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Archive for 2014

10 Car Seat Safety Rules & Tips You Must Follow!

Monday, 29 December 2014

My dear Readers,

Over the next couple of weeks I would like to take some time researching and writing about everything you need to know about car seat safety. I remember when I became a mother for the first time and had no clue about anything related to babies, choosing a seat, installing it and replacing/changing it as my son got older was the one of the most confusing and expensive things. 

There is nothing more precious than a child's safety when it comes to travelling in a vehicle. Yet, collisions are the main cause of death for Canadian children!  So, I would like to with you some safety tips I've learned over the past several years. PLEASE consider safety rules, laws and regulations, and the tips below when using and installing a car seat for your child - I cannot stress this point hard enough!

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation provides valuable safety tips and instructions for installing child car seats:

Below are more tips from Busy Mama you will want to consider.

Rule #1 - Use the right car seat for the child's height, weight and development. Every child car seat and booster seat sold in Canada has an expiry or useful life date on it, and should not be used if it has passed the date. Also, all car seats used in Canada must meet the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and displays the National Safety Mark; therefore, you cannot use a car seat bought outside of Canada.

Rule # 2 - Infant car seat use - Ontario's Highway Traffic Act requires children to use a rear-facing car seat until the child wights at least 9 kg or 20 lbs. Most pediatricians recommend using a rear-facing car seat until the child is 2 years old. It is best to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the manufacturer's weight or height limits.

Rule #3 - Toddler car seat use - Ontario's Highway Traffic Act requires children to use a forward-facing child car seat when they weigh from 9 kg to 18 kg (20-40 lbs). It is best to keep your child in a forward-facing car seat until they reach the manufacturer's weight and height limits.

Rule #4 - Preschool to 8 years old - Ontario's Highway Traffic Act requires children to use a booster seat when they weigh 18 kg to 36 kg (40-80 lbs), are less than 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches) tall, and are under the age of 8. It is best to keep your child in a booster seat until they reach the manufacturer's weight and height limits.

Rule #5 - Youth - Ontario Highway Traffic Act allows a child to use a seat belt alone when one of the following conditions is met:

  • Child turns 8 years old, or
  • Child weighs 36 kg (80 lbs) or
  • Child is 145 cm (4'9'') tall or more

Rule #6 - Using UAS (Universal Anchorage System) or the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) - About four years ago, you were able to go to any fire station in the GTA and ask to have your child car seat installed. Unfortunately, this service is no longer available. However, there are child car seat clinics you can attend free of charge in Canada - click on this link for detailed information specific to your area. "Canadian vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2002 come with lower universal anchorage points." 

This helpful video will explain how to attach and adjust a child seat to the child tether latch system in your vehicle with easy to follow, step-by-step instructions. 

Rule #7 - The top of the shopping cart is NOT the place to rest your infant car seat - I'll be the first one to admit that I did this often before I knew better. The injuries can be very severe. Please, place your baby in her/his car seat inside of the shopping cart's basket, or try using a baby carrier instead. For more information, please read this article:  

Rule #8 - There is a reason why they call it a CHEST clip! - In case of an accident you want to make sure that the harness straps are properly positioned so that they can serve their purpose, otherwise, the injuries can be brutal. The chest clip should be placed between the middle to the upper chest area. A good trick is to align it with your child's armpits, and you're good to go. 

Rule #9 - Did you know that the middle of the rear seat is the safest seat for the baby? Read this article for more information:

Rule #10 - Car seat use after an accident - what you need to know - Did you know that you need to replace your car seat after a vehicle accident? After a collision the seat should be replaced whether it was occupied or not. It is impossible to determine if the seat has sustained any damage or not. Most insurance companies will compensate you for replacing the car seat.

And, if the above didn't convince you, PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE!!!

Below is a helpful link if you would like to have your child car seat installed by a professional for a fee, and additional information related to child car seat safety.

Disclaimer: This post was written by Stella V.
Sources: Ontario Ministry of Transportation - and all the link sources mentioned above.
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Delicious Roasted Duck with Apple Dressing

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

A simple rub and stuffing makes this an easy, delicious and festive meal to treat and impress your guests. However, remember that it takes 2 hours to bake this big bird, so I don't recommend this as your weekday quick made dinner for the family. However, if you were to invite another couple over to chill and relax on a Saturday or Sunday evening, this is the perfect recipe to show off your amazing cooking skills:).


