Middle Child Syndrome

middle child syndrome

What is a Middle Child?

A middle child is someone who is born in between two or more siblings. Being born in the middle, as you’ll soon find out is not that simple. The middle child, unlike the eldest or youngest child, does not get much attention. Middle children are also usually considered outcasts in their families and often develop a condition called Middle Child Syndrome.

What is Middle Child Syndrome?

Middle child syndrome is a condition in which children born in the middle experience feelings of emptiness, inadequacy and jealousy. It is also characterized by low self-esteem and extreme introversion, sometimes even leading to psychotic behavior.

The middle child, unlike the eldest child and the youngest child, is not given much attention. They have to go the extra mile just to get some of it. Middle children tend to be achievers because they need awards to be recognized by their parents. Sadly, this also goes the other way around, they can be very troublesome and determined to get noticed even if it means getting scolded at or punished.

Because they lack emotional support and guidance from their parents, they will always have a sense of low self-esteem. These feelings of emptiness and loneliness make them not very friendly and maybe even weird to other people. Most likely, these negative feelings will also stop them from pursuing what they want.

Other observable traits of middle children are insecurity and jealousy. Being raised in an environment where they have to compete for attention, it’s natural for them to have feelings of insecurity and jealousy of others. Seeing others easily get attention while they continue to strive for attention, these feelings of resentment towards others will continue to build up. All these repressed feelings of being unloved, unwanted or even hated can trigger an extreme case of middle child syndrome where they show psychotic behavior.

Possible Causes of Middle Child Syndrome

After discussing the common traits of people with middle child syndrome, we can find two main causes, identity crisis and lack of emotional support.

Identity crisis is very common to us all, and it’s something that we all experience at some point in our lives. Wanting to be different from everyone else is very normal and there’s not much we can do about it. The other cause is lack of support. Because the eldest and youngest are the common favorites, the middle child is not given any support or attention. This unloved feeling makes them less confident and envious of others, often leading to even more problems such as drug abuse.

Is there a Solution?

Some say that middle children should be given the love and attention that they should have had when they were young, but I believe this will only make them more dependent on their parent’s approval.

There are also cases where middle children tend to separate from their family at a relatively early age to have families of their own. While having a new family means getting another chance, I do not think this is the best solution because escaping the past will not really resolve any childhood issues and these issues may haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The main cause of middle child syndrome is lack of emotional support, which is the responsibility of the parents. So logically, I would have to say that good and responsible parenting is the real and outright solution for middle child syndrome. While this may sound more like prevention rather than treatment, I think that it’s never too late for good and responsible parenting.

But this is just my opinion, what do you think? Comments are very much appreciated.

P.S. I’m a middle child in case you’re wondering. :)

Feel free to join the discussion. We’d love to hear from you!

888 thoughts on “Middle Child Syndrome

  1. Hi,

    I’m also a middle child (female) and I’m like 27 this year and am still having such jealousy and “unloved” feelings.

    My elder sis is 8 years older than me and my younger bro is 5 years younger than me. My sister life has always been a smooth sailing and even without any fantastic grades, she still managed to get her PhD completed! I’m quite proud of her though!

    But I always find myself living under her shadows and though i’ve finally grown out of it, i realized my parents know and understand all of her school and working life 100%! From her colleagues to issues at work etc.

    While for me, I tried to share but I always think they are not listening and somehow will be interrupted by something.

    My grades are straight As and Bs but do not have such smooth sailing life considering that I have to work and study part-time and suffer from huge burden on money issues. I understood the term “Financial Downturn” when I was only 10 years old and started worrying since. Even considered and am still considering to take my own life since I was 11 years old. This is disturbing as I’m always seem as the “happy-go-lucky” kid but none of my friends or family know that i have 101 ways to die!

    I always thought all these “bad feelings” will go away when i grow up and be more matured etc. But I’m still quite overwhelmed and amazed how badly it had struck me since young!

    My parents did not even bother to attend my graduation when I was in kindergarten and my sis had to attend on their behalf. And same goes for my high school graduation ceremony. None of them turned up. I had to take photos with my friend’s parents instead!

    All I can say is, keep optimistic and love life! Do some sports and hang out more often with friends! :)

    We can do it!

