Thought Catalog
February 20, 2014

18 Unexpected Perks Of Being The Middle Child

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There are thousands of essays and studies done on “Middle Child Syndrome” and the stereotype of the neglected second-born. I was born five years after my older sister, who served as the family’s only golden child during that half a decade before my birth. Nine months after I was born, my mother became pregnant with my second sister. I hadn’t even begun talking before my younger sister stole my spotlight. That being said, I wouldn’t trade my birth order for anything in the world. I don’t have a “syndrome” or a complex, and I’m not “stuck” in the middle. I have two best friends who have no choice but to kiss my cheeks in cheesy family pictures.

1. Middle children are normally in the middle of photographs and the fireplace mantle. Overlooked and neglected? More like front, center, and distinguished.

2. 52% of presidents are middle-borns. The thought of having any type of authority position terrifies me, but it’s comforting to know that at least I’m in powerful company.

3. Middle children have a role model for how to be a role model. 
I can be an older sister after seeing how being an older sister was done the right way.

4. Middle children are creative because they are forced to come up with imaginative (or downright bizarre) ideas in order to get their parents’ attention.

5. Middle children can get away with a lot. Granted, I’m pretty tame and don’t exercise this privilege often, but if I ever were to go on a rebellious spring break trip, my parents would probably not even realize that I was on spring break.

6. Fred and George Weasley are middle children.

7. You will never experience the feeling of watching all of your older siblings go to college and then being left alone in the house to be smothered by a listless mother.

8. Middle children are diplomatic. After all, we’ve spent years perfecting the art of negotiation, whereas older children could simply demand and youngest children whined.

9. Middle children don’t have to deal with the anxiety of first-time parents.

10. Middle children don’t have the pressure of getting married first.

11. Middle children get to use a bottle and play with age-inappropriate toys for longer than they otherwise would have. Arrested development never felt so sweet as it did at 4 years old.

12. Middle children are the go-to mediator between friends because they’re used to doing it between their own siblings.

13. You receive little attention so that, when a significant other comes along and showers you with affection, you find it to be a revolutionary concept.

14. Chances are you’ve shared a room at some point in your life, making you a well-practiced college roommate.

15. August 12th is National Middle Child Day. There very well might be a designated day for youngest children and oldest children as well, but they don’t have quite the ironic ring to them.

16. Chances are you will have some of the same teachers as your over-achieving eldest sibling, so teachers might give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are as obliging of a student. (Just make sure you maintain the façade before they realize they’ve been duped.)

17. Your youngest sibling, however, will have to deal with the high standards of the oldest as well as whatever notoriety you brought to the family reputation.

18. One day, your younger sibling will call you hysterically crying and you will have no idea what to say. You will then remember the flawless words of comfort that your older sibling doled out for you when you were on the sobbing end of the conversation, and now it’s your turn to save the day. TC mark

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