WASHINGTON - Often over-looked, rarely celebrated and nicknamed a syndrome. These are just some of the stereotypes of middle children. But one "middle-child advocate" is putting a stop to this -- at least for a day.
Bruce Hopman, author and blogger for Smack Dab: A Middle Child's Blog, is calling for a day of celebration and strike for middle children everywhere.
A middle child, himself, Hopman has witnessed the "unfair" and unequal treatment of middle children his whole life. He feels most strongly about the negative connotations associated with the position of his birth.
"You never hear of first-born child syndrome or last-born child syndrome. But we were lucky enough to have middle-child syndrome bestowed upon us," says Hopman, a retired advertising creative director. "People will say, ‘Oh you're acting like a middle child.' … It's become sort of a dirty word. People will even use it metaphorically in negative ways. They'll say, ‘Oh the Washington Wizards, they're the neglected middle child of the NBA.'"
Hopman, whose Twitter handle, @MidKidMusings, has more than 4,500 followers, is hoping to change this image of middle children with a "non- traditional strike" on Middle Child's Day, which falls on Aug. 12.
He says he wants to bring attention to the day through social media with a viral uprising of #MidKidStrike.
"Nobody knows about (Middle Child's Day) and I found it kind of ironic. It's kind of fitting that we were given this holiday just so everybody would not pay any attention to it," says Hopman, who now lives in Florida.
Hopman swears he didn't invent Middle Child's Day as a holiday. He says he stumbled across the designated day while conducting research for his book.
"I suspect whoever did create the holiday wasn't a middle child. I think they probably were a first-born and they probably just said, ‘Yeah we'll give them a holiday and we'll just shut them up. And we'll put it in the middle of August when nobody's around.' Clearly a middle child did not create it," Hopman says.
Even at age 56, Hopman is very invested in issues surrounding middle children.
"Being a middle child does not stop when you stop being a child. It is the gift that keeps on giving," he says.
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