Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

Was there middle child syndrome in your family?

(28 Posts)
Shortninbread Fri 29-Apr-16 08:46:03

Hi all, I'm 8 weeks with third pregnancy. I have two DDs. I just wanted to check what other people's experience of middle child syndrome is - whether it's affected your children or yourself and own siblings.

My DD2 keeps on asking me to have a baby (we haven't told them yet), which has got to be a good sign, but I'm a bit nervous about the family dynamic changing. Although I can't wait to have a DC3, I know my own older sister had a difficult time as a middle child.

Love to hear from well-adjusted and happy middle children too!

Miffyandme Fri 29-Apr-16 08:49:55

I can't add much positive except to say that I think DH is most definitely the least favoured child for no other apparent reason, and he is the middle child. Of course there will be many other factors in play in all families, my MIL being a piece of work so I suspect it may be just due to that, not him being middle child.
It has been one reason though that I'm not wanting to go for a third.

smellsofelderberries Fri 29-Apr-16 09:37:08

I'm second of 4 so kind of a middle child and have suffered no ill effects. We were all parented very differently but that's because we are all such different people, and we all know we're equally loved.

Shortninbread Fri 29-Apr-16 09:48:02

It's tricky isn't it. Four children seems to work - although we are def stopping after this one - but three sometimes means one is left out.

n0ne Fri 29-Apr-16 09:55:07

I'm a middle child. In hindsight I realise I was overlooked a bit as a child (spesh as we are girl, girl then boy) but I didn't notice back then. And I honestly think I'm the most well-adjusted, laidback and easy to please of the three of us! Which could be coincidence but maybe not. And I'm the classic middle child peacemaker smile I like it, tbh.

Ellarose85 Fri 29-Apr-16 09:58:00

My DP is the middle child and there is definitely no middle child syndrome issues for him! He has a completely different character to his siblings though, they are quite quiet whereas he is not and was a handful as a child!

Roobix04 Fri 29-Apr-16 09:58:47

I'm the middle child and definitely didn't feel like the least favourite. Like a pp said we were all patented differently but that was fine. I'm still very close to my mum and step dad. It helps that my younger sister was my half sister so on my dad's side I was still the bairn grin

Roobix04 Fri 29-Apr-16 09:59:43

Oh and on dp's side his sister is the middle child and she's definitely the favourite.

Oysterbabe Fri 29-Apr-16 10:09:02

I'm a forgotten 4th child. There aren't even any photos of me as a baby. Oh look another baby, chuck it on the pile grin

figsandalmonds Fri 29-Apr-16 11:32:16

I'm a middle child and I think it's the best! I'm closer to my brother and sister than they are to themselves. As the middle child I learnt to be a good communicator and mediator... so much down to parenting and individual personalities, but I love it! Would rather that than being eldest (too much responsibilities) or youngest.

NHKX2 Fri 29-Apr-16 11:45:47

I'm the middle of 5 and am most definitely did not suffer from middle child syndrome. I am my dad's favourite and got plenty of attention. I loved being in the middle; I had older siblings to look up to and younger siblings to nurture. I think if you and your DH ensure that all children are given special 1:1 time and feel valued, there is no reason for any child to feel overlooked.

Dachshund Fri 29-Apr-16 11:50:34

My DP is a middle child and also the only NT child so he definitely had far
less attention. He's consequently a complete people pleaser and appeaser.

I know he works really hard (set up his own profitable business at 23) and is desparate for praise from his parents but they rarely acknowledge his achievements, yet if his older aspie brother manages to get a small bit of freelance work it's a party. I understand they in no way do this consciously but nevertheless it's a big shadow over his life.

BeauticianNotMagician81 Fri 29-Apr-16 12:15:34

I'm the eldest of three. I wouldn't say my sister the middle child was overlooked at all. In fact I'd go as far as to say she's mums favourite. However, there was always one of us left out when we played together. We would never play as a three it was always as a two. DH found the same which is why we wanted a fourth. DH is the youngest child and in his family the middle child is the parents favourite. He's all they bang on about and DH gets completely overlooked or constantly reminded that he was the "mistake" child and naughty. It drives me insane as his achievements aren't celebrated at all in his family.

