Middle child syndrome

(13 Posts)
SoupDragon Sat 07-Sep-13 08:22:28

Yes smile
DS1 feels hard done by because DS2 (2 years younger) gets to do things at the same time he does rather than waiting til the same age. He also feels DD gets off lightly when misbehaving. He also is expected to behave better.

DS2 feels hard done by because he sometimes isn't allowed to do things DS1 does. Also, he feels DD (5 years younger than him) gets an easier time because she is younger and, apparently, I don't tell her off. he is also expected to behave better than DD and DS1 "bullies" him because he is biggger.

DD feels hard done by because she cant do the same things as DS1 and 2. She also feels hard done by because she has to trail round after their activities, especially rugby on a Sunday (I'm with her on that one!).

I am sure there are other perceived inequities! Like I say, as long as they are fairly equal I'm doing OK smile

daytoday Sat 07-Sep-13 08:15:06

Just googled 'first child syndrome' and 'youngest child syndrome' - they all exist! So I guess each child will have their own 'syndrome' -that sounds pretty fair to me.

SoupDragon Sat 07-Sep-13 08:13:22

Personally, I don't think there is such a thing as "middle child syndrome" just bad parenting or misconception on the part of the child. Unless you spoil the middle one at the expense of the others, you can not ensure the middle child won't blame injustices on birth position.

Middle children will sometimes...
-misbehave to get attention
-go with the flow
-work as little as possible
-be less parent-dependent then their siblings
-become the 'loner' of the family, not participate in family events unless told to.
-play the peacemaker
-be more likely to go to a friend for advice than a parent
-be very creative

This ist from that link it nonsense. All of those apply equally to the oldest child who feels his position is usurped by younger sibling(s) requiring more attention and to the youngest who doesn't understand why they can't do what the older ones can.
Some are pretty much contradictory.
All are normal behaviours for a child of any birth position.

It's just an excuse for behaviour blamed on birth position. Pointing the finger at it being caused by being the middle child is just a smokescreen really - it is caused by the middle child not understanding that "fair" doesn't always mean "get exactly the same things/treatment at exactly the same time". My middle child certainly forgets things that have gone his way when he is whining about some other "injustice."

I have three. Personally I am of the opinion that provided all three feel hard done by or less favoured fairly equally during their childhood I've probably got the balance right.

daytoday Sat 07-Sep-13 08:10:38

I'm a middle child. I have no complicated feelings towards my two brothers. We are all really different. I think it's a cliche that doesn't really mean much, to me anyway. Some might say the eldest child (whether its two or 5) kids has it harder because they are their parents first, testing their boundaries. Some might say the youngest has it harder because their parents are probably a lot less thrilled and engaged about play groups, swimming lessons, play dates second, third, fourth time around.

So you throw in any health, educational issues and the whole dynamic changes again.

I love being one of three.

SquidgyMummy Sat 07-Sep-13 08:02:23

shockers I just googled it, as my younger (middle child sister) seems to have a very big chip on her shoulder.

middle child syndrome

Joycey29 Sat 07-Sep-13 07:48:02

I am a middle child and definitely has a chip on my shoulder at times in my teens! My parent's roll there eyes if I say this!
However, it made me more independent and a stronger person.
Am now v close with both sibs and live having both a brother and a sister.
I know have three and am aware that my middle may need careful handling for a few years in his teens but love it!

3 is the perfect number - for me! smile

shockers Sat 07-Sep-13 07:40:54

Can someone explain middle child syndrome?

SpottedDickandCustard Sat 07-Sep-13 07:32:02

The only person I know who is a middle child is BIL (DP's brother) and he definitely has middle child issues.

We are stopping at 2 children!

I'm sure someone will be along soon to tell you that you can have 3 with no issues!

BetterWithCheese Sat 07-Sep-13 07:31:04

I'm a middle child with brothers either side. My DH is also middle child and I don't think either of us has suffered from being in the middle. Perhaps unusually we're the highest achieving academically and vocationally in both of our families, we're both quite easy-going and good at compromise. I'm pregnant with our second but definitely can see a third in our future.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Sat 07-Sep-13 07:20:32

I am the only girl with 2 brothers. Definitely middle child issues here. Swore I'd only ever have 1,2 or 4. Stopping at 2 grin.

ZeroTolerance Sat 07-Sep-13 04:35:27

I think it might depend on the gender mix within a family. I am one of three girl and the middle child is very, very "middle child". Perhaps it would have been different if one of us had been a boy.

Sunnysummer Sat 07-Sep-13 04:14:23

I'm one of the many middles of 5, DH is the middle of 3, and in some ways think he had it worse, as we all got roughly equal amounts of loving neglect smile, whereas he was the clear loser between the demanding little lord above and the adorable baby that followed. However he feels that being the middle child also gave him a lot more freedom to make his own choices - and he wants us to have 3 too, so clearly wasn't too scarred! His big brother, on the other hand, has always said he only wants one child, i think he was a bit left out because the two younger boys were much closer in age and temperament and are still best mates.

So much of it comes down to the individual family - is your second child already a strong personality with little chance of being pushed out of the way? Are your DCs close? Do you and your partner have time to make sure that each child gets some focused attention?

octaviarose Fri 06-Sep-13 21:40:31

Not sure if this is the right place for this but we would really like a third child but I am very concerned about middle child syndrome. Does anyone have any experience of this?

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