*This post originally appeared on The PediaBlog on March 15, 2016.
The Middle Child
It took Hailey Gelbert a few years to realize that being a middle child is “not as bad as everyone thinks”:
When I was younger and told people I was a middle child, I was always met with sympathetic stares as if everyone felt bad for me. The truth was, I felt bad for myself too. I always thought I was so unlucky to be the middle child because I couldn’t figure out my place in my family. My older sister got to be the “most experienced” and my younger sister got to be the “baby of the family.” I was the stereotypical middle child who suffered from “Middle Child Syndrome” and thought I was always ignored. Luckily, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that being the middle child isn’t as bad as I used to think it was. In fact, it has it perks, and may just be the best location in the birth order.
She lists ten reasons why growing up in the middle of the batting order has its perks, including not having to sit in a car’s middle seat (“that’s the youngest sibling’s job”) and getting all the attention posing right smack in the middle of the family photo. But it’s the first and the last perks she mentions that reveal this young writer’s insight and maturity:
1. You have an older sibling to look up to and a younger sibling who will look up to you.
You get the best of both worlds. You can get advice, give advice, have a role model and be a role model.
10. You’re the only sibling who gets to know what it’s like to be an older, middle and younger sibling.
You’re unique; not a lot of people get to experience this.
As much as I struggled with being a middle child, I now know that there is a lot more to love than to complain about.
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