The Middle Child Syndrome

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When planning your family, it is important to consider how the birth order will impact your children’s emotions and personality, as well as your family’s dynamics.

There is a phenomenon often talked about, called the “Middle Child Syndrome,” which helps explain how birth order affects every aspect of a child’s life. Wondering what your middle child may be experiencing, or how to possibly counteract any negativity caused from being a middle child? Here is some information to help!

Help your middle child feel like an important member of your family by having special date nights!

Emotional Impact
Dr. Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychoanalyst, first brought the effect of birth order to light. He suggested that birth order has a strong affect on a child’s character. Dr. Adler was a middle child himself.

Middle children often feel left out and invisible, a contrast from their older and younger siblings. While older children get the benefits of all of the “firsts” a child accomplishes, younger children benefit from the emotional impact of being the baby of the family, often being spoiled and coddled. Middle children, however, often feel as though they have nothing special that is just “theirs.”

Some studies suggest that middle children are also more prone to depression and typically have stronger immune systems than their older siblings.

What do you think? The Middle Child Syndrome

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12 comments

  1. Avatar of Karlee Karlee says:

    Everything they say about the ever accursed “middle child” is true. I am OCD and Dyslexic. My parents don’t realize this. They make plans, then cancel for my little brother’s haircut, or karate class. Young parents always say “That will never happen in my family,” but the fact is, you can’t stop it. It just happens. It doesn’t matter who your parents are, you always feel like you live in your older or younger sibling’s shadow. There’s nothing you can do to get out of it, because they’ll always be better than you, especially in your parents eyes. The “Middle Child Syndrome” is inevitable.

  2. Avatar of mommy nhoj mommy nhoj says:

    I hope not to deal with this in my own family. If ever we do have 3 children in the future, we will strive hard not to let this happen or to intervene as early as possible

  3. Avatar of Amber Amber says:

    Don’t underestimate the middle child. Both my husband and I are middle children. And yeah we did suffer from this syndrome, but as a result, we’ve been pretty successful. I dove into becoming an over achiever to earn attention with my family. This ended up becoming a blessing because now I lead a pretty successful life. I’ve done so much more than my siblings and have taken more risks that they just wouldn’t do. My sister was very outspoken and loud, so one down for me is that I have a hard time speaking up and feeling like my opinion matters (while my younger sister was a big cry baby) this is an issue that still affects me today, but honestly everyone has some kind of issue as an adult.

  4. Avatar of LIZ says:

    i never wanted 3 kids, because of this, two is fine for me

  5. Avatar of Mya Mya says:

    I am a middle child well, really i am 12. Even though i have a younger brother and older brother, i tend to always feel left out… Its too the point were i no loner speak my mind… or speak much at all… What should i do?

  6. Avatar of Vanessa Vanessa says:

    I didn’t see myself having three I only wanted two, the date night suggestion is definitely the best solution because regardless if you have three kids or not and just have two they still want to have that individual attention

  7. I was actually the middle child. I really do not want to have an odd number of kids.

  8. Avatar of Ben Ben says:

    Haha, I actually posted a comedy sketch about being the Middle Child. If you fancy a giggle check it out – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhzHdxf9c_w

  9. Avatar of PamelaPlus3 PamelaPlus3 says:

    Good Info! thanks!!

  10. ohhh thanks for all these info!!

  11. Avatar of ErinF ErinF says:

    Ooh, I like the idea of having "date nights" with each child individually so they each receive personal attention as individuals. A former coworker of mine was also the middle of three siblings, and said that she’ll never have three kids because of the way she felt growing up. If I do end up having three, I’ll definitely keep the last paragraph of this article in mind.

  12. Avatar of michelle michelle says:

    As the middle child and the only girl, I can certainly attest to most of this article. Although, I certainly don’t feel like I got any specialties for being a girl. I was rather tomboyish and played sports rather than had dance recitals.
    But due to being a middle child, I’m only having 2 children. I would never want to have one of my children feel the way I felt growing up and I feel that 4 kids is just too many for me to handle.

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