Middle Child Syndrome

Middle Child Syndrome


Middle children often are the forgotten children. This is especially true if the older sibling happens to be the same sex as the middle child. I was a middle child who had an older sister and a younger brother. My sister was the first born so needless to say received tons of attention. By the time I came along, everyone was hoping for a boy, but instead they received me. My younger brother came and everyone was once again excited. I tried in the beginning to get attention but after several failed attempts I just started to act like I didn't want attention. I built a protective barrier around myself. My barrier was a smart mouth, bad temper, and constant back talking and complaining. This was very effective in keeping everyone at a distance. I then told myself that I was rejecting them, not them rejecting me. I think that middle children learn to be independent survivors. All children need love, affection and a feeling of belonging. If you do not receive it, which is very common for the middle child, you go through life distancing yourself from others. As a parent now of a middle child son who has an older and younger brother, I make sure to follow the following steps to help him avoid the same pitfalls of my childhood:

1. Always be affectionate, even if they try to push you away, they really want it!

2. Spend quality alone time with your middle child.

3. Take time to listen to their problems, disappointments, hopes, and dreams.

4. Take an interest in their activities.

5. Tell them that they are important.

6. If they try to distance themselves from you, tell them that you know what they are trying to do and it won't work because you will love them anyway.

7. Do not point out there bad qualities and ask them why can't they be more like their brother or sister.

8. Do not let them hide behind their sarcasm, anger, or bad attitude. This is just a cover up for a deep longing to be loved!

9. Be patient with them, they are good at controlling situations and lashing out to protect themselves from their self imposed barrier.

10. Last and most important, tell them that you love them, hug them and then when they test your patience, do it again!

The ultimate goal is to raise healthy, happy and well adjusted children. Middle child syndrome is very real and these kids seem to need extra special attention to establish a worthiness of being loved and accepted. Take the extra time needed to care for your forgotten child!

More by this Author

  • The Hidden Danger of Endometriosis

    I suffered for years from endometriosis and it almost cost me my life! Endometriosis is a silent, often undetectable problem for many women. I had been suffering from severe lower abdominal pain for a year. It became...

Comments 105 comments

kritina 19 months ago

My mum never listens to me even when a girl

Miranda 2 years ago

I have an older sister who is 4 years older than me and a twin sister who is 1 minute younger than me and my parents always put me down. First, I know that my dad always says that I am smart and loves to help people whenever we have company, but in reality I am not smart and not always willing to help out. Because my sisters are in high honors, he always compares me to them saying things like "Why can't you be as smart as your sisters?" Next, he always finds way to get a reason to yell at me. And my mom doesn't really pay attention to me that much. Also, when something goes wrong like someone left the fridge open or broke a plate or even left a drop of water on the counter top, they always blame it on me. And, when my dog Charlie died on January 18th, 2013 they didn't tell me because they didn't want to make my big sister had her midterms that week and wouldn't tell me until the next week. Lastly, they always complain that I play to much Xbox and don't read enough but that is false because I have read almost every single book in my house and I have 53 books in my room.

It felt really good to write this

Jennifer 3 years ago

so so tired of the implications that middle children have to suffer more emotionally. I find it funny that my older sister and younger brother both married domineering people. Also pushes negativity in my face. All I know is that me as a middle child can be successful and headstrong caring and love my own faith. to haters u can suck it about the whos on first dog crap. See ya at funerals u won't be attending mine because YOU NEVER CARED FOR ME IN THE FIRST PLACE. UGLY HEARTS.

homedecor88 3 years ago

I'm glad I found a place to vent. I'm surprised this isn't in DSM 4 yet as a real disorder. I suppose it could be considered under abandonment. I'm the middle of 5, and ive always had needy relationship characteristics, an intense fear of being left behind, super high anxiety about not being invited to something. It wasn't until one day my therapist asked if anyone had literally "left me behind" that I started seeing "middle child syndrome" come to life. I realized, there have been a multitude of times I was left behind. So many times of being "accidentally" lost in the grocery store, being "accidentally" left at home our my dark house while my family goes on there summer vacation bc my parents didn't realize I wasn't in the car. And then the numerous times watching the responsible parents pick up there kids at religious school while I waited 2 hours with the janitor, before mine got there. Then there were the hand-me-downs that didn't fit, homework never touched, and the question "do you really want a bat mitzvah"? Since they already did it with my two older sisters, why would I get one? Even now, as we get ready for Thanksgiving and my family had decided to go visit my grandparents in Florida, the entire family, and we didn't even get an invitation I see the old feelings coming back again. But I am left to wonder, is this really "middle child syndrome" or simply bad parenting.

Nikki 4 years ago

I'm the oldest of four girls, and I have three daughters at home and two stepsons. I'm struggling as a parent to understand and meet the needs of my middle daughter. She is seven, and already she is so frustreated and angry, and she acts out. I read your list of what I should be doing, and I know it's true, but it's so hard to do it.

andrew 4 years ago

hi.i have an older sister and a younger brother.when i read the symptoms of mcs it hit me like a brick.dead on.i am in my 40's now.i do feel like i have low self asteem.i don't let people get to close but i do have a lot of friends.i haven't been in a relationship with a woman in a real long time,and don't mind being alone.its good to know young kids are becoming aware of this.i don't think my parents did it on purpose.they are great people.its just life sometimes i guess.i hope you all overcome your issues and live happy lives !god bless!!!

Anomynous 4 years ago

I never believed in MCS within 25 years of my life but recently it's hit me and I feel it.Thanks for these forum posts as it's limited searching here in the UK

I am the middle of 3 brothers: 27, 25 (me) and 19. People used to tease me about it at school being the middle of three means I will more than likely be the reject of the family. I suffered with bullying mor than either of my brothers did during school and I found it hard to hold a relationship back then because I was always cheated on.

I always got hand-downs from my older brother and as he has a taste in Football (Soccer) I never liked half the stuff I got handed. My youngest brother followed my older brother in sports interests and I took a route down Acting and love of technology.

During my school days I always felt like I was pressured as my older brother never studied enough and messed up on his GCSE exams my partents came down on me even harder and made me study hours on end and took my games consoles away from me and banned me from the PC even when I was using revision sites. The painful part was when my parents said "Fail! See what we care!" that I did end up passing my GCSE's. I wasn't an over-achiever I was happy with 2 B's and 3 C's which allowed me into Sixth Form and then off to College 2 years later. My little brother on the other hand my parents never went heavy on him when it was his time for GCSE revision and he barely even passed with his highest of a D and lowest a G and they were proud of him!

My college life took me 200+ miles away from my family and I am still living in the area now. I did struggle financially and yet my parents seemed to grasp that I was having a hard time finding work in my first year. My second year was better (for me at least) as I met a wonderful woman who I am now married too (She is the youngest of 4). I finally got a job which restricted my family visits but when I first brought her home my older brother gave her the coldest of welcomes and my parents didn't even do anything about it. We moved in together after 8 months into our relationship as I had finished my college course and I didn't want to go back home and loose her. I ended up going full-time at work and getting promoted to Supervisior.

When my older brother got a girlfriend my parents were all over her and still are and he has made it feel like he was the first to bring a girlfriend home and make me and my wife feel redundant. They always get praised for what they do. My parents have never asked my wife for her mobile number or e-mail address and yet my mother is always on her phone to my brother's partner more than she does contacting me.

It gets better. I was 20 years old and when I first mentioned that I had a girlfriend and that I took a lot of precautions for safe sex my parents said "If you get her pregnant we will disown you!" but my older brother, not even 1 year into his relationship gets his girlfriend pregnant and my parents are all over them! Saying they are so proud of them and that they will be great parents.

My supervisor job was shortened due to the loss of my Grandfather and I went into a phase of breakdown as he was the only family member who I kept in contact with when I was at College. Even though he was a Truck Driver in the United States he would always send me an e-mail and ask me how my partner was doing. He met her the once and told me she was a wonderful woman and that I would never find any other like her which has always stuck with me. When he passed away 3 years ago I struggled to keep up with the demands at work which ended up being forced on me to step down as a Supervisor which none of my family showed any support with except a text which said "Never mind mate" and my older brother gets a promotion through a family member and fails a Mystery Customer Measure they gave him more sympathy because he got a written warning.. yet I got nothing!

I now come up to the modern day. After the birth of my Nephew my family have pretty much shut me and my wife out. We never get any visits, I always have to make the first move, my parents seem to give more love and affection to my other brothers and are willing to spend more on them and do more for them and yet I love far away and I struggle to get by but I make do. I recently got married just under 3 months ago and for the first time ever I had all my family there. My older brother showed no interest and 3 months on my parents still haven't sent us our wedding pictures. Their excuse? "Sorry it slipped our minds". No it's because my older brother's wedding is coming up in July and they're more concerned about their wedding than mine.

Sorry for the long post but Middle Child Syndrome.. It took me almost 25 years to realise it existed.. and I found out the hard way.

SiblingRivalry 4 years ago


We are looking for families with children who are experiencing sibling rivalry. A huge portion of our country experiences problems with their children fighting-but what about when it goes to far? This program is looking to explore the dynamics of sibling rivalry, while helping some of these struggling families resolve their issues. We will have a licensed therapist on site to facilitate the entire process, with hopes of transforming every situation in a positive way.

Is the tension between your children just getting to be too much? Is it affecting the entire family? Contact us ASAP, as this might be the show to finally make a difference in your family's life.


~ Name

~ Contact information

~ Family Photo

~ Brief description of your family's situation

unknown 4 years ago

My life was fine. I have an older brother and a younger sister. The day my life started to fall apart is when my sister was born. Everyone fell in love with her and still loved my brother.Ever since life is hard,I was only 5 when she was born. Then growing up as a child i hardly had friends. Then when I went to sixth grade i made a lot of friends but most of them don't like my brother or sister so that is why i am so much more social with them then my own family. Then my family wonders why i stay in my room all the time.I also hate the fact my brother is only a year older and he ruins my love life and tries to tell my parents on me. Ethier side of a story my parents always agrees with them. Among my friends only a couple of us are middle children and none of of like it. Almost everynight i pray for life to lighten up for me. Will you pray for me to??? :( :'(

amaya 4 years ago

i am the middle child and it stinks

tiffany 4 years ago

I'm a middle child, and I feel like my mom always forgets about me too. Its mostly because my older sister is autistic and my younger sister is 6, that I get ignored so often. I just feel like it isn't fair, my sisters always get these big birthdays and everyone comes and treats them like princesses. My mom always seems to get them all that they want and more. My mom usually just hands me her debit card and tells me to get one present and that's all, lower than $100.

I haven't ever celebrated my birthday with my family, my friends usually bring cupcakes or candies for me to my school during lunch. my mom will get me a small cake and that's it.

Anyway I've learned to just deal with it mostly, I still cry a little, sometimes 'cause I think she doesn't like me that much. My sister said that my mom doesn't like me because I act like an adult.