  • 1 (about 5lb) whole duck

for the rub

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 melted butter
for the stuffing/dressing

  • 1 medium size onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks cut into chunks
  • 2 medium size carrots peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 medium size sweet apple cored, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 and 1/2 cup (corn) bread crumbs - optional
  • some butter for frying - optional
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C) .
  • In a small bowl, mix spices for the rub - salt, paprika, black pepper.
  • Get your duck ready - pat it dry if still wet from the packaging, remove any excess fat around the neck.
  • Rub your prepared mixed spices into the skin of the duck.
  • Optional - you can saute your onion, carrots and celery if you'd like before hand in a bit of butter, but it's completely up to you; I've done with and without sauteing, and I assure you both ways taste delicious. If you're sauteing, melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, carrots and celery in butter until tender.
  • Mix your onion, carrots, celery, apple and bread crumbs (if using) together. This will be your dressing or stuffing.
  • Fill the duck's cavity with the prepared dressing. I don't sew up the duck with kitchen twine, but you can if you want to.
  • Place your stuffed and rubbed duck in a roasting pan or baking dish. (I use a baking dish with parchment paper - I use parchment paper for everything!) 
  • Bake duck in preheated oven for 1 hour. Spoon 1/4 cup melted butter over bird, and continue cooking for 45 more minutes. Spoon remaining 1/4 cup melted butter over duck, and cook for 15 more minutes, or until golden brown.
Side note: I personally like to eat the dressing as well if I use breadcrumbs, but no one else does in the family, so when the duck is ready, I take out the stuffing and serve it separately.

Ingredients for the side dish - I recommend these roasted potatoes:

  • 5-6 medium size Yukon potatoes
  • 2-3 medium size yams
  • dried salad herbs (spice available in any grocery store)
  • olive oil
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Peel and cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
  • Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. 
  • Sprinkle with dried salad herbs and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes, or until golden brown.

Bon Appetit and Enjoy:)!

Disclaimer: This post was written by Stella V.
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8 Tips on Managing Stress - Busy Mama Tested and Approved!

Friday, 19 December 2014

My fellow Mamas, I just had the week from hell!!! To tell you the truth I don't know precisely why; it may be because I came down with a bad cold for the past two weeks, and didn't have the strength, patience and energy to manage my two rowdy sons (a.k.a. little destroyers) in addition to my nursing daughter. Or, maybe it's because I'm always trying to give my 200% to make everything perfect. But, as we all know, nothing ever happens as planned, and usually for a good reason.

Now I'm on mat leave, but when working full-time, a typical day for me would look something like this... Early wake-up call at 6 am, rush and get ready to catch the GO train, work 8-10 hours (often stressful depending on the day), then head home for some time with my family. Then, hopefully if the GO train is not late or stuck somewhere because of "unexpected" snow or ice, I pick up my son from daycare and head home. My youngest is at home at this time and is all over me as soon as I walk in the door. And, I'm glad he is. But it's time to walk the dog and get dinner ready. My husband usually works late, so it's all up to me to play with the boys, clean up, put them to bed and all the other stuff on the never-ending to-do list.

Sound familiar?

Now that we have a nanny, things of course are much more manageable, but it is still very chaotic and stressful at most times with 3 kids under the age of four, a nursing infant, and an unstoppable toddler at home who is always on the look-out for trouble. (Hubby works late most times and often works Sundays as well.)

So, this past Saturday morning it was time - my meltdown out of the blue. My husband didn't see it coming, but I'm no superwoman!

Before I had kids, my way of decompressing would be to go out dancing or going to a dance class. Unfortunately, this highlight of my life is not feasible now and has been replaced with three additional dazzling highlights - my kids. And therefore, I've tried and learned different de-stressing techniques to enjoy time with my family at home and be in the moment. So, here are some tips that will hopefully help you during your "I'm not a superwoman!" days, which do not involve eating chocolate, screaming at your kids at the top of your lungs, or talk therapy a.k.a. b;%!?$ to friends about your crazy life at home.

Tip #1 - Get realistic and comfortable saying "no" to non-priority tasks or activities. If registering your child for another activity (in addition to 5 he has already) is too much for you to handle at this point, then maybe you should wait until life at home is a bit more manageable.

