January 3, 2012

It’s The Middle That Means The Most

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How do you turn a gregarious, happy-go-lucky three year-old boy into a disgruntled, emotional wreck? It’s simple really. Just add another baby to your family and make him a middle child.

Then you can watch birth order stereotypes play out right under your own roof. When I googled “middle child personality traits” there was more bad news than good.

Apparently, middle children never feel that they have their parent’s undivided attention. They supposedly feel unloved, left out or “squeezed.”

A child that is the middle of three children may feel like life is unfair. He may become discouraged and think of himself as the “problem child.”


Middle Child Syndrome is often characterized by: lack of friends (a loner), inability to maintain relationships, extreme creativity, writing, music, art, etc.) An easy going personality, trouble chasing a career path, trouble maintaining a career, quick loss of interest in things, negative outlook on life  and indecisiveness.

Allie, a second and middle child, is quick and clever. It didn’t take her long to do the math: No matter how her five-year-old brain computed, she would never be older than her sister.  This made her mad. 

When her brother was born, it was small consolation to be ahead of someone: now she was no longer the baby of the family, a position she dearly loved.  Although she could be very sweet, Allie continued to be resentful of her middle-child position throughout her childhood,  and did what she could to push down her siblings. 

In her preteen years she showed he insecurity by occasionally asking “Am I your favorite person today, mom?” She confided that her friends were very important to her, because at least with them she had a significant place.

So What Are the Traits of a Middle Child? “Squeeze and Stuck”–The middle child will never catch up to the eldest (at least not in the middle child’s mind), and will never again enjoy  the position of the darling baby of the family. In many families they may have to wear hand-me-downs from their siblings.

CompetitiveIf you cannot outshine their siblings in some way, they may be quiet and withdrawn. Competition is not limited to school work, sports, or hobbies; they will try to compete at home over tiny things. It boils down to getting attention.   212731130_3_siblings_thumb7669457_answer_2_xlarge-199x300

PeacemakerMiddle children are diplomatic negotiaters. Some of them try to avoid conflicts; others are skilled at smoothing  things out. But do not be fooled by this.  Stereotype, middle children can be very jealous of their siblings, which is a source of many of their fights.

Lost–Did you ever hear a parent introducing children with something like,”This Is Pete Jr, our math whiz and basketball player, he’s the oldest and that little Meg, the baby of our family and Melanie here, well, she’s the middle child.”  If the parents are confused about who the child is,  you can bet the middle child is too.  She may feel inferior, overlooked, and unloved.

Couples are normally excited with joy on two occasions. Once when the first child is born and second when they plan their last child together. It is obvious that more love and affection normally goes to the first  and the last born. 

According to a detailed survey by many leading behavioral experts the child who falls in the middle often feels that he/she is misunderstood and not loved and cared enough as the other two siblings.



The order in which each child is born does make a difference and often the middle one suffers from middle child personality disorder.  Middle Child Syndrome is when the middle child feels left out because of family dynamics.  Often  the older child gets attention, because he is the first at everything. 

The older child is the first born, the first to tie his shoes, the first to walk, the first to go to school. Although not all middle children exhibit the personality characteristics of a middle-born child, many do.

Because the oldest or youngest are usually the parent’s  favorite, middle children generally don’t get the emotional support they need during the prime growing-up years.



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Did you know that some famous middle children are>>>>>

  • George H.W. Bush
  • Ted Kennedy
  • Donald Trump
  • Julia Roberts
  • Madonna
  • Barbara Walters
  • Bill Gates

Middle child syndrome can have a lot of negative impacts on the mindset and the lifestyle, as well as the relationships of the child. Treating can get a little tough once it goes to an extreme stage, as always, prevention is better than cure. Here are ways you can prevent middle child syndrome.

    • The first step is to be aware of the syndrome. Denying it will only make things worse. Another thing you need to admit is that your child may have it. However, having MCS does not make the child mentally unstable, so, do not put the child down about that.
    • Do not keep the behavior same for all the children. Children always need something unique from their parents. Something that they give no one else. So always have something unique in the way you let each child know you love them.
    • If your child is showing an unusual need to be held and loved, give in to that need. Children don’t always let the parents know of things that are bothering them. But, one loving hug and kiss on the head from you may help them out after all.


    • Don’t compare your children. It is important that parents realize that not all children are the same. They will have their differences, different strengths and different weaknesses. Acknowledge the differences and love the children for what they are individually. If you compare them, they may start developing an inferiority complex.
    • Never take sides and don’t play favorites. The one you shower with the favoritism may benefit, but the others will feel less loved by you. If the children are in a fight, step in and stop the fight, but don’t take sides. Tell them both that it is wrong to fight and that no justification matters.
    • Encourage the children to do what they want to do. Do not let them give in to peer pressure, or sibling pressure. It is important that you cheer them on when they feel low about being different about something and support them for all their choices.
    • Use endearing words for children at all times. Even in your anger, do not vent it out on any of the children. If they are wrong, correct them with as much endearment as possible.
    • Be patient. Children are still learning the ropes of life that you have mastered. They may take longer. So be patient and help them as much as possible. Nonetheless, let them also fall, bruise and learn their lessons on their own, to an extent.

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Let’s talk about some tips on how to cure middle child personality disorder……

  • If you have three kids, make sure you pay equal attention to all of them. None of them deserve to be ignored and all of them have the right of your love and affection. This ensures that child development  happens normally and ensures that they participate in all family activities without feeling neglected.
  • Don’t let the middle child suffer always in sibling rivalry offer alternative solutions. If you ever see a situation where the middle child has to compromise, then take the situation in your own hands.
  • Always remember to give every child some alone time. It is not possible to do that at home, so take each one of them turn by turn with you for grocery shopping, various other chores, etc, etc.

Here are the ten BEST things about being a middle child- sit back and buckle your seat belts!

(10) You are not a control freak. You see people as the individuals they are, not pawns to be controlled and to play power games with.

(9) Oftentimes you can be described as having excellent social and people skills. Of course, you have too- you are sandwiched between the controlling oldest child and the self-indulgent youngest child. You have to play the go between regarding your siblings many times.

(8) Because you are often unnoticed and overlooked in your family, you have the courage to be very independent and to chart out new avenues which your siblings and/or family have not charted before.

(7) You do not believe that MIGHT equals RIGHT. You can see the side of the aggressor and the underdog. You are often the most democratic of all birth orders.

You usually make one of the BEST and MOST DEMOCRATIC supervisors and leaders. Autocratic is not a word in your vocabulary.

(6) You know the art of diplomacy and believe in being the peacemaker.



(5) You are often the power behind the throne. Many middle children are the bridges to their families. They often do work which is often unappreciated. Middle children are good at keeping the family together.

(4) You have no ego and believe that ego is a waste of time. People are people- let us all get along already.

(3) You are comfortable not being the STAR in the family. You see nothing wrong in being the supporting player. In fact, you are very comfortable in that role.

(2) You are totally an unselfish person.. If there is anyone who is the most unselfish of all birth orders- it is the MIDDLE CHILD.

(1) You are many people-literally. You can assume and adopt many roles to fit the situation at hand.



So if you are a middle child or have a middle child, don’t fall into the trap of being in the middle. Create for yourself a world that is your own. The world needs strong people and you are one of them, whether you are a middle child, a firstborn, the youngest or anywhere in-between.

Become that amazing person you are and it won’t matter to the world where you were in the family line-up, all that will matter is that you are a truly unique person.






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