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February 25, 2005



i'm a middle child and i think that mcs is real because i felt that way when i was younger. my big sister always was bossy and always had to be better than me. i felt unwanted and that's why i became so independent because i felt that i wasn't wanted and i was being a burden. i did everything myself and rarly asked for help by me parents. my big sister always had the attention because she wouldn't try ing school so they spent there time with her. then my little sister got all whatever she wanted and she got all the attention too because she would pout and cry. i was the middle child. i always felt that i had to do everything perfect to get noticed. but they didn't say anything. what i'm trying to say is that you should give her more attention and let her feel like she doesn't ave to be perfect just so she can get noticed. let her know you care and if she wants to be alone don't push her. if you do then she will start to hate you for invading her life. beleve me i had mcs once and it was because my parents never gave me any attenction and when they tried to talk to me or when they want me to tell them whats wrong i felt that they were invading my life and i started to hate them.


I'm sorry - I believe that MCS is real, but most of the comments on this site make middle children sound like a bunch of whiners. Bad parenting happens, often regardless of birth order, and in a lot of cases it seems like MCS in used as an excuse for taking any real responsibility for yourselves. Do mommy and daddy need to place everything in front of you? Do you not understand that most of the issues discussed are just issues of jealousy that need to be addressed on a personal level? Ugh


im 18 and from what ur describeing like the other coments have exsplained is that thats how most middle children are and it has notthing to do with you i have an older sister and a yonger brother and one of the bigest down falls of being the middle child is that ur older sybling has aredy done it or if there close in age ur younger sybling wached u do it and can do it better and wether u see it or not the other syblings see it and slightly tantilize and we take it personaly but looking back dont stop trying to have those one on ones when i was going thru that time i didnt want my perents near me i didnt want to tell them nothing but as i got older i realy knowtest how much they care for me and it goes a long way.


wow, reading thru all the comments...really felt a surge of surprise on how real and how relatively close all these experiences are too mine.

i've always known that my siblings and i are different in our own ways, but yet the way i was treated ( as a middle child of course ) was inevitable

i've always been a high achiever, since I was in primary to my high school education...my parents have always been proud of my achievements ( but i think THAT WAS IT). My sister whom was 3 years older was a high achiever too, but I constantly did much better than her ( and have never glorified in doing better because she was my own sister ) while my younger brother on the hand; being the favourite...did sufficely to a point where my parents had accepted his studies wasn't "his thing".

It became so obvious, when at point of life...i had hit hard rock bottom emotionally in life where I had lost all motivation and reason, that my studies were affected...thus so were my grades. My parents expressed how dissapointed they were in me ( when i felt these sort of grades, could have been achieved by either my siblings AND POSSIBLY HAVE BEEN anyways)

When i was younger, other MCS symptoms obvious were how my mom was excited over my older sister's "first-times" from the first time she graduated, to her first prom, to her first car, and many firsts I could list down here...while mine vice versa

while my younger bro (youngest) delighted in having everything he wanted ( but never needed or stuck to it long enough ) by just asking...

I remember when it came to me, my own father needed a strong reason ( or multiple reasons) before he would actually give in to something I would ask of him. I became shy to ask, let alone thought it was almost impossible to inquire from my own parents.

I was the only child among my siblings to study abroad yearly and only come home once a year. I notice that my mom, ( has realized ) that she's losing me, and its obvious how she's trying to ammend for it.But like most Middle-child, its come to a point where I would most rather be alone in my room, and nt bothered...I would most often think of returning to my uni overseas ( whenver im back ) even if Im only going to see my parents once a year during summer break...

MCS is real. Few families can avoid them, but truth is its a pattern. But just because its a pattern, its really no excuse for parents, if they really make the effort. All I can think of is how much i dont ever want my 2nd child to go though what I have for many years.


I am only 14 but I understand everything about Middle Child Syndrome. In my house I am the middle child. I have an older sister by two years and a younger brother by one year. My parents are always picking sides and I usually get the worst end of the stick. My parents have been told about MCS and think that it is made up. And to all the parents who have children that like to be alone, I think that if they seem alright, just leave them be. I am always in my room or in my basement. I just don't like spending time with the family. It makes me angry and annoyed when my parents force me to go do some with with them. I think you should make sure your middle child finds something special to them, like horse-back riding lessons or painting class and make sure that they are able to do it regularly. I started horse-back riding and that was what brought me closer to my parents. My brother and sister would never come so in the car ride my parents would always talk about how great I did. That would give me the special feeling I needed.