Tip #2 - Take care of yourself. It's no secret that if you aren't at your best physically and emotionally, then you won't be able to perform at your best with your kids, family, or at work. So, make and take the time to do small meaningful things for yourself, such as going to yoga to de-compress and get in shape, treat yourself to a mani-pedi, or simply grab a coffee outside the house while reading your favourite magazine or book.

Tip #3 - Laugh at the things that don't always work out. Next time you're stuck in traffic and experiencing road rage, remember that you can't do anything about it. So, might as well turn up the radio/cd and enjoy the ride with or without the kids in the car!

Tip #4 - Learn to let go. This should probably be #1 on the list as most of us don't know how to let go. Not doing the dishes one night, washing the floors twice instead of three times a week, and letting your kids eat with their hands sometimes is okay. Some battles are better to be lost. So, please, really try to let go when it comes to unimportant things in your everyday life.

Tip #5 - Have faith. Feel blessed. Look on the brighter side of things. After a hard and stressful day at work, being tired, hungry and resentful, think about how blessed you are to have a wonderful family to come home to, beautiful kids. Appreciate people and meaningful things in your life, otherwise life will pass you by.

Tip #6 - Take a moment to yourself. When I feel very stressed at home and have no more patience left, I know to recognize that moment and stay quite and still. I know that it is much better for me to take 5 minutes of not saying or doing anything (i.e. not screaming at anybody, getting upset over stupid things, and so on) to control and manage the situation in the best possible way.

Tip #7 - Make time for date nights. To keep your marriage or partnership solid, you need to make time for it. Even if it is just 1-2 hours a week to the two of you at home with a glass of wine by a fireplace, it is still important. (Although if you can, I recommend leaving the house. You really need a change of scenery sometimes especially if one of you is at home on maternity or paternity leave.)

Tip #8 - Give a 6-second hug. Research show that if you hold a hug for at least six seconds, you optimize the flow of mood-boosting/bonding chemicals. Studies also support that people who hug more are happier. Apparently, babies who are hugged more experience better physical development. And, children who get hugged often are smarter. "We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." So, try it out, and let me know if it works for you!

And if all of the above fails, here are some more tips that always do the trick:)...
  • Have some chocolate - once in a while of course:)
  • Let it all out - crying does help (when not alone especially, with hubby works best I find)
  • Cover your kids with hugs and kisses, and enjoy the moment
  • Get some sleep the moment you can, most likely you need it!

Here is what our readers had to say on the subject of managing stress...
  • All of our respondents are perfectionists:) and are mainly stressed when at work - I must say, I'm not surprised.
  • When asked "What (or who) would you eliminate to make your life less stressful?", here is what they had to say...
- One of my coworkers
- Family that shows up unannounced and expects to be seen
- Work
  •  Here is what our readers suggest...
- Take a deep breath before doing something
- Have a good sense of humour
- Exercise, spend time with friends and time alone

And, what does research say on the subject of managing stress? You'd be surprised to read about these scientifically proven stress fixes...
  • Smooch spontaneously - give your spouse or partner a kiss after a hard day at work as soon as you come home
  • Hold hands with your significant other
  • Have some tea - research shows that drinking tea helps with anxiety and stress, who knew? 
  • We need to hug our significant others (spouses/partners and children) more often - To read more on the benefits of hugging, check out:

Disclaimer: This post was written by Stella V. All opinions are my own.
Sources: "Brighter Baby" by co-author Jay Gordon; "Fun Facts about Hugging" by Dr. Mercola.
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Our December Weekly Giveaway is Here!!! - Don't Miss Out!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Happy Monday Dear Followers!

Our weekly December giveaway from Busy Mama is here again just in time for the holidays!!!

Win this wonderful fun choo-choo book and Reef 2 DVD for your little one(s) - a $40 value!

To enter - follow the blog and share this post on facebook. You can follow by email - just enter your email address and submit on the right side bar of our home page above the Welcome section - or click 'Follow this blog' on the right side bar under the Welcome section. 

(If you are already following, simply share this post on FB and you will be entered to win.)

The contest will end as soon as we reach 50 followers.


