Whether you're the oldest child, the baby, or smack in the middle, birth order matters. Being the center, but not the center of attention, can be an especially polarizing place in the sibling hierarchy. When middle children share their stories about what it was like growing up, middle child syndrome seems like a genuine issue.
The idea that parents treat middle children differently from their siblings ties into the belief that parents, subconsciously or deliberately, change their parenting behavior for individual kids. They might pamper or treat the youngest sibling like a baby, or allow them to get away with more. Parents might pressure the oldest child to excel, meanwhile. And they might be more easygoing with middle children, but at the same time pay less attention to them.
Middle children who share their stories on Reddit help shed light on what it's like to occupy this midway family position.