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Middle child syndrome?

So, after I remarried, my youngest daughter became the middle child. My dh had one son and I have 2 daughters. It just so happens that puts my 2nd dd smack in the middle of my oldest dd and his son. I never thought it would be possible, but after 5 years of marriage, my dd has been steadily showing clear signs of middle child syndrome. It's becoming a concern though because she internalizes everything. She thinks her older sister is out to get her and her younger stepbrother is mean to her. I am an only child so I don't know how to calm her concerns correctly. She is starting to give herself painful stomach aches over worries and stress and I don't know what to do. Any middle children out there that can validate? BTW, she is 12.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:33 PM on Nov. 25, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (5)
  • Oh yeah. I'm in my forties and I still have these feelings about my siblings. Just make sure you are giving her plenty of individual attention. It's hard being in the middle, as you are mostly overlooked and left feeling forgotten. Although I was the only girl, I still felt I didn't have a place in my home. All I can tell you is to make sure you are giving her the attention she needs. If it means taking a day alone with you and her shopping or something, do it. Also, talk to her. Make her feel needed in the family, give her a task or assignment that no one else has- kind of make her feel special.

    Answer by m-avi at 10:47 PM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • Middle child of 7 here, and yes I always felt like I didn't belong. I still don't and I am 44. I was too young to be an older child and too old to be a younger one, I was always on my own.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:57 AM on Nov. 26, 2009

  • Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:40 PM on Nov. 26, 2009

  • Date your daughter. Set some time a side and let her choose the activity. It can be sometimes with just you, sometimes with just you, her, and your husband, or some nights let her be the one to choose the activity for the entire family. Go have lunch with her at her school. Write her little notes and put them in her lunch or on the mirror to find. Tuck her into bed even though she is a big girl. You don't have to do these things every single day but frequently enough so she knows she is thought of and loved. You can also do this for the other children. Each child should feel like they are special and realize everyone in the family gets acknowledged and singled out as special from time to time. This is normal.  Acknowledge your child's feelings, listen to her.  You don't have to agree but you don't have to disagree with her either.  Just tell her, "I'm listening and I hear you."


    Answer by frogdawg at 9:31 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • I think the best thing to do is like the mom above me said, date your daughter...spend some extra time with her. make sure to have a sit down often with her to tell her what special qualities she has that no one else in the family has. I find with my kids that if you give them a purpose or what they contribute to the family that no one else can, they feel special. And in turn, there's less sibling spats and they gain more self esteem. Good Luck

    Answer by Lish26 at 7:55 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

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