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The Pros & Cons of Life as a Middle Child

“Middle Child Syndrome” is a phrase that I am all too familiar with. It is the idea that middle children have to fight much harder for attention than their other siblings because they are more likely to be ignored by their family. It is a phrase that is well known to all, and the reason why when I tell people that I am a middle child, I either get a response in the form of a hardy laugh, an apology or a sympathetic pat on the back. However, being a middle child is a lot more complicated than people let on. Here are some pros and cons of being the middle child of the family.

I believe that it’s better to give the bad news before the good so I’ll start by explaining the true downsides of being in the middle of a sibling sandwich. From what I have experienced, one huge downside is that while your older siblings are getting the perks of being the trailblazers of the bunch and your younger siblings are getting eternally catered to by your parents, you are just there. In the middle. You don’t have that peaceful period of existence of being the only child like an older sibling does. During this period, your older sibling is showered with the best of the best (because what new parent  doesn’t buy literally everything in a baby catalog). Older siblings also get to experience everything first. So, when you get your driver’s license, no one cares because your older sibling did it first. In the eyes of your family, this monumental period in your life is merely a “been there, done that” or “thank you, next” moment. However, when your younger sibling gets their driver’s license, everyone gets excited once again! Because everything that the younger child does is the last time that thing will be accomplished in your family and must therefore be memorialized. But not everything about being a middle child is bad! There are some very special privileges in life that are specifically granted to those stuck in the middle. Being a middle child means having an older sibling and a younger sibling as well as being both an older sibling and younger sibling, which means that you get the perks of both! Having an older sibling means having someone to always look out for you, teach you the ropes and put you on their shoulders for cute pictures (the most important of the perks). They may get to be the trailblazers, but you get the pleasure of learning from them and, more importantly, learning what not to do when that trailblazing goes wayward.

On top of all of these perks, you also get the perks of being an older sibling. You are able to see your younger sibling’s whole life from the very beginning. If you are like me, your younger sibling is the first baby you ever hold and it gives you a special feeling that you can hold onto forever (even when they almost kill you while you help them learn how to drive).

Ultimately, being a middle child is not so bad. Sure, you might get a little less attention from your parents, but you also get the privilege of witnessing your younger siblings grow up and having a lifetime guardian in the form of an older sibling. In my personal opinion, I’d take being a middle child over an older or younger any day.

Hello! My name is Amber and I am a third year English major and Film, Television & Digital Media minor at UCLA. I write for Her Campus because I believe in the power that young female voices have. Women are funny, smart, original and wildly interesting in a multitude of ways and I admire a platform that celebrates that. In the near future, I hope to apply what I have learned from Her Campus in a career in entertainment and media.
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