PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Family Games Video Advice Celebs Blog
Play It

Other Family Topics:

You Said It
What is your birth order and how do you think it affects your personality and relationships?

Talk about it here!

Offline Activities
Help's Around the Corner
Parents and Teachers
Birth Order: In the Middle If you're a "middle child," you might feel like you were born too late to get the special first-born treatment. For example, the first time a baby says "mama" is a big-time event in a parent's life. When they have a second
Topics on Birth Order:
What is "Birth Order"?
First Born
In the Middle
Only Children
From the Mentors
baby, and he or she says "mama," the parents are just as proud, but it doesn't usually pack the same "wow." 3 KidsThis might be why many middle and youngest children find fewer photos of them in the family photo albums, or at least fewer photos of them by themselves. Kids that come along later are sharing their parents' attention, while the first-born didn't have to share.

You might also feel like you were born too early to get the attention that the "baby" of the family gets. But there's a bright side! Did you know that middle children usually have it easier than their oldest or youngest siblings?

Here's why: Your family was probably super-nervous about everything your oldest sibling did, but by the time you came into the picture, they might have been more like, "She ate dirt again? Oh, well. It won't kill her."

Parents are often more easy-going and less demanding with second and third children. As a result, many middle children end up with a more relaxed attitude towards life than their older sibs.

Here are some personality traits that are common in middle children:

Roll with It: Middle children often handle disappointments better. Say you strike out in softball and lose the game. If you were a first-born, you might feel guilty all day, but if you're a middle child, you'll probably find yourself just laughing it off.

Great Negotiator: Middles can be great at seeing both sides of an issue. After all, they're in the perfect place for it!

Lots of Loyal Friends: Middles tend to make friends easily. Once they have them, they often work harder to keep them. They're usually good at keeping secrets, too.

Famous Folks in the Middle:

Men Women
Jay Leno Susan B. Anthony
Donald Trump Barbara Walters
If you're a middle child, these feelings may be familiar:

  • "I'm tired of being left out of things."
  • "Nobody understands me!"
  • "Nobody ever listens to me!"
  • "I'm always in the shadow of my older sister/brother."
  • "My youngest brother/sister gets away with everything."

Sometimes middle children have to try a little harder to "be heard" or get noticed, so remember: if you feel like you're being treated unfairly or not getting the attention you need, talk to a parent about it. They might not even realize what's been going on.

Middle children are really special because the term "middle" can mean so many different things. For example, you could be the second of three kids, the third of four kids, the fifth of six kids, or a twin.

Next up: What it's like to be the Youngest child.


E-mail a friend E-mail this page to a friend    Printable version of this pageGet printable version of this page
Birth Order quiz
Take our
"Celebrity Birth Order" Quiz!

Vote Now
Which one of your siblings bugs you the most?
-- From Nicole, 12

Copyright © 2005 CastleWorks, Inc. All rights reserved.