The Middle Child

just johnny

Dear Middle Child,

Have I told you lately that I love you?  I’m pretty sure I have, like all the time, but I’m not sure you hear me. I mean REALLY hear me.  I can no longer count how times you’ve told me that no one loves you.  That breaks me heart.  I need you to know that you are this amazing little man!  You may never be the first do most things in our house because you aren’t the oldest.  And you may be expected to help out more (at least for now) than the ‘baby’.  But I promise you, you are loved.  You see, you aren’t your brothers.  You’re a unique, special kid unlike anyone else.    Don’t strive to be someone else.  Be you!  Because you are perfect the way you are.  You are smart and creative and funny.  I love the time I get to spend alone with you when I am able to truly just listen to all you have to say.  And I’m sorry that sometimes I simply can’t hear you.  With three loud and crazy boys, I simply can’t always process all that you guys throw at me.  But I promise you that it isn’t that I don’t value what you have to say.  You are loved!!  And I hope that some day you will grow to have a relationship where you are able to appreciate your brothers (and they you) but until then, know that I love you. I love every part of you!  I wish there were enough hours in the day to have that time alone with you more often.  But know that I am here, and I love you!  I know some people you really loved (and who loved you more than you know) have left and you miss them.  However, they didn’t leave because they wanted to. I promise they would be with you now if they could.  The fact that you still miss them makes me sad but at least you had those people for long enough to know them and realize how great they were.  No one can ever take that away from you.  And I believe they’re still with you…always.

So don’t forget, you are surrounded by people who love and care about you.  You are never alone.

Love you so much,




  1. This is so sweet. It can be tough being a middle child, but he is surely well loved by his mom.

  2. What a sweet letter. That’s so sad that he says no one loves him. 🙁 It’s got to be hard being the middle child, especially when all three are the same gender.

  3. super sweet letter! He’s adorable!

  4. What a cutie. And what a sweet letter. I too am a middle child. But sounds like you are doing a great job of knowing he still has an important place in your family.

    • Thanks. I was essentially an only child (got a step brother and a half brother in my teens) so some of this middle child stuff and sibling rivalry is just beyond my understanding.

  5. That’s so sad he feels like no one loves him. 🙁 Poor guy needs to listen to mama!

  6. What a cutie! I love your letter. I’m also a middle child.

  7. I’m a middle child as well. Great letter. He is so handsome.

  8. As a middle child I almost cried reading this. So sweet! I can totally understand how he feels. I think I was 27 when my mom sat me down and gave me a speech like this. We cried so hard!

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I never feel like I”m doing the right thing or that he’s really hearing me but I keep trying my best without really understanding what he’s going through since I didn’t experience it.

  9. Im a middle child I feel his pain. This letter is so sweet I am sure I will make him feel better.

  10. Sweet letter! And 3 boys, I cannot imagine. My one boy wears me out!

  11. I, too, have a middle child that thinks he is unloved. If only they could see how much we do love and appreciate them!

  12. That is absolutely precious! I truly hope you give that to him and remind him of it often! We have two children and both came from households with two children, so I have zero “real” experience with middles. But, if I was one I would want to hear this and if I had one I’d want to share this!

  13. What a beautiful letter to your son. I’m the first (and only) but these thoughts are good for any of us. It’s easy to compare ourselves with others and feel we come up short. In reality we all have our beauties and strengths.

  14. This is too sweet! Such a beautiful letter to your boy. As he grows he will realize his indispensable place in your family!

  15. I’m not a middle child, but I do worry about one of my children being lost in the “crowd” of his siblings. This is such a good reminder to let my son know that he is as loved and valued as our other children. Thank you.

  16. Wow…that is awesome…so well said…I often feel like this toward my middle one, I see her acting out for attention and I feel bad because I know that she gets lost with the attention the oldest and youngest demand…this is a good reminder about being intentional about spending time with our middle children 🙂

    Dawn from

  17. This is such a nice letter. And it’s one I think every middle child would do well in reading!

  18. What a sweet letter! I don’t know if you gave this to your son or let him read it but I bet if you wrote it out and gave it to him he would cherish it, even if he might not admit it.

    • I”m actually debating whether I want to give it to him know or save it!! He’s nine, so I’m not sure if he’ll really GET it or not!?