  2. Im the middle child and my family is all girls. My dad doesn’t live with us. My big sister who is 17 is pregnant and is getting all the attention right now. My little sister is my twin and we are 13 years old. We never forget she is in the house because she is spoiled, confident, and loud. I just sit in our room on YouTube or watch tv and they forget I’m in the house. They talk behind my back and leave me in the house alone. I try to do something nice for my sisters and they never do anything in return. I cry a lot because I feel like I’m not important and I’m the responsible one. My dad takes my side and shows me the love I need but I need love from my whole family. I even thought about moving in with my dad. Being the middle child sucks!

    1. I have an older brother and a twin sister. I am now 23 and when I was younger I felt like the left out child also. I got exceptional grades so no one ever paid much attention to me either. My brother is now a politician and my sister has started her own family and both have a strong relationship with my mother. However, I have finished college moved back in and feel like a burden to everyone around me. The reason I am writing is because I am really trying to find myself and purpose. I am trying to seek answers. You are young. If I could say one thing it is important to value in yourself. It really hurts and sucks when others do not see you for the great person you are but you have to live with you and be content with yourself. Make an effort to do things that make you happy and then maybe speak to the people that make you fell this way. I will keep you and all others in my prayers.

  3. Talking about middled kids I was also a middle child My oldest brother was forn in Feb. and 18 months later in Oct. I was born my youngest brother was born 1 day before my FIRST Birthday. I know that this has had a major impact on my life as I now feel like I have never fited in anywhere. I ahve always felt very alone in my life and nowhere toreally go and no one that I can tale to. About 3 years ago or os I was diagnosed with Avoidant personality disorder (APD) and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). just to name 2. I ahve found a group called Celebrate Recovery to try and help me with all of my lifes issue and to also turn them all over to God.

  4. I am 13 and I believe that i have middle child syndrome. My older brother is 18 and my younger sister is 10. They always gang up on me and tell me how much they wish i was never part of their family. When my brother beats me up my parents dont even do anything which me feel even worse. Usually i just stay in my room and read articles llike this or just watch youtube but i feel like my family just doesnt love me like they do with the other children.
    `I am not the best student when it comes to school so i cant talk to my parents about my grades. They dont really care about my sports because everytime they come to my soccer games, they just tell one of my teammates parents to take me home even though i know they dont have anything else to do. So now I am just stuck here now with pretty much my whole family ignoring me while my dad is out of town so i dont know what to do. Does anyone have any advice?? it would help out a lot

    1. I’m 14 and I am just like you. It really sucks, doesn’t it? My older sister hurts me physically and emotionally. When I don’t get along with my little sister (which is not very often, so is very spoiled and attached to my parents. She’s has something wrong with her mind so she’s very immature) my big sister gets her and they say, “We hate Jessie, don’t we?” The little one also hits me. My parents don’t really care about me in general. I’m close with my mom, but my sisters and my dad abuse us verbally so much that she can’t really support me. I feel like I lost my childhood. My dad once told me that I don’t deserve to be listened to. I hate being the middle child. It makes me hate being alive.

  5. I’m the middle of 3 girls. I hated it. My oldest sister hated me and treated me like I was her slave. She was almost 4 years older so she was always taller and stronger. She would beat the crap out of me if I didn’t do what she wanted. My youngest sister, who was only 16 months younger than me, alway sassed me. So I was getting it from both ends. Bossed by the oldest, sassed by the youngest. They loved each other and picked on me unmercilessly.

    I handled this constant barrage from my sisters by be the good daughter. I would use my birthday money to buy groceries, (my mom being a single mother of 3 girls since we were under the age of 5). I tried so hard to take care of her and support her and I just started taking on the role of the eldest. My oldest sister was not interested in the job anyway. So I took it upon myself to shoulder what I could for Mom. When she got sick, I was the one to take care of her.

    When I had surgery, I would tell my sisters and neither of them would call to follow up. I remember calling the youngest 3 weeks later and she said “I knew you’d be ok”…I’ve never recieved support from them.

    On the plus side, I have the most talent, the highest IQ, the most responsible. I thank God for that. My sisters now are both heavily self medicated and god knows where in this world.

    I really feel for middle children.

  6. The memories of sitting in a dark corner and cry silently while my siblings and parents having fun are still fresh. Every time this happens I would ask myself why my mama and papa don’t like me? I’m I their real daughter or I’m adopted?

