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I still remember the day I found out I was going to get a younger sister.

I jumped up and down on my bed with my older sister, because that's what she was doing—the catch-all motive behind all of my childhood decisions. I was excited! I was going to be a big sister! But at some point, hovering above a commune of plush Care Bears, I realized what else I was about to become: a middle child. Even then, that felt ominous.

Charlotte, can you read yet? Because there are things you need to know. My little sister turned out to be one of my two best friends and confidantes. Also a great henchman. And loyal hair-styling client. But she did change everything. From one recovering middle child to another in the making, heeding these thruths is the key to survival:

Stage 6
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"This kid doesn't know what he or she is in for."

Max Mumby/Indigo/GC Images

  • Raise your voice. Always. You just need a louder voice now.

You may have lost your youngest-sibling status, but you've gained a minion. I'm talking supporting actor in your plays, experimentalcooking/potion taste tester, and cosmetology lab rat. Take advantage.

But once in a while, slip in a little misinformation.

Stage 5
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"I'm not being a brat! I genuinely thought this was a joke! I also genuinely won't share my clothes, regardless of gender."

Franziska Krug/Getty

A little invisibility has its perks. You can now fly under the radar: Itching to draw in the grown-up books? Or bring home a new toy you found in the garbage? People might not even realize it.

You're still cute—don't worry. But you're not the smallest, or the drooliest, and you already know how to do stuff like walk and say words, so people don't get as excited when you do that. Being the little one is now taken; you need a new thing.

On the flip side, you're now one of the family's big kids! Congratulations. You will be included in games, rides, and activities with your older sibling that your younger sibling can only dream of.

You're independent, resourceful, and compassionate. Don't forget that.

Watch Malcolm in the Middle. Actually that goes for everyone, not just middle kids.

You get what it's like to be both an older sibling and a younger sibling. That makes you the peace keeper. Also the negotiator. Learn to work the role.

You're actually pretty darn lucky. You have an older sibling to look up to who will protect you and teach you all the stuff your friends don't know yet. And you have a younger sibling who looks up to you and admires everything you do. Be kind to them; they're your squad for life.