  19. Beautiful letter. Special boy.

  20. My 3 kids often has this debate – each bemoaning why they don’t like being the eldest/middle/youngest!

    This is such a beautiful post to your son, and I’m sure he will love reading it again when he is older.

  21. They all need to hear this sometimes, no matter what their birth order. What a lovely tribute to your middle kiddo 🙂

  22. What a sweet letter to your son. I pray that he will come to know how very special and loved he is, and that he will know and grow into the plans God has for him.

  23. Very sweet!My middle child started out as the only child. Then his father married a woman with an older boy and they had a girl. Then I married a man with kids and we had a boy. So he became a middle child with me too. Poor kid. But he is almost 20 years old now and a strong independent young man. Keep reassuring that middle child mom. He will be just fine. Especially with a mom as loving and concerned as you.

    • Thanks so much for sharing. I love hearing positive experiences!! It helps me feel like I’m not ‘ruining’ him forever.

      • Tom Noel (Dad) says

        I think that ruined in not a good way to look at it. He is extremely intelligent, kind and loving. He has an imagination like no other kid I’ve ever known. The only thing he is having a hard time with is the individual time. He gets honor roll grades on every report card, only gets positive referrals at school and I am told constantly what a well behaved kid he is from almost everyone we know. I don’t think you or I have ruined him in any way. We just need to figure out a way to get him to understand that time is limited, there are other pressing issues most of the time, and that when it’s his turn for one on one, that we will make it as special as possible. You’re a really great Mom. The one thing I’ll never be able to say about you is that you don’t care about your kids. It’s very evident by how much they love you. Johnny in particular. He almost always goes to you, rather than me when he needs something. He comes to me when he wants approval for things he is doing. Natural relationships for children. I know it drives you a little crazy sometimes when they go to you for things instead of me, but I believe that is a natural part of growing up. More is always more nurturing. Dad is more of the hard guy. Don’t EVER think you’re ruining him. You’re being a Mom. A Mom that disciplines when necessary, and that loves, always.

  24. Awww…how incredibly sweet! I’m an only child so I cannot relate to how your son sometimes feels, but I am a mother of two and I find it hard sometimes to make sure I equally show my love to both my children! I can’t imagine how you do it with three!

  25. This is such a sweet letter. I am sure they will grow up and understand a mother’s love is the same for all her children. Don’t matter if she had 1 or a dozen. they’ll all be loved.

  26. Very sweet. This makes me want to rite a letter to each of my kids and maybe make it a recurring thing.

  27. We recently borrowed a book from the library called “Martha in the Middle” – all about how the best things in life can be found in the middle (like the centre of an Oreo or sandwich). We’ve only got two kids, so don’t have that particular issue to deal with, but my husband made sure to share it with his (middle) brother.

  28. Beautiful letter! That reminds me….I try to write each of my 5 kids at least once a year, and I keep the letters to give to them one day. I write down all the new stuff they do and what is so wonderful about each one of them and what things they like to do and say. I have 5 kids and sometimes I forget to write those letters….I’m due to write some more! Thanks for the reminder and the thoughtful words!

  29. What a precious gift to your son, this letter. Keep telling him you love him, even when he doesn’t think he wants to hear it. There’s so much love and pain and joy and sadness wrapped up in our Mama Hearts, we just want to make everything ok for our children. Your doing a good job, Mom, keep it up!

  30. Beautifully said! We just can’t share those words with our beloved children enough, can we?

  31. Such a beautiful letter to a wonderful son. He appears so talented. May he understand a mother’s overwhelming love

  32. I never realized “the middle child” syndrome as being valid, but as a mother of two, I kind of get it. Our oldest got a lot of intention, and our second (who may or may not be a middle child someday) gets a lot of attention, but there just isn’t time to get his picture taken every month for his first year of life like we did with our first, etc. But I can imagine that if we had a third child, which would be our last, we would be more mindful about things because it would be our last “baby.” Definitely something to think about!

  33. Aww. . . he’ll see this letter one day and see how much he is loved. I have 5, and I do feel for my middle one too. She wants to do what her bigger sisters do, but can’t yet, and below her is the only boy and then the baby so they have something special. It’s hard to make them all feel special sometimes, yet deep down they do know that we love them!

