Is Middle Child Syndrome Real?

While National Middle Child Day is on August 12 (make a note on your calendar!), we love to celebrate middle children all year round. Middle children are all very different individuals who run the gamut from dramatic to introverted to instigators of shenanigans to logical defenders of order, sometimes all at once.

But as humans who like patterns, predictability and reasons for behaviors, we are always looking for the "why." When middle children feel overlooked, we might turn to “Middle Child Syndrome” for answers. This concept explains why middle children get lost in the shuffle or feel a little left out of the family structure. Others see this syndrome as an unscientific collection of myths or a meaningless and outdated construct.

It can be fun to explore the whys and wherefores of how we become who we are. Whether or not you find the concept of Middle Child Syndrome useful, we dig middle children and think they should have their spotlight moments too, just like the "oldests" and "youngests." Books for kids abound that depict single children or dual-sibling relationships. Click on the following list for a range of stories about those lovely middle kids, and then go forth and celebrate the middle children in your own life. 

Books for Kids That Celebrate Middle Children

Not the oldest, not the youngest, and sometimes there's more than one in a family: it's time to honor all those delightful middle children out there. Try one of these books that highlight a middle child character.

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Books for Parents

1. The Birth Order Book – Dr. Kevin Leman's ever-popular book on birth order has a new look and updated writing. With insight and wit, Dr. Leman offers readers a fascinating and often funny look at how birth order affects personality, marriage and relationships, parenting style, career and children. Birth order powerfully influences the way people interact with others, whether they're at home or on the job.

2. The Secret Power of Middle Children  – Discusses how the strategies developed in middle children can translate into healthier relationships and more successful careers, with tips on how to maximize the potential and avoid the pitfalls of middle-child dynamics.

3. Life's Fingerprint: How Birth Order Affects Your Path Throughout Life – Dr. Hurst uses stories and humor as well as the birth order of people we all know to show how their birth orders affected their lives. You will learn about yourself, marriage partners, working relationships, and the effect of a blended family. 

You can also find more parenting books in the library that tackle a variety of specific issues.