It’s no secret that parents tend to play favorites in immediate families. That’s why it’s hard being a middle child because you scarcely get any attention. Firstborns are treated maturely for being the eldest while last borns are showered with love for being the youngest. However, being in the middle often means that you go unnoticed. Here are five things only middle children can relate to.
1. You have to put up with hand-me-downs
Do you want a wardrobe makeover? Forget about it. As a middle child, your parents will come up with every excuse to avoid going shopping with you for new clothing items. But they are more than willing to hand you all your older sibling’s clothes—which are carefully stacked away waiting for you.
2. You’re constantly compared to your siblings
Let’s face it, no one likes being compared to others. However, being a middle child means you will have to develop a thick skin and get used to it. Everyone including your parents, teachers, and friends will measure your strengths and weaknesses against those of your siblings. You better had something unique that made you stand out from your siblings or else you would never hear the last of it.
3. Your parents play favorites
As a middle child, you will notice that your parents pay more attention to your siblings than to you. They focus so much on what your eldest and youngest siblings are doing that they forget about you.
In fact, you may indulge yourself in a lot of weird things without your parents ever noticing. However, the slightest yell from the last born will have your parents rushing to their side eager to find out what the matter is.
While favoritism may seem relatively harmless, it can have lasting effects. According to Midwest Outpatient Rehab, there could be a link between future substance abuse issues and favoritism. But by being left to your own devices, you do learn to be strongly independent—even if you do act out occasionally.
4. You’re a conflict solver
Being the middle child often means that your other siblings come to you whenever they’re having a fight or an argument, and you have to act as the impartial mediator regardless of your age. As Reader’s Digest points out, “Most middle children are peacekeepers. Since they are sandwiched between other siblings, they are often obsessed with fairness and balance.”
On the bright side, you get to hear all of their dirty secrets, which you can use later when you want them to do you favor. You also get to act like the boss for once.
5. Your name is often forgotten
Not only do your parents play favorites but they also have a hard time remembering your name. As a middle child, you will have to put up with your parents calling you the name of your other siblings when they cannot remember yours. Whether you get used to it or angrily correct them, you may find that it’s a regular part of life.
While being a middle child may seem like all doom and gloom, it does have its perks. For instance, you get to be more comfortable with yourself and you learn to look out for yourself at an early age. Moreover, you still like your siblings, and you wouldn’t trade the experience of growing up with them for anything in the world.
Are you sick of only getting hand-me-downs? Learn how to make money in your teens.