My mom says I'm rude but I don't know what she means, and I get sad because I try to be better but I don't know how. It seems like whatever I do, I do wrong.

middle child 4 years ago

My mom was raising me alone while my dad was out of the country. Before my younger sister was born I even noticed the difference. I was a daddy girl at first and it bothered my mom greatly! Which I never understood why. Then my sister was born, at that point was when I was pushed to the side completely my dad seemed to forget he had me. And it was always all about my older brother and younger sister. My brother because he was the first at everything and my sister because she would be the last. My parents never discrete at all when bragging about my siblings! They would go on and on about them! Even though I had the best grades that didn't seem to matter their schooling was always more important. They would never take the time to help me with homework or even bother to ask if I had any. So I learned to ask "deal" with it. My family members would sometimes interrupt my dad when he would brag about my siblings and say oh I heard (the middle child) is in the honor roll and once he said oh yeah I think she mentioned it but (the baby) did this and that at school and her teacher told me she's doing great! My siblings would get "surprise" birthday parties every year when I would just get a random happy birthday hug.. And the "sorry I didn't have money for your birthday this year." not that I was expecting anything. Nothing I said was ever right until my older brother confirmed it. Baby stories were told constantly of my siblings but my baby stories seem to be forgotten. There came a point when I became distant from my family but they didn't seem to have a problem with it unless I wasn't home when they needed a favor? I was required to pay rent and help with other costs but none of my other siblings were I never understood why. And whenever I would bring it to the attention of my parents they would just say that I was jealous and selfish. And if I ever talked bad to my mom she would start crying and tell me how ungrateful I was and that I would never be there for her the day that she would need me. So I grew sick of it just paid no attention to their comments and would spend the least time possible with them and to this day they still won't admit they had favorites, but whatever. What goes around comes around. They will realize their mistakes later and all I can do is be a good child and sibling.

But I grew up realizing that parents just have different bonds with different children and no matter what it will always happen.

middle child 4 years ago

My older brother was a premie so my parents always told family.and friends how lucky they were to have him, which I completely agree. I was born three years after my brother and my dad didn't meet me until I was 5 months old so as a newborn he never had that bonding time with me. My

Brooke 4 years ago

I am the middle child and I'm 13 my older sister is 17 and my younger sister is 5 almost 6 now yes I do agree I am the one that gets ignored but nobody is as bad as my mom like 3 years ago I had math homework that I needed help in so I went to go ask my mom for help but she was already helping my older sister so I waited for like 30 minutes or so and they were finally done so I went to go up to her I set my stuff down and my then 2 year old sister wanted milk when she had asked when my mom was helping my older sister she was told to wait but now that she was helping me she could get her milk then when she finally sat down to help me (math is my strongest subject but I needed help understanding the question) i started to explain it to her and she cuts me off and she just says "you don't need help, go do it yourself" then when I brought it up to her a few months ago cause i was using it as an example to show how mich some of the things she does hurts because she always seems to be pushing me away she told me how pathetic I was for remembering that and when I tell her I don't feel like I'm getting enough attention she just tells me I'm selfish or says "why cause I..." and lists all the positive things she does

And I've caught her lying to me and when I call her out on it shes like "well I was just really mad at you" but she always tells me not to make excuses and I have a mental disability and am getting tested again because my parents think I have another one and it seems like no matter how hard I try I always have missing assignments and she try's to tell me that I don't try and I'm in 8th grade so it's time for me to start applying for high schools well I wanted to go to this one high school but it was a tuition high school and my mom said we can't afford it but her and my dad did everything it took to send my older sister to a tuition high school for all 4 years and her tuition was 2 as much I even told her that the school offered this program that if I did an internship I could get at least $1000 off the tuition and she said no when I asked her why she told me because I "wouldn't be worth her money because I don't try in school " but she did it for my sister who's grades are just as bad as mine. My dad has the disability that I do and he even agreed that my mom doesn't understand that our minds work differently and doesn't try to either. And when I have moods swings (symptom of my disability when I'm not on my medication) and scream at her and get mad she brings up how all she does is this and that for me and how dare I even disrespect her (when she disrespects me just as much as I do her) and i already feel bad and I always appogizes once I've cooled down but she hardly ever apologizes to me. And school wouldn't be so bad but she stresses me out more than my teachers or the actual work itself she adds all this uneccissary stress and when I go to talk to her she starts to play the blame game and gets all difensive

Josh 4 years ago

I'm Male, 37 and the middle of two boys. Yeah, I know this all too well. My parents were/are in a loveless marriage and my mother was the middle child herself so she was very distant emotionally which framed my attitude towards women. To this day I have never really been in an deep, emotional relationship. And my father was the oldest and always had a tough love/get over it attitude. Niether of my parents showed much love towards me nor to each other. As a result I had behavioral problems and developed low self esteem which plagues me to this very day. When report cards came out, my father use to reward us with money based on our grades. Sounds good, but I was never good in school and my bros were geniuses and tended to received more money then I did. So, I grew up with the idea that I was stupid. Today, both of my bros have stable jobs and I really can't hold one down primarily because I hate being told what to do. When we went camping as a family I use to bring my own tent so I wouldn't have to sleep with my family. Today, my family all live near each other and I live far away. At one time, I wanted to show every one that I was a somebody, so I tried to become a famous actor. Didn't work. I have shut everybody out of my life and now I'm depressed and I'm barely getting by. I don't want to live but I'm too afraid to kill myself. I've tried every self help remedy there is and I'd go to counseling but I have no money to afford it.

forgotten 4 years ago

I would like to add in this. I guess mainly to just tell someone how I feel, but it hurts me so deeply. I am 32 years old and I have a hard time functioning in society. Holding jobs is hard for me and as screwed up as it is - I am scared of living alone. I have a hard time with all relationships because I get needy because I am scared they are going to neglect me, too. I am still neglected by my parents. I still live at home because i have "issues." I am leaving that at that. It's my business, but I am sure it's a product of how I was raised. There is an 11 year difference between me and the "golden child." I hold so much resentment it is unbelievable. I can not find it in myself to forgive anyone and I am a miserable person for this. Always have been. To make matters worse I had a baby 4 1/2 months ago. I do it alone. Completely alone and it is so hard. My life is so hard and if you are reading this and you have a middle child. I beg you. Don't ignore them. Please, don't ignore them. My golden child brother is a snot nose brat who gets anything he wants and my older brother is just a jackass who thinks he's better than everyone. Both are lying thieves. In all honesty, I am the only good child they have. The only honest one, but since I am an addict. I'm the worst. I have been clean for several years now. I remember a time when I was 17. I was smoking weed then. My father found my pipes. He took them outside and smashed each one of them into tiny pieces in the driveway. 5 months ago the golden child had to take a drug test for a job. They know he smokes weed and don't say anything to him. Matter of fact, my mother buys him a test clean so he can pass the damn thing. I remember when my little brother was first born. My mother and myself were walking him in his stroller. We walked past one of her friends house and she came out to chat for a second. My mother and her were laughing and carrying on. Then I heard her say "he's our last hope." Talking about my golden child little brother. Worst part about this. She doesn't remember saying it. I asked her years ago if she knew I carried those words with me my entire life. She said she didn't say that. Anytime I say anything about the golden child she gets extremely defensive. Maybe I should just let everything go, but it's really hard for me and if you are judging me for these words, back off. you don't know how i feel. it's affected me. there are tons of times my brothers went on trips with my parents to places around the state and i don't remember them. why? because i didn't go. no, i wasn't grown. i was 14. i truly was forgotten and i am still forgotten today. i fear they will forget my son, too.

Laura 4 years ago

Hey, i'm 18 and the middle of three girls. When i read this it made me cry 'cause i thought i was going mad. I went to the Doctors when i was younger 'cause they thought i had behavioral problems but after i spoke to the doctor alone, they spoke to my parents saying they needed to give me more attention. They never did. I've only ever spent one day alone with my mum and that was in London for my 18th. Apart from that i'm never allowed on outings with my 'little sister' 'cause i'm old enough now etc. I feel like i distance myself from my family but only 'cause i feel like i'm the failiure, i did do gymnastics until they stopped sending me. That was and will be my only talent. I'm not academically smart and never get praise for things i do. If i do things it's not good enough. My little sister had her dance classes and my elder sister ex-cells in her job and is amazing. I really wish my parents would think about showing love towards me for once 'cause it's making me suffer with friends. Making me jealous 'cause i don't want to lose them and i'm not confident enough to have a boyfriend. After seeing this it made me realise so many things and relate to it. I feel so much happier when i stay out for along period of time at a friends house and don't want to go home.

4 years ago

lol my sisters the middle child and she gets everything she wants, same with the oldest. being the youngest is the hardest in my opinion, not just because i am, but because nobody cares about you and ignores you and your siblings tend to gang up on you and get away with it because you're younger. and they can treat you like a slave but that's okay because they're older than you. and it doesn't matter if you're passing every subject with a's - because they're older and their grades are far more important.

Lisa Petrarca profile image

Lisa Petrarca 4 years ago Author

I can't begin to imagine what you are going through but I would like to encourage you to PLEASE seek help. You cannot stay in this environment. You are special and you don't deserve this. This is more than just being a Middle Child, you are being constantly abused. Please go tell someone (child protective services, the police, a trusted adult, teacher, Pastor etc.) You may be afraid of the unknown or that you will be removed from your family, but there are people who will love and protect you. Please, seek help. You are a special and important child of God. I'm praying that you will be led to safety!

Lisa Petrarca profile image

Lisa Petrarca 4 years ago Author

I know how hard it is and exactly how you must be feeling having grown up as a middle child as well. But there's something you should know, it is very important and a key message I want you to hear. Middle children have it tough when they're little, but as you grow up, you become the MOST adaptable to any and all situations, problems, and people. Because you've grown up feeling "left out" you are more sensitive to others feelings. There is nothing that is too tough for you to handle, achieve or accomplish. You become the strength for others around you.

I know it's hard to imagine but the hurt and pain you're feeling now is only temporary. You have an incredible future ahead of you! Even though family members don't always understand how we feel or even know that they're being neglectful, I realized they do love us. It's just harder for them to show it because too often we keep them at a distance.

Did you know that 52% of all Presidents are Middle Children?

So hang in there! Keep seeking things you like to do. You have so much potential as a "Middle Child" without all the "high expectations" of the 1st born or "spoiled nature" of the baby. You are allowed to seek your own place in the world. Which allows you to think outside of the box. You have a unique freedom to follow & achieve your dreams!

kelly 4 years ago

Being the middle child is a lot of stress dealing with stupid stuff you don't even do. Yelled at for nothing you didn't but. Your brother and sister my sister gets all the favor and every thing in the world. Me as the middle child is nothing all you do is the one nasty,stupid,do nothing right, can't read,do anything. And his my brother last one of the the show everything anything he wants but the middle child nothing. Your mom out partying and everything o lying cares about the first and last child. That's all I have to say im cry right now. *____* :(

project18 4 years ago

Im happy that i found a place where us liddo crazies can let it out nd not b judged.