    Thinking things will get better, but not. No matter how old I get my mother will always loves my sister and my brothers first. Recently my cat gone missing my mum just told me I was not a good owner. But when my sister’s hamster die of electric shock cause my sister didn’t look after him and stray around and end up with wires. After a few hours my mum came back with a pair of hamsters and say ” there you go don’t be sad ok?”

    Anyways I love my dark corner my only place of comfort.

  7. Im really glad i found this site this evening and after reading the article and many of the posts I’m hoping somehow, someone can lend an ear and maybe offer some advice. I am a mom of 3 very wonderful kids. Their father and I have been married for 16 years and have a very stable home. Each of the kids are unique in their own way, and I love each of them as such, equally but differently. My oldest is 16, he is learning to drive, got his first job and does well in school so he gets many privileges. The youngest is 5, and after many doctors visits we have discovered she has some brain dysfunction problems that requires medical attention. My middle son is 12. He has struggled with school from the very begining. He has difficulty reading and staying focused. Yet he excels at math and science when he wants too. He won second place in the local science fair this year and advanced to the state competition though he didnt place. We have had him tested for adhd and dyslexia and both turned out negative. He is very asthmatic and has a few other medical issues that make him different than most. Last night he ran away from home and the officer who found him and brought him home asked him why he ran away and my son told him that it was because we dont love him or want him. I was so devastated, I didnt know what to think and or do. So after sitting down with him for a few hours I was more confused than ever. He said that he feels that we dont love him or want him, not because of the different types of attention that his brother and sister receive, but because we dont allow him to “have fun”. He thinks that because we dont go see a movie every other day and take him swimming at the park, and take him to do recreational activities everyday that we dont love him. He has this notion that in life everyone else has fun but him. Having said that keep in mind I said that he struggles with school. We have actually switched him to 3 different schools hoping he will find a better fit. Also we are not a family with alot of financial means. His father and I are both working parents who both have 9-5 day jobs, however mom is a teacher and so I have summers off with the kids. None of the kids have ever been placed in after school / summer activities such as t-ball, boy scouts or the likes due to financial obligations. He gets disciplined quite often for not doing his homework and for excessive talking and disruption in school. At home he gets into trouble for being mean to his sister, calling her names, taking things away from her, mistreating the family pets and one I dont quite understand is his eating habits. He refuses to eat dinner saying he doesnt like it (no matter what it is) and is up in the middle of the night eating any kind of junk food or “things he likes”. So he also has rotten teeth because he refuses to eat properly and take care of his health and hygiene needs. So now he requires oral surgery for the 2nd time to remove 4 more permanent teeth. We have to have him re-shower sometimes 3 even 4 times in one evening because he doesnt clean himself properly. Now as a mom, I have learned that each child is different and must be addressed differently. And up until now, had thought I was doing an okay job at it it. Im not perfect by any means and know that I never will be, but if there is something going on with him emotionally that Im not understanding, I want to know so that I can understand how to help him overcome these obstacles. As a mom I want the best for my children. However, as a mom I know I would be doing a big mis-service to my son by giving in to his notion that he deserves recreational activities when he hasnt earned those privileges. But I am not sure how to help him understand that life is full of we dont always get our way, but when you work hard to achieve something the satisfaction of earning it is greater than the reward itself. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Your middle child sounds depressed. If you talk to him and he genuinely can explain why he shouldn’t mistreat his sister and pets (and shows remorse for his actions) then it sounds to me like he is struggling to fill an unmet need. This isnt necessarily your failing as a parent but simply the way he is learning to cope with his struggle. Above all else it is important to make sure that he knows that his emotions and thoughts about life are okay. He is probably very frustrated with school and himself. His older sibling is a picture of stability and your middle child needs to work a lot harder to get the same result. He could be getting bullied in school, or maybe he has become the bully to feel power or control. It sounds like he doesn’t have a place to really rest his head. As in, he doesn’t have “his thing”. You need to find something he enjoys (that isn’t expensive) so that he feels like he has an outlet and something in life to occupy him that doesn’t make him feel like he’s less than everyone else. I think he needs something he can really be proud of consistently.
      I grew up in a stereotypical nuclear family. I had a mum who stayed at home, dad who worked full time and I’m the youngest of two; boy and girl. It was a stable and loving environment but as a kid, when I struggled with bullies my mum made me feel like I needed to shut down my emotions. She couldn’t handle me being upset so it was always about quieting me. 12 is an age when I was severely bullied and sexually abused and it’s taken me ten years to start to sort it out. Having to deal with those things in addition to a mother that was uncomfortable with me expressing my pain was a recipe for a lot of struggle later in life. I learned really unhealthy ways to cope instead. As someone who has struggled with depression I can tell you that his eating habits are only going to make it harder to cope with everything. Eating crap food is the easiest way to kill a balanced brain. You are his parent which means he is going to eat healthy. Period. This is not negotiable. He doesn’t leave the dinner table till he’s had enough meat and veggie. You will see a marked improvement once he starts to eat the right things regularly, I guarantee it.
      Talk to your children. One on one and as a whole family. Let them know that they can come to you. And when they cry let them cry until they’re done. Don’t fill their heads with what they might have done differently until theyre calm and able to work through it because they might otherwise feel like their pain is invalid or caused by themselves. Especially let them know that there is SO much time in life to sort everything out and find out what the world has to offer. And tell them they are okay, no matter where they are or what mistakes they’ve made, they, as people, are okay and you will always love them.
      You’re doing great. Listen and watch. Ask what’s going on. Put your foot down on the critical things like food. Let them know that they are okay.
      I hope this helps.

