View Full Version : Is being a middle child difficult? Is there such thing as middle child syndrome?

04-09-16, 06:01 AM
I wanted to put this here because its not strictly limited to parenting.
I've always wondered this. I was a pseudo middle child. I have a younger brother from my mom's second marriage and two younger siblings from my Dads second marriage. Even though Im the oldest, I always felt stuck in the middle.

I have three kids and my oldest daughter is the middle child. Its interesting, I never bought into the middle child having the most difficult time or getting the shaft but as I watch my kids, I seem to be noticing that there are some characteristics that seem related to being the middle child. My daughter isnt really close with her older brother or younger sister. We are a close family so its not like we dont live and play together but my youngest daughter and her brother are very similar and very close. Becca ( the middle one) never really connected that way with Jake, and her sister Ella is the exact opposite of her so they havent connected yet either. All the kids are tight so its not like anyone hates each other or anything like that, its just very apparent sometimes.

Becca has always been one to branch out with endeavors that the other two have no interest in. Even though she likes those different interests, I have always felt like she was stuggling to find her own identity. Like she couldnt live up to her brother and wasnt the baby of the family like her sister.

I have alot of guilt even though its probably unwarranted. Do I treat her siblings differently than her?
Do they get away with things because they are the oldest or youngest and she doesnt? Does she not feel the love equally or feel like shes not as important?
I am probably overthinking this.
With myself, I always felt weird and sort of stuck because I was the only one with the same mother and father. I dont know if thats a middle-ish child kind of thing.

What do you all think? Are any of you middle children? How did you feel growing up and how do you feel now? Were you treated differently?
I really look forward to responses because it will help me put things in perspective and hopefully help keep me in check.

All stories and thoughts are welcome even if you disagree, good or bad.


04-09-16, 10:31 AM
I don't have much insight to share but...and in every way my situation growing up was the opposite of healthy, and can't really even be compared to your awesome parenting ha... but I feel that my sister would say middle childness is a thing.

I'm the youngest of 5, 2 full siblings (supposedly, well, at least for our purposes we'll say that's true, ha) and 2 half siblings. My half siblings are the oldest of the bunch, and then it's the full siblings.
The oldest siblings and I were definitely given preferential treatment (of sorts) by my parents. The 2 middle siblings (my full siblings): my brother was basically ignored and they kinda went out of their way to treat my sister terribly. Though my full sibs and I are all very creative and expressive people I can relate much better to my oldest siblings in some ways.
I think it could be said that it plays out with my grandparents a bit too, like, they probably are closest with the 2 oldest, then probably my full sister, then probably me, and then I think my full brother. With my full sister though I feel she demands respect, that's her personality, and she puts more energy into it than the oldest 2 had to do, which earns her points in the ranking system hahaha. And since my full brother doesn't have that get-on-board-or-get-outta-my-way quality.....:-/ He is very quiet, live and let live, unassuming...a very good person with extremely unique interests and pursuits, potentially a little lost on what to do in adult life, I feel in the presence of all the other personalities he wasn't given the attention he deserved. :( Makes me want to give him a BIG hug right now.

Something about being the eldest sibling is, by nature of having lived longer, you know the adults in your life better than the younger sibs, and have a bit of an advantage there. I feel, speaking as a younger sibling, if we're thinking like back when we lived on the savannah (or just being in a crazy environment growing up) and needing qualities to survive - being the charming, cute, possibly more diplomatic [watching the middle siblings pick the fights and figuring out what works and what doesn't] young one is definitely a thing. And when you are the youngest of 5 there are many people to watch and learn from, or who will potentially share their hard earned wisdom with you...if you can charm them enough ;)