Ive been the butt of all jokes since i can remember!

As a kid being molested and my own parents not caring i was ready to dieeee!!!

i thought that if my family cud b so cruel then i didn't stand a freakin chance in the world.

ive been angry since i guess forever i cud never find a way out, even if i did someone wud stand in my way juss to bring me down.

im 16 and ive been molested 3 times this year!! Ima pretty girl with a curse !!

My friend gave me a knife to protect myself and my dad took it away so i ended up getting kidnapped by a group of guys at my gmas house and they tried to rape me!!!!!!

I hate my parents so much for this they knew who did it and didn't care!!!

my world is a fukkkd upp place

I don't deserve this shittttt

Ud think being the only girl my brothers wud be protective bt ive been alone all my life.

I kno why the caged bird sings and its cuz hes just like us...

i love you guys and keep holding on strong

AbrahamP 4 years ago

Yeah I have MCS, but my mom and dad have no respect for me. So in return, I show no respect for them. Its because of my parents that i'm an extremely self conscious person in the middle of an identity crisis. I am socially awkward, and my only real friend is my cousin(who my mom compares me to). My mom compares me to my older brother also, and she uses me as an example of "what not to be like" when she talks to my young brothers. And my dad puts on an act when he's around me, but when he's behind my back he tells everyone how disappointed he is.

This felt good to type.

Rosie 5 years ago

It makes me soo sad readinng this. I'm a middle child, and although I went through a faze of thinking no one cared and that my parents didn't love me as much as my older and younger siblings, I soon realized they actually do love me just as much and that 'life happens'.

I just want to encourage you all, that you can let it make or break you. I know many middle children with MCS have let it get them down, depressed, and allowed themselves feel worthless (which is soo easy to do).

But, I also know others who have allowed it to make them into a stronger person, and have much more independence from it. Francesca Battestelli sings a song, and some of the lyrics say something about how on the surface you look fine, just like when you go to a theatre show. But nobody has any idea what's happening behind the scenes, behind the curtain.

Just know, that for many of you, your parents do love you, they just don't know ho to show it, or relate to you. I may help to talk to them about it, print off this page and show them, but make sure to do it in a way that respects them,as you don't want to make matters worse.

If ever you need anyone to talk to, or just to 'vent' feel free to email me. xtreme4god@yahoo.com, or facebook Anna Lovesnetball

blink 5 years ago

My mom tries to talk to me and find out what's wrong with me. And it sucks to see her care so much and me pushing her away all the time. But the thing is that I've been dealing with shit my whole life and it feels awkward and unnatural to start now. That's not a very good excuse. At least my parents care unlike some of the other ones on this page. But really they only say they care and claim they want to talk. But when I try to talk to them everything blows up anyway.

sad.lonley. middle child sydrome 5 years ago

im crying reading this. not lying. I have an older sister who is 16, so she wear make-up and DRINKS! yet she is the PERFECT CHILD NO MATTER WHAT! Im 13 and I don't get no attention. I have a loo self esteem I keep my self to my self. I have to do my own breakfast,lunch,drinks,homework and basically EVERYTHING BY MYSELF when my older sister and younger brother gets everything

T-girl 5 years ago

Wow i really think this syndrome describes me, im 15. my older sister is 19 ( the rebel ) and my brother is 12.

My parents have never intentionally went out of their way to exclude me , like when we go shopping we all shop and they buy us whatever we want usually, but inside im never truly happy.

I have put up a wall against people and never let anyone completely in. yeah, on the outside i look fine (sweet, caring, etc.) but honestly i think im over caring.

Also sometimes im really mean for no reason and i cant understand why ?

My little brother is the families STAR athelete and im good at sports too, as a child i did almost every sport but now after reading this blog i think i didthose sports for attention and after i didn't get all the attention i expected i quit .

When my grandma was alive everything seemed easier because she would always pay attention to me in her own special way and ever since she died it doesn't feel the same, its like the one person i let in..just left me. now no one can hurt me like that again because of "my wall".

This article has some really good advice for parents and hopefully i will learn to better deal with MCS.

Joseph 5 years ago

i know what u mean

as for me im the middle child to i have a older brother and of course a Younger sister "the girl" my brother who my father sees as a disappointment and a falure and often complains how much he hates him but some how is obcessed with him he's all he ever talks about the worse thing is that i came to realize it even though my father is disapointed at him he's the the first born the oldest son the heir and i know deep insede my father cares more for him than he ever did for me

my sister is the Girl she can do nothing wrong cause theres no great expectation for daddies girl she doesn't have to prove her self to achieve his affection

as for me I get no affection no reconition im the only one who never rebeled against my dad i never step out of line never spoke before my turn i am the only one to achieve a college degree but doesn't impress daddy

me mother babies my brother holds his hand and tolorates his incompetence my dad does nothing but complain but in his obcession he has only eye for my brother i get no notice from neighter my mom nor dad my mom sais im the smarter they expect me to act mature responcible self dependant ! the other day my mom buys snacks and other stuff for my sister she doesn't work so let her get alittle my bro gets extra attention because he's aspecial boy my what do eye get nothing !

i have a fever no one notice you know the little things

the worse thing is all my life i hade this disliking to my brother as i got older it became a disliking and now it's just dispice i hate my own brother and on the same time anvy him for his rebelion againast my father i am a coward who doesn't even dare to stand up against daddy

no my dad sais your the son as it's meant to be obedient well maner, im the shy one the censitive one who does anything to please daddy you know how i hate realizing this all this time I was talking along with me dad about how much my brother is a disappointment but yet he preferes my brother over me he only chose me because im the youngest of 2 sons so i'll alwasys be second choise but im not my brother i get preasured to be a better son just to make my brother jelous so he would be more obedient towards my dad and i again get no affection whatsoever $6 i hate my life to be frank

lilgirl 5 years ago

LOl totally get what your saying having children all of the same gender makes it even more difficult. 1 out of the 3 may even easily become (gay) not saying it's a bad thing but they'll do it for more attention and distance.I'm a teen middle of two sisters all two years apart I'm straight and all lol and I kno I'm rejecting my parents thts the way I feel most comfortable around them

Tory 5 years ago

i feel the same way and i have an older sister when it was just us two we would get all the attention because people would ask if we were twins and we would say no then my little brother was adopted by us and now we share the attention loss feeling but mine is worse becaause she is daddy's buddy and my little brother is his "baby" and i'm so left out because my sister spends time with my mom and they leave me at home with my brother and daddy and yes i get in a lot of trouble because of my sassy mouth and bad attitude mostly with my mama but sometimes with my daddy too. It is so hard when i try to explain how i feel to my mama she doesn't understand because she was the oldest by 6 months. i am showing her this page definitely

Rachel. 5 years ago

I only have an older brother no younger sibs or anything does MCS sometimes affect people with only two kids cause Ive been reading and a lot of this stuff sounds like what happens to me.

That's nothing 5 years ago

I was a middle child and a bastard to boot. Little sister arrived before dad found out about Mom's "indiscretion". My family left me with the neighbors and took family vacations.

Middle Child Syndrome 5 years ago

Hi, this is my blog, dedicated for middle children and parents. Feel free to drop by. More power to middle children!

Hailley Collins 5 years ago

Hi, I am also a middle child. I agree with you on most points. Middle child syndrome does often result to distancing, and believe me I know how bad it feels to be just in the same room with your family who doesn't care for you. Thank you very much for this. I also have a blog for middle children. Feel free to visit!

J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Hello, Lisa and thanks for this great Hub!

I am the youngest of three but my parents told me that my sister (the middle child) went through this. My oldest sister is a female; I'm the only boy.

This was a very useful Hub for me. I got married a little over 2 years ago and I now have 3 step (I hate that word!) children. My stepdaughter who is 13 is showing all the signs of this syndrome. We are trying to do everything that we can to help her.

Great Hub! Thanks!


Tony 5 years ago

Well I am the parent of three children and my 16 year old daughter is in the middle. It breaks my heart to read some of these post. But, I also realize most of this is what my daughter feels and goes through. I try so hard to understand her and listen but very rarely opens up to me or anyone. She has always had a temper, and it feels like she takes it out on the people that love her the most. She is an amazing and beautiful young lady. Most of the things and feelings that have been mention on this site is how she feels. She can go off in just a moment. Her older sister and younger brother often feel like they have to walk on egg shells around her and her dad and I try to help her. All of the comments on how to help the middle child are well in good ,but it is really hard as a parent to help your child when they push you and retreat inside themselves. I love so much and I only what her to have a happy and amazing life. Well I think I could go on forever on this subject. I just wanted to add a parents view. Thank you for the post

Tony 5 years ago

Well I am the parent of three children and my 16 year old daughter is in the middle. It breaks my heart to read some of these post. But, I also realize most of this is what my daughter feels and goes through. I try so hard to understand her and listen but very rarely opens up to me or anyone. She has always had a temper, and it feels like she takes it out on the people that love her the most. She is an amazing and beautiful young lady. Most of the things and feelings that have been mention on this site is how she feels. She can go off in just a moment. Her older sister and younger brother often feel like they have to walk on egg shells around her and her dad and I try to help her. All of the comments on how to help the middle child are well in good ,but it is really hard as a parent to help your child when they push you and retreat inside themselves. I love so much and I only what her to have a happy and amazing life. Well I think I could go on forever on this subject. I just wanted to add a parents view. Thank you for the post

Furuhanu 5 years ago

I think all of the middle children should unite or


Anyway I'm the middle child

of three males.

I'm the stubborn, devilish son that even my

aunts always gossip about (you know it sucks when your mother tells everyone how bad you are).

But in another way I also feel like I'm more creative and think differently than my

brothers, not necessarily on a higher level, but just different.

I know my life will keep on being this way because I don't think my parents even bother about this kinda stuff.

My older brother gets all the priviliges, he even gets to talk back!

My younger brother is just a lazy bum who's actually struggling with studies.

For me, I'm not achieving high grades as my older brother or as low as my younger brother, I just manage to do quite well without putting

much effort.

Yet I don't get incentives like my brothers do.

In fact, I didn't receive a birthday present this year, while my

brothers had theirs.

If I keep ranting on, it might get end endless, and I'm sure most of you middle children know how I'm feeling, it's truly a horrible feeling.

I'm also getting emotional now, so I better stop, for my sake, and for yours too, from

having this message being TOO long.

And to non middle-children, you can't really understand what we're going because you have to be one yourself. But thanks for reading this, life has to move on.

P-Town J-Dog 5 years ago

Its sad when people do this to you. When I was little, my parents treated me like I had a mental disorder and my mother still picks on me and talks down to me about issues I already know about. I'm 25.

Christopher Korman 5 years ago

The problem I have isn't so much about being a middle child as it is about being one who is learning disabled.She hates the fact that I had a child and got married before her.The truth is that she had twins through a sperm donor because she needs to be in control of them and she doesn't want a man in her life to dictate to her or have them take his name.

does anyone in their family have someone like this full of vanity and ego?