    2. Hi. I remember when I was a kid, I refused to eat just to make my mom angry. I enjoyed seeing her struggle, because I felt this is the only thing I can control and that was my revenge . I am a middle child and did go through hell as a child. I love but truly hate my mom. It is such a confusing and hard feeling to deal with. I am 40 years old now and a dentist having two kids of my own. But still didn’t get over my traumatic childhood. I am on antidepressants and do not like to see my mom.
      To me it looks like your son is not the school type. That is how my sister was and that is how my 11 years old daughter is. My daughter hates studying and has a free spirit.i notice that every time I put pressure on her for studying, she fees claustrophobic and she hates me, because she feels that I don’t love her. Imaging a household with both parents doctors and a child that gets happy when she gets a c. We tried tutoring, punishments, prices, promises, rewards … But looks like nothing worked and made my daughter more and more frustrated and hateful. I remember that my parents did the same with my sister and she is still having a very hard time earning her self steem back. Because she believed that she wasn’t smart enough.
      To make a long story short, I thought a bout it and I thought hard and am looking for a way to free my daughter from this harsh and unforgiving school system full of bullies .i feel bad for her because I believe not everybody has to have superior schooling to be happy.
      She has shown some interest in cooking and I am jumping on the occasion and am incouraging her to become a chef. I feel that her having higher education is not worthed. Because her mental health is at sake and also life is too short to have my child suffer. I had a long talk with my husband and decided to buy a house in a family trust and rent it, so when she is older and the house is paid for, we are prepared for the unexpected financial needs for her and can use the rent income for her. We don’t see her being able to support herself since she does not have any special talent or interest as far as busuiness goes either.we hope she finds her way and can support herself. But in the mean time we decided to ease up on her so it does not back fire a lot stronger. (We actually know a very good boy from a great family ending up in 6 years of prison because he was rebelling to get her parent’s attention).

      To me it honestly looks like your son is very tired and frustrated from the pressure you are rightfully putting on him for school and for life lessons and is taking it all personal and is starting to hate you(so sorry about the honesty) so he is using his one weapon that he has control over and it is not eating.(I became almost anorexic just to revenge my mom for not loving me enough and for being invisible in her eyes) not eating was the only way I could push her buttons and get some attention. But late at nights I was starving, so I went to kitchen and ate some date( the dried fruit) . Imagine the cavities I got from that.

      I would maybe take him somewhere quiet on a mini vacation, maybe a camping trip without expecting anything from him and ithout the other siblings. Give him a break from every responsibility. (just this once so he can learn to trust you and learn that your love is unconditional and has nothing to do with him needing to earn that). After he is calmer have a hard to hard talk and see what makes him so angry toward you. I know that the system and the outside help tells you to put more pressure on him, but I feel like all he needs is to learn to trust you and stop worring about how you will judge him based on his behavior. I truly wish you and your faily good luck and hope my experience with not eating helped you understand the reason to a point.good luck.

