I have a confession to make. I had my favorites. My second son was a favorite. BEFORE.
I love books. He showed great interest on books. So I bought him not just one but sets of books. I take good care of my belongings and make sure they are neatly arranged in their respective places. Second son did exactly what I practice and even more – his colors were arranged from the lightest to the darkest shade. He finished a school year with his notebooks and books all looking almost completely new. And he is always the fist honors of his class. BEFORE.
My second son today is the complete opposite of what he was before. His books have folds. He often forgets where he put his school ID and necktie among others. He loves his hair all messy. His books and notebooks have drawings everywhere. He often inks tattoo on his arms (using his sign pen).
Thus this mama and his second son started to have a not so harmonious relationship. She would often scold him; he all the more remains quiet, aloof, and secretive. This mama just can’t understand his once favorite son. She herself has become distant to him.
Husband must have felt the wall between his wife and second son. He advised his wife to read more about THE MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME.
And so I did.
From my readings, I have learned that:
- The birth order has a strong affect on a child’s character, said Dr. Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychoanalyst. He was a middle child himself.
- The middle child often feels left out. The firstborn gets the “firsts” in the family while the youngest gets his wants just because he is the youngest. The middle child, however, often thinks he has no real special place in the house.
- In extreme cases, the middle child even acts out with what some refer to as “psychotic” behavior. This is because one parent prefers the oldest child while the other parent loves the youngest one. This leaves the middle child feeling unloved thus, all the bitterness piles up until he lashes out in violence.
- The middle child has lower self esteem thus, has underdeveloped social skills.
- A middle child tends to be a rebel. Charles Darwin, a middle child, was even given as an example.
I discontinued my reading. I do not need to read all those researches just to understand my son.
I have come to realize that I am his mother and I can understand him if only I let myself understand him. Because of the many unfaithful episodes in the past, I already shut my door on him. I tried many times to be kind to him but I failed many times still because again, I refused to understand him.
My second son is in his preadolescence stage. He is beginning to develop a sense of self-identity and explore his independence. He wants to try different looks and identity. This may then explain his choice of penmanship, haircut, clothes, bags and shoes among others. (Yes, I hate his penmanship because I want his legible handwriting before.)
We have so many disagreements because:
- I want to control him when he is just starting to spread his wings. He is pulling away from me because he is starting to make his own set of friends and would want to be in that group.
- I do not listen to him. When he tells me something, I would readily disagree and so he prefers to distant himself from me. I miss him so I try to squeeze myself to his world then he would push back. He doesn’t want to let me in so again, the two of us have a falling-out.
What should I do?
- I will continue to be his mother as I let him be my son. I will continue to cook for him and even cook his favorite ginataang kalabasa at tinolang manok. I will continue to offer help with his assignments. If he told me “I can manage”, I will trust him and let him do his own thing.
- I will respect his opinion and choices as he is exploring his world. I will let him see the beauty and the ugliness of life so he will learn from it. I will be by his side to guide him, but I will not restrict him of his choices. I have my style and preferences and so does he.
- I thought of setting special dates with each of my boys. So with second son, I will bring him in museums because he loves to be amazed and educated. We will have our own dinner or lunch together at cafes and burger houses because he loves to experiment on drinks and wants his burger grilled and slightly charred.
- I will let him be Second Son because he is Second Son and not his mama nor his papa and his siblings.
And if all else fails,
I entrust everything to you, Lord.
Because I trust God to do it His way.