Anna 5 years ago

It's sad. I'm a middle child and when I read about middle child syndrome, the one thought that went through my head was, "Man, my parents would eat this shit up. Now, they have something else to blame my failures on."

Seriously, I'm a sixteen year old girl and not only do I barely pass the majority of my classes with Cs and Ds, but my older brother was valedictorian of my school. People know him as "the genius kid that didn't even try." I cannot express to you the horrible feeling I get every first day of school when one of Matt's old teachers is like, "You're Matt's sister?!" Oh, yea, that's me, but I'm the bad egg in the family, so don't get your hopes up. I can't explain to you why school doesn't interest me. It's not that I'm stupid. I pass all my tests with As and Bs, but the homework is seemingly impossible for me to will myself to do.

Anyway, with every family that I've seen the middle child is always the abstract ones. At least, I'm the weird one in my family. I feel like my brain works differently than everyone else in my family. I thought I was mildly autistic once because I'm so, as my parents would say, "out there sometimes." I've noticed that in a lot of family reunion pictures, everyone is always looking at me like I just said something crazy, and I probably did, but it's not weird enough for me to remember.

I also hate it when and oldest or youngest child tells me that being the middle is not that bad. Bite me. My parents are always there for my older and younger brothers. And they don't even have to say anything! I just feel like the hated one in my family. In fact, I've taken the role as the "Tank" in my family because whenever my parents are yelling at one of my brothers, I say something stupid and suddenly BAM! Both of them are yelling at me like there's no tomorrow, with my brother completely forgotten.

Middle child Patient 5 years ago

it really sucks to be a middle child. you are living a dead life meaning that nobody notices you, love you or give you any attention. No i understand why i am so lonely and i hate it. I hate the fact that i am a middle child and i hate my parents too. WOW.

I am not even scared of death, i don't care. Because when i die, nobody gives a shet;

On the positive side, this gives me such a feeling of freedom, independence and feeling lightheaded. Like there is no string attached to me; like i can fly; like i don't even exist.

To hell with my parents, specially the bitch that gave birth to me;

bell 5 years ago

I am the middle of seven, fourth and a female. I have three older sisters that are my full sisters. My father died before I was born so I never knew him. I have three siblings from another marriage my mother had. I did not do well in school or anything social because I was so afraid of failing at it. My family did not push me or encourage me to do better because they felt I might have suffered some from my mother caring me and it was tramatic. My older sisters were smart,pretty, and always first in everything they did. My youngest sister had her father and mother to encourage healthy self esteem. My younger brothers were not as close to their father. Being the middle child and being born after the death of my father was not pleasant. My sisters were small when he died. Two,four,six. Even though they were young there has always been a bond among them because they shared this experience. I have low self esteem, and have tried to find ways to feel more bonded with my family. I am fiftyish in age and have just graduated college with my undergraduate degree. I have had a difficult time of getting a job because of my low esteem. ThankS FOR listening. It is nice to know there others who share the same feelings.

Yatt 5 years ago

Never knew there was such thing as middle child syndrome... but now i do believe there is, I am the 3rd child out of 4... sometimes wonder what i am acctually doing still alive... there just doesn't seem to be any point in doing anything anymore, I am constantly got at 24hr 7days a week, even if im working i get shouted at because i havnt managed to clean up, to do what everyone else wants me to do... I can't seem to ind my own life... HELP...

Melanie 5 years ago

Well...I am pregnant with our third right now. We weren't really planning on that...and it seems like you all might have advice for me. Right now, I am in mourning a little bit. I was kind of a bad mix of an only/youngest child - my half brother was eight years older and rarely lived with us. I really don't understand anything about sibling relationships, and most of the decisions I make as a parent are ones made on the reality of how much money we make, how many rooms are in our house, and how many hours are in a day. I don't want to do that to the neglect of our kids. I enjoy my oldest and youngest daughters so much. And I enjoy that my youngest is my "baby" - while her sister is playing alone in her room or doing things all by herself, the youngest still needs me, comes up to me and just wants to snuggle, etc. It has just struck me that I don't have an imagination for what a "middle" child is, and I don't like the idea of my youngest losing her place in our family - and reading this, it seems like she is at risk for that. I have some ideas, I don't know if any of them would really help - do you all have some tips? One idea I had was to not make the oldest two or youngest two share a room because then the middle one never gets their own room. Maybe instead just rotate who gets the "single" room on an annual basis, and when the girls have friends over allow the girlfriends to camp-out on the foldout couch downstairs without interuption. I can't imagine not using hand-me down clothes - especially with all girls - but I guess I would be open as the girls get older to going through them first and picking the ones that the middle/youngest finds suitable and then trying to sell the rest on ebay/craiglist - then using that money exclusively to purchase the rest of their wardrobe. I guess we could also try to make sure that we buy fewer clothes overall, but new clothes for everyone - is that something that matters a lot to you as a middle child? For the girls now, we rarely buy toys that are "child specific", except for on birthdays. We tend to buy books specific to the kids interests though. As for the baby books, my oldest has one, the youngest doesn't really, and man, I don't know about the third, but I am toying with the idea of taking a few days with each child when they are 10 or 12 or so and completing a book with them - where they pick out their favorite photos from all the family photos and I pick out my family favorites, and maybe show them baby pictures of us as kids and their grandparents as young adults. I would like to point out how they "fit in" to the family (you have your great-grandmas eyes, the way you laugh reminds me so much of grammie, etc). Then maybe after that have each child - even the oldest one- help with continuing contributions to their book(s) each year. Do you have more specific advice for things we could do to show each child how much they are valued?

translucent 5 years ago

I am the middle daughter of three.I did not know there was an actually syndrome for this but I have always felt so.It is very true,and I would even mention the fact to my parents that my older sister was treated more specail because she was the first, and the fact that my younger sister gets babied in EVERYTHING. When I bring this up they say they know yet, do nothing and just shrug it off.

I tell them how I feel like the only thing they talk to me about is chores I must do and other expectations, again they acknowleadge and then shrug it off.

I feel giantly isolated, and when I was thirteen (17 now) it was extremely bad then, I would try to just make my self numb and absent of feelings, I remember talking to my mom about leaving( during a fight) and all she could say to me was 'if you leave don't think you can come back.' but if my younger sister said anything like that I think my mom would just coddle her and try to make her feel better. so if you can't tell I don't talk about feelings with parents. My dad has recently gotten better about it, my older sister didn't do a chore so my mom said I had to do it, when I complained she started to yell, till my dad stepped in telling her if I had not done a chore she wouldn't make someone else do it she would hound my ass till I got it done. I hate Middle child syndrome.

translucent 5 years ago

I am the middle daughter of three.I did not know there was an actually syndrome for this but I have always felt so.It is very true,and I would even mention the fact to my parents that my older sister was treated more specail because she was the first, and the fact that my younger sister gets babied in EVERYTHING. When I bring this up they say they know yet, do nothing and just shrug it off.

I tell them how I feel like the only thing they talk to me about is chores I must do and other expectations, again they acknowleadge and then shrug it off.

I feel giantly isolated, and when I was thirteen (17 now) it was extremely bad then, I would try to just make my self numb and absent of feelings, I remember talking to my mom about leaving( during a fight) and all she could say to me was 'if you leave don't think you can come back.' but if my younger sister said anything like that I think my mom would just coddle her and try to make her feel better. so if you can't tell I don't talk about feelings with parents. My dad has recently gotten better about it, my older sister didn't do a chore so my mom said I had to do it, when I complained she started to yell, till my dad stepped in telling her if I had not done a chore she wouldn't make someone else do it she would hound my ass till I got it done. I hate Middle child syndrome.

Kacey 5 years ago

This is so real. I didn't even know there was such thing but everything is true, i tried telling my parents but they think i'm doing it so they'll feel bad for me. There always taking my brother out to eat while i'm home. talking about my older sister which doesn't even live with us anymore. NOBODY understands me. sucks soo bad

Shyanne 5 years ago

And I am also way more emotional than anyone else in my family because I feel so left out and that no one cares about me. I'm 20, going on 21 and I still cry frequently over how different I get treated.

Shyanne 5 years ago

I really like reading all of these comments. It makes me feel better that I am not the only one and its not just in my head. I am the middle child of 3...all girls. My older sister just turned 23, I am 20, and my little sister is 16. I have recently got in a fight with my mom, that's how I found this website. It's all the little things my mom does that upsets me.

The older sister is a druggy that dropped out of college and works at the dollar general (don't get me wrong, a job is a job but she barely works 32 hrs a week) and she is never home (but still lives at home). This is my third year in college, I'm taking 15 credits and work more than full-time between two jobs. And my little sister(I call her miss princesss), EVERYTHING is given to her! My parents do not help me AT ALL with school. I struggle to make my car payments and school payments, but I don't expect them to. I like that fact I am a strong and better person than my other sisters. However, I would like some attention for my acheivements. Time to time my grandma (which I never talk to) will call to congraduate me for being on the deans list, which she reads in the paper.

My parents just complain that I'm never home to help them with anything...hmmm... I wonder why! I don't have time for myself or time to finnish all my homework!No matter how hard I try, its never good enough. They just don't get it since they didn't go to college and since they weren't the middle child!

Sorry for complaining, if you not the middle child, you probably don't even begin to understand.

Emily 5 years ago

I feel the same way . . . Im the middle child to. To me its like no one cares for me and im the type that gets mad easily. I used to cut myself on my arm cause of how angry i was at my parents. I always get mad because my sisters get special treatment. But im the outcast. I think the only way to get attention from my mom is to talk back to her with all my anger. I love my mommy but she just gets on my nerves because shes always paying attention to the others. Sometimes i just wish i will get treated the same. If not i think i will do something dangerous with all my anger. I have a lot to say but that's all i have to say for now.

Gripper2 profile image

Gripper2 6 years ago

Wow. I have always been a firm believer of MCS but this is an eyeopener to many of my personality flaws. I am very much the same as you as in attitude and reactions. I have an brother 1 year older who was strong, confident and athletic and a sister 3 years younger ( no need to tell you how she was treated).

Ripplemaker seems to be the typical elder child by making sure we know that we souldn't feel any differently than they do and redirecting attention to themselves.

Claribel 6 years ago

i wouldn't know how being the middle child is because i am the youngest but when i see the way my brother acts i feel bad. Cuz hes always angry or something like that. He acts so mad towards my mother though she does nothing wrong. Cuz i know she loves him nd she shows that. But he just acts like hes stupid nd doesn't care but i know hes smart nd he cares. By the way im12 nd hes 16 nd the oldest is 20[ me girl, 16=boy nd 20=boy]. Can u explain to me y he acts like this??