  8. I am kinda the middle child. I have three siblings and am the second youngest, but the other middle child is my brother, and the only boy in the family. I never thought I could have had MCS, but my dad thinks I might have it. It doesn’t help that two of my three siblings hate me. I have really low self esteem, and possible depression. I used to be a social butterfly but am now closed up, and I never go out. I have few true friends and I am always jealous of my siblings, which makes me close up even more. I can’t seem to do anything right, and I stick to the shadows. I want more love from my mom, because she has called me nasty names, like swear words, and never apologized. Not once. All my insecurities eat at me, and it doesn’t help that my siblings attack my low points. At least my dad gives me enough love.

    1. I can never tell you how much I sympathize with you. I too am a middle child, however, know that you are not alone on this issue. Sometime in life God will allow us to grow up in certain situations to push us to where we need to be. Listen you are strong don’t let your mothers negative words define who you are. You are beautiful, greatly loved not just by the people you notice love you but by Jesus, God Himself. Now what love can beat His love. I’m not trying to sound religious because I am not but anytime you have so much negativity around you or so many things putting you down, know that the devil has peeked into your future and wants to discourage you any way possible. Don’t let it faze you. Even in times when you are given little to no attention keep moving and working on you and where you want to go in life. It only makes you stronger to know that you are making it without the amount of support others around you are receiving. I know that had it not been me going to God (who will never leave us) I would have lost it long ago. I had a low point recently; felt like nobody cared for me or wanted to even hear me out, but God did and still does. Girl keep speaking positive things to yourself even when ppl don’t don’t think you’re worthless or less than I know you’ve got an amazing future and life ahead of you!!!

  9. i hate being the middle child. my parents have absolutely no control over my older brother so they don’t bother with him. he has practically ruined our lives, getting expelled from school and throwing a giant party while we were away, causing thousands and thousands of dollars of our belongings to get stolen. he fights with my parents a lot, and when they’re angry at him, they seem to take it out on me. my younger sister is so spoiled. my parents never discipline her despite her horrible attitude problems, yet if i have a bad day and accidentally snap, i’m the most horrible person in the world. she has copied everything i’ve ever done (including music playing and horseback riding) and she gets credit for it as if she started those trends, and i get none. my first year of college was such a nightmare; i cried every night until it was over, transferred to a school near home, and i honestly believe i have some form of post-traumatic stress disorder (maybe not as bad, but very similar) i have nightmares about my experiences at that school and was extremely depressed the entire summer and fall following that year. i tried talking to my mom about it, but she brushed it off like i was making it up. HOWEVER, she decides to take my sister to a therapist because “she just sits in her room all day not socializing.” wow, when i was her age, i did the exact same thing and i was FINE. many teenagers go through an antisocial phase, and my phase didn’t come close to phasing my own mother.
    i hate being the middle child. every “bad” thing i do is held against me, and every “good” thing i do goes unrecognized. all my life, i’ve tried hard at everything i do, but because of the lack of recognition i’ve gotten later on, i have no motivation anymore. i don’t care about my music anymore, and whenever i work at my barn, i suddenly don’t feel like riding, even though i used to love it. my life seems to be going downhill so fast these days. i want to move out but if i ever mention the idea, i get shot down for it like i’m some kind of bad excuse for a child. i do believe i need to go to therapy over this. all these years have taken such a heavy toll on me. this syndrome absolutely exists, and people who don’t believe it need to do more research on the subject.

    1. I feel the same way! I’m 19, middle child, and my younger sister is 17. She always copies me, and no one seems to notice but me. She took up dancing after me, and now I don’t even like it anymore, whereas she is in love with it. My older brother is also a lost cause, so my parents have to worry about him all the time, and my parents are helping my younger sister look at colleges, while they did not help me at all. My sister and brother get along fine, and I just seem out of place, and they always dominate every conversation. I hate it.

  10. I am the mother of three children, two girls and a boy. My son is the middle child and exhibits the behaviors of MCS. He is athletic and Is definitely an extrovert. I am divorced from his father, but we meet up at his events and cheer him on together. I seem to spend most of my time taking him where he wants to go and dragging his two sisters along. Yet, he wants more. In fact, I don’t think I could ever do enough, he would always feel like I am spoiling his sisters more. But, I honestly don’t. I will continue to give him as much attention as I can, because I love him and I love spending time with him….but is my thought process completely off base? Or am I correct in thinking that part of the MCS is feeling sorry for yourself and letting that consume you?

