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Middle-Child Syndrome Is a Myth, Researchers Say

Ah yes, middle child syndrome — a tall tale middle children have been using since the dawn of time to justify their crappy behavior. Not doing well in school? Middle child syndrome. Not getting enough attention? Middle child syndrome. Always deflecting blame and responsibility? You guessed it, middle child syndrome. Turns out, it’s all a myth! Middle born children are simply misunderstood, but it’s time to right this grave wrong.

According to Dr. Catherine Salmon in an interview with Business Insider, though middle child syndrome doesn’t actually exist, there are still some surprising benefits to being born in the middle.

Trust this lady, she and her colleagues have spent the last two decades studying thousands of middle children. She even co-wrote a book, The Secret Power Of Middle Children. So, listen up “middleborns,” this study is for you.

Middle Children Rely Less On Their Parents

“In one 1998 study, Salmon and colleague professor Martin Daly studied over 400 undergraduate students and asked them questions about their family relationships. In one part of the research they were asked who in their family they would turn to for help — parents or siblings. While first and lastborns opted for mum or dad, middleborns generally chose their brothers or sisters.”

Middle Children Are More Open-Minded

“Middles tend to be more open-minded and willing to try new things than their older or younger siblings. Salmon thinks this might be because middleborns are usually forced to be more independent, which gives them an opportunity to find their own path and could make them more likely to experiment.”

Middle Children Are Better In Relationships (Business And Romantic)

“The ability to negotiate is valuable in many different areas of life, including in many career paths. Something Salmon observed in her research was that because middleborns are always pushed in the middle, they tend to have to negotiate for the things they want. They can’t rely on being the baby, or being the oldest and most responsible.”

Instead of this list reading defiant, reckless, and resentful as it often does with middle born children, it flipped the script. Many of the negative portrayals surrounding middle children come from television. In reality, not being the baby and not being the oldest most definitely has its benefits.

This post was written by an editor at FHM. For more, check out our sister site FHM.

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