My Middle Son

Hi, I am Joanne from Perth in Australia and I have three children – Jake is 6, Ashley is 4 and my daughter Alyssa is almost 2.

I have struggled with Ashley since the day he was born as he had severe reflux. That was quite hard to deal with and then at about 18 months of age his behaviour became terrible – that was while I was pregnant with Alyssa.

It seems that he only has issues when he is at home so that is why I think that he may suffer middle child syndrome. When he goes to kindy he is really good. I suppose because he is off on his own and doesn’t have his siblings or myself around.

He is a very moody child. One minute he can be quite happy and laughing and then in a split second can change to being very upset and depressed. He likes to spend time on his own alot and we really have to encourage him to join in with things if we are doing stuff together. He also throws terrible tantrums the moment I say no to anything and has changed from wanting to try things himself to always saying “I Can’t”. He wets his pants almost every day which can be really annoying but it doesn’t seem to bother him at all.

He is also very smart and his skill level (academically) is higher than others his age. He writes his name very well and has done for the last year, and his drawing and colouring is impeccable.

I don’t feel like I am giving the others any more attention but I suppose it is different because the attention I give him is mostly negative. I always tell him that I love him and always praise him when he is good or does something well or right.

I don’t know what to do with him. Is it that I need to take him to therapy? I feel like I really need help with dealing with him because some days it is just too much.

If anyone has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks

Middle Child of Four

Let me start by saying that I am a middle child in a family of four. My older sister is a year older than me, my brother is 3 years younger, and my younger sister is 6 years younger. Technically, my brother is also a middle child. However, being that he is the only boy, he is heavily favored in my family as if he was an only child.

I started to feel like there was something different about me during my preteen years. I always looked for reasons as to why I was treated differently than my siblings, and I would usually find excuses as to why my parents were justified in the way they treated me. As I got older I realized that my birth order was playing a much larger role in my life than I ever realized.

I did not have a tragic childhood by any means. My family is well off, I always had friends, and I was usually one of the smarter kids in school. The one major problem in my life was the criticisms I received from my parents. I was always targeted for my weight, lack of maturity, laziness, etc. I took these comments for the truth and believed that I exuded these traits.

It was when I got to college that I started to realize that I was not as much of a lost cause as I believed. Away from my house and the criticism, I unknowingly blossomed into the lady that I always was deep down. I was constantly complimented by professors, dorm mates, friends, etc. I was told how independent, strong, smart, successful, and beautiful I was. At first, when I was complimented, I thought to myself “all these people who see the good in me must not know me well enough; none of these good things are true.” However, as time went on I began to forget the things my parents had told me and believe what others were telling me.

I am thankful that being in college has helped me see how much I have going for me. I am by no means perfect, but being away from home helped me see that I have just as many good traits as my siblings. It is still hard sometimes, especially when I come home from school on winter or summer vacation. I am once again forced into the shadow of my adored siblings, and I still find myself asking “is the something wrong with me? What makes my siblings so much better?”

It saddens me that being with my family causes my self esteem to lower so much, because I really do love them. I am thankful for the growth college has granted me, but I hope that a day comes when I can be amongst my family without the environment causing me to doubt myself.

by Nicole

Life is Tough

So I have 2 sisters an older and younger so I’m stuck being the middle child. I’m always picked on by my sister Rebecca, my older sister. She always calls me selfish and a mistake. Sometimes I believe that I was a mistake. it wasn’t just her though I was picked on by my mom as well, she always said that I was an emotional basket case and that when I got my period I would be so much more trouble. I hate my family. They always say that they love me but I know that that’s not true because if it was then they would care more. For example whenever I get straight A’s (which is always ever since middle school) they say I need to do better!!! I’m like WTF because that’s the best you can do but when my sister gets a bad grade they just tell her to do better and then leave it at that.

Then don’t even get me started with my little sister. She says she’s so tough but really whenever i so much as pinch her she goes running to mom or dad that I hurt her and then I get scolded at. I always get blamed for doing everything. for example when I don’t do anything I get yelled at for not trying to stop my sister from hurting my little sister and then if I do something I get yelled at for getting involved.. So whatever I do I get punished. My parents don’t treat us equally even though they say they do but I wouldn’t expect them to understand… my mom was the third child of ten, two older brothers and the rest younger. She was the oldest girl so I can’t go to her for help at all. Then there’s my dad. He was the oldest of eight so it doesn’t work and besides he’s a guy and doesn’t understand.

I don’t know if this would matter but I was born the year of the tiger, which has a sensitive personality while I was also born the month of the Gemini, the sign of a split personality… not a very good combination if you ask me. My parents as well as my sisters would always say that I was so lazy and that I don’t do a thing to help out at home even though i do.