Shortninbread Fri 29-Apr-16 17:23:51

Poor Oysterbabe! Not even one baby photo? Reassuring N0ne, in fact lots of reassuring comments here. Not sure I like the sound of two playing and one left out cos that generally means a whole lot of hanging around the apron strings.

nicenewdusters Fri 29-Apr-16 17:56:18

I was the middle child and loved it as you're kind of under the radar. The eldest had the spotlight on them, and had to go through all the firsts. The youngest was the "baby" and the last chance saloon for anything my parents hadn't/couldn't do with the first two !

I think it might have contributed towards my being a bit of a people pleaser. Perhaps subconsciously you're trying to say "look, I'm here". But I think of all of us I was the calmer one, and have always had a good relationship with my parents.

Strokethefurrywall Fri 29-Apr-16 18:40:42

I think it is definitely a combination of parenting and personality. I had classic middle child syndrome growing up.

My older sister was the quiet, studious, maternal, kind hearted one.
I was the creative, dramatic, rebellious, attention seeking one (because nobody understood me of course)
My younger brother was the super smart, nerdy computer geek.

We were parented exactly the same way albeit being handled slightly differently depending on the situation. But our fundamental upbringing and rules were the same. My musical ability was probably indulged more than my sisters because I eat, lived and breathed singing and performing and my sister was and still is the most amazing artist.

My brother was the one that gave the least trouble though grin As he used to say "I had nothing left to rebel against because you and DSis had done it all already!"

I would love 3 children and funnily enough can already see DS2 as the classic middle child because he is so much like me.

But no "syndrome" - I'm probably the closest emotionally to my parents, especially since we lost my younger brother a few years back, despite living overseas. My sister lives close by to them but we're different emotionally I think. I'm very heart on my sleeve, and she is very private so when DBro was sick, we worked well together to help him and our parents. She was the pragmatic one, I was the counsellor.

I'm still the peacemaker now and yes, my over dramatic side has most definitely calmed down!

Miffyandme Fri 29-Apr-16 19:04:02

Dachshund , one of the very sad things about how my DH's family works is that he is a high achiever and very successful and would really like some recognition for that from his family....instead they just talk all the time about his sibling's work (they are also both hard workers and do well, but to hear his parents talk, you'd think they were astronauts or prime ministers the amount they talk about how well they have done in such "challenging fields".....I try to do my piece about DH's achievements as he is not used to showing them off, but we are not heard).

TheTittifersHaveSungTheirSong Fri 29-Apr-16 19:22:21



My mum sent me that...!!
I'm middle of 3 girls. Parents say I'm the most laid back one and am often the family mediator!!
One of us was usually left out when we were younger but we survived!

TheTittifersHaveSungTheirSong Fri 29-Apr-16 19:23:11

Picture added this time...

VocationalGoat Fri 29-Apr-16 19:28:00

My brother is the middle child. He is definitely the most well adjusted and stable of us three. The nicest one and most successful too. He was my mum's favourite growing up. But my eldest brother and I were fine with that because our middle brother was/is just so awesome.

scrumptiouscrumpets Sat 30-Apr-16 07:15:35

I'm a middle child of three and don't think it's affected me, I never felt overlooked or forgotten. I suppose my siblings would actually say I was my mum's favourite during our teenage years because I was the easiest of the three. I am still a very laid-back person, which might be due to me being the middle child... or not. It's hard to tell. As a grownup, I don't feel my parents parented any of us differently. One thing you can't control much is the dynamic between the siblings themselves, so of course there's a risk in having three. But personally, I loved it and would not mind having three myself.
A lot depends on the age gap, DP is a middle child of three with big age gaps and I always get the impression they grew up like three only children.

SharingMichelle Sat 30-Apr-16 07:18:00

I think the toughest role to play is eldest child.

INeedNewShoes Sat 30-Apr-16 07:26:55

I am the youngest of three. I used to think that middle-child syndrome was to blame for difficulties we had with my sister. Now I think there were lots of other factors at play.

'Middle-child syndrome' in any case must be avoidable if the parents don't create the situation where the middle child is treated any differently.

Having said all that, I was so affected by how awful the situation at home was, and for so long did put it down to middle-child syndrome that I would not have three children myself.

Sistersweet Sat 30-Apr-16 07:30:22

I have 3 and my 10 year old told me that being the middle child was the best one to be and that she's so pleased she's the middle one

poocatcherchampion Sat 30-Apr-16 08:00:39

Dh and I are the middle children and we are the most settled down and closest to the parents on both sides.

We now have 2dds and a Ds. Middle dd is quite different to the other too - def a mischief and very independent. I have a soft spot for her as she is in the middle

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now