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To ask if there is any truth to "middle-child sydrome"?

(108 Posts)
FromHereToNextTuesday Sat 05-Jan-13 22:48:35

I'm having my third child, and am hearing more and more of the problems facing a middle child. Am I really exposing the 2nd to a lifetime of disadvantages by giving her a a younger sibling? Really??

Loquace Sun 06-Jan-13 16:50:10

Nelson Mandela and Madonna both have several or many siblings as far as I am aware.

Hey, I never said the book in question was accurate and the people touting the theory on the money. Just as an alternative to a woman worried she is going to "ruin her child", perhaps believing in an optimistic unproven therory is better than an umproven doom filled one?

amillionyears Sun 06-Jan-13 16:51:42

I think that if there are lots of "middle" children, that could and actually does alter the dynamic once again.
For instance I have seen a family with lots of one gender, then some of the other.
The first child in the new group is almost like the eldest child, and so on through the new group of gender siblings.

froggies Sun 06-Jan-13 16:51:57

My dad is middle one (g,b,b) he was the 'thick' one (very dyslexic), quiet, irritating, bit of a gadget geek and pushes himself a every sport he has ever tried. He is the only one of the three to have retired early, own his home outright, and now living the life of Riley on a very nice pension.

My mum was middle of three (b,g,b) she is a nightmare. Thinks everyone owes her something, dreadful at budgeting, dreadful in social situations, not responsible or sensible in anyway although she will tell you that she is.

I am middle of three (b,g,g) my dad worked very hard (to keep on top of my mums spending) so wasn't at home much. Big bro was the golden boy in mums eyes and could do no wrong. Little sis got lots of crap from mum as she was more mischievous. I was and probably still am the people pleaser. Also the most academic of all of us. I know little sis felt over shadowed by my academic achievements, we have talked about this, I hated having to let her do everything I did while brother got to do what he wanted without either of us. I would put all of our family dynamics and personal hangups down to our personalities and the way we were parented rather than birth order tbh.

I have 3: ds(16), dd(7) and dd(4). I try very hard to treat each of them as a person in their own right, and not to label them according to birth order or gender or anything. I would say they each have their strengths and weaknesses, and they are all different. Hopefully they all know I love them all as much as they need (and a bit more) all of the time.

amillionyears Sun 06-Jan-13 16:55:41

I see you point Loquace.

amillionyears Sun 06-Jan-13 16:55:54


sleepyhead Sun 06-Jan-13 17:05:25

My uncle is the stereotypical middle child - and doesn't he harp on about it hmm grin.

Actually, he's 2nd of 4, but his first brother was the "eldest", his younger brother was the "baby" and my mum was the "girl". He feels very bitter that he had no place and was hard done by on every level.

Thing is, he's by far and away the most successful of the 4, arguably the most accomplished and interesting, everyone in the family adores him but he's very difficult and truly believes he was the least favoured by his parents (no one else can wrk out where he gets this belief from, but it's clearly very real to him).

I suspect he'd have been exactly the same if he'd had any other birth position. The person in the family that he most resembles is his mother, who was a sterotypical only child..

meddie Sun 06-Jan-13 17:15:38

I am a middle child. Older sister, younger brother. It did irk me as a kid. My eldest sister would get favoured because 'she was the eldest' whereas my brother was treated leniently because either 'he was the baby' or 'he's a boy' (that one used to drive me nuts) I dont remember anyone saying let meddie have it first because she's the middle one.
I do think gender order plays a part. I imagine if I hadnt been the second daughter I would have been given privileges for being the 1st boy. as my mother was very gender biased. (I was total tomboy, drove her to distraction).
I think my major issues as a child revolved around the injustice of being disallowed from doing stuff I wanted just because I was a girl, rather than middle child issues.

Anifrangapani Sun 06-Jan-13 17:31:31

I am refered to as the "middlingest". I have 2 brothers and both of them feel I was the most leniently treated, I see it as being given the most chores.

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