My sister Rebecca and I always got into a fight and my mom would always say that it was my fault even though she started it. Then she would say to my sister to just let it go because I was so emotional.  My mom says that I should know better because I should be more mature and yet I can’t do the things I want to do. My big sister Rebecca always gets things first. For example my parents said to my sister that when she got her driver’s license that they would get her a car but when I got one, they said that I had to share it. I hate that I always had to get hand-me-downs.

My little sister gets the privileges I never got and I’m sick of it. I hate it when my parent’s say that they don’t need to go to my orientation because they already went to my sister’s and you know what if we weren’t shown around the school I would have probably gotten lost.

My mom always blames me for everything! if she sees a cup she just assumes that its mine even though it’s not and I get yell at and threatened that if I don’t go put it in the sink then I won’t be able to go onto the computer and such.

I always feel like an outsider within my family because of the way they treat me. No one should have to feel the type of neglect I felt so this one time when someone was being bullied I helped her out and then an acquaintance asked me why I did that because no one liked the girl and I said because I don’t like to see someone being bullied because it’s not fair.

i always feel sad and fall into depression because I know I will never be accepted by anyone not even my friends. I know from the age of nine that I had to be independent because they didn’t love me the way they loved my sisters.

p.s. my mom says that I need a life but says she’s way too busy to drive me there so I have to bike to my friends house but she rides my sister everywhere.

FYI: if you don’t agree that middle children only selfish and jealous because of the lack of love then you have no heart and have no right to be on this site!

– Rachel

Independent Middle Child

I’m a boy, in between my brother who is 9 years older than me and my sister who is 3 years younger than me. My brother was a bully since he was a lot bigger than me. He likes to tease and disturb me until I broke down to tears. When I cried, he would force me to run back and forth across the street until I stop crying because he was afraid that my parents would know. He always makes me cook breakfast for him and he left me with a very small portion of the breakfast. Sometimes, he tickled me until I peed in my pants.

My sister was spoiled by my parents. I always get scolded even when it was her fault. If I touched her stuff she will start screaming at me and my father scolded me so bad because of that. My father always shouts to me with his loud voice when I cried. He didn’t want to hear me cry or even sobbing, else I will get scolded with his lion roaring voice. Once, I had a long shower he was mad about it and he locked me in the dark store room; naked. I had told my sister a funny thing, and she plagiarized it to my parents. My parents were so amazed with her sense of humor and even until now when they talk back about it. It annoys me so much.

I was the one who do all the house chores; laundry, sweep the floor, reheat the dish that I bought for lunch, walk my sister to school and everything, you name it, just because my sister is too young and my brother is too lazy.

I shared my room with my brother once but that didn’t last long. He harassed me by asking me to do something that a 5years old child not supposed to know yet. I was afraid of him, I slept with my parents ever since. My parents didn’t even ask me why.

On the age of 13, I felt left out ever since I went to boarding school for 5 years. Right after school, about a week gap, I was brought to college until present. I feel much more left out when my sister is closed to my mother and my brother is closed to my father. I am an adult now and I can’t even make a real conversation with my father.

I had a friend who backstabbed me and I told my mother and seek for her advice. My father came to know about it and he unmotivated me by asking me to work on my attitude and find more friends. He said my sister and brother wouldn’t have problem finding friends.

I am a loner due to my childhood experience. I constantly feel that everybody doesn’t like me and low self-esteem. One good thing is that I have learned how to be independent.

– Anonymous

No One Likes Me

Ever since I was little I had to seek constant reassurance that I was good, or being good or doing well, and I always had low self esteem.

I had an older sister who is only 1 and a half years older than me, but she always got to do things first and got and get the best things first and I get hand-me-downs from her, even though I hate her style. When I was like 6 my mom said she was having a baby and I was excited. I was going to be the older sister now and I was going to get to teach her things and such… but when she was born, I never even got to hold her because my sister was older and got to hold her first and by the time I got her she was crying. Then she got older and instead of me getting things first or doing things first, it was always either my big sister or my little sister because “she’s youngest” or “she’s oldest” and I was always in the middle.

I started making sure I was last all the time just so I wouldn’t be in the middle. then we moved and my big sister got the biggest room with a closet, (mine has pipes in it so I cant even use it) and I wanted the smallest because it has 2 closets and a walk in one which I always wanted, but my mom got mad because my little sister wanted it so I just got the middle sized room with no closet. I always feel like people like my sisters more and that no one likes me at all or even hate me, and I’m always sad and really hate life. I wish my mom and dad loved me more and didn’t treat me so badly compared to my sisters…