Disclaimer: This contest is open to GTA (Greater Toronto Area) residents only, ages 18+.
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Make the Best Mulled Wine to Warm Up this Winter - an authentic recipe from France!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

This amazing Mulled Wine recipe is something I learned to make from my good Alsatian friend while I lived in Strasbourg, France. She has been making this mulled wine recipe every year for the past 30 years or so!!!

A bit of history:

  1. The Strasbourg Christmas market (Christkindelsm√§rikis the oldest (since 1570) and most famous of all Christmas markets in Europe, all thanks to its size, location and the many wonders it has to offer. Many people throughout Europe travel great distances to come and see this one of a kind Alsatian tradition.  This wonderful event is known for the many things it has to offer during the winter holiday season. Young and old will love strolling from stand to stand, enjoying spice bread, bretzels, pastries, and mulled wine. Choose from a huge selection of tinsels, Christmas baubles and other beautiful trimmings to decorate your Christmas tree.  There is something for every taste! And on Place Kleber, everyone gathers around the dazzling and impressive traditional Christmas Tree lit up every year!




I had the most amazing experience while I lived in Strasbourg to stroll on many nights during this beautiful Christmas market while sipping red or white mulled wine in my hand and marveling at the artinasanal arts and crafts.

So, now that you have a bit of history from where I got this wonderful mulled wine recipe, we can continue onto the best part: making it:)!


  • 1l of strong black tea 
  • 4 (750ml) bottles of red wine - Bourgogne or Bordeaux simple table wine
  • 3 lemons
  • 4 oranges
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • about a dozen whole cloves
  • 3-4 star anise
  • 100-200g unrefined brown sugar
  • orange slices and cinnamon sticks for garnish - optional


Note: Obviously this will make a lot of wine, but feel free to use only 1 (750ml) bottle of wine with the appropriate proportions of the other ingredients. 


  1. The night before, cut up the 3 lemons and 4 oranges with skin on, and in a bowl mix all with 200g raw sugar. Leave fruits to soak and infuse overnight.
  2. In a large saucepan, make the tea (1l).
  3. To the tea, add your spices: cinammon cloves, star anise, and the fruits from the night before.
  4. To the above mixture add 100-200g of brown sugar, then the wine. You want to bring the mixture to just under a simmer over the lowest heat setting until the wine is hot and steamy. Do not allow the wine to boil.
  5. Serve hot in heatproof glasses with a slice of orange and cinnamon stick on the side for decoration.

Even if you don't like wine, you will love sipping mulled wine and warming up with this delicious recipe over the holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Disclaimer: This post has been written by Stella V.
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Holiday Events Calendar

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Here are some interesting free and frugal events to enjoy together with your kids over the holidays:

Big Top School of Circus Arts
Frozen Holiday Celebration - December 7th, 12:00 PM
1119 Ringwell Dr., Newmarket, ON L3Y 8T8 Big Top School of Circus Arts

Fairyland Theatre
Frozen Show - Saturday, December 13th

Wonderful World of Circus
Circus Show - Saturday, December 13th

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
Holiday Bricktacular! - December 13-14, 20-21, 27-28
Ages 3 years - 10 years
Little elves can experience themed decor, building challenges, scavenger hunts and much more!

York Durham Heritage Railway
Santa Train Rides - December 13-14
Ages 1 to 12
Santa Claus is an amazing jolly fellow. He seems to be everywhere during December!

The City Playhouse Theatre
Judy & David's Chanukah Live 2014 - Sunday, December 14 10:30am & 3:30pm
1000 New Westminster Dr.
Tickets start at $16

Kids Cooking Classes with PC Cooking School
Holiday Treats - Friday, December 12, 5:30-7:30
Loblaws - Carlton Street 60 Carlton Street, Toronto $14.00 * per person 
Cute Snowman Cookies; luscious Peppermint Brownies; scrumptious Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies; and delectable Holiday Cupcakes

Happy Holidays Baking - Sunday, December 14th, 10-11 AM
Real Canadian Superstore - Weston Rd. Superstore 2549 Weston Road , Toronto $9.00 * per person
Santa Strawberries and mouth-watering Marshmallow Candy Canes
Little Hands (Ages 3-5)

Gingerbread House Decorating for Kids of All Ages - Many dates available, check online.
Loblaws - High Tech Road 301 High Tech Road, Richmond Hill
The program will provide provide the pre-assembled house, royal icing, and all the candies, and you have a blast decorating. All ages welcome.

