Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our Middle Child

My wife recently read to me these words from the book she was reading. And just as they entered her heart, they entered mine as well. I then thought about our middle child - our three year-old son who also has a hard time staying in his room after we have put him to bed for the night; who is sandwiched between an older and a younger sister.

As a father who was an only child, perhaps I do not have the sensitivity to properly understand what it is like to be the middle child. Inevitably, I am stricter with him than I am with my two daughters. Maybe it is because he a boy, or maybe it is because of his size. Despite his age, he is physically the size of most four-year olds and I often mistakenly relate to him as such. My wife then reminds me that he is a big boy who just needs a lot of love.

I try to keep this in my mind at times when he refuses to clean up toys, when he plays with or refuses to eat his food, or when he runs laps around our house wildly. Lately, in davening I ask Hashem to give me an extra measure of patience when dealing with him and recall this teaching from Rebbetzin Yemima Mizrachi,

"If you are angry at someone, that is a sign that they urgently need your prayers. Our children make us angrier than anyone else can - because they are the people most in need of our prayers."


At December 19, 2007 at 11:29:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow.. very powerful statement from Rebbetzin Mizrachi.
Makes you stop and think twice before reacting.

At December 19, 2007 at 2:50:00 PM EST, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

My second son struggles with this birth order problem - it's no picnic for him. We try to make sure he gets positive attention and encouragement, but I see that there is no magical solution…

At December 19, 2007 at 3:32:00 PM EST, Blogger Neil Harris said...

Great post. Our middle child also fits that the bill. With her, we try extra patience and understanding. Thanks again for the post, it's exactly what i neede.d


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