Wikipedia defines middle child syndrome as “the feeling of exclusion by middle children (those with one younger and one older sibling). This effect occurs because the first child is more prone to receive privileges and responsibilities (by virtue of being the oldest), while the youngest in the family is generally considered the 'baby.' The second (or middle child) no longer has their status as the baby and leaves them with no 'clear role' in the family, or a feeling of being 'left out.' Despite being used to explain a child's behavior, middle child syndrome is not actually a 'clinical disorder.'"
I apologize, but for the first time in my life, I am going to have to disagree with Wikipedia. As a middle child, with an older sister and a younger brother, I can promise you that middle child syndrome is very serious and very real. There are many skeptics (older siblings, younger siblings, mothers, fathers, and basically anyone who is not a middle child) who believe that all middle children fabricate this syndrome to look for attention and to receive pity. Though the attention thing might have some truth to it, I have had middle child syndrome since the day my brother was born.
As a middle child, you are blamed for everything. There is no shadow of a doubt that when a brawl goes down in the family, the middle child is the one to blame. Obviously, it can't be the oldest child because the middle child probably provoked them, and obviously it can't be the youngest child because they don't know any better. The middle child, however, should know better and should not provoke the other two, thus as punishment, the middle child is put in time out and the others get to go out and play.
As a middle child, parents don't care as much for your special events. With all due respect to parents all over, we all know it's true. The oldest child graduates and it's their first child off to college, so tears occur. The youngest child graduates and it's their last child off to college, so tears occur. The middle child graduates and nothing happens because they already experienced a graduation once and it is not the last one, so not to worry. This happens with birthdays, marriages, and any other significant events.
As a middle child, you tend to be forgotten… by everyone. Everyone knows the oldest child because they were the first and everyone knows the youngest child because they were last. No one remembers who the middle child is, when the middle child's birthday is, how old the middle child is, or where the middle child is. There have been countless times when I hear my siblings names being called by my parents and I am waiting for my name to be called and it never comes. There have been countless times when my family and I have been walking around outside and I stop to tie my shoe or stop to look at something interesting and when I looked up my family has disappeared. It is a harsh reality we middle children have to face.
As a middle child, you not only get compared to one sibling, but to both. This one has to be the absolute worst. I like to consider myself pretty accomplished, but I do not think I will ever live up to my older sister, or worse, my younger brother. If I get three A's and two B's, my older sister gets four A's and one B, and my little brother gets all A's. If I get a personal record in track, my siblings get better personal records. If I become president of the United States, no doubt, one or both of them will figure out a way to become president of the universe. My older sister doesn't get compared to my little brother because they are too many years apart, but as the middle child, I get the lucky gig of being compared to both (note sarcasm).
Let's also not forget the fact that while your younger sibling gets to be the cute one and your older sibling gets to be the mature one, you are not given a confident boosting adjective, and are forever deemed "that child." With all of this being said, middle child syndrome can be cured. All we need is a little TLC (and for our little brother to maybe fall down a well).