10 Reasons Why Being a Middle Child is Actually an Advantage


Can I take a moment with all the ‘middle’ child people out there? Your role in the family gets such a bad rap, but I don’t think that being a middle child is nearly as bad as its made out to be. Of course, I say this with a grain of salt considering I’m not a middle child. I’m one of two and I’m the oldest. But I have a kind of, sort of middle child. She’s 4. She came three years after our first daughter and three years before our twins. So technically, she’s the middle child since her younger siblings are twins, right? (Seriously, that’s right, right?). She’s got it pretty good. I never gave it much thought other than listening to people tell us when we became pregnant with the twins (before we knew it was twins) that Ava would be a middle child. People said things like, “Oh, she’s going to be the middle child,” with a sad look and a sigh, a wrinkled nose and an expression that read, “Yikes, poor kid,” on more than one occasion.

Okay, so middle children have an interesting place in life. They’re not the much-loved “first child” or the “baby” of the family. They fall – pun intended – in the middle. And to make matters worse, they already had the distinction of being the second child. This means that this kid has far fewer photos of him or herself floating around. Most of her photos include another kid, she wears a lot of things that you saved from your first child and no one was quite as excited about her arrival as they were the first because, well, the first time is always more exciting, right? This kid gets away with a lot more, tends to have a little bit more sass and has a much bigger personality. And I say this because we have a large group of wonderful friends with kids all the same age, and the first borns are all intelligent over-achievers who are always well-behaved and responsible, and the second kids are all very mischievous, sassy, bold, daring and fearless. And now our daughter is the middle child, too. But you know what? I don’t think it’s that bad for her. And I’ll tell you why; being the middle child has some advantages.

You’re Independent

It’s cool since everyone is focused on the oldest as she is doing everything for the first time and on the baby since he or she is also doing everything for the first time for the last time (do you follow?) so you get to be a little independent. No one is overly up in your business since they have two others to bother. This means you get to sort of lay back and relax, do your own thing and not have the same kind of pressure as your siblings.

The Rules are More Relaxed

Listen, your older sibling got in trouble for a lot more than you’ll get in trouble for. Why? Because your parents will eventually realize that the things they were so paranoid about with your older sibling aren’t so bad. That means the same rules will not apply. Think of it like this; it starts with infancy. When big sister was born, your parents wouldn’t give her a bottle that fell on the floor for 1.4 seconds until it was thoroughly washed and rinsed and handled. When you sat on the floor and ate food you found under the couch, your parents weren’t all that worried about it since they’re certain that whatever is under there couldn’t have been there more than a few weeks. The same applies throughout life. Your sister gets a speeding ticket and loses her car for a month. You get one and your parents ask you if you learned anything from your sister and then go back to whatever.

You get a Little more Time Alone

Your siblings are always so monopolizing of your parents time that you get more to yourself. Embrace this, please.

You have Two Built-in Besties

You’re the closest in age to both your siblings, which means you get to be both their best friends. This is a very special realization since you can pit them against one another, blame things on them and then blame the other for doing that, and you get to pretty much manipulate them forever. Or just love them and behave accordingly, of coruse.

You’re Switzerland

Neutral territory; that’s you. You’re not the one that has to lead by example, but you’re not the baby, so you get more leeway and less crap from everyone at home.

You have Thick Skin

You have to since most people like to remind you that you’re probably your parents least favorite. You’re not that special child that came first and completed their little family of hearts and perfection, but you’re not the baby anymore. But the good news is that now you have thick skin and you can take anything. And here’s something, too; most days, my very strong-willed and super stubborn middle child is my favorite. She has the biggest personality and she’s hilarious in a way that I cannot even describe to you.

You get to Escape Awful Family Situations

And here’s where being the middle child really does benefit you the most. When you to go family events, people will acknowledge you and then immediately ask what new and exciting thing older sibling is up to before immediately oohing and aahing over the ‘baby’ of the family. And you’re out.

You get Away with More

By the time your older sibling has done everything once, your parents will likely care just a little less. It’s not because they don’t love you, it’s because they realize how overprotective they were with their first and they’re more relaxed with you. This might mean a later curfew, less trouble when you get caught doing things; trust me.

You Learn from your Older Sibling…

Your older sibling is going to get in trouble, learn the hard way and take a lot from life. You will learn from his or her mistakes and learn to apply that stuff to your own life. And then…

…And Pass on Wisdom to your Younger Sibling

Suddenly you are the fountain of wisdom; the wise older sibling. You are the one who knows it all and gets to pass down and impart your exceptional knowledge to your younger sibling, and that is awesome.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images


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