Is there such a thing as middle child syndrome?


Lady Heather - posted on 06/26/2011




My only hang up as the middle child was the constant hand-me-downs. My sister was the oldest girl so her stuff was all new. My brother was the only boy so his stuff was all new. I always got all my sister's old crap. I'm about to have a second girl and I absolutely insist on buying her at least SOME new stuff. Ha.

Other than that I found being the middle kid pretty awesome. You sort of fly under the radar. I was able to get away with a lot because more the focus was on my "bad" older sister. And I had good relationships with both siblings and still do because I was so close in age to both of them.

[deleted account]

I dont believe in it...I do believe in second child syndrome...the second child I have found is strong willed, out going, and always loud! LOL
If you spend as much time with each of your child as you can, and point out the good in all of them, then I truely dont think it matters what the birth order is. Calling it middle child syndrome makes it sound like its the worlds worst thing, where for my daughter we have worked hard to make it special because she gets to "help' with baby brother, and gets to do big girl stuff with her sister. Truely all in how you approach it.

Atasha - posted on 06/24/2011




A child can develop middle child syndrome only when feeling left out by the family. For example... Your oldest does really well at school and gets ample attention over good grades and well baby is the baby(no need for explaining). Your middle child may feel that they are not as important or loved as the other children. The best thing a parent can do with a child that feels neglected is to include them in any small way. If your oldest brings home art work and you hang it on the fridge, do the same for your middle child with a craft or picture. When baby is getting attention all day long ask your child to help (can you get baby's toy or wash baby's toes etc.) It goes a long way including your middle child even with the smallest of gestures. And encouragement goes a long way. Children can become detached, moody and careless if they feel they are being forgotten or skipped over. I hope this helped.


View replies by

[deleted account]

Heather- I was worried about that with my daughter! Her sister and her are 22 months apart, so i try to buy new things for her my problem is getting different she is getting bigger then her 4 yr old sister. My oldest has always been really tiny, and the second girl is "normal" size for a 2 yr old lol so now the oldest is getting some hand me downs.

Bernice - posted on 06/26/2011




Thank you all for your comments.They were all helpful one way or the other.I love all three of my boys and they all have their own special qualities.I spend lots of time with them and rather focus on all the joy they bring then those negative things that they some times do.

Sal - posted on 06/26/2011




yes atahsa had some good point but i think it is more about parenting and family dianamics than the birth order...

Sal - posted on 06/26/2011




only if there is a problem with the middle, i am a middle child of 5 and see no real issue for me, i have heard this over and over and think it is just excuse making..

my cousin's wife always blamed middle child syndrom on his bad behaviour, the funny thing is he was 17 before he became a middle child, before that he was the youngest and got in to loads of trouble.....just looking for excuses..

[deleted account]

Laura-see you and your sibblings have the same birth order as my kids...2 girls then a boy. Yes the baby gets away with stuff (hes only 6 months old right now) but my girls dont seem to suffer from any of it. The oldest is super smart, and has always been on top of all her milestones, and the second is super cute, out going blonde hair blue eyes, so she gets attention for that. Guess my kids are just lucky hmmm hope they always see it that way! lol

Merry - posted on 06/25/2011




I did, my sister was older and she was so smart and polite and sweet everyone praised her alot, my brother was younger and he was both the baby and the only boy so he was always SO cute and adorable and could get away with any naughty behavior just by crying.
I was the middle, the second girl, and I felt like I didn't get as much attention from others. I was loud and more obnoxious and I talked too much and I was nosey and whiny sometimes.
But my mom never let me feel less, to her I felt like the favorite, and my siblings also felt like I was her favorite, she worried I'd be left out and so she compensated. Also I was most like her so we naturally got along best.
So to all our outside family and friends my sister and brother seemed to be favored, but at home I got the special attention sometimes too :)
Over all I think the genders makes a big difference, boy boy girl or girl girl boy is the worst combo for the middle. Adding a fourth might be a good idea if this pattern comes up! Boy girl boy or girl boy girl is less of a big deal since everyone has something 'special'

Brianna - posted on 06/25/2011




i have 2 older sisters we are all 2to 3 years apart and my middle sister deffinantly did have middle child syndrome if anyone felt left out it was me the youngest

Sharon - posted on 06/24/2011




I think it depends on the gender and the order. My son is the middle child but is between two sisters so I don't think he felt it since he was the only boy. Alasha had some great advice.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms