The MOST ATTENTION Seeking Birth Order, Yes It's The Middle Child!

Middle Child, Enigmatic to a "T"

There is simply no clear-cut way to describe the middle child. H/she is oftentimes beyond conventional & traditional descriptions. H/she is a neither/or child. H/she can aptly be described as....very enigmatic & then some.
There is simply no clear-cut way to describe the middle child. H/she is oftentimes beyond conventional & traditional descriptions. H/she is a neither/or child. H/she can aptly be described as....very enigmatic & then some.
There is NO definiteness regarding the middle child.H/she is NEITHER the oldest NOR the youngest. H/she is on the margins of birth order. H/she is also THE LEAST UNDERSTOOD of any birth order. In fact, h/she is the Hamlet of birth orders.
There is NO definiteness regarding the middle child.H/she is NEITHER the oldest NOR the youngest. H/she is on the margins of birth order. H/she is also THE LEAST UNDERSTOOD of any birth order. In fact, h/she is the Hamlet of birth orders.

The ENIGMA of the Middle Child









The middle child in the family is quite the enigmatic child. H/she cannot really be defined in the conventional nor traditional sense. In fact, h/she is beyond any classical description. One cannot aptly define the middle child. One can say that h/she is clearly indefinable. H/she is viewed as a neither/or child. H/she is even known as the in-between child, caught in the middle. In some cases, h/she is deemed the lost or anonymous child. H/she is oftentimes caught in the birth order graylands or purgatory so to speak.


There is no definiteness regarding the middle child. H/she is neither the oldest nor the youngest. In other words, h/she is on the margins as far as birth order goes. Since his/her birth order is clearly indefinable, h/she is viewed as suspect, even shadowy. There is something beyond the pale regarding the middle child. H/she is the least understood of all birth orders. Who is h/she? What is h/she? The middle child is like Hamlet. H/she is constantly questioning his/her role in his/her particular family dynamic. To be or not to be, that is the question of the middle child.

Give Me Some Respect, Just A Little Bit

Yes, the middle child is oftentimes ignored, overlooked, & even overshadowed.  It seems that the middle child is a non-entity in his/her family. H/she never seems to get his/her day in the sun.  All h/she wants is some respect now.
Yes, the middle child is oftentimes ignored, overlooked, & even overshadowed. It seems that the middle child is a non-entity in his/her family. H/she never seems to get his/her day in the sun. All h/she wants is some respect now.
The middle child often feels inconsequential in the familial scheme of things. H/she can  be considered the odd person out. H/she may even feel like a persona non grata.  H/she sometimes fall through the familial cracks into total, nameless anon
The middle child often feels inconsequential in the familial scheme of things. H/she can be considered the odd person out. H/she may even feel like a persona non grata. H/she sometimes fall through the familial cracks into total, nameless anon
The middle child is seldom, if ever, acknowledged for who H/SHE is & what h/she has accomplished. It is the Jan Brady syndrome-h/she is always second place to that of your siblings. H/she is the second hand child so to speak.
The middle child is seldom, if ever, acknowledged for who H/SHE is & what h/she has accomplished. It is the Jan Brady syndrome-h/she is always second place to that of your siblings. H/she is the second hand child so to speak.

I Get NO RESPECT-NONE

The middle child simply gets no respect at all. H/she is not lionized like the oldest child nor coddled like the youngest child. H/she is ignored, overshadowed, overlooked, and even marginalized. In essence, h/she feels so disrespected. It like Jan Brady lamenting that she never gets any respect nor accolades from her family, it is always Marcia, why not her. Yes, the middle child oftentimes has the Jan Brady syndrome. H/she is oftentimes overshadowed by his/her older & younger siblings. If not, h/she is just ignored, even overlooked as if h/she is not there at all.

The middle child feels that h/she is inconsequential and does not matter in the familial scheme of things. H/she is paid the least attention to by parents and siblings. H/she may even be considered the odd child out by his/her parents because h/she does not fit definite birth order paradigms and parameters like the oldest and/or youngest child in the family. More than being overlooked, h/she may even become anonymous. H/she oftentimes feel that h/she has nowhere to fit into the familial scheme of things. H/she is without clearly defined roles like his/her older and/or younger sibling. Beyond feeling anonymous, h/she may even feel like a persona non grata. It is quite easy for him/her to fade into total, nameless anonymity.

The middle child is seldom, if ever, acknowledged for who h/she is as an individual. H/she is even never considered for his/her unique characteristics. His/her characteristics and/or talents are often second place to his oldest and/or youngest sibling. It is the Jan Brady syndrome yet again-it is never him/her who is applauded but another sibling who is. If h/she does something spectacular, h/she is told that his/her oldest sibling had a spectacular accomplishment before h/she did so get over it. H/she really is between a rock and a hard place. Whatever h/she has done, someone else in the family has done it previously so h/she is nothing special in that regard. One can say that the middle child is a second hand child. H/she is often relegated to second hand, even second class status in the family after his older and younger siblings.

Who is H/SHE Really? H/She Is SO UNLIKE His/her Siblings

The middle child is unfathomable, h/she is even undecipherable. His/her parents & siblings really DON'T know how to take him/her. H/she may be considered strange, even odd because h/she is SO UNLIKE his/her siblings.
The middle child is unfathomable, h/she is even undecipherable. His/her parents & siblings really DON'T know how to take him/her. H/she may be considered strange, even odd because h/she is SO UNLIKE his/her siblings.
H/she oftentimes feel marginalized by his/her parents & especially his/her siblings. H/she KNOWS that h/she is DIFFERENT from his/her siblings. H/she may even feel ALIENATED from rest of the family based upon his/her birth order.
H/she oftentimes feel marginalized by his/her parents & especially his/her siblings. H/she KNOWS that h/she is DIFFERENT from his/her siblings. H/she may even feel ALIENATED from rest of the family based upon his/her birth order.
H/she oftentimes feel unaccepted, even rejected by his/her parents & especially his/her siblings.  H/she may be the disfavored child, even the black sheep of the family.  H/she  may even subvert his/her personality to fit in with family members.
H/she oftentimes feel unaccepted, even rejected by his/her parents & especially his/her siblings. H/she may be the disfavored child, even the black sheep of the family. H/she may even subvert his/her personality to fit in with family members.

Being The ODD ONE OUT In The Family

The middle child is unfathomable, even misunderstood by his parents and most of all, his siblings. They really do not know what to make of him/her. They even cannot clearly categorize him or her. They may even deem his/her middle child strange because h/she is so unlike his/her siblings. The middle child is considered quite the odd birth order as h/she is neither the oldest nor the youngest. Besides, being known as the odd birth order, h/she may even be considered nebulous at best and quite shadowy at worst.

Because of his/her birth order status within the family, h/she may be relegated to the status of the other. The middle child is considered to be the odd birth order because it is not nearly as known nor discussed like the other two birth orders of oldest and youngest child. H/she also possess characteristics and a personality diametrically different than that of his/her older and/or younger siblings. H/she may feel total marginalized because h/she does not fit in with either his older and/or younger siblings. H/she somehow feels totally alienated from his/her parents and even his/her siblings.

H/she oftentimes feel unaccepted by his parents and siblings. H/she may even be the disfavored child in the family. In many cases, h/she may be designated the black sheep of the family because his/her personality and characteristics are at odds with his/her siblings. Instead of his/her family nurturing and welcoming his/her uniqueness, h/she is oftentimes compared with his/her siblings with the purpose of making him/her conform to the particular and/or respective established family paradigm. H/she may even subvert his/her own personality and characteristics in order to be more accepted by and to be included with his/her siblings.


What About...... MEEEE?!

The middle child is paid THE LEAST attention to.H/she may feel neglected.H/she is often left to fend for himself/herself. H/she MUST learn to be independent very early.  H/she KNOWS that much of the attention will ALWAYS go to his/her siblings.
The middle child is paid THE LEAST attention to.H/she may feel neglected.H/she is often left to fend for himself/herself. H/she MUST learn to be independent very early. H/she KNOWS that much of the attention will ALWAYS go to his/her siblings.
H/she realizes that h/she will always be considered after his/her oldest & youngest siblings.  That's to be expected.  However, this "neglect" means having MORE freedom than either his/her siblings from rigid birth order expectations & roles.
H/she realizes that h/she will always be considered after his/her oldest & youngest siblings. That's to be expected. However, this "neglect" means having MORE freedom than either his/her siblings from rigid birth order expectations & roles.

Oftentimes The NEGLECTED One

The middle child is the one child who is oftentimes left on his/her own because so much attention is being paid to either the oldest or youngest child in the family. Naturally, such children are considered the stars in his/her family and takes precedence over him/her. H/she is oftentimes unnoticed by his/her parents. H/she may even be neglected because his/her parents have other concerns. H/she is left to his/her devices and must learn to be very independent early. H/she knows that h/she will receive less of anything than either his/her oldest and/or younger sibling. That is so par for the course for the middle child in the family. H/she contends that it was complete folly for him/her to receive the same individualized attention as his/her oldest and younger siblings. H/she knows very much that is not to be.

H/she realize that h/she will always get short end of the stick as far as his/her parents and siblings go. H/she even accept such a familial construct as an undeniable fact of life. H/she maintain that h/she will always be a none while his/her older and younger siblings will always be the somebodies in the family. H/she assert that perhaps there may be an advantage in being the neglected one in the family. H/she can even rationalize that h/she is not under as other much pressure and/or have as rigid expectations as his/her oldest and youngest siblings are. H/she may even have a sense of freedom that his/her older and younger siblings would never experience.


I Won't Be........IGNORED

Given what the middle child in the family goes through, it is no wonder that h/she is the MOST ATTENTION seeking birth order. Most of the attention was paid to his/her oldest & youngest siblings. Always being left out, h/she will NOW seek ATTENTION!
Given what the middle child in the family goes through, it is no wonder that h/she is the MOST ATTENTION seeking birth order. Most of the attention was paid to his/her oldest & youngest siblings. Always being left out, h/she will NOW seek ATTENTION!
Many middle children seek attention because their unique gifts & talents were often downplayed, even ignored in favor of their oldest & youngest siblings. H/she isn't about to be ever IGNORED again!
Many middle children seek attention because their unique gifts & talents were often downplayed, even ignored in favor of their oldest & youngest siblings. H/she isn't about to be ever IGNORED again!

No One Is Ever Going to IGNORE Me AGAIN

Given the familial atmosphere that the middle child has to live through, it is no wonder that h/she is the most attention seeking of all birth orders. H/she did not receive the prerequisite parental attention. One can say that the attention was prioritized and given to the oldest and youngest sibling who were deemed more noteworthy by their parents. This would make any child angry. H/she feels that since no one is paying attention to him/her, h/she will have others pay attention to him/her.

The middle child is the most attention seeking birth order to compensate for the fact that h/she oftentimes received the least familial attention. H/she was not as adulated or adored as his/her oldest and youngest siblings. No matter what h/she did, it either disparaged as second best to his/her oldest sibling who was so much better. What h/she did was even dismissed as totally insignificant. Of course, h/she would be slighted and totally devalued as a child, also a human being. H/she did not appreciate being ignored and will exert any means necessary not to be ignored ever again.

Being THE Rebel

The middle child is one of the most individualistic & independent of all birth orders. H/she is also the most likely to chart his/her own individual life path away from his/her family.  H/she is no conformist & DOESN'T intend to BE.
The middle child is one of the most individualistic & independent of all birth orders. H/she is also the most likely to chart his/her own individual life path away from his/her family. H/she is no conformist & DOESN'T intend to BE.
H/she KNOWS that h/she is SO DIFFERENT from his siblings. H/she is constantly reminded by his/her family re: this. H/she INTENDS to be as DIFFERENT as h/she DARE to be. If family DON'T like it, there are OTHERS who WILL!
H/she KNOWS that h/she is SO DIFFERENT from his siblings. H/she is constantly reminded by his/her family re: this. H/she INTENDS to be as DIFFERENT as h/she DARE to be. If family DON'T like it, there are OTHERS who WILL!

Seeking Attention By Being The Rebel

Out of all birth orders, the middle child is one of the most individualistic. H/she is also the one of the more independent of birth orders. The middle child is the most likely of birth orders to chart his/her individual path away from his/her family. H/she has great practice in this from his/her parents and siblings. H/she was considered the different one by both parents and siblings because h/she did not conform to conventional birth order paradigms. As the middle child, h/she was oftentimes the misunderstood one because his/her birth order was so different than that of his/her oldest and youngest siblings. H/she even treated far differently because of his/her specific birth order.

