Middle Child Syndrome: Signs and Prevention


A child’s psychological condition of feeling left out and who is also the middle one among two siblings is what we refer to as ‘Middle Child Syndrome’. As a result of this, the child develops feeling of jealousy, inadequate, has low esteem and becomes an introvert.

Not all the middle children may develop this trait or symptom. One of the reasons this could happen is due to the difference in parenting techniques. It is thus important that parents be careful enough to treat every child equal and not to make any of them feel neglected. Apart from that, there are children who are matured enough and can handle the differences (if any) in a better way as compared to others. In this article, we will be discussing all about Middle Child Syndrome. Let’s read below to find more:

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All You Need to Know About Middle Child Syndrome

middle child syndrome

Symptoms of Middle Child Syndrome

There are a number of symptoms of middle child syndrome as listed below:

Low Self Esteem

If your child develops the feeling of being excluded, neglected, discriminated and unloved, all of this can have a negative impact on him/her, which further results onto a low self-esteem.


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Feeling of Being Unworthy

Your child may develop feelings of being unworthy which may also have an affect on their later life. He may feel lost and also fail to determine the path they should take in life.


The child may begin to withdraw himself/herself from outsiders or even their friends. This is because of the fear of being treated the same way like their parents do.

Trust Issues

Children with middle child syndrome may not be comfortable enough to confide anything to anyone. Although, not all children may be this way. There can be some children who may go to extremes just to trust people.

Attention Seeking

One of the most common symptoms of middle child syndrome is attention seeking. Your child may become very demanding and would seek for people’s attention, especially when it’s about parents.


The feeling of being unworthy, alone and aimless in life could make the child feel more frustrated.


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Extreme Behaviour

There may be times when your child may be too accommodating with everyone, whereas at the other times, he/she may turn rebellious in minor things.

Characteristics of Middle Child Syndrome

We have listed a few characteristics that may help you understand if your child is suffering from ‘Middle Child Syndrome’.


A lot of children suffering from this psychological issue may feel that it is useless to aim for and achieve anything in life. The reason might be that they feel, they may not be appreciated or acknowledged enough for that. Due to this, whatever they work hard for will eventually go in vain, according to them.


This is likely to happen when parents compare them to their other siblings. This results in bringing their self-confidence down and makes them feel jealous of his/her siblings.


You may notice your child crying very often for even the smallest things. They may also complain about her siblings. Well, these are just a few ways of throwing tantrums so as to seek attention.


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Is it the Order of Birth that Affects the Child’s Personality?

The middle child gets the least attention in the house as compared to his/her other siblings. Neither is he the youngest one nor he is the eldest one. All of this makes the child crave for attention from his/her parents and when they fail to get it, they feel left out. However, this also makes them independent as an individual in their later lives too. the feeling of being unloved turns them into shy as a person and an introvert. The bonding between them and the family members may not be too strong as they feel neglected by them.

Positive Attributes of a Middle Child

Very Fair and Justified

The middle child has a very fair and justified take on everything in their life. They have been observing and understanding everything from a very young age and thereby, they know how it feels when one is unfairly treated.

Excellent Negotiator

The middle one does not have much to say in between two siblings. They are the ones who are more compromising not just in the family but with the outside world as well.


The middle one knows how to adapt themselves to all the situations without a huff which makes them very flexible and adaptable.

Risk Takers

When parents are busy focusing on the youngest and the eldest one, the middle one is busy trying out new things. They do not have any pressure of having to achieve, which gives them the freedom to take risks. She does not let herself down if she fails because nobody is expecting anything from her.


Tips to prevent Middle Child Syndrome

There are surely some certain tips that you can follow to help your child. These are as listed below:

Awareness of the Syndrome

This is one of the most effective ways of preventing this. Observe your child and in case, you notice your little one exhibiting any of the symptoms of this syndrome, make sure that you work towards it.

Be Patient

Possibilities are that you may get frustrated after you have tried to counsel her a number of times or made her feel loved. But here, patient is the key. You do not have to stop with your counselling, trust me, someday you will be able to make it.


Make sure that you make your child feel encouraged and motivated in whatever he/she does and especially in the things in which she has the potential to excel in.

Teach them to Stand for Themselves

Ask your child to express themselves and their opinions to anyone she socialises with. Also, you have to make the child understand that they do not have to walk away, for instance when they get shouted at. Neither do they have to be submissive nor they have to walk away from things.

Make her Feel Important

Make them feel that their presence matter and they are an important part of the family. For instance, you could just give them some responsibilities and then acknowledge them when they fulfil the same. this will give them a sense of importance and at the same time, they will feel acknowledged.


Make her Feel Special

You have to make them feel important. Make sure that you do not compare her with her siblings as that would otherwise make her resentful towards them. Appreciate her for who she is rather than comparing her to others.

Spend Time

Plan a day once every week when you can take her out for movies, shopping or things she enjoys doing. This will make her realise that she is given equal importance as her other siblings. The more time you spend with her, the closer she will get to you.

Show Respect

Listen to them when he/she needs to talk to you. Make sure that you take her seriously when expresses her views, feelings or emotions. You have to respect her for who she is.


As a parent, you have an important role to play in the treatment of this syndrome. It’s just the little things that you can do for your child to make them feel better, for instance appreciating them, spending time with them, acknowledging them and more importantly, being patient and understanding them.