Let’s tackle the middle child, so if you only have 1 or 2 kids, this obviously won’t be one for you, unless your kid has a middle child friend or bff!
For me this one is a bit touchy, I am very conscious of “middle child syndrome“, yes it actually is a thing and I have witnessed it, with my little guy as well as my brother…
With him, I don’t like to say no but I have to! Mostly to keep the peace and not play favorites.
So this young man has the biggest heart in the world, he probably one of the most selfless kids I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. I honestly am not saying that because he is my child, but he will (and has) literally given away his own food to someone less fortunate, he has even given away clothing, straight off his back. So as you can imagine he makes friends in an instant and tends to keep them too, but he has many friends.
Now the problem I am faced with is that because he has so many friends, there is a request to have a sleepover just about every weekend. And as much as much as I hate to say no to him, I HAVE to. I feel like at some point I became babysitter central and I had to put a stop to it.
Ok, so when he has a sleepover it’s typically a minimum of 2 boys, at some point, there was like 5. He’s a real X-Box fanatic so they generally hang out in his room and just play games, but kids are loud! Especially in the morning, unlike teens, these guys are up at 5 am, laughing and running and I can’t deal.
Then I have to be up to make breakfast for the little army, which is like duh, but not at 5:00 am! I’m sorry.
Here are my tactics
- My kids know I am not a morning person, so I make sure I once again lay down the law. If they (my kids or the guests) disobey, no more sleepovers…No negotiating
- Bedtime is bedtime, even if they are all lying in bed watching a movie that’s fine but no games, or running around and making a noise.
- Breakfast happens when I wake up (on my terms), don’t get me wrong I love for other children to feel welcome in my home, but not at my own expense. I am a working mom! I am tired, it is what it is.Now before you judge me, I do make breakfast, I just do it when I am ready to. Because of my body clock, these days I am up at around 7:00 am anyway.
- They are now only allowed 1 sleepover per month. Each child chooses a friend and that’s it, no exceptions. No cousins and other friends, nothing. Once they’ve decided on who they want to invite, we host a lovely little sleepover and that’s it.
- When all is said and done, I expect that they clean up where they messed. In this instance if he chooses to attempt to make an impression, he ends up doing it alone, but, I have noticed that after a few times of tidying up after others, he makes sure to do it before it is hometime so he can have some help. Oh, did I mention he’s very lazy?
- Plan in advance – I believe to have a successful experience, plan, plan, plan. I don’t host impromptu anything anymore.It leaves me way too flustered and overwhelmed. I like to make sure I know who’s coming and for how long, at the end of the day, we all have things to do.
I think it is important for them to get along with their peers.More importantly that everyone feels comfortable enough to come over, but not so comfortable that they run a mock. The thing though with middle kids is they are somehow always competing, and I think of all the kids, they are probably the best manipulators. They know we have a soft spot for them and will try and play on that ALWAYS…Be firm and stay strong…And ALWAYS treat all of them equally. Yes, every child is an individual and has different needs, but ones’ needs shouldn’t be more important than the others’.
What could you take away?
- Firstly be mindful of “middle child syndrome“, no jokes, middle kids are so overly sensitive, and always comparing themselves to their siblings.
- You set the tone… At the end of the fun sleepover, who is the most tired? You! I know we want our kids to be happy, healthy little humans, I don’t believe that should mean that I shouldn’t be.
- Make and agree to the rules WITH your kids, so everyone is on the same page, I find it makes things a lot easier in the home when there are other little people around and even just in general.
I hope you found this helpful…and I know I come off as a drill sergeant, but this is from learning along the way, I used to be the mom who said yes to everything, but I found that I would get frustrated a lot. So I decided to do things on my terms, everyone is happier this way.
Please comment below and share some tips and tricks that you’ve learned in dealing with a sleepover, this way we all learn and grow together as parents…
Have a wonderful day beautiful people! I look forward to hearing your thoughts…am I too harsh?