Hierarchy in family sometimes plays a huge role in the development of character in children. Even though it doesn’t become explicitly apparent, it can leave lasting impressions on the children, the aftermaths of which would manifest only later. The Middle Child Syndrome is one of the perceived effects of the hierarchy among children in a family, normally with three children. Although it is not a clinical disorder by any means, it may cause some behavioral effects in the middle child and have significant influence on the personality.
Middle Child Syndrome is a psychological condition in which the child feels left out. In most families with many children, we are likely to see some privileges for the eldest and the youngest children. While the eldest would be entrusted with certain responsibilities, allowing him/her to almost step in the shoes of an adult, the youngest one would be considered a baby and would be insulated from all the serious matters. Both of them would have a feeling of importance from these gestures.
Middle children are not privileged to have either, and may develop a sense of isolation and would feel that the parents are not caring enough. They are naturally expected to emulate their elder siblings in most of the things, and their moments of success may not get enough attention from the parents. They would need to do something spectacular to prove their worth among the siblings. They would also need to work hard to make sure their opinions are heard. Granted, it is not the case of all families, but these are circumstances that can trigger such a mental state in children.
There are a few things that may discourage the middle child syndrome. One case is gender. If the middle child is of a different gender than the other kids, he or she is unlikely to develop the condition. It is because that child would be considered still a firstborn in a sense. Also, in a group of siblings with considerably different personalities, middle child syndrome is less likely to be present.
Middle child syndrome can have both positive and negative impacts on the children. While it will inject competitive spirit in some, others can fall into depression and related consequences as well. The parents are who need to be vigilant, making sure all children are treated alike without favoritism.
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