Mya 6 years ago

Hi ,

I'm 12 years old & stuck in the middle of a 17 year old sister & a 10 year old brother . My brother gets spoiled a lot , especially from my grandma . It's not fair cuz I'm always the outsider and when me & him fight my grandma always takes his side . Then my sister is going to college & everyone in the family is giving her all the attention . I get that she's going to college but it would be nice to at least alittle bit of attention sometimes . But I feel the ONLY person that understands me is my uncle . He's also the middle child . He's actually the one that told me about MCS . He felt the same way as I do . But he ended up being sucsessful , He's a DJ . When I get older I want to be some what like him . He's like the dad inever had .

I hope that all this changes and iget more attention cuz it would be nice . & once I thought of killing myself since no1 cared & loved me . But I decided not to since I have my whole life ahead of me . Being independent is my only opption for now . & it's hard but I'm doing fine cuz I have my friends rather than my family .

- Mya

stephanie 6 years ago

I'm 14,my older sister is 18,my little sister is 10.

From the day my little sister was born to today.I have and will always be the middle child.I if I do something worng its because I'm dumb or useless.If my little sister does something worng its because shes little.(even though when I was little and did something worng it was still because I was dumb or something)

My older sister failed high school and has to go to adult school.I am now just starting high school and keeps telling me"you better do better!You are useless,and if you fail,that just makes you more useless"

Like if its not hard being in high school.My mom has to go and be a bitch to me about it.I am an artiste and for fun and go in my room listen to techno and draw or paint.

My friends love my drawings and I love my friends.My older sister is more like a mom to me and she is the same with my little sister.So my little sister will always get everyones attention more then me.I just want to get done with school,get a good job and move the hell out of the house.My dad and mom do love me,I just wish they would do a better job of showing it.I did want to kill myself when I 6 or 7 but I stoped.My friend in high school showed me this and made me forgot about them and to move on with my life.


Kylie 6 years ago

I'm the middle of three. My older sister is five years older than I am, and my brother is two and a half years younger. I've never gotten along well with either of my siblings. It's usually them ganging up on me. I sometimes feel more like the oldest than the middle. My brother is severely ADHD and dyslexic, so my mom homeschools him. As a result, I was brought home too. I basically get handed my books at the beginning of the year and told "See you in May," while my brother gets complete one-on-one attention. But I do get in trouble if I'm not up to par with my mom's standards (which are really, really high). But she only seems to have those standards for me. My sister is in her junior year of college, and still living at home.

On top of my schoolwork, I have to do the laundry, cook meals, clean, and do yardwork. I very rarely get any thanks. I'm usually just ignored or yelled at for doing it wrong. But my sister and brother barely have any chores at all.

I've never thought it's fair, but I don't argue. If I argue, I get in trouble.

I'm usually the forgotten child. It's Emma, Ethan, and the other one; not Emma, Kylie, and Ethan. I've learned that I have to be independent. I'm 17, and I just got my drivers license and my own car. I got both on my own. I have my own laptop and cellphone. My own iPod. I pay for all of it on my own. I pay for my own sports equipment and fees. I pay for my own gym membership. I paid for my own guitar and taught myself how to play it. I work evenings and weekends, I have for a couple years now. Last week, my mom called me at work asking where I was. She asked me how I had gotten there, and when I told I had driven, she started going off about how I could drive without a license, and where had I gotten a car to drive? I've had my car and my license for almost a year. I've been left at grocery stores before.

In short: being the middle child sucks. Hardcore. You just can't win.

Rachel 6 years ago

Be careful not to overcompensate because a child is the middle child. My husbands parents are both middle children and they have three children. My husband is the oldest and then another boy and then the youngest is a girl. My husbands brother (the middle child) is actually the most spoiled. He is in his twenties doesn't work and lives off of his parents. My husband and his sister work their asses off and it is still not good enough to their parents. He gets offered money to watch a movie with the mother (at 22 years old) and gets taken out to lunch daily and dinner made for him daily. He was never taught how to do his own laundry or use a microwave. He relies on the parents for everything. It's just not right...

BajaKate 6 years ago

Hi Lisa -

This is my first hub post and I am writing because I am both impressed with your hub and because this subject is near and dear to my heart. I, like you, am a mother and I would like to comment and ask for advice at the same time.

I am 46 years old and have suffered greatly since I can remember. I have two brothers and I am sandwiched in the middle. My older brother is a complete idiot and my little brother is a great guy, but those two have been inseparable since I can remember, and continue to be to this day. My older brother has lied, cheated and stolen from both of us, and took us to court after our dad died and still my little brother forgives him and is still his friend. It has always mystified me.

I never felt I belonged in my family. I never had a place. My mom was and still continues to be brutal towards me. I feel she hates me. I am a loner. I am single. I have an adopted child, a daughter, who is now ten years old, and I feel I am failing her.

I was going to move back to where my mother and younger brother and his family live so my daughter could grow up around them, but it became so obvious that this move wasn't about me, it was just about my daughter. Two weeks ago my friend made an offhanded remark about me being the middle child. Her parents are both therapists and I just kind of blew it off until a few days ago, when I started looking up MCS. OMG, it's me. I was, and continue to be the "invisible one."

I am having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that my upbringing made me who I am today, and I am wondering what I can do about it. I am also having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that moving back to be closer to my family would be a disaster for me and ultimately for my daughter. This is so sad to me as I want her to have that closeness that I never got, and I feel it is important for her to have that sense of family, especially since she is adopted.

To this day I feel I am invisible, unwanted and that my needs don't matter. My mother actually told my daughter last week "your mom likes to fight!" All I was trying to do was get my mother to acknowledge me and my feelings. I don't think that will ever happen.

My mother adores my little brother and his family. He has a great wife and two great boys, and I would love to be closer to them, but I just can't do it. I lived in the same town with them for three years and had to move two years ago. It was like childhood all over again. No one ever acknowledged me when I was there. Nothing I did was of any importance, while everything my brother and his family did was ultra newsworthy. My mother loves my sister-in-law but can't stand me. My mother loves my daughter to pieces, but thinks I am doing her wrong by living here so far from family. I just can't move back. I feel unsuccessful and am often stressed out because I live alone with my daughter in the middle of nowhere. I prefer the solitude but am wracked with guilt for living like this with my daughter. My daughter is really an amazing person and I feel I am doing a good job raising her, the best I can, but still I have been wondering if she would do better living with my mother or my brother. My daughter is social and I am not. I don't have a lot of friends and we live far from kid friendly activities.

I feel there is a reason my daughter and I are together, but for the life of me, I never have been able to figure out why I grew up in the family I did. It has never made any sense to me. I don't feel I have deserved any of this...

I was just interrupted by a phone call from my daughter, who is with my mother and OMG is she upset. My mother can be brutal at times!

I guess I was glad to hear that my daughter is glad we didn't move back.


Anyway, where does a middle child go from here? Am I really destined to be alone and isolated for the rest of my life? How do I do right by my daughter?

Thanks so much for the hub Lisa!

May 6 years ago

I'm 15 and I'm the middle of 3, I have an older sister and a younger brother. My sister isn't much older than me as there is only 3 years between us but my brother is only a toddler so there is a big age gap. My sister has just passed her driving test and will soon be going to university so she gets a lot of attention and as my brother is only a toddler he is constantly getting a lot of attention. When my brother was born my mum told me and my sister that if we ever felt unloved or forgotten that we should tell her so we tried to ignore it at first but it got worse so we said something to her about it and she just seemed to get mad and told us we were wrong. Now, however, my sister doesn't seem to get as bothered by it as I do because she is currently receiving a lot of attention to. My grandparents are awful for favouring as they clearly favour my brother as he is the youngest and I just feel like I should just be invisible when I'm around them with him. I understand that my brother is young and needs a lot of attention and that my sister is moving up in life and needs help and attention but I just feel like I don't matter to anyone anymore and I kind of just feel in the way at times. I just want to be noticed and feel loved sometimes.

eve 6 years ago

Hi lisa. Nice hubs! I'm also a middle child. I have an older sister and a younger brother, just like you. I'm 21 years old this year. I don't have many pictures and toys when i was a kid. I always feel isolated and different. Even my physical appearance is different from my sibling. I even feel that I'm adopted! Silly me. Make me laugh whenever i think about it now. First and last born may have its privileges, but being stuck in the middle is not totally bad. As I grew up, I realized that my parent has a special way in showing their love to me. I'm daddy's little girl. Being a middle child make me a good middle person. My sister and brother always asked for my help if they need help in dealing with my parent and also when both of them are fighting. There is nothing wrong by being different.

Desmond Tutu said that "you don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you. Thus, i'm very grateful for what i have and for what i don't have.

Michaela 6 years ago

I am only fourteen years old and have a rough time bc I am the middle child of 5 with divorced parents. My dad lives an hour away and my mom works many jobs, so I'm always home with my stepdad. He is kind of weird to be around bc I never really let him into my life I guess I didn't want another father when I was younger. My siblings all call him dad I call him John. But it's weird for me when I say dad. And I feel the same as any middle child, alone disbeloning and not as appreciated. It hurts me when I watch as my older sister is treated. Like the goddess of my mother's life. Everything I bring up ends up about my older sister and my youngest sister cries unroll she gets her way for everything. Don't get me wrong I love my family I just don't feel like they feel the same. My oldest sibling, my brother graduated and He feels out sometimes to but probably because he has gone through some rough things with my mom as she was an 18 year old with a baby. She isn't wasn't even 31 before she had all 5 of us. I feel like she remembers everyone but me she has even called me by my older sister's name. I definatley feel the favoritism and when I try to tell her how I feel she does in complete denial and gets mad. I'm really tired of the middle child thing. What doesn't help is that other than my mom I am the only one with red hair so I am tormented in school and can often be antisocial, always trying to please everyone and mosly unsuccessful. I hate the way live and it helps to know I am not the only one. I just hope one day my mom will take me out to the spa and trust me to be next door when it's only me and my bestfriends. She trusts my older sister and she gets away with everyone and my second youngest sister pushes herself into crowds and is very outgoing. Where on the other hand I am 5'3 and weigh 90 lbs. Also called anerexic to some people I don't even have room for my whole story but I'm right there with everone!

Angel 6 years ago

I am a middle child well into my 30s now and have experienced all you mentioned. But I agree when someone up there said it's too late. It's put me off from having kids.

Sen 6 years ago

I'm a middle child and there were and are several times when I've felt left out or forgotten. I've told my parents about it a few times but they always say I'm being over emptional and dramatic. It seems that every time I feel an emotion strongly everyone wants to call me a brat or lier. They always say they pay attention to me when they don't. One time in freshmen year of high school I was expirencing extreme pain in my shins which made it hard to walk or go down stairs which made gym Hell. Of course I told my parents about it but they shrugged it off. After about a week of this pain I went to the nurse's who suggested that I see the doctor about this. My parents didn't seem to care much about it, "Alright." was all they said. I lived with that pain for a little more than three months, I remember going into the bathroom and crying out of pain and fustration several times.

