People might wonder that ‘middle child syndrome’ is even real. Scientific studies have found that many middle children are neglected because of their birth order. They do not get the love and attention from their parents like a first baby or only child gets. Due to their birth order, they get less time in building a relationship with their parents. And as a result, they feel left out and go out of their way to please people in order to gain attention.
According to some research, middle children develop certain personality and relationship characteristics. It is a belief that children suffer from this syndrome because they are ignored or even outright neglected which causes sibling rivalry and resentment.
In this article, we will go through the meaning of middle child syndrome, the characteristics of this syndrome, and ways to overcome middle child syndrome.
The eldest child gets undivided attention from their parents and feels all-powerful due to the high expectations set by their parents. Whereas, the youngest child is cuddled by everyone because – they are youngest! Parents act relaxed with the youngest children. They are the spoiled ones, fun-loving and uncomplicated.
The middle child is sandwiched between elder and younger siblings. They are even-tempered but feel difficult to fit in. They are not appreciated like the older ones nor embraced by the younger ones which makes them feel excluded or neglected. Due to this, they start thinking that no one understands them or considers them important.
Characteristics of Middle Child Syndrome
As they feel unimportant and due to lack of affection from family, middle children often build relationships outside the family. They have a bigger social circle and close-knit friendships.
Middle children are stuck somewhere in between the strong-willed elders and baby like treated younger siblings and their personality is overshadowed by their siblings. As a result, they become quiet and even-tempered.
The Middle child does not feel that he is his parent’s favorite child. Favoritism often exists for the elder who is treated as special or the youngest who is treated like a baby.
According to research, the ignorant behavior of parents towards a middle child shapes his personality and can have negatives effects going into adulthood. But a child suffering from this syndrome, if handled wisely, can be turned into a happy healthy child.
Here are some ways to handle middle child syndrome.
Your middle child may feel left out because you are not giving him as much attention as you give to your other children. Being fair with all of them can help your child to regain the confidence that he lacks. Try to show enthusiasm for all of your children in their events, even you’re less excited about the middle one as compared to the elder one.
This will help alleviate the injustice that a middle child may feel. Divide your love, affection and attention equally to all of your children.
Spend quality time
Try to spend some quality time with your middle child. Arrange some activities or take them out for lunch once or twice a month. If your child feels unwanted, alone, and unloved, try to give her all the love and attention he craves for. Sometimes even If you have to go out of the way to make them feel special as much as you do for other children, do it.
There may be times when you do not agree with what your middle child is saying. But you have to listen to him with patience and hear him out to make him feel that his point of view is being heard and been given importance.
Make them Feel Important
Everyone loves to be in limelight, but being a middle child, it comes often. Make your child feel special. Give him responsibilities and appreciate her when he fulfills them. This boosts their confidence level and their love for you.
Encourage your Middle Child
Make your middle ones feel acknowledged and motivated in all of their endeavors. But, pay special attention to any particular area where he is showing a lot of strength and struggle. Encourage him to excel in that area so that he can become successful and give you a chance to feel proud of his parents.
Do not Compare your children
No two people are the same. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Never compare your children with your middle child or even to anyone. This causes the middle child to lose all of his self-esteem and confidence. Treat your all children with love and equality. Love all of them for who they are and what they do!
Communication is the key
Communicating with your children and asking them what they feel is important. Ask your middle child about his role in the family or what you can do to help them. Keep asking questions even if they go unanswered. Even If you get “I don’t know’ or silence in return, keep asking the questions. This will make them feel that you are interested.
How your children behave may not necessarily depend on the birth order. Your children’s personality is affected by various social, financial, and familial influences. All that matters is the happy and healthy relationships among each other.