From what I hear, being a middle child can be tough. Oldest children (like myself) are always revered and looked at with awe since they’re the first one. Youngest children are often fawned over since the youngest is the “baby” of the family. Therefore, the stereotype goes that middle children often find themselves invisible.
In fact, this idea is so strong that people talk about “Middle Child Syndrome.” Middle children are depicted as overlooked and therefore envious of their siblings who are garnering all of the attention. They are sometimes painted as outcasts or members of the family who don’t quite fit in with everyone else, and many jokes are made at their expense.
Good news for middle children out there: most of these myths have been debunked. Catherine Salmon and Katrin Schumann’s book The Secret Power of Middle Children analyzes the psychology of children who weren’t born first or last in their families and the findings are largely positive; because they aren’t looked at as closely by parents, middle children tend to be more independent, thinking outside the box and growing into influential leaders.
Don’t believe these authors? Take a look at Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill Gates, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, and over half of U.S. presidents–all of whom are middle children.
Just in case you’re a middle child who has been feeling left out, though, this is your time to rejoice. Today is National Middle Child Day! National Middle Child Day is celebrated annually on August 12. It was created by Elizabeth Walker in the 1980s in order to honor middle children, who she felt were often “left out.”
Celebrate National Middle Child Day 2018 by scrolling through the memes in our gallery. Make sure you send them to your middle child sibling, or if you are the middle child, send it to your fellow middle child friends.
If you post on social media, don’t forget to use the hashtag #NationalMiddleChildDay! Middle children may feel alone sometimes, but there are many of them and this is the day to come together.