I don't know if my parents realize they shrug off my problems but when I try to make them see it doesn't seem to work. I always have to fight for spotlight. My older sister is in college and my younger sister will be entering High school soon so right now the focus is really on them and it doesn't help that my older sister is skilled at drawing. Don't get me wrong, it's great that she has a beautiful skill but it get lonely because I'm the only sister without a great skill. I'm also very akward around people when my younder sister is very sociable and athletic. I often worry about where my career is headed but my parents don't seem to know me well since they always suggest things like a mathmetician or doctor. Sometimes I get so scared that I might pick the wrong career or might not qualify for the career that I want that I start crying (In private, of course)I just don't know what to do and I don't want my parents help. (Every time it gets worse)

I'm just so scared about the future and no one seems to care. Whenever we get into conversations about my fears and problems it somehow always ends in a fight or it turns into a conversation about somebody else (Usually leaving me more confused than ever)It gets quite lonely at times and I find that I bottle my emotions to the point where I'd scribble all over then ripp it to pieces. I scare myself sometimes...Stupid me, so emotional I was crying as I read articles on MCS and while I wrote this (Obscenely large)paragraph of self pitty. Wow, anyone who even bothered reading the entire thing must be thinking I'm overreacting but there is plenty more expirences to share that I wont bore you with althought I really wish I did.

Emily 6 years ago

I am a middle child, and this is completely true. When you are in the middle all the attention goes to the oldest and the youngest child. In my family my mum pays more attention to my older sister, and my dad pays more attention to my little brother. I have been searching the internet for some advice but then I found this, this information shows that I am not alone there are plenty of other people that are like me. I sent this information to my parents via e-mail a couple of nights ago, they came down into my room and started to talk about me and my feelings. I have some tips of which you can do:

1. Tell your parents how you feel.

2. Always remember there is nothing wrong with you and it is not your fault.

3. Talk to someone, at our school we have a pastoral support manager who helps us with our problems.

Hope this helps


Allison 6 years ago

Im the middle of 5. i have 2 older sisters and two little brothers. my little brothers are spoiled and get away w/ stuff, especially the youngets. my eldest sister is really insanely smart and the other is really creative and artistic. i feel like im not good at anything compared to them. but i guess i do have something that neither of them have 1. I can play piano really well. which is like my safe haven i suppose. and 2. i can take care of myself. im independent and don't need anyone except myself. i'm an EXTREMELY loyal friend. but if a friend does something not so nice to me i get really upset because, i guess i have some sort of complex or something. but i think i'm okay with who i am. which neither of my sisters can say. :)

Anonymous 6 years ago

I to am a middle child. Middle of 3 girls. I understand the feeling of "middle child syndrome", Ive lived it. At age 28 now I have learned to embrace it. Because I have always been detached from the rest of my family, and nothing in common with either of my sisters, it has been easy for me to move away to new places, travel, meet new people and experience new things. For that I think it has made me a stronger person and has made them jealous for never being brave enough to do what I have done.

anonymous 6 years ago

I'm in the middle of three sisters as well..Some of the things that i read about middle child syndrome is true but not true at the same time. Well when we were younger me and my sisters would always play with each other but my older sister always hated me because she thinks I act innocent in front of my mom to get her in trouble but maybe if she didn't mess with me constantly i wouldn't have to tell on her. I was actually pretty close with my younger sister until recently she kind of drifted away from me and decided she wanted to act like my older sister or in other words a bitch to me. I remember it was always my older sister who would always try to leave me out of everything, and it broke my heart...sometimes i would come over and peek at them playing dolls and i really wanted to play with them but i knew they would reject me so i would just play with my self...sometimes i wonder if my little sister is using me constantly because when my older sister isn't with her she acts like a completely different person, she wouldn't make fun of me of everything i wear and say but recently she started going solo to make fun of me but i yell at her back so now we dunt talk. i really hate my sisters because i think their self absorbed and have a special bond by picking on me so im hoping that when i grow up ill have a more loving family of my own maybe only two kids so they'll be stuck playing with each other and no one will be left behind. And my parents don't really favor me but i cant be sure if they favor my sisters more than me maybe sometimes or its just me. And yeah it is definitely true that the little sisters get favored and the older sisters do whatever they want and the middle child me...is just there. So i guess somewhat i feel like the outcast in my family but i kinda don't care tht much. But the thing is that I try to make peace with my sisters but you know its rlly impossible because they're just plain bitchy for example my my little sister got a brand new computer so i asked to use a program downloaded on her old beat up computer for my homework and even though she wasn't using it or ever going to use it she wouldn't let me use it so i told on her and now were not speaking to each other and the other week my older sister wore my t shirt that ive only worn once ot without asking me so i got really pissed since whenever i touch her stuf like her pen i know its ridiculous she goes bananas on me so i ended up having to physically fight and i juat hate crying in front of ppl but i cant hold in in when i get too emotional so me crying gives them something to mock me.

Casey 6 years ago

Im middle child too.. I could say Im independent,, Im happy away from my family I can do what I want.. In fact, Im happy with my friends rather than with my family.

payii 6 years ago

I'm a second child too, reading this made me teary.

I wish my parents followed your steps while they raise me up but unfortunately both of them are last born, I guess they didn't know how to deal with middle children. I have lots more younger siblings which are middle children too, and I can see the same thing happening to them. My parents still haven't learn from what happened to me though.

I'm nineteen now and passed through all this but I'm worried about my younger siblings. We are neglected because my parents are too busy with their own careers. I can see this very greatly on my 7 years old brother. Number 1, he has been skipping classes for a month and my mum never knew till his teacher called her. Number 2, his colouring pencils are blunt to the point of can't be used anymore because his pencil sharpener is lost. He can't borrow from his friends due to the size of his colouring pencils. Number 3, mum told me to drive him to school and find out where is his class. This supposed to be a parent's job not mine.

The other two younger sisters are getting out of control too( this is what my mother said). I read a paper in the trash bin with scribbles by my 13 years old sister saying that she hated this family and doesn't see a reason to live anymore. My 12 years old sister keep bullying the younger brothers and makes a mess in the house. She likes being a burden to the house maids. I don't blame them. In fact, I'm on their side, but I never said anything about their behaviour to them nor to my parents. I just kept quiet all these years and observe. I know that this is not the right thing to do but being a middle child myself made me keep stuff from my parents.

Yovana 6 years ago

I'm the middle child in my case. It is extremely difficult to get attention from my parents. They intend that they do not treat me differently, or pay less attention to me. My older sister and I are the same sex, and we are involved with in the same activities, and have the same group of friends, which is very difficult at times. My younger brother lacks an interest in many activities, and has difficulty in school, as I am one of the most intelligent students. This causes my parents to focus on helping Marko, which causes lack of attention to me. My parents think I am very independent, because I am, and assume I don't need much attention when I'm actually trying to tell them that I NEED ATTENTION! Lisa, I have the same exact situation as you do. Everyone was hoping for a boy when I was born, and when my Mom had my brother, everyone was excited, and now as he is six years old, my family still views him as the baby, and I still feel as insignificant as I did when he was born. I don't know how to get over this feeling, but it's killing me....

Lisa Petrarca profile image

Lisa Petrarca 6 years ago Author


I posted the article in hopes of offering a positive way for parents to recognize the common signs of the majority of middle children.

The comments you have read are from middle children whose parents were either unaware or not able to give their children what they needed. My intention for writing this Hub was to keep other parents from making the same mistakes.

With that having been said, my middle son, Jullien (I have 3 boys), is very happy, well adjusted & NEVER felt that he was loved any less as a middle child.

I used the above mentioned steps to assure that he felt loved.

Remember, it will require a conscious effort on your part...middle children can become difficult to handle.

I hope this helps answer your questions and offers a guideline to follow in raising your soon to be middle child.

Keinya 6 years ago

It seems like most comments about this blog are kind of on the negative side...like all of the parents messed up. Kind of discouraging for a mom like me who's expecting her third child. I'll have 3 girls (5,2, and the newborn expected to be delivered next month). I was looking for some solid insight on what I can do to prevent this from happening to my middle child. Does anyone have a positive experience they can share about how they were not "forgotten" and why they think they had a good experience feeling just as loved as the other siblings? I can't imagine parents intentionally making one of their children feel unloved? ...Although anything is possible. Thoughts?

Lisa Petrarca profile image

Lisa Petrarca 6 years ago Author

Alyssa- The one positive thing that I've learned from being a middle child, is that we are survivors. When things get tough & we feel like our backs are against the wall, we always seem to push through any situation.

If you are not happy with your present circumstance, use your natural survival instincts (middle children never give up). Start looking for a new job that is in an area that interests you. Or volunteer your time...giving of yourself usually helps you to be able to see who you really are & put your life into proper perspective. You have an innate ability to adapt to your environment (part of a learned trait from MCS). If your family isn't helping you out, then you do what you've always done, find a way to make it happen. Even if you have to continue taking just a few night classes. Stick to your goals!

At 43 years old, my parents have finally told me how proud of me they are, what a wonderful person & parent I've turned out to be & how good my boys turned out.


It wasn't easy, I felt like giving up & spent many nights crying. But I can tell you that I am proud of myself too...finally.

Remember, the difficult times make us stronger. Keep pushing forward Alyssa...don't give up hope. Someday you will be able to use your experiences to help others who are going through the same thing.

Reach deep inside and find out who you are and what your true purpose is...you are only 18 & have such an incredible life ahead of you.


tracey 6 years ago

i have three son all with a four year age gap 10,6 and 2 an after reading this i am wondering if this is why my middle boy is so naughty, i try not to teach them differently, i am really going to try a lot more he knows he is lovedand he calls me the best mummy ever but i feel terrible.

andrea 6 years ago

im 44 now and still feel not part of my family. things will never change its to late. at least i have my daughter shes everything..takecare. x

Britt 6 years ago

I am the second born out of four children an older brother and 2 younger sisters. I am the quiet, easys going kid. I never make problems. Sometimes I feel like I get lost in the shuffle. I am 19 and do not know what to do. My parents are always buying stuff for the other kids but not me. They recently bought softball stuff for my sisters and fifty dollar outfit for my bother for his surgery, but i did not get anything and i feel a little left out.:( Sometimes I am just fine with flying under the raidar because that is how it has always been. I always do what I am told when I am told to do it. I alwys do all my homework and do great in school but my sister under me always does better than me even in my favorite sport softball. I try so hard in what ever I do it just seem to be not enough. My older brother is just a mess up so he is always getting in trouble so he gets that attention. It doesn't matter what I do one of my siblings seems to do better. Sometimes I feel like I belong. I need some advice on how to deal with this! Help Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alyssa 6 years ago

wow this is my life. I'm the middle child a girl between an older sister & a younger brother, I've always felt like I was just extra baggage my parents received on the way to getting their 1 girl & 1 boy, I told my parents this once when I was like 9 & my father gave me this letter he wrote me once when I was little & it said that the day I was born he was hoping for a son since he already had a daughter then I came & he was like o ok he went on in the letter but that was 10yrs ago so I don't remember all it said but I do remember it made me feel worse knowing they really wanted a boy instead of just thinking it. I was so distant from all my family became a germophob which was a great cover for not letting anybody touch me even though what I really wanted most was for a parent to hug me once in a while @ least I was so bad my mother worried people would think I'd been abused.it always seemed every mistake I made was magnified & every mistake my sis or bro made was swept under the rug asap. I guess I became a better person for it cause I stood up 4 myself ever since I was little. Even now idk why I even bother living all I do is go to work @ my dead end job & come home to my crappy 1bdrm apt I have nothing to live for & I'm only 18. My parents won't let me live there because I refused to live their religion so I'm now barely scraping by & I was goin 2 college but since I don't live thr anymore I can't afford it, I'm so lost right now I have no idea what to do or where I'm goin.