  34. Tissue please! That letter is priceless and your little boy is adorable.

  35. Middle children do need that extra piece of love and attention. It’s good that you know it. A touching story to show it, too.

  36. That is such a beautiful letter. I’m sure your middle boy loves you very much! Just acknowledging the unique roles each child plays in the family’s dynamic brings the unit closer together.

  37. We are about to add a 3rd child to our family and I worry about the older two boys. I know it will be a difficult adjustment, but hopefully they each appreciate their place in the family and enjoy the sibling relationship. Hope things go well in your family!

  38. Love your blog Lisa and especially love this post. Being a middle child is indeed quite hard. And having three boys…well, just WOW! There’s so much to keep track of and navigate through as a Mom of three energetic boys. This letter is so sweet. I know you do everything everyday to let him know he is loved. Someday he’s going to love to read this letter! ~ Bobbi

  39. I am a middle child so I completely know how your son feels. My technical middle child (I say technical since she’s only older by a minute) is a BIG momma’s girl. I really do think its a connection being middle children.

  40. Love this – so sweet. It is easy to say words quickly, but to really make sure they are heard, by the heart, that’s a different story.

  41. This is absolutely precious! I’m an only child and I our only children are twin boys, so I can’t exactly relate. I do know that both of our boys probably feel like the other is the “favorite” sometimes. I need to keep that in mind more often. Thank you for sharing this!

  42. I love that you are giving special individual attention to your children. I think it’s so important (for parents and for kids) to have that dedicated one-on-one time to share thoughts and feeling. My mother did this occasionally with us as children and they are some of my most precious memories.

  43. Awww what a beautiful post. What’s interesting it was my oldest that had the middle child issues. I had to find ways to show her how special she was and that all I loved all 3 the same.

    Thanks for such a great post
    Kimberly Ann Hawes

  44. A wonderful letter to your middle child! thanks for sharing!

  45. The middle child…is there such a thing as the middle child syndrome? I feel like I have heard that somewhere. I love your letter….so cute! Love, love, love him up!

  46. So far my husband and I only have two children but we are thinking of having a third. I have often thought about how to handle the middle child feelings. I think writing him a letter was a great way to do it. I’ll have to remember that strategy if we decide to take the plunge!

  47. What a lovely tribute to your middle son! I am the oldest of 3 and my middle sister often felt left out and unimportant. I like to imagine that if our mom could say anything to her, it would echo this.

  48. Hi Lisa What a beautiful letter to your sweet boy. I am a middle child also so I know some of the challenges. Hopefully, he already knows how much you love him.

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful sentiments with us.

  49. What a beautiful post! So sweet! Thank you for posting! 🙂

  50. Beautiful letter. We have three children (daughters) and it wasn’t until my daughter were grown that I understood – to some extent – how my middle daughter felt. So glad you understand your son while he’s still young and reassure him of your love.

  51. Very sweet post to and about your son! I bet he is enjoying seeing all the comments on here! 🙂 Your blog design is really cute!

  52. That’s so sweet! I’m an only child with an only child, so can’t relate to what your son is feeling…but I remember growing up with “middle child” friends. I remember how they struggled to become their own people.

    Thanks for sharing this letter to your son. 🙂

  53. Thank you for sharing! I will be sharing this with my beautiful middle daughter who I love just as much as I love her sisters.

  54. Very sweet post. I’m the youngest of my family, but I have a good friend that is a middle child and she always felt “left out” most of her life. Always over compensated trying to find her place.

  55. Aw, this is such a sweet post! I love this! I was the youngest in my family, but I have friends who were the middle child and often felt a bit forgotten. This is really special!

  56. Tom Noel (Dad) says

    You don’t know how hard that just hit me. I hear it all the time too and it is heartbreaking. Having grown up as one of the middle children, I know exactly how he feels. Especially having been followed by the only girl, and then 7 years later, my youngest brother. I try to convey that to him as much as I can, but he never really seems to hear it. Perhaps we both need to sit down with him and tell him exactly what you wrote here. You actually made me cry from this one. The words “I hate you, and you don’t care about me” out of a 9 year old kid’s mouth are hard to take sometimes, but I always follow up after he’s done throwing his temper tantrums, and know that the hate part only comes from anger. The part where he feels like nobody cares is real, and we have to figure out a way to contain it. It’s only going to get worse as he gets older if we don’t.

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