Middle child syndrome: Is it real?

01/6Is middle child syndrome real?

It is often seen that middle children may act rebellious or turn into people pleasers. This happens because they perceive the lack of attention and love from their parents. However there are some positive traits that come naturally with being the middle child. They love fairness in situations and are sociable too. However, the child can often feel excluded due to the order of their birth.

Pranjali Agarwal, Clinical Psychologist at Lissun says, “Yes, middle child syndrome is real. While the concept of middle child syndrome is not a clinically recognized disorder, it is true that middle children may face unique challenges and experiences within their families. The observations made by Alfred Adler regarding birth order and its influence on development have contributed to the popular understanding of middle children and their perceived characteristics.”
Middle child syndrome is the notion that due to their birth order, middle children are excluded, overlooked, or even completely neglected. They frequently feel like their older and younger siblings are in the spotlight. According to research, middle kids tend to be shy, even-tempered, and quiet, maybe as a result of the dynamics of contending for their siblings’ attention.

To support middle children, there are several strategies parents can consider:


02/6​​Provide individualized attention​

“Spending quality time with your middle child on a regular basis can help them feel valued and acknowledged. Engage in activities they enjoy and make them feel special,” advises Agarwal.


03/6​​Offer new belongings​

While hand-me-downs are common in families, occasionally surprising your middle child with their own new possessions can make them feel appreciated and recognized.


04/6​​Offer praise and recognition​

“Middle children, like their siblings, desire and deserve praise and approval. Acknowledge their achievements and efforts to show them that their accomplishments are valued,” says Agarwal.


05/6​​Celebrate differences​

Encourage your middle child to explore their own interests and talents, highlighting their unique qualities. Emphasize that each sibling has their own strengths and encourage them to pursue their individual passions.


06/6The takeaway

“Remember that every child is different, and not all middle children will exhibit the same characteristics or experience the same feelings. It is essential to communicate openly with your child, listen to their concerns, and tailor your support to their specific needs,” advises Agarwal.


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