May 6 years ago

I always knew about MCS, but i was in definal about it. I'm the middle of a younger and older sisters. I always rebelled against my parents and still do, because that is the only thing that i know how to do to express my emotions. I was always in the shadow of my older sister, because she sang better than me and that was a big thing in my family. Academically, I was smarter, but still that was never enough for my parents. She was always the "good" child, and my parents would always be like "why can't you be like her more?" My younger sister and i would fight often, but my older sister would always take my younger sister's side. They would always team up against me, and make me feel really bad. My parents somehow failed to see this. My older sister and I don't have that great sister bond, and it's awkward to talk to her at time. I'm always jealous when i see my friends with their siblings and how they're always like best friends. That is something that i know i never will have. My parents never understood me, because they never took the time to understand me. When it comes to me, there is no me in their eyes. There have been moments where my family has been like it was more peaceful in the house, before you walked into the front door. It hurts, and how else do you respond back to that except with backtalk and anger. Anger has been building up inside me. I can't wait to go to college. One thing that I know for sure is that when i have a family, i will be nothing like my parents no doubt. People say that they hope to be like their parents when they grow up but i don't.

Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

I am in a way the middle child, but being the only girl made life even more complicated. My brothers had each other through thick and thin, and still are very close to one another. On the other hand, sticking three boys in one room, well I was glad to be the only girl! But I think my parents loved us all equally for we are so different in our personalities and characteristics it would seem more than unfair had they done it any other way. Besides that, my brother and I, the middle ones, were often the loudest....kind of hard to ignore! Nice hub, Lisa!

seasoning 6 years ago

i am quite sure as ripplemaker said oldest and youngest do have some tough times......

The needs of a middle child are definitely different, especially 3 of the same sex. i know, i was the middle of three girls, i felt my parents did not have great parenting skills and a lot of damage was done even though they did do their best.

Jenn 6 years ago

Reading your story makes me feel like I am not alone in this situation. My life was going in all sorts of directions and I was feeling lost, alone and depressed. I never knew why until I found out about MCS. Learning about the syndrome really shocked me because it was so dead on.

I also have an older sister and a younger brother. My parents too was hoping for a boy when they were trying to conceive a 2nd child, but got me instead. My family also joked that I was supposed to be a boy. They always found it funny but I didn't. My sister and I do not have that sisterly/bestfriend relationship that most sisters do. I don't really talk to her much because I find it hard to talk to her.

I feel more at home and peaceful when I am alone in my room or out and about or when I am with my boyfriend. I am always at my boyfriends home during the weekend because I feel like I belong there. His parents are always so nice and loving to me that I wished my parents showed that much attention me.

MCS Victim 6 years ago

I read your story and I feel the same exact way. I am a middle child at fourteen years old going on fifteen in April. I have an older brother that's eighteen going on nineteen in March and a younger brother that is thirteen. My older brother wasn't very good in school since he had ADD. So now that he's out of high school and me just starting high school, they're really hard on me. I hate how they want to control my life when I'm trying to live the way I want to. I also have a bad temper and somewhat of a smart mouth and I always complain. I try not to cry typing this because remembering all that I've gone through, I see that I suffer from this pretty badly. I am often the one at family gatherings that never speaks out when not spoken to. I have to be spoken to to speak. I don't really have a good relationship with my parents or younger brother, but my older brother and I seem to get along pretty well. I have a lot of friends that I love and I can tell them anything. I don't tell my family anything. They don't even know the real me. They make assumptions and that make me angry and push them away them even more. I don't think my view on my personality will change because of this. I love this article cause it comes from the view of a middle child who has experienced all the pain we go through. Thank you so much for posting it.

ME 6 years ago

HI Lisa, like you, I am the second female child, followed by a name-sake son who followed my dad as "the Third" in my father's profession. I was completely ignored. Rebellion, drinking, drugs, were all silly because my parents didn't notice, so I lost interest in self-destructive behavior. My older sister and younger brother fought constantly, and I was always caught in the middle. I was left by myself. I don't remember anyone talking to me in my family, and realized in my twenties that I really didn't have an awareness of social norms, boundaries, self-awareness, or any other social skill as a result. I don't think anyone ever asked me what I thought. All of that was fairly pathetic and lonely, but generally benign. I was gifted in math and pursued a very successful career in engineering. But, I regret not being prepared for personal relationships, which led to three divorces. The issues there were lots of opportunity (men like pretty girls, even those without interpersonal skills and attachment issues), inability to screen guys who had their own issues, and - disinterest in maintaining a relationship. Now in my 40's, while I really love my friends, and have many wonderful people in my life - though not close enough to crowd (my best friend lives hundreds of miles away) - I tend to be reclusive. I love my work and am grateful for an intelligence and passion I could direct toward supporting myself and my kids. But, if there's anything in my otherwise successful life that I could point to as a true, lasting, and significant obstacle, and source of significant frustration and sadness, it would be the negative effect of my birth order and early family life. It can contribute to depression, and a feeling that I guard against, a feeling that I really have no business being here. I'm really supposed to be somewhere else. This is someone else's party. Not mine. Oh well.

Bad Girl 6 years ago

i have 3 siblings i am one of the middle ones i feel angrey all the time and feel negitave and unloved could i have mcs

Jeff 6 years ago

I have a siter that is 3 years older & a brother that is 6 years younger. I have read the views & professional opinions written by the authors of articles referring to this subject. Many of the symtoms to "Middle child syndrome" fit my lifestyle like a glove. The aftermath of my situation has left me bitter & angry!

john  7 years ago

i am a 14 year old boy and considered to be a middle child. i have an older sister an younger pair of twins (one a boy and one a girl). by my relativesi am excepted by my parents and siblings i am not . the only one in this house hold who kind of excepts me is my older sister. my parents take my younger siblings side all of the time and hardly ever my side. for example my little brother and i share a room together. tonight we were told to clean our room and we start a few minutes later my dad walks in and says to my little brother "go watch TV in the living room" then he tells me to finish cleaning ( the room was still a disaster).

i try to spend as much time with my friends as possible so i can stay there in sted of at my house . my friedns except me. what do you think do i have middle child syndrome or not?

Middle child & proud of it 7 years ago

I'm the middle of 3 girls. Funny how similar all these comments are...none of us seem to be tight with our families and have much closer relationships outside the family. I'm 38 and want to encourage the younger middle's that you'll be alright. It's a sucky birth order, but seems like we're all tougher, more independent and balanced than many others. It's ok if you're not tight with your family now. You may never be...I love my family now, but my closest friends are still outside the family. Don't feel like you can't go out on your own, even get away from them...if that what it takes to succeed. I've been very successful and did it on my own, despite being in the middle-or because I am. I'd recommend Keven Lehman's "Birth Order Book." He even jokes that the Middle Child chapter is the shortest-he's a psychologist and sees fewer middle's than any other birth order because we've been beat up so much as kids that we just learn to adjust to the trials of life. And, we're pretty private and tend to work stuff out on our own, too...we end up being "better" adults than our siblings because we're used to getting crapped on & know how to deal with it. Donald Trump is a middle child! God values as a middle child, even if your parents & siblings don't. Hang in there

Jill 7 years ago

I'm pretty sure i've got middle child syndrom, maybe something worse. My parents always make me do eveyone's chores around the house, and then i get no reward for doing it. Once in awhile i get something nice (like an ipod, which got stolen) and im not really sure how to explain but they all bitch at me

middle  7 years ago

wow i should print this out n show my mother .I always said to her i was treated diffrently and she swears that's not true .i beg to differ though beimg 19 yrs of age i still feel jus like how i felt when i was a child in my sister shadow my younger brother in all the glory my father fav was my sister and my mothers was my brother and it was like whos gonna love me more .Ive become such an angry little girl that grew up to be a angry teen and im almost 20 and that anger is there but the more i become more independent it dosent phase me as much but memmories can kill.

Lisa Petrarca profile image

Lisa Petrarca 7 years ago Author


I know how you feel, that's exactly how I felt when I was your age. I always had tons of friends and had a closer relationship with them than I did with my own family. The way you are feeling is normal. My older sister was also very mean to me. We didn't have much of a relationship. As we got older, she apologized for how she treated me over the years and we do have a very close relationship now (which I too NEVER thought would be possible).

Unfortunately our self-isolation tends to force everyone in our family further away because they also feel rejected by us. It tends to be a vicious circle......

Have you ever told your parents how you feel? Maybe you can print this article out and put it on their bed.

I specifically tried to use this article to help parents UNDERSTAND how to deal with MCS and give them some insight and tools to help them improve their relationship with their middle child.

I'm sorry your having such a hard time! I hope this will help you a little bit. Parents just don't "GET IT" sometimes!

Christina 7 years ago


I am 14 years old and the middle child of three girls. Nothing I do is ever good enough for my parent's attention. I thrive socially but I'm my family i am the loner. My siblings (age 16 and 10) always leave me out of things. and My little sis is the favorite of my mom, dad, and grandma. My older sis is the favorite of my aunt, and grandpa.....I don't have anyone in my family that i can talk to. I push them away cause I know they wont think im good enough. My friends support me and i can tell my best friends everything

MCS has made me more independent and responsible than my sisters. But sometimes i want to cry because i feel so lonely at home, i often stay out with friends and dread going home because when i do i don't feel welcome. i feel like my family gangs up on me sometimes, and my mom seems to be angry with me all the time and not have any patience for me. Like today she was pissed at me and snapped at me to take out trash, and other chored while she sat at the table talking to my older sis....and they were talking about me too....i could hear them and i walked back they stopped talking.

it sucks that im not even close to my sister and cant trust them with info.peole say that i will be closer to them in the future but i honestly don't see that happening...i want to move away after college bacuse i cant stand to see them treating me like shit

Anna 7 years ago

hello, i'm the middle child of seven children and i suffer from mcs severely, but i only recently became aware of it. i have two older sisters and one older brother and then three younger sisters. my brother is the second oldest. I've been in the shadow of my sister just above me my whole life, she has outshone me academically but even she says im smarter than her but i just don't care. i don't get along with really any of my siblings except one, and my youngest sister is definitely the baby of the family. she is very spoiled and gets away with everything, always manipulating my mom.

