MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME: WHAT IS IT AND IS IT REAL?
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MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME: WHAT’S MIDDLE-CHILD-SYNDROME ALL ABOUT??
The basis of middle-child-syndrome lies in the notion that middle or second born kids tend to mirror their older siblings and live in their shadow, and that parental attention normally goes to the 1st and the last. The hypothesis is that, in a family of three children, the older child and the last born occupy “highly regarded positions” in the family order while the second child doesn’t.
Is this syndrome real?
Is Middle-Child-Syndrome a reality?
Some experts argue that, it’s not just the middle child who may feel lost but all children do feel lost at some point or another, in all families where there’s three of them. I do not believe that it is a given fact that there will always be “the odd one out” or that “the middle child will be the odd one out”. I believe in the power of parenting styles and parental influences. With good, well-balanced, healthy parenting, middle children won’t ever have to feel unloved or insecure.
How parents can avoid middle child syndrome
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1. Treat your children equally. Favouritism within families not only creates frustration amongst the less-favoured child/children, but also forces children to be resentful – even jealous and hateful – of their favoured sibling. It is bad parenting to show or portray favour of one child over another.
2. Allow for good child spacing – let the first born be a last born for a while; and let the second born be a last born long enough to bond with the parent and to feel loved and appreciated. Let your children find their footing in the family and have a sense of belonging before you add another child, which is likely to shift the focus and attention from them. Of course you should not stop loving your older children once you have a young one. Yes, sometimes things don’t go as planned because the ultimate plan is not ours, but if you are going to have 3 kids, do your part to give the second some time to grow and find his/her footing in the family order.
3. Do not spend all your money on the first child if you are planning to have more children. ”First borns”/first born children usually get the best education because parents tend to send them to the best schools, leaving nothing for the other kids. They get the best toys too! Try for some balance.