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Middle Child Syndrome

Essay by   •  November 11, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,123 Words (5 Pages)  •  3,579 Views

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Middle Child Syndrome "Is not as bad as it seems"

As people gather together for the traditional Christmas family photo, there always seems to be an order; Grandma at the front, her children and then her grandchildren grouped all around her. Everyone smiles gaily as the photographer clicks at the buttons on the numerous cameras. However, there is often one person left on the edge, forgotten and cut out of the photo. Not even the camera catches the attention of the middle child; although being a middle child is not as bad as it seems.

Where a child is positioned in their family could possibly be more significant than being the eldest or the youngest. Often the middle child is overlooked, forgotten and ignored. In 2009 the Baby website conducted a poll of one thousand parents and one thousand middle children. More than half of the middle children surveyed said they received less attention than their siblings; as a result they learned to do more everyday tasks for themselves [1]. According to psychologist Kevin Leman, middle children are caught between the eldest, who receives most of there parents attention by having to live up to expectations and the youngest, who is the "baby" of the family all their life. Some Psychologists go so far as to describe this as middle child syndrome [2]. Middle child syndrome often occurs in a family of three or more children, where the middle child feels that the first child gets a fair share of everything as they are the eldest and the last child too gets their wants fulfilled as they are the youngest. The middle child is not given a large amount of importance and thought as a member of the family therefore they see themselves as lower down in the family hierarchy.

As result of their feelings they go out of their way to get the attention of the parents [3]. Society portrays being a middle child as a horrible experience that leaves the child with low self esteem, which could lead to the sense of being an outcast for the rest of their life.

Freedom is a big aspect of a child's growth in the world, and their social development. People need freedom to explore, make mistakes and to learn. Being a middle child you have a lot of freedom that is just handed to you on a silver platter. As the middle child is often forgotten about, they have freedom to discover what they desire to in their life without parental intervention unlike the eldest and youngest. As the eldest has a lot of responsibility traditionally looked at from the parent's perspective as a role model, they have limited freedom. The youngest also has limited freedom, as they are the baby that always has to be watched to make sure they do not hurt themselves or get lost. Having this freedom as a middle child, you learn to understand society and the people around you. Middle children are also able to understand more about the challenges in life that they will eventually face, for example having to work for want you want.

Whereas the eldest and younger children often just request their desires and receive them without hard work involved; when they go on their Overseas Experience alone they find it difficult to adjust to working in order to pay for their evening meals. With this freedom and understanding, the middle child knows values of hard work and life at a young age that can only grow as they mature. This helps middle children significantly in the work force as they develop the initiative, drive and focusing



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