I noticed i was different from the rest of my family in fifth grade, i started noticing that i wasn't paid that much attention and that's when i started acting out in school and my grades started slipping. i was a major rebel, i hardly spent any time at home when i was in my freshman year of high school. i felt very alone at home, the only times my parents would notice me is if i was doing something bad. i've suffered through depression and sought out drugs to heal my pain. i eventually got out of the downward spiral by relationships with adults at my church and that helped me build a relationship with God. my pastor and his wife have been like second parents to me, they give me special attention, respect and love my family has never given me.

its nice to know that im not the only one who has felt lost in the shuffle but its really bad with seven kids


baby  7 years ago

Hi I am not a middle child but I do come from a family of three. I am the baby the baby of the family. I am just write for my sister who is the middle child and will never speak up on how it hurt. She put up with a lot and I feel bad for her...My older brother and I use to fight all the time and my sister had to step in and be in the middle that waas the only time she was seen. Even though I looked up to her it didn't help. My parents didn't see her as you said she was the forgotten one. So for all the middle childern out there speak up. Let your voice be heard because you are important and special.

I love you

The best sister in the world

Lisa Petrarca profile image

Lisa Petrarca 7 years ago Author


I'm sorry to hear all that you have gone through and continue to go through. I know that we can never erase our childhood and the feelings and emotions that continue to cause us pain, however there is hope. What I have learned over the years is that you CAN overcome your negative feelings and lack of self worth.

1. Focus on what you like about yourself (make a list). This is a hard first step because we've learned to focus on the negative for so many years.

2. Post your list up somewhere that you can see it everyday (you need to remind yourself of your good qualities.)

3. Positive self talk- Instead of the usual negative talk that runs through your mind, try to stop it the second you think it, ie. (I'm worthless, even my own parents didn't love me)...stop there and say (I'm smart and I can achieve anything I set my mind to. My parents didn't have the capability or knowledge to show me the kind of love I needed, but that doesn't mean they didn't love me).

Becoming a parent made me realize that we are not given a handbook to guide us in dealing with each childs specific needs. We can become overwhelmed with what's going on in our own lives and not give our children enough time/love to meet their needs. Your parents love you, they are just incapable of showing it the way you need them to you. This last sentence may take time to get used to, but think back on some of your happy childhood memories. There were times when I'm sure you felt their love.

4. Don't base your self worth on what your family tells you. Reach for your dreams and stay positive. All parents put their kids in a box...he/she's the pretty one, he/she's the athletic one, he/she's the smart one. Don't stay in that box.

I recently heard a story about a very poor lady in India who had a child whom the Dr's said would never be able to walk. The lady loved her child and made a box, tied a string around her waist and pulled the baby everywhere she went. The child got bigger and started shaking the box. It would tip over, the mother scolded the child and went on again. Eventually the child shook the box so hard it tipped over and broke. The mother went to pick the child up...but the child began to crawl over to a wall, and pulled himself up. The moral of this story Rana is, SHAKE YOUR BOX! Your were made to accomplish great things. Find your life purpose and do not let your past control your future.

It will take hard work on your part, but it will definitely be worth it!

rana 7 years ago

hi, i am a middle child, older sister (a year and a half older) younger brother ( 6 years younger)

i grew up knowing that ia was different , my sister, i don't think she wanted a younger sister cause she never one tried to get closer to me and well i had my younger brother's attention till he was six then that went away cause while i was the affectionate and thoughful sister my older sister was the cool one and the one he looked up to since that time on, and from that timeon i became practically un noticed

, ya i felt al the characteristic middle child syndrome issues while i was groing up but my brother's love helped me through that and when i lost it cause i wasn't cool enough that was when my personality really changed, i instead of being blessed with a happy spirit and kind nature i became less ppatient, obedient, good, less honest, it was like everything good in me just evaporated and i still constantly feel like i was a disappointment to my parents, although i excelled in my studies more than my sister did yet she continued to be the spirit of the house and my brother its soul, everything they do is funny and natural while everything i do seems so wrong, i am constantly being critized cause of what am not and constantly being ignored bout what i am, i had depression for the last 4 years, of and on and i refuse to take my meds cause i know that even if the meds make it an ounce better things won't change and the fact is that nothing ever is going to erase bad childhood memories, the feelings of incompetence and to top that i was bullied in my childhood at school and i never told my parents except when i grew up years later and what do u know, they didn't believe me they said i never said a thing, anyway i am not here to dwell on bout how it sucks being a middle child and how my talents were never acknowleged by my parents, my writing, fast reading, maybe the only thing i was apraised for was my brains, am the smartest of my sibilings but even that was apraised by "if only you knew what a gift your brain is......" cause although am not a hard worker but i can sum up all the info which takes others hours in half the usual time, but what am here for is to know how can i overcome my feelings, my bitterness, my anger, my fraustrations, my jelousy of my sblings cause they never realized that a parent's love is really all what u need in this life????? how can i overcome all this and it is not by talking to my parents cause i had "talks" but it never did any good cause the really don't believe that middle child syndrome is true and they are always accusing me of being oversensitive, what can i do to make my life better?

Charnice 7 years ago

I never feel like i'm being heard,i always feel like i'm in my older sisters shadow and i never feel like i'm showered in love like my younger brother. Obviously i am a middle child. Nothin i do is special because my sister, has already done it. I argue with my boyfriend a lot because he does not believe that mcs is real. He tells me that the order i was born does not determine my personality, he claims your personality is determined by how you were raised... which brings me back to MCS, you are raised according to the order in which you are born. I'm really trying to break out of this bubble i put myself in. I don't know what to do, i know my family loves me, but i never feel loved, or special, i'm just the ordinary child. i'm not the oldest.. i'm not the youngest, i'm nothing special. this really has a hold on me.. what to do?

Angela 7 years ago

All of which you have said is what I really do want and what happened to you, happens to me. I'm 13 and I discovered this very day that I have middle child syndrome. Thank you for writing this, because I would never know what was wrong with me if I didn't.

Lisa Petrarca profile image

Lisa Petrarca 7 years ago Author


I can appreciate your comment regarding "ANOTHER SYNDROME," however as you point out, you were a middle child who chose "not to dwell on it, accept it, deal with it, get over it and live your life.

Your comments reflect that you also had issues because you were a middle child. If you will notice, I directed my article towards parents who are raising middle children, in hopes that with a little bit of information regarding how a middle child feels, they will be better equipped to understand their middle child's needs, thus avoiding the need to learn to "accept and deal with it" in the future.

Bill 8 years ago

Just what we need. ANOTHER "Syndrome" producing yet more psuedo victims of something/anythig. I'm a middle child, too. Instead of dwelling on it, accept it, deal with it, get over it and live your life.

betterparentthanthem 8 years ago

MCS is real! I am a middle...., an older brother and younger was a sister, both athletically and socially what parents wanted. Me i was an inconvenience and was basically told to go do whatever i wanted to get out of their hair... i did just that!

I was a loner and therefor verrrrrrrrrrry lonely sometimes, other times it was great not to see anyonelse around as i hated most other people because they would never take the time to understand me. A few adults cared thank God, and it was their care that pulled me from the brink of truly destroying myself.

I wanted to run away a few times and talked about it w/ an aunt of mine who wanted to adopt me and had even set up a room for me if i ever needed it, i thank God for her.

I also talked to my grandfather who would always help solve my problems and be my beacon back to hope to get through the things i was going through, didn't realize until he passed in the letter he left me how much he thought i hung the moon, i thank God for him too!

Today i have successfully come through as a normal, well adjusted adult, some by talking to therapists, some by exploring books other times just realizing that stage of my life is over and i can close the book on them and the past any time i want...i forgive that poor lost girl i used to be for what she did to get what she thought was love and hold her in my heart to always remember we all make mistakes.

MCS hasn't broken me, although my heart bares the scars and my emotions are so raw somedays like a delicately spun blown glass christmas ornament that somebody carelessly and hatefully shot out w/ a bb gun, somedays i bawl other days i am fine, most days are good days..... all are a gift from God who is and has always been there for me through it all even though i didn't him back then.

thanks for starting this webpage, glad we MC's have a place to vent.

Imaan 8 years ago


Im a middle child too, a girl with an elder sister and a younger brother. I relate very well to this article: I distanced myself from EVERYONE both at home and at school; unfortunately I was forced to attend the same school as my sister. I was never commended for my achievements, the only thing I almost ALWAYS got was 'You're like your sis.' This really frustrated me, especially since I'm a self-made person; I was not coached and guided towards achievements like my sister. I'm now in college where no one knows my family, doing well as always, but, for the first time, getting credit for my own hard work: this really motivates.

At nineteen years of age (I live on-campus), I've finally broken that barrier around me, making REAL friends and having wonderful teachers who don't compare me to anyone. I've finally realized that people ARE nice, and life isn't so bad after all. LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. Back home, I could NEVER be myself: everyone knew my parents and I was nothing more than my sister's shadow.I felt SUFFOCATED. A change of social circle and atmosphere, and, in my case, SEPARATION, does help.

Middle kids are also very artistically inclined; there is NO NEED to be ashamed about this (though I was made to feel inferior because of this). Artistic people are intelligent and multi-talented, as I was told (and encouraged for being one) in college. I'm now doing law, a totally different course from my family's tradition of doing medicine, and am ENJOYING it!

The key is to concentrate on YOUR strengths, YOUR personal evaluations, not others'. Be proud of yourself, find alternative sources of motivation if your family doesn't provide you any.There are so many people out there willing to have you. The world is your oyster!

Just BE YOURSELF, and enjoy it! :)

Lisa Petrarca profile image

Lisa Petrarca 8 years ago Author


Thank you for your comment! i hope my Hub was able to help you a little bit. Just know that your parents do love you, however they don't know how to relate to you (we usually wont let them see that we are hurting.) Maybe you could slip print this Hub out and slip it on their bed, just a thought...if they were more aware it might save you YEARS of heartache, hurt, self-doubt and bad relationships.

Kiara 8 years ago

Hello! I can relate to this article more than any one I've read. I'm sixteen and knowingly suffer from MCS. I, too, find it better or easier to separate myself from my family, since i feel separated from them anyway. I'm bitter towards my little sister, because deep down i think i blame her for this. Before she was born, i was fine. Me & my older sister have an amazing relationship though. I just never really felt a since of belonging in my household. Always the odd one out. Im blessed to have friends that i love, but i also find myself surrounding myself with people, so i can make up for what i lack at home. I was in search for a "cure" almost, and have been unsucessful. Because so many other people suffer from this, i know there has to be some kind of help. Again, great article :).

Smurfy 8 years ago

Yes ripplemaker, I can see how being seen as a child who can do no wrong and always being able to shift all blame to the younger sibling could be tough.....


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Being an eldest, middle or youngest child can be tough if parenting skills are inadequate. I was the oldest and I had my share of tough times too. :-) Great tips for parents!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article