In conjunction with Middle Child\u2019s Day on the 12th of August, we at Motherhood Story would like to share some information and pointers about middle child syndrome. In this article we will talk about what this syndrome is, and some tips on overcoming this development in our middle child. As the name suggests, middle child syndrome has to do with the birth order traits of a child, where the child is born in between older and younger siblings. Many middle children tend to be more neglected by their parents when compared to their elder and younger siblings. Such experiences within the family affect the middle child\u2019s behaviour, emotions, and personality adversely. Of course such \u201cneglect\u201d is never on purpose by any parent, yet it commonly happens without parents realising it. How Parents Unknowingly \u201cNeglect\u201d The Middle Child Image credit: Pexels In many families, the oldest child is inadvertently always involved in new firsts, which also translates to new discoveries and parenting moments. When the same experience happens with the middle child, it is no longer a first. Worse yet, we fail to show excitement or make such a big thing out of it as we did with our first-born.\u00a0 In this way, the middle child may feel slighted as he or she is not shown the same enthusiasm from the parents for the same experience happening to him or her.\u00a0 Coupled with a younger child in tow, parents may also spend more time taking care of the needs of the youngest, thus spreading the parents\u2019 attention even thinner towards the older children. Also, the middle child who used to be the youngest at one point, is now no longer the \u201cbaby\u201d of the family who gets fussed about a lot more. As such, the middle child may feel overlooked, perhaps even develop jealousy over the more fussed about siblings. Effects of Middle Child Syndrome These are some of the emotions and behaviours that may develop in a middle child as a result of being overlooked for a period of time. \tShow negative attention-seeking behaviour or being rebellious. \tFeeling of inadequacy which leads to low self-esteem. \tDevelop a sense of sibling rivalry due to perceived favouritism. \tBecome more people-pleasing in the hopes of being seen or heard. \tDulled personality due to having an identity crisis, being unsure of self. 7 Tips To Prevent Middle Child Syndrome Image credit: Pexels Being aware and accepting that this happens even when we never intended it, is the first step we take to help prevent our middle child from suffering. Here are some ways we can help our middle child to grow and feel equally loved. \tMake an effort to spend time alone with your middle child. Play a game, go for walks, watch his or her favourite show together, or simply spend time cuddling and talking. During this time, ensure that the older or younger children do not hijack you away! A child feels love by the attention we shower upon them. So make this alone-time count. \tInvolve the child in conversations. Whether it\u2019s a group conversation or a one-on-one, invite the child to express their opinion. And listen with undivided attention when the child is talking. This little act shows the child that you are paying attention and what they say matters to you. \tBe generous in praises. Honour and celebrate your middle child\u2019s individual accomplishments without comparing talents and abilities to the other siblings. Any firsts for the middle child should still be shown enthusiasm and worthy of congratulatory praises. \tEncourage individuality. To grow the child\u2019s sense of self, avoid comparing or asking the child to do the same things as their siblings. Encourage the child to find their own interests and support them in doing things their own way. \tDon\u2019t replace your parental responsibility towards the middle child by depending on the older child. Instead of directly helping the middle child with something, we may ask for the elder child to help instead. This isn\u2019t healthy for both children\u2019s emotional development and bond with each other if they develop resentment towards each other. \tOffer words of assurance of your love. Acknowledge that being the middle child may be difficult, and that you love them all the same even though you sometimes have to spend more time to help or take care of their siblings. Assure your child often, not just a once-off. \tEncourage open-talk about feelings. Get your child to speak up instead of clam down on their emotions. Whether they feel jealous, angry, or left out, encourage your child to let you know how they feel at all times. Offer the child a safe environment to open up to you about how they feel.\u00a0 Positive Sides to Middle Child Syndrome Image credit: Freepik When handled properly, some adults have benefited from and show the secret powers of being middle children. Some middle children have grown up to become more skilled at negotiations, more empathetic, patient, and compromising adults. What is important is for parents to consciously make efforts to help their middle children. Make them feel included and equally loved, even though they find the environment challenging.\u00a0The upbringing of a middle child needs more of our attention, lest we may cause them to grow up with psychological impact that shapes their personalities and value systems. For more interesting stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!