Robert Rosolanko – Confessions of a Middle Child

What is a Middle Child and the Middle Child Syndrome?

In this age of psychobabble and trendy therapists, it is all too popular to claim victim status. It’s almost a new status symbol: What kind of car do you drive? How much do you make? What mental issues are you dealing with?

“My parents divorced”

I wasn’t breast fed enough”

“My dad wouldn’t let me get a tattoo”

It seems as if everyone was wronged at some time, and continues to pay the price for someone else’s actions. So, not being one to buck the system, I too have my own personal cross to bear.

My name is Rob, and I’m a Middle Child.

I know, I know, it’s a difficult situation and I appreciate all of the sympathy that I’m sure you’re experiencing at this point. But all sarcasm aside, being a middle child has several drawbacks. More to the point both the oldest and youngest child have several advantages.

The oldest child gets the benefit of parents who possibly don’t have the slightest clue about how to raise them. Now while at first glance this may seem like a liability for the kid, it’s actually quite the blessing in disguise:

“I’m not sure why he won’t eat his peas,

 but if he stops crying when he eats ice cream,

 what’s the harm in a little Bryers for dinner?”

“Well, I guess I see your point, all the other girls are wearing make-up,

so maybe you should be allowed to.”

“I sure do hate to see you struggle with your Algebra.

Here, let me do it for you, OK?”

The youngest child gets the positive effects of parents who have been beaten down by the child’s siblings who have paved the road for a less treacherous adolescent journey:

“Sure, your older brothers had a 10PM curfew, but maybe I was too hard on them. Yea, go ahead and stay out till midnight.”

“Sorry, we just don’t have the time to look at your report card; we’re too busy going over your older brother’s college application.

Just go ahead and sign our initials and bring it back to school.

“I guess it would be OK for you to convert the basement into your new room. Your older brothers always asked for it, but I wasn’t every ready to let that space go to one of my kids…until now.”

  Such is the hypocrisy of living as a middle child. Too young to gain from my parent’s mistakes, too old to reap the benefits from years of their punitive skills chipped away by my other brothers. As the stories that follow will illustrate, being a middle child is my personal cross to bear. Not a cross so large that I can’t bring it as a carry-on during trips, but enough to cause moderate back pain from time to time. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the therapeutic healing.


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