of the Dodo.
          As if Middle Children weren’t already getting their unfair share of the short end of the stick, I heard something a few weeks ago that I found truly disturbing. I was talking with a radio host about D.C. dysfunction and the newly formed Middle Child Party, and after I was off-air I continued listening to the station and heard the host say something like, “Well, if family size keeps shrinking, soon there won’t be any Middle Children.” He was so flip about it. I think he even laughed a little when he said it – like it was no big deal. I mean, really – people get all up in arms when some obscure insect is in danger of extinction, but the possible end of Middle Children, well, that’s pretty funny, huh? Naturally, I was horrified, so I had to look into it. Much to my dismay, it turns out he was right. Households are definitely getting smaller. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average size of the American household has diminished by one person from 3.67 in 1948 to 2.55 in 2012. Okay, so families are getting smaller. Maybe that has less to do with fewer children and more to do with higher rates of divorce? I mean, that would certainly account for the loss of one whole person per family. Maybe it’s not all gloom and doom for Middle Children after all. Not so fast.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Why Politicians Need to Think Like a Middle Child

     Like most people, I’ve been growing more and more frustrated about Congress’ inability to seemingly get anything done. And that was before they shut down the government. Over the last few days, I’ve been trying to figure out some way they could work this all out, and that’s when it hit me. Politicians have to stop behaving like stubborn firstborns, spoiled lastborns, and selfish only children and take a page out of the Middle Child playbook. I mean, if anyone knows about not getting everything you want, it’s a Middle Child. Experts agree that since most Middle Children feel our older and younger siblings get special treatment, we learn early on how to negotiate for what we want. They also say that we’re agreeable, diplomatic, compromising, handle disappointment well, and have realistic expectations. Sounds like damn good qualities for a politician, if you ask me. That’s why today I am officially announcing the formation of the Middle Child Party. Our goal is simple: to tell Washington that it’s time to stop behaving like politicians, and start acting like Middle Children!