Breakfast & Photo with Santa - Saturday, December 20th, 10 AM - 12 PM
Loblaws - High Tech Road 301 High Tech Road, Richmond Hill
Children have a chance to sit on Santa’s knee, have their photo taken and the whole family can enjoy a pancake breakfast. Copy of the photo is included. Open to all ages. Limited seats available – book early!

The World of Chocolate - Sunday, December 21st, 10 AM - 1 PM
Loblaws - High Tech Road 301 High Tech Road, Richmond Hill
Chocolate! Rich, creamy, delectable delight! They will help your youngsters make a mouth-watering menu of Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Decadent Brownies, Whoopee Pies and Creamy Fudge. It’s a chocoholics dream come true! They’ll also enjoy some Hot Chocolate and Sliced Fruit while they prepare their chocolate treats!

Desserts Gone Wild! - Monday, Dec. 22 10am-1pm
Dufferin & Steeles Real Canadian Superstore - Enjoy a three-hour cooking session accompanied by ooey-gooey s'mores pancakes, no-bake cheesecake, ice cream banana bread, and more! $20 per chef.

Library Events
ROM Dinasour Program at North York Central Library - Saturday, December 13 2-3:30pm 
Little archaeologists can learn what the world was 200 million years ago.

Chanukah Activities - from December 16 to 24
Bathurst Clark Resource Library
Drop-in arts and crafts
Enjoy some hands on Chanukah activities at the library.

Hanukkah Party  - Friday, Dec 12 10:30-11am
Wychwood Public Library - Kick off the festival of lights with a community event for children ages newborn to six years. Free.  1431 Bathurst Street 416-393-7683

Mrs. Claus's Christmas Party - Friday, December 19 10:30-11am
Wychwood Public Library - Festive morning of songs and stories from the North Pole; for children ages 0-6. Free. 1431 Bathurst Street.

Solar Stage Children's Theatre
A Christmas Carol - Dec 6 & 7, 2014
Ages 4+
Get an early start to the holiday season with The Nearly World Famous DuffleBag Theatre as they present this classic story with an interactive twist. Fun for everyone!

The Snow Queen (Musical Play) - Many dates available, check website
Ages 3 - 10
Gerda and Kay are best friends, but they have an argument. Kay follows the Snow Queen to her Palace of Ice in the woods. Gerda must go rescue him - with the help of her friends a Reindeer and a Dove. Can love melt the Snow Queen's icy heart?

The Nutcracker - December 7th & 14th, 3:00 PM
Generations of children and "children at heart" have treasured this perennial favorite, the charming tale of holiday adventure that follows a little girl's journey through a fantasy world of fairies, princes, toy soldiers, and an army of mice.
Toronto Website (Queen Elizabeth Theatre)
Mississauga Website (Living Arts Centre)
Richmond Hill Website (Victoria Ballet School)

Kids Leisure Skating
Free events, Various locations and time slots available, check website for additional information.

Public Swimming
Fees and times, as well as locations are available on the website provided below.

The Home Depot - Kids Workshops - Saturday, January 10 10:00 AM
A great free activity for children ages 4-12. Build a Sled with provided materials, using hammer and glue. Free Workshop, registration required.
Kids will learn how to build a sled with easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

Ontario Science Centre
The Human Body IMAX at Ontario Science Centre - Check dates and times online
Investigate how the human body's systems and organs work together as you follow a tomato on its journey to the biological blender of the stomach.

Published by Julie Gleizer
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The Middle Child Syndrome: Myth or Fact?

Friday, 5 December 2014

When I got pregnant with our third, I already started worrying about the middle child syndrome. I heard about it from families with three kids, and didn't want my youngest (at the time) to get the short end of the stick at most times. My husband already (clearly) gave preference to our oldest and I felt very sorry for my youngest son. It just wasn't fair! What was going to happen with a third baby?!

Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Madonna were all middle children, and they have accomplished so much in their lives. Did parental preference - or lack of it - have an effect on them? Although they are an obvious tiny snapshot of comparison, various studies continue claiming that the middle child feels neglected, is resentful with a negative outlook on life, has no drive, and feels like s/he doesn't belong. There are alos various books written on the subject to oppose the idea, including Katrin Schumann's The Secret Power of Middle Children. 