I also think that parents, even when trying to help, should not give too much criticism. Whenever my parents do, I just extremely angry and always think, 'whatever I do isn't good enough'. Even Constructive criticism can be hurtful, because I find myself extremely sensitive. And I bet a lot of other middle children do.
Well, To parents of teenagers with MCS, I'm just trying to give you a middle teens view.


I just kind of stumbled upon this while browsing the internet and thought I'd share my own thoughts. I'm 20 now, but not too long ago I was a teenager like many of the other posters here, and felt the exact same way.

As a kid I excelled in school, got straight A's every year, never got into trouble. I was athletic, I played the piano, never put a toe out of line, but none of it ever seemed to be good enough to get my parents' attention. My younger sister got (and still gets) anything she wants, she can go anywhere and stay out however late she wants, and needless to say she gets the attention she desires. She's the spoiled baby of the family and she knows it. My brother has the pressure of being expected to be perfect, as the oldest child, but at the same time, he gets more attention, gets more help, and has more of his shortcomings ignored.

Me, I eventually got it into my head that nothing I did would ever be good enough and stopped caring. I still have yet to get any kind of recongition or appreciation from my parents for anything. My grades started to slip and by high school I didn't care whether I passed my classes or failed. Last week I was accepted to York University (on the basis of an examination, my high school grades are terrible), I got a quick congratulation from my mom, nothing from my dad or older brother, a congratulatory Facebook message from my sister. Nothing I do really matters in my family. My parents are paying 100% of the cost of my brother's education and are likely going to pay for all of my sister's (like they fund her overactive social life and her ever-expanding wardrobe), while I'm going to have to pay for a third of my tuition and the entire cost of books, etc. I can't tell how many times I've just sworn to myself to run away tomorrow and not done it. My parents always ask me what I want to do with my life, and while I do know I won't tell them, because when I have in the past, they try to discourage me from it and wonder why I can't be more like my brother and sister. I'm my own person, but they refuse to acknowledge or respect that. I think that right there is the definition of middle child syndrome.

tap tap

I too am a middle child. I actually happen to be the overachiever of the family. My older (half) sister, who is nine years older than me, is very smart and successful, but had a terrible relationship with my mother. Now, my mother is trying to make up for it with her. My younger sister, is definitely hte underachiever in the family, but of course she is "the baby" and so my parents dont really care very much. They let her do whatever she wants, whenever she wants. As for me, they generally ignore me. My younger sister (she is a year younger than me) and I will normally fight about something, and my parents will always always take her side. Whenever somehting has ever gone wrong, my parents always place 100% of the blame on me, even though mmost of the the time its not my fault. Funnily enough, I'm the "good egg" of the family: im set to be valedictorian at my high school, ect. Yet, I can never catch a break at home. If I pulled any of the stunts either of my sisters pulled, I would be a) grounded for life or b) thrown out of the house (how do i know? they've threatened me, numerous times). Yet my parents never even give either of my other sisters a care in the world. They will do anything for them, very little for me. I just try and spend as much of my time in my room away from them as possible. So, I would deduce from my own experiences, middle child syndrome is a reality. I dont know why its necessarily the "middle child" who gets all the slack, but its turned out that way for me. My grandmother, who I am very close with and lives with my family, completely agrees with me and has tried to talk with my parents to rid them of their gross neglect and double standards, but to avail. My only goal is to work as hard as I can in high school so that I can move far far away for college and never come back. I cant count the number of times I've cried my self to sleep. The main thing I would tell any parent with a middle child is to be especially sensitive of any double standards they may have. The eldest is often to most revered, and the youngest typically has the most lax standards. Don't make the mistake my parents have made by alienating your middle child. I'm not asking for special treatment, I only wish I would be treated equally and with the same love and respect my other two sisters are treated with.


I am a mother of a 9 years old son with 5 siblings.3 of then are boys.my 9 years old son are the second child in the family. I'm really scared to see .. this year he keep him self occupaite with lots of diciplinary problems at school and home. I realise he start to isolate himself far away from his family activities... eventhough his sibling are really respected him... this can be seen when he incharge in house choruos.... what should I do ... to make him understand that we love him... we do care abaout him... as he really do creative and actually a caring person... please do help me ... and help my son.


Sorry i left this out and i need to get it off of my chest. i love acting i mean i really really love it and i told my mom like 2 years ago that i wanted to be an actress and we should go to hollywood and try to get me a part. i dont remember what she said but i do regret asking. I am very shy and im probably the shiest between all of my siblings but that doesnt seem to matter my grades are pretty normal and im not the greatest at sports im just average so the acting thing makes me feel amazing ive only been in like 1 real play and i still dont even count it that much but i loved every minute. I know that it sounds like my parents hate me and treat me badly but they dont and im lucky to have them.