It is logical that if his/her parents perceives him/her to be the other, h/she intends to be as individual and different as h/she dares even if it goes against his/her particular family paradigm. . H/she is not about to conform, please, and obey the rules like the oldest child and h/she is not about to be babied, even coddled and infantilized like the youngest child. H/she intends to be as different from his/her siblings as night as to day. H/she oftentimes find his/her own voice within himself/herself and outside of the family parameters. To reiterate, as the middle child, h/she is free to chart his/her brand in ways that the oldest and youngest siblings cannot and do not.

I Have..........ARRIVED, Yes I HAVE!

The middle child often exceeds familial expectations, becoming inordinately successful. His/her success is a way to defy others who denigrated, even dismissed his/her attributes & talents  Success is a way of saying H/SHE has arrived!
The middle child often exceeds familial expectations, becoming inordinately successful. His/her success is a way to defy others who denigrated, even dismissed his/her attributes & talents Success is a way of saying H/SHE has arrived!
H/she also succeeds in order to establish a name &/or brand so h/she WILL be remembered long after h/she is gone. This success is the ULTIMATE validation for the overlooked, often forgotten middle child.
H/she also succeeds in order to establish a name &/or brand so h/she WILL be remembered long after h/she is gone. This success is the ULTIMATE validation for the overlooked, often forgotten middle child.

Success As The ULTIMATE Form of Attention




The middle child oftentimes becomes inordinately successful, even more than his/her lionized oldest sibling and/or their adored youngest sibling. There is something about the psychology of the middle child which makes him/her highly successful. First of all, h/she is oftentimes seen as inferior and secondary, particularly to the oldest child on whom all expectations of success are to be achieved. H/she is hardly considered to be success material. If h/she is, the expectations of success would be less than that of the oldest child in the family. In a biography, when Grace Kelly became successful as an actress, her father indicated that the oldest child, Peggy, would have been FAR MORE successful than Grace would ever be. No one expects the middle child to be highly successful. That is why when h/she becomes highly successful, everyone in the family goes into shock as this success was totally unexpected, even out of the norm.

The middle child also achieves success as a way of having people remember who h/she is. H/she intends to have a name and/or brand which will be remembered long after h/she has gone. As a middle child, h/she was often relegated to second class status. In some cases, h/she has a non-person status. By becoming successful, people will know his/her name and/or brand. In becoming successful, h/she knows that h/she will not ever be forgotten nor relegated to second class status ever again. H/she is at last a somebody worthy of note instead of a nobody consigned into anonymity or near it.

The middle child is oftentimes relegated to second place, if not ignored altogether. It is no wonder that h/she is very attention seeking. H/she seeks attention as a way to gain validation that h/she usually does not receive from his/her family.
The middle child is oftentimes relegated to second place, if not ignored altogether. It is no wonder that h/she is very attention seeking. H/she seeks attention as a way to gain validation that h/she usually does not receive from his/her family.

Summary

The middle child is often the most ignored, forgotten, and overshadowed of all birth orders. It is not a surprise that h/she is the most attention seeking birth order. Who can blame him/her. There are many factors which lead to him/her avidly seeking attention which include being unnoticed, even being considered anonymous by family members. Being constantly relegated to second place is also causative to one always seeking attention. H/she oftentimes do not feel validated and looking for attention is a way to have that validation that we all need to thrive as humans.

© 2015 Grace Marguerite Williams

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Comments 2 comments

Tusitala Tom profile image

Tusitala Tom 7 months ago from Sydney, Australia

Can't agree, Grace. I can look back on my eighty years feeling I was just as much loved and appreciated as my older brother and sister, or my younger brother and sister. Though I have to admit, I felt some minor jealousy towards the way my Dad doted on his youngest child...my little sister in the first few years of her life.

But fathers have an affinity towards their baby daughters. I know, for my daughter, now grown up and in her fifties, is a middle child (with an older and younger brother) and despite this 'middle child' position, is every bit as mature and well adjusted as her grown up brothers.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 7 months ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Thank you for stopping by and responding. It's good to hear your perspective on this.

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