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What Is Middle Child Syndrome Essay

1965 words - 8 pages


Middle Child Syndrome

Have you ever wondered if your birth place, particularly that of a middle child, has any effect on your personality and conscience? Psychologists and many others have actually pondered the subject, and believe that there is a connection between your personality development and your niche in the family.
Many people, myself included, have wondered why some siblings are treated differently than others. For instance, the eldest usually gets more responsibility and privileges, whereas the youngest is usually coddled gets out of trouble Scott-free. This in fact relates to Birth Order. Birth Order: A child’s place in relation to sibling(s). In a number of siblings, it is also the child's rank based by age. This exerts more of an effect on personality than intelligence (“What is birth order?”). But if the eldest gets more privileges and responsibility, and the youngest gets out of trouble and is coddled, what does the middle child get? This now leads us to Middle Child Syndrome. Middle Child Syndrome: When a middle child, usually the second of three close aged kids, feels left out, overlooked, and neglected (“Middle Child Syndrome”).
You may be asking yourself ' Is birth order an actual thing?'. With a fair chunk of research over ten years old and counting, most of this research done by doctors, psychologists, and professors (Dr. Kevin Leman, Catherine Salman, Dr. Ronald W. Richardson) it is quite obvious that this is an actual thing. With so much hype on this topic, one thing we need to think about is how do we judge differences between children? How do we justify generalizing that the oldest is responsible, the youngest is coddled, and the middle is neglected. The truth is, it is not that simple. Not every eldest is responsible, nor every youngest is the baby, and not all middle children are neglected. But when it comes to Middle Child Syndrome, that is how the cookie crumbles. Without the end children playing their parts, the middle child would not feel like they are invisible.
Outside of Middle Child Syndrome, there are the 'lonely onlies'. The only child, which take the place of eldest children because they are first and only born. Then there is the case of twins. In any family with twins, there is no Middle Child Syndrome because “Twins (and other multiples) generally grow up as an entity unto themselves” (“Understanding the power of Birth Order”). This is because that is how everyone sees them-a unit, inseparable.
Now, back to Middle Child Syndrome. The eldest child of (usually three) kids tend to lean on the side of over-achiever. Feeling that everything has to be just so, they are also perfectionists. Oldest children are often given the most responsibility, as they have been around the longest. Oldest children struggle with cutting loose and giving themselves slack, as well as being inflexible. Due to...

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