I have an older brother who is 24, another that's 18, and a younger sister who is 11. I am one of the middle children but since my oldest brother has graduated college and the other is going to college in the fall I am the middle child in the house. I guess I started thinking my mom and dad didn't care as much about me was 4 years ago when I was 10. I would cry at the drop of a hat so I think they didn't really want to put up with it that much since I was their first girl im sure they were a little scared i remember my mom calling me 9 and i screamed at her that i was 10 and ran off crying. I call that year my "dark year" because i would always go in my room and cry thinking no one cared and i used to love attention and still kinda do but i have grown to liking my own space and have gotten pretty use to being left alone. I am usually compared to my oldest brother who is god in my familys eyes. Even my grandpa thinks hes the best. I always hear your brohter did this your brother did that im so proud of him he made great decisions i hope you guys are like him when your older and to tell you the truth im really sick of it. Ive developed really low self esteem and i dont think i will ever have a normal self esteem again. I usually am either on the computer or in my room and they pretty much leave me out of everything it still sorta bothers me but im used to it. My mom doesn't believe me about a lot of my injuries, i suffer from a panic disorder and sometimes cannot catch my breath and get dizzy and weak, whenever i cant breath very well she just tells me to go sleep or calm down but my brother has something where he sometimes cant breath either and they would always rush him to the hospital the second he said it. This does bother me because it makes me think, well my health isnt as important and i guess it doesnt matter that much. A lot of websites say middle children are artistic or creative, i am living proof that this is not all true the most creative thing about me is that i like to act and write. Everyone does something in my family my oldest brother is smart and did sports and acted and was just awesome to everyone and is outgoing. My other brother acts and is really good at drawing and video games. My sister can sing and is very creative when it comes to arts and crafts. Once more all i do is write stories and do sports which my brothers did and no one seems to care like they care about everyone elses talents. I am constantly reminded about what i do wrong or i could have done this better. When it comes to sports my dad will always tell us what we did good and what we need to work on. With me he goes to about 1 game per sport and all he says is you did this wrong and the best praise i get is it was pretty good. He hardly ever goes over plays that i did well. I was supposed to be the baby but then my sister came along and maybe thats why i still like attention because for the first 3 years of my life i was the baby everyone loves and wants to hold but when my sister was born i was quickly forgotten. I dont feel very comfortable talking about stuff to anyone that much. I know how it feels to be the middle child maybe it will be better in the fall i will start high school and will be the oldest kid in the house but im not sure. I want to say that anyone who is the middle child and are feeling left out tell them before its too late because i know how it feels for it to be too late. I know my parents love me and i love them too but they know exactly how to exclude me and make it hurt especially my siblings who constantly make fun of me and dont respect me or my stuff. sorry about the grammar i didnt feel like doing that right now.


i am a middle child, and also a parent of a middle child, my middle child at the moment has went to school and made allegations that arent true against his dad, his little sister had a terrible virus all last week and on thursday morning he got into shit because of his attitude, it seems that you have things in common. i always spend more time with my middle child and now he is in foster care along with his older brother and younger sister because of his really foolish and selfish actions, how would i get them back as the hearing is being held tomorrow, i have been crying since thursday and i have never been through anything so sinister in all of my life, just bfor the record my eldest son is 11 he will be 12 in may, the one causing the pish is 10, he will be 11 in november and his little sister is only 5 and she will be 6 next month, and i as a middle child have found it difficult to get to where i am in the field of nursing. i am scared due to the position i hold in my current job, any ides???


just saying not all middle children are underachievers even with middle child syndrome. I am a middle child and an overachiever.


I have mcs. Well at least I think I do. I am always getting compared to my older brother and am always jealous of him I feel insecure and feel like I can't trust my parents or family members not even my mom!!! Help I need advice.

The Forgotten

hey. I'm 14, I'm the middle child. My older sister is 16 and my youngest is 11. I know MCS is real. Its a problem in my every day life. My older sister got accepted in to the National Honors Society the same day that I got my report card in. I got all A's. Of course my older sister got more praise than me and it hurt.

Some things I've seen about MCS is true. I dont have a bond with my parents that my sisters have. I issolate myself more, I like to be by myself, I do have a negitive outlook sometimes, I had a time where I was getting hurt by my parents, DHS called it Disiplinary abuse, I was in many depressions, and some of them got really deep, and I feel like my parents focus on my sisters more than me. but I dont have an issue in relationships. I have longer lasting relationships than any of my friends that are all the oldest or the youngest.

Because of middle-child syndrome, which I know I have, I fight to better my self, I try to do things that my sisters dont do. I have the extra drive that my teachers notice, that my friends notice, and it sets me apart from every body else.

