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6 Gen-Z Chinoys share their struggles of being a middle child

Life as a middle child is not as easy as you can imagine. Aside from the usual middle child syndrome, here are some of the other challenges middle children face. 


The  responsibilities of a middle child

Joey, 19 

Being a middle child is hard. Not to be ungrateful or anything, but being the middle child means that you get the hand me downs. Sometimes it also means that you have to save the best for your younger sibling or step in as the mediator between sibling fights. You may feel like you’re not your father or mother’s favorite child, but you’ve grown up to learn that you’re okay with that. Although being a middle child is tough work, it shaped me to become a strong and independent person.


Middle child syndrome 

Martin, 18 

I have encountered some unique experiences being the middle child of my family. First is the limited authority I have over my siblings. As a middle child, I have to guide my younger siblings and scold them when they are doing something wrong. However, it can be frustrating since what I would say wouldn’t matter if it wasn’t aligned with my eldest sibling. Next is the lack of love and attention I feel at home. There are times when I feel like I’m not my parent’s favorite, making me feel like I’m not good enough. However, despite its ups and downs, I think that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for the experiences I had to deal with. 


Finding our true identity 

Hazel, 19 

Being a middle child is quite tough. Growing up, the attention was never quite on me, and I sometimes feel overshadowed by my two other siblings, which is why I tend to work independently and set my standards to unreachable heights. I also never had an identity for myself, often being known as  “_’s younger/older sister,” along with a preconception that I was supposed to be “as smart” or “as responsible” as my other siblings. 

Despite all this, I wouldn’t say that being a middle child is all bad. These experiences shaped me to be a stronger, more independent individual by pushing me to break more boundaries and trust in my current capabilities. Through time, I learned that we shouldn’t always compare ourselves to others and accept that individuality makes us unique.


Struggles of being the only girl 

Andrea, 19

Growing up as the middle child in an extremely traditional Chinese family was quite hard. Being the only daughter in the family, it was typical for me to feel left-out and outcast by my brothers. Being the academically gifted child in the family did not help. I remember pulling my grades down since it was the only way I thought of to get my parents attention. This might be messed up, but I was jealous of the anger that my brothers garnered from my parents because of their lazy attitude towards schoolwork. I desperately wanted my parents to scold me, confiscate my things, or pester me to study, just like what they do to my brothers. In addition, since I was deemed as the most responsible child in the family, my parents would usually rely on me and order me around, making me feel neglected and misunderstood.


The truth about experiencing the middle child syndrome

James, 19 

Hearing about the middle child syndrome makes middle children more inclined to believe that their parents really care less about them. For example, I have never really felt a sense of being left uncared for since my parents have always tried to treat us all three siblings equally. However, because people tend to overexaggerate about it, I begin to feel like I am suffering from it. 

I believe that middle children are only made to believe that they are left out because after learning about the syndrome’s definition, they start to look for evidence that proves such. And they definitely will.


The pressure of performing well in school

Lina, 19

My parents have always tried their best not to play any favorites but little did they know they sometimes do.

Even though they said that they are not pressuring me about my acads, I still feel like they are because they have already given up their hopes in my siblings but still have hope for me after seeing that I can perform well academically. An example of this is when my mom would often make “parinig” that my dad wants to go up on stage every school year.

Other than this, my parents are quite fair, and just because when I need something, they will buy it for me, and the same goes for my other siblings.

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