So is the middle child syndrome a myth or a fact? 

If you have more than one child, I think we can all agree that the first one will most likely be the overachiever. It's just logical. You spend and invest more time in your first child simply because you have more time to spare. Also, the first child is always special, they're the most important (at first because there is no one else) and they get the most privileges. In addition, compared to younger siblings, they're more mature and know more; therefore, it's more interesting to play and spend time with them. Unfortunately, sad but true:(. (And, those only children are just spoiled - in a good or bad way, that`s up for discussion; and I can say that as I am an only child.)

Now, let's talk more about that middle child. See, even in my post s/he is being neglected!

The fact that there is a term "middle child syndrome" is concerning in the first place. The term "middle child syndrome" refers to when a middle child - usually in a family of three kids who are close in age - feels left out or neglected. But I believe it's up to the parents or caregivers to prove this stereotype wrong. Many also believe that in a 3-kid family the middle child syndrome may not exist because of gender, i.e. if your middle child is of a different gender than the oldest and youngest one. I guess, it makes sense because the middle will bring many 'firsts' to the family (e.g. first dance recital if your middle child is a girl and the other two kids are boys). However, I believe in raising all kids with love, dedication and commitment and recognizing each child's unique personality and characteristics, and helping them succeed in what they love doing. We tend to focus too much on labeling everything with a negative connotation to it, rather than focusing on the positive side of things and looking for ways to improve.

I was pleasantly surprised to read the survey answers of our readers on the subject of the middle child syndrome. From a random sample with 85% of respondents who have 3 kids, here is what we found:

  • 62.5% of our respondents disagreed with the following statement: "In summary, the middle child syndrome is when the oldest child gets all the new and nice things, the youngest gets all the love, and the middle one gets nothing, or leftovers in the best case scenario."
  • No one thought that the middle child feels left out but...
  • 50% strongly agreed that in a 3-kid family the youngest gets most of the attention (43% thought the oldest does)
  • 37.5% of respondents thought the middle child had less drive
  • 50% thought the middle child was more caring about his/her siblings
  • 50% thought that the middle child syndrome starts to show when the child is older

When asked: "What was the most inaccurate stereotype you've heard about middle children as the child or as a parent? How does the middle child shine? What are the most surprising qualities?", here is what our readers had to say.

"A common stereotype is that the middle child doesn't get any attention, or is mischievous to get some attention."

"Middle children shine when they quietly observe life situations. They are very creative, stubborn, playful and mischievous."

"Middle kids are very bright, logical and sweet."

And, according to our survey, the middle child is most likely to become a leader, a doctor, or work in some creative field.

Be it stereotype or not, I know that my middle child gets all the attention whether he wants it or not. We call him "the little destroyer"; you can easily figure out how he gets all the attention:). He is definitely not caring or affectionate, but my oldest one is, and he is a happy little toddler. And although our third one is a girl (after 2 boys), people - relatives or not - care the least about her. My oldest is a perfectionist, and is definitely an overachiever. He is also very conscientious and extremely cautious. And my daughter (youngest one) is a happy baby at most times for now. 

Many studies on the middle child syndrome suggest that middle kids are great team players and successful leaders. And, if neglected as children, the middles seem to benefit from this in the long run by becoming more independent and think outside the box. Research also suggests that middle kids' drive and ambition is represented best by their interest in principles and concepts. 

I believe that the so-called "middle child syndrome" has less to do with the order of siblings, and more with how the kids are raised and treated by parents or caregivers. As a parent, I always try my best to be fair to all my three kids. And remember, fair does not mean equal. It's important to make sure each of your children know how special and unique they are, and it's up to you to figure out the best way to show that to your kids. Regardless how many kids you have, it is always a good idea to have special 'date nights' - specially dedicated time and activity - with each of your children, separately. This is hard to do when you have an infant attached to your hip, but as all kids are 2+, it becomes a lot more manageable. 

So, is there really such a thing as the middle child syndrome? I cannot answer that, and I don't believe research can either. It's about what you believe in based on your personal experience as a middle child and/or as a parent of three kids. But what matters really is the journey - hopefully a positive one - of being a middle child, not the label.

Written by: Stella V.  All opinions are my own.
Contributing author: Julie Gleizer. 
Source: The Secret Power of Middle Children by Catherine Salmon and Katrin Schumann
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