    1. Based on what I see, the middle children get hit from different directions. In my case, my dad gave me so much respect and attention and love that without him I believe I would have been badly messed up. I did get along with my siblings and they were ok. But in my mom’s eyes, I was invisible and that hurt the most. I an still not healed. May be your son is needing love from some one else in your family and you are the closest target for his unhappiness.
      It could be that your middle kid is taking advantage of the situation, or he is just needing a different kind of love. Maybe more verbal. When I feel that my daughter does not appreciate what I do, I let her know first why , and then I give her the silence treatment for a day. I completely ignore her for a day and this creates a strong contrast compare to when I am he driver and her mom and am doing everything for her. That works every time. Good luck and I hope it helps.

  11. I hate being the middle child. My older sister is always the one who makes mistakes, but my younger sister is a lazy bitch and should go to a gym to lose weight. She never does anything and i’m always left to pick up the slack. Somethimes i feel like a stranger in my own house and i’d rather be alone in my room than socializing with my family.

    1. I know exactly how you feel.. My older sister is so spoilt. She gets everything handed to her on a silver platter. But never does anything good. She always gains heaps of opportunities. And throws them way like it’s nothing! My younger brother is a little lazy shithead.
      I love being alone. It’s sad but true, I love being a Loner.. I’d rather be alone then be with family aswell

  12. I wish I was never the middle child. It ruined my life. I get in the most trouble and when I’m not in trouble I’m invisible! Life is terrible. I hate how my younger and older siblings get the most attention! I wish It wasn’t this way.

    1. Guess what, the middle kids are a lot more successful in future. Just focus on yourself nd work hard and become successful so you can show them. Then the life will not be so terrible and you will be the one that comes up on top. I am a middle child and now that I am 40 my family calls me for every problem or advice. I understand you and I have been there. In fact I still am in the same position, but now they all need me and are all after my attention. Good luck

  13. I’m the middle child in my family and I find it sucks! My older siblings get to do new things while the younger children still get to old things!

  14. On the other hand, I’ve made some really close friends who understand me. They know what I’m going through and they’ve always listened to me.
    It does console me a little to know that I’m not alone.

  15. I’m the middle child and have two other sisters. Both my sisters have anxiety problems (my elder sis has ocd and my younger sis has had panic attacks) so naturally my parents were more concerned with them.

    When I was 14-16, I went through a really depressing period in my life. I was a really sad kid. I got jealous of my friends and I was always arguing with my parents and little sister. I cried often because I felt so ignored and insignificant in school and at home; people literally ignored me and cast me out because I was really weird and different.

    It hurt so bad and I was cutting myself (seeing myself get injured somehow made me feel better). I’ve considered suicide then. I knew I had a problem and tried to tell my mom and sis about it, but they didn’t believe me. They ignored me.

    I’ve always been really insecure, envious and possessive. I was always overly jealous when I had my first boyfriend. We both hated it.

    My elder sis is doing a terrible job as the eldest. She’s irresponsible and inconsiderate. She treats outsiders like pots of gold, pretending to be such a gentle angel in front of them, but is really rude and satirical to her family.

    I have to assume the role of the eldest. I’m a really sarcastic person and I get mean sometimes, but it’s only because I’m so afraid people will see how weak I am inside. My self-esteem is barely there but I always try to be strong by putting up brave fronts. I’m doing it for my mother. I love her, and I don’t want to make her worried for me as well. She calls me her pillar of strength. Whenever she’s upset, she’d always pour her troubles out to me because I’ll be the only kid there for her.

    I know she loves me. She is a great mother and we get along really well. I don’t blame her either. My sisters honestly need more help so in order to lessen her parental burdens, I try to handle myself, train myself to be stronger. It’s not working well.

    Sometimes, my older sis suddenly tries to assume her role as the eldest, and I’m smashed. It’s good that she’s stepping up, but it wasn’t easy for me trying to figure out my identity. When she becomes the eldest again suddenly, I’m no longer needed to be her substitute. So who am I suppose to be? When this happens, everything in the family rotates around her, and suddenly i feel forgotten and neglected.

    It’s really hard being the middle child. I have completely forgotten who I truly am. I put on a strong, formidable front in front of everyone, but deep down, I honestly have no idea what’s it really like to really be me.

