Ever heard of 'MIDDLE KID SYNDROME'? Does that even exist? Well, it does if you fall short of parenting. They say when you have three kids, it’s easy for one child to be ignored and it’s usually the middle kid. I am no expert in parenting, i learn as i go along. However, i am immensely thankful for folks such as my father and many wise souls who advised us of 'fair parenting' . As parents to 3, we were advised to pay equal attention to all kids. Hence in our home we have not encountered this 'middle kid syndrome'. it’s way different at our home.. we may have given our middle child a little too much attention, if not for anything else, and occasionally I have had to check daddy to see if he was playing favorites with our middle kid (He's such a daddy clinger). I can let you in on something- this intentional parenting has paid off. It’s really how you approach it. So when our middle boy turned 3, I let him in on a big secret. I let him know he was the luckiest boy in all the world as he could help mom with his lil brother at the same time get to do adventurous big boy stuff with his older brother.
Some things we did intentionally to make our middle boy feel special and not go through any syndrome.
1. We have tuned in to make special time for our middle boy. Lil Nicky gets special staycations and dates with mom and dad alone. I often set up dates on my calendar and let him know in advance. He gets all excited when he knows it’s coming.
2. We’ve ensured to have tons of single pictures taken of him and in the family pics we make deliberate attempts to see he’s not always stuck in the middle and lost with the shuffle.
3. My middle boy did not have the pressure of giving up his cot or his toys just because he had another sibling come along. He had his extended time and when he was way past the stage to use them, his cot, bouncer was all asked to be given up.
4. Lil Nicky is given the same opportunities and privileges as the older or younger child is entitled. I noticed he often complained of play dates as he did not have as many friends as my older social butterfly did. These days I am making a conscious effort to ensure he gets to go for his friends birthday parties and build bonds. Planning a simple play date for him is high up on my to-do list.
5. Affirmation is a secret key, we let him know every day he’s loved and we praise his achievements. I have noticed that by lavishing praise for his tremendous effort and skill at biking, or his art work, he is less likely to dodge his bike over furniture around the house, or paint all over the walls just to get me to notice him. He's just a calm soul, I love his personality!
6. We always went with hand-me downs with our second and third, but also ensured that they got a special toy for their birthday or an occasional ‘new’ thing. This has helped my lil middle child to never ever feel like the second best or a clone to his older brother.
Something so amazing about our middle child is, the fact that he is independent, confident, secure and he’s always the peace-maker when his brothers break into feuds. I guess the middle child shapes up to become a person with great leadership, negotiation and good decision making skills - all this only if you intentionally parent them to avoid the nasty 'MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME' The needn't have to live with any syndrome!