The Middle Child Syndrome
According to these studies, middle children tend to be more outgoing and flexible than their older and younger siblings. One theory about this is that a middle child learns early on that they need to be vocal in order to be heard among their other siblings, as well as being flexible, as they are often carted around to older siblings’ activities and on hold for a younger child’s needs.
Middle children tend to be “rebels,” more so than their other siblings. A good example of this rebel personality is Charles Darwin, who was a middle child.
There are a few exceptions to the effect of being a middle child. The first exception is gender. If your middle child is a different gender than the older and younger siblings, the “Middle Child Syndrome” does not typically affect them at all. The reasoning behind this is that when children are of a different gender, they are treated almost like a firstborn, because they have many different characteristics and activities, which will be “firsts” for a family (for example, the first dance recital). Another factor making an exception to the “Middle Child Syndrome” is if the middle child has any type of disability.
How to Counteract the “Middle Child Syndrome”
While you may not be able to totally negate the effect of the “Middle Child Syndrome,” you can take certain measures to try and help your middle child feel like an important member of your family. You should have special date nights with each of your children, but this may be especially important for your middle child. When having family discussions, you should also make a special effort to listen to and include your middle child’s opinion. Finally, make sure each of your children know how special and unique they are. Instilling a good self-worth can serve them well as they enter adulthood.