    I hate it that I’m always trying to get attention and stand out. I hate how I’m so jealous of my friends’ achievements when i should be happy for them. I hate how I’m always bragging about myself to others just to get some recognition. I make myself look so pathetic.

    I’m so sorry this comment is so long. I just really needed to spew it out. I shouldn’t wallow in self-pity when there are more unfortunate people who need our help, but I just wanted to release.

  16. I agree with all of this because being the middle child is so hard, except my parents spoil me more than my siblings but I still feel alone when they buy me things because I want the relationship they have with my brother and sister. I think I am just jealous of how my siblings don’t need my parents to buy them things to connect with them because their bonds are already so much stronger than mine.

  17. I know how it is. I used to be the sensitive younger choild but now I can barely get their attention. My sister gets away with more stuff and my little bro gets so many gifts. I make sure he is not spoiled nd has manners. I am always deppressed. My mom never or at least barely says good job when i win a competition. I don’ t exactly blame her I just want more hugs and lovee. My sister called me bpolar. I am 12 yrs old.

    1. Oh honey. 12 is a tough year by itself. Being 12 and depressed is not easy. I am proud of you for writing about it. But guess what? My advice from a 40 years old middle child to another is that we are always stronger and more successful. We learn to take care of ourselves. I am sure this will pass and you wil build yourself a very happy life. I did it. I agree that it is horrible to be a middle child. But it makes you stronger. Good luck.

  18. How does all of this MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME relate if you are number 4 out of 6…? or….3 & 5….?? are they also “Middle Children”..?? Do these characteristics, emotions, scars, pains and dissappointments rest in all of them…??..number 3,4 &5…?
    It seems that this MIDDLE CHILD is only when there are 3 children, maybe 4…BUT not 5 or 6 or more cchildren.
    1. maybe there is something to learn from the developmental life experiences of each child versus the assumptions about being #2 out of three(3).
    2. Maybe there are also some “genetic” issues that transfer from Parent to child that impacts the child’s sense of self and development.
    3. Maybe being the MIDDLE CHILD could be a launch pad for that child in a positive way. Could there be characteristics like, listening & observation skills, writing skills, creativity or a host of others traits that could make this child more impactful in life than thousands of others including thier siblings.
    Someone might look into the childhood life experiences of some of the worlds historical “giants” to see if they were in “the MIDDLE”.

    Signed… #4 out of 6.
    Oh,by the way, the most “accomplished” by the Grace of GOD.

    1. Theres something called parentization of the older sibling. When families have large numbers of children there is usually a large enough age gap that the older siblings perform many of the parental responsibilities. This lessens the burden for the parents so that they can be involved with all of the children. MCS may not sound real to someone who doesn’t experience it, many families don’t have issues with MCS but that does not diminish the reality of the disorder in families that do suffer.

  19. My older brother use to tease me by saying things like my mum loves him the most and dad loves my younger brother the most which hurt alot because I know that it is true, I’ve always suffered from MCS and I blame my parents,, I was never loved by them when I was younger they treated me like s**t and even my brothers agree with me.
    I’m not very smart so I couldn’t get the attention by getting good grades, so I turned to doing bad things to get the attention i so needed, getting banned from a shop when I was 10 for stealing, and being locked up in a cell for 5 hours for trespassing when I was 11 is just a few things that I did for my parents attention.
    By the time I was 14 I was doing drugs and not caring about my parents attention, I hated them and I did for a long time.
    Now I am 24, I’ve been off drugs for about 2 years but it’s too late my life is f***ed, I don’t trust anybody anymore, too much of a coward to kill myself. And even though blaming them for something they unintentionally done to me is stupid, I can’t help but blame them for the way I am, if they treated us as equals would I be a different person, would I be happy. Well that’s something that I’ll never know but I know one thing and that’s I’m never going to haver more the two children.

  20. I am a grown middle child who got sent away as a child to live
    with Grandparents who did not like me because I was considered
    the troublemaker in the family. Granted I did some weird things
    but I was looking for some attention. I still remember to this day
    running after the car and begging them to take me home as they
    drove away. Some memories never go away. My mother never really
    wanted me as I was only 18 months younger that older sister. But
    no birth control in those days. Then 6 years later had my brother
    and mom almost died brother was third generation name sake
    so of course he was very cherished. Older sister was adored by
    grandparents as for me I was just there special to no one just
    there.Some scars last a lifetime. I was a child who no one wanted.

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