Don’t let your older or younger siblings fool you: When it comes to birth order, the middle child position is where you want to be.
Below, proud middle children share the reasons they’re absolutely sure they’re the best (even if their diplomatic parents won’t openly admit it).
1. They get the full sibling experience.
“You’re a little sister, with all the living in the shadow and idolizing that it brings, while also being a big sister who’s annoyed and obsessed with the baby. Then, when you grow up, you have two best friends, one that pulls you up and the other that keeps you young.” ― Shelby Postma
2. They give guidance and receive it, too.
“I’m in the middle of five kids. I love it because I can look up to my two older siblings and also feel like a role model to my younger siblings. You can feel the safety of knowing you won’t be alone when the older ones leave because there are younger kids behind you that stay with you. Plus, the older ones can help you prepare for college and life, too.” ― Michael Miller
3. They get away with so much more.
“As the middle child, my parents have always been too busy wondering what my little brother was getting into and too focused on keeping my older brother out of trouble. Just by default, I was the one given a tad more freedom. Even as a young adult, I’ve snuck away on trips to LA, Europe, and the Caribbean all on my own, only to inform my parents afterward.” ― Sebastien Gaudin, blogger at The Gay Bestie
4. Receiving less attention actually makes them stronger.
“Being a middle child gets a bad rep because you don’t always get the same attention from parents as an older or younger sibling might. I’ve always seen this as a positive thing for two big reasons: Growing up, I found that I was neither put on a pedestal like my older brother or coddled like my younger siblings. It’s made me a stronger person.” ― Gigi Engle, a writer and sex educator
5. They become experts in compromise.
“In your formative early years, the middle child realizes that the way to harmony (aka parental love) is compromise and collaboration. If you want to move mountains, gain momentum, add some joy to your family, project, startup or life, find a middle child. They’re eternal optimists. And they know that being bossy and demeaning others won’t get them very far.” ― Heidi Legg, founder of The Editorial
6. They can blame the occasional slip-up on “middle child syndrome.”
“We have a whole syndrome named after us! We can act like a total nut job and get away with it because we have middle child syndrome, the common feeling of exclusion second children feel. I have used the excuse probably 95 percent of my life and it actually works.” ― Stephanie Bicchetti
7. They’re the calm center of the family.
“Middle children get a bad rap as the bad seed or troublemakers. There’s this idea that we act out and rebel in a desperate bid to be noticed for something, even if it’s negative. Studies have even suggested it. But to present the other side of that argument, as middle children are wont to do — often, we don’t actually tend to be troublemakers. Just the opposite, at least in my experience: We’re the delicious calm center; the mediator, the bridge over troubled waters (where, by ‘troubled waters,’ I mean our older and younger siblings), the proverbial Buddhist ‘middle way.’ We’re the median child ― not too extreme on either end. We’re the ‘just right’ Goldilocks of birth orders.” ― Phoebe Fox, author of the Breakup Doctor series
8. Being in the middle of photos is pretty much a given.
“I remember whenever we took a picture of my brothers and me, I’d automatically go in the middle. My mother thought it wasn’t fair because she wanted my little brother to have a turn being ‘in the middle.’ Well, if she didn’t always want me in the middle, she shouldn’t have had me second, am I right?” ― Hope Evans
9. They can steal clothes from multiple closets.
“That moment when you have nothing to wear so you steal something from your sibling’s closet? Story of my life. Those are the moments I was glad I was the middle child. Having two sisters, one older and one younger, was a blessing in disguise. Some people believe that three girls only meant trouble, but I saw it as my closet getting two times bigger. With the age difference between my older and younger sister, they would stay out of each other’s closets, but being in the middle, I always found myself able to snoop through both closets. The downside was that if something went missing, they knew it was me.” ― Jessica Almeida
10. They’re overachievers.
“Being a middle child made me a classic overachiever! To get noticed, I had to go the extra mile and reach higher than I ever dreamed possible. I learned how to keep up with my older brothers whether they were riding bikes, sled riding or playing a board game. I was going to do what they were doing, just as well as they did. And I helped with the younger kids, feeding, changing and singing them to sleep. Sheer determination helped me do it all.” ― Kathy Walsh
11. They’re true originals.
“There are obvious privileges that come with being the oldest, such as accomplishing all of the ‘firsts’ of the family. But that gives you the opportunity to be yourself. There’s no sense in trying to be the first-chair violinist, track star and straight-A student when that’s already covered in the family. With your older sibling busy ticking all the boxes of your parents’ expectations, you’ve got all the time in the world to explore, think outside of the box and take a more creative approach to your life. Same thing goes when your younger siblings are born. Your ability to fly under the radar will allow you to focus on what you want and help you make choices that are true to you.” ― Colleen Bordeaux