5 Ways I’ve Tried To Help My Daughter Through Middle Child Syndrome
My middle child, who looks like Boo from Monsters Inc, just turned fiveÂ and before that my oldest daughter had four blissfully sibling-free years (or at least she says they were blissful when they argue).When I became pregnant with my middle child, I did what I did with my first kid, which is to say I geeked out on parenting books. Only this time I worried about the transition to having two children rather than one.
But I had no need to worry, because since day one my oldest two kids have been two peas on a pod (except when they are trying to beat the living crap out of each other and I have to make them sit on the couch and hold hands for 20 minutes to teach them about friendship). Then came my third and final child, my son. Once again I worried about transitions and all that jazz.
Things actually seemed to be okay for a while. Yes, she was shocked to hear about this little intruder on his way (that’s her in a fry induced coma not too long after realizing her baby status was about to be revoked). But all in all not too much jealousy and only one pre-birth lecture to my tummy from my middle kid, we seemed good to go. Then IT started. The dreaded “Middle Child Syndrome.”
1. Make them feel special
I don’t think it’s possible for my little drama mama NOT to feel special. Apparently middle children are “unconventional” and “relaxed” which must translate in parenting-books-talk to “calls dibs to your lap at the dinner table” and “will steal your iPhone and take 400 selfies for you to find in the morning.”
2. Praise their achievements
According to the gospel of parenting books, middle children are “less competitive.” Therefore you should shower them with praise when they achieve something so they don’t feel that the bulk of the attention is placed on their older or younger sibling. Well they haven’t met my little energy ball. It’s hard to give ANY attention to the other two with my little Meryl StreepÂ around the house. If she isn’t putting on a show for us, she’s painting four pictures or