Alex's Answer

The middle child

Your Question

I’m the middle child in my family too young to get along with my older siblings but too old for my younger siblings. I’ve been in charge of minding my younger siblings the whole time for as long as I can remember, I was never able to enjoy going places since I was always the one who had to drag along or run after the smaller ones. My ma is constantly telling me I don’t do anything and my dad says the same. Recently I’ve been helping around the house and stuff even more and I have to put up with my ma giving out about how much she hates my da to me then for her to turn around and say I’m useless and I don’t do anything. And my da does the same but not as often. I’m just so tired and sick of it since I’ve got a lot going on with my friends too. What am I supposed to do? 


Hi there!

You are very welcome to Ask Alex, a service for young people to ask anything they need to. We are happy you reached out, it’s a very brave thing to do.   

It sounds like you are feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated in your family situation and we are sorry to hear that.  As a middle child, you are caught between being too young to relate to your older siblings and too old to play with your younger siblings.  Being tasked with the responsibility of minding your younger siblings has prevented you from enjoying activities and days out. It’s understandable that you feel tired and frustrated in this situation and overwhelmed by your responsibilities.  

During this time, reach out for added support . If possible, turn to other trusted adult family member(s) or a teacher who can provide guidance and assistance.  Can you find some time to engage in hobbies you enjoy?  Does your school provide extracurricular activities?  It sounds like things are tricky with your friends too, but perhaps doing activities together that you all enjoy, could strengthen your friendships. Remember to prioritise moments for rest and relaxation when you can.   

Additionally, Childline is here to support young people like yourself.  The Childline team is available 24/7 to listen, provide guidance, and explore your options with you.  You can contact us for free by calling 1800 66 66 66 or through our Messenger service at (just click on the purple Messenger tab) 

Know you deserve to feel safe and supported, and there are people who genuinely care about your wellbeing.  You are not alone on this journey. Together we can help you to feel more empowered in your situation.  

Take care of yourself, and please reach out again soon,   


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