Reading all of the stories posted, I see that fire that I have and I know that I'm not alone.

So My advice to you is find something that you and your middle child have in commen. and set apart a time to just hang out with your middle child do something weekly. even if its just taking a trip to McDonalds, or a playground. Of course set apart times for your other kids too, but let her know that your thinking about her too. stay with her through everything, but dont be clingy. rent movies and watch them together, let her have fun. and make sure youre there.

d 2nd child

for brooke, i know how it feels when my younger sister came into the picture and seems to make a mess of my life. i got yelled at and she got cuddled for her mistake. i was drilled like in the army and she got pampered like a princess. my parents also said that my younger sister will be far greater than me at my age. i became angry and treated her harshly. i know i was wrong, and i cried when i hurt her for deep down, i knew i was hurt too.
As i grow up, i learn not to care. i became detached with my emotions. at times, i may even seem to be cold. but when i'm with my friends, i can talk freely, cause friends are my choice and i can always find more. i tend to seek comfort from strangers or loneliness. i'm confuse with who i really am. don't grow up into a person like me. having dual personality. it's difficult and it's really lonely.
i don't know how to give advice cause i myself am still trying to find my own self worth and identity. but what i know is that as long as you do your best in what ever you do, you will be okay. your studies for example. if they still compare your grades, at least, you're proud of your grades yourself. your parents are wonderful people but they are just having a crisis of their own what with the addition of children to look after. they want you to excel but encourage you the wrong way by comparing you. hmm... when you try to understand them, maybe they will understand you too. cause you love them, don't you. all d best

d 2nd child

hi there,
in a way, i do believe i have the second child syndrome. i was born three years after my sister and my younger sister is just a mere two years away from me. I had always thought that she was the reason i was less loved and that my elder sister is too perfect and requires me to compete a lot. So in the end, i love to find faults with them and do everything i can to attract my parents attention. So i tried my best in writing, acting and am now a medic student in ireland.
however, as i grew up, our siblings relationship changed. i was far better in academic than the other 2 and thus got the highest expectation from my parents. is the love for us changed because of that? i don't know. from the forgotten girl, i became the centre of interest and made my sisters jealous of me instead. does that made me happier? no. definitely not. it seems afterwards that every fault they do is then related to me as if i'm too good that makes them bad in their eyes. i have to console them and such and it does drains my energy a lot. i became the middle person between my parents and my siblings. and we are always being compared.
So the best thing i think parents should do is try not to compare between their children. i know i would love it if for once, my parents would stop comparing any of my sisters with me. i believe we have each our different specialities and so are your children. so please, even if it is wonderful to have one on one contact with your child, it may be far better if you can do activities together and show that they are not being treated differently. just do some activity together like baking together or out for a picnic together. this way, they will learn to accept each other better knowing that they are doing the same thing and receiving the same treatment.


Hey im 12 and i think i have middle-child syndrome, my mom and dad have 7 kids im 4th direct middle they say i don't have it cause i'm to loved to have it but i know i do. i'm artistic have a C in math B in just bout everything else but my mom and dad think that its just drama! my older sisters do everything and i can't do nothing! but my mom and dad werent always like that, they used to really acctualy pay attention to me but since my 3 little sisters came into the picture i've been ignored they say that they could be even better than me when they get my age. when i brought it to my parents attention they just said its an excuse and that i don't have it cause they love us all equally. NO! my little sisters get a hug kiss and a "how was your day?" when they get home from school for me not even a side glance! but they say its nothing and that its just drama which is really starting to annoy me! people say some people have even comited suiside because of not feeling exsepited and i don't want to end up in a morge. any hints on how to acctually get them to listen?

Left Out

She probably has it. I have an older sister and younger sister, and basically I feel worthless sometimes. My older sister can't get yelled at because she's the oldest, and my little sister is the baby. So where does that leave me? As the scapegoat for all of the yelling. Sometimes my sisters gang up on me because they know that they won't get in trouble.

I do a lot of things to get noticed--I talk back, am sarcastic, get into physical and verbal fights with my sisters, etc. Otherwise it's like I'm part of the scenery. My older sister and I were in a depression around the same time, and my mom would go and ask her if she needed help, never me, and my depression was worse than hers was. I try to be goth or emo so I attract attention in public, but I get yelled at. My older sister is an athlete and I can't play sports, so I get yelled at for not being on a sports team. I'd rather write (my special talent) and act (my passion). I work my butt off in school so at least my grades are noticed.

I've contemplated going away for college so I don't have to deal with this. I'm really negative now and while my sisters can't find a flaw with themselves, I can find millions since I'm constantly compared. I'm also yelled at for being a bad role model for my younger sister. What about my older sister? Or is she too good for it?

I know my parents love me, but I'm not my older sister, and won't be a role model to my youngest. Sometimes I'm just sick of it and want to be my own person, and embrace the freedom of experimenting with style that only teenagers have. I'll probably be the goth adult when I'm older, since I was never able to and so I can stand out.

I suggest your spouse takes your other children out for the day and you spend quality time with your middle child. Then you switch and take the other two out, while your spouse plays with the middle child. I would've loved that when I was younger.


what can i do with my middle child , it feels the more we try the worst it is!
he is only 9 and he told me i made life hard 4 him since i had 2 more childrens !
plz help what can i do


what can i do with my middle child , it feels the more we try the worst it is!
he is only 9 and he told me i made life hard 4 him since i had 2 more childrens !
plz help what can i do


truth is, it exists. thats all there is to it and after a certain time, the being ignored instinctivly and unintentionally catches up which causes us not to want any attention and to be left alone.


Well, I, being a suffere of MDS, can say it's real. Im 15 almost 16, and I can tell you, for sure it effect your every judgement.
Let me explain my situation though. My eldest sister (23) was barbie, very popular in school, she was the girl-girl, with the blonde hair to har waist, perfect make-up, great tan, prom queen, cheerleader. My little sister (12) is perfect acadecmicaly. No b's or c's does the best in whatever she tried in, persists, is very quiet and shy, extremly pretty and clever, and just an over achiver.
Now for me, Im very artistic, and I act. Im super outgoing, but Im never at my house to keep away from my family. Im very pretty, but not up to my older sisters stachure. I fail miserably at math, but am motivted in other area's. I stay away from the parents because it seems in every conversation I hear "why cant you be more like your sister's? Maybe do something with your g*dd*mned life. You'll make no money as an actor. Your not good enough to be on the big screen. So suck it up, and just get I real job. Grow up, your not gonna be famous."
And my mom always asks me why I cant dress up more like my big sister. It's in fact real. And it hurts.


hi i am a middle child and i am 15 this year. wow most people here sound really hard done by. my parents were overall really good ones. occasionally i feel left out on the loop but hey that's life. parents arn't perfect. they are learning something new everyday about how to become a better parent. shouldn't we give them at least a little bit more credit. i think one way to get around middle child syndrome is to talk (nicely) with our parents about it instead of starting to hate them. sure parents ar'nt perfect but they do a pretty good job. there were times when i hated my family because i thought i was being deprived of attention and that my parents didn't like me as well as my other 2 siblings and u know what... i was so miserable. i think we pretty much need to get over it. i will not defend anyone who says "my life sucks because im the middle child". your life is only as good as you make it. your choices will affect how your life turns out. so why waste it complaining about being 'deprived' and hard done by? why spend your whole life complaining about your child hood? i have found that it is so much easier to get on with life and to be thankful for the things i do have rather than whine about the things i don't have.


Sorry you have a lot to read but I would like to add that you are on a good start. Ok, I am the middle child but I'm 17 this year.

I like how you are having one on one time with your daughter and make sure that she does not feel discomfort when you enter her comfort zone. Keeping this "mummy time" is a good technique and you should continue this with all three of your children.

If the need for equality becomes an important part of her life, be careful to praise her for what she thinks she has worked hard on or in a mini project. Prais does go a long way.

Overall, this is kinda late and she may be back on her feet already, but you are taking a good approach and keep at it!!

oh and btw, give her "her own room" one day, as well as the others, and don't always make the eldest the leader. Your daughter may want to test out her leadership skills and it allows her to keep an influencial voice in the family.

Oh and the youngest can start chores at the same time the others did.


hi! i really empathise with you and everyone else on this page!
im a 19 year old boy, and as you can guess... i suffer middle child syndrome. i searched the web for answers as to why i am treated like an individual. a stranger in my own home! and i found this page! and its amazing to know that theres so many people out there who feel what i feel
my parents and i dont get on what so ever...our relationship is so bad because unlike most people with MCS i refuse to sit back and let what i see around me slide. i open my mouth... when i see my little sister (a 18) get prefferencial treatment for whatever reason i speak up!!
but this hasnt come to my advantage as my mother has decided that the easiest way to handle me is to ship me off to my aunt who lives in the middle east!
she hates me so much for confronting her for the way that shes treated me all of these years that she is actually putting me on a plane and sending me to the middle east!
i hope nobody else has had a hard a time as i have with this! and i hope that things dont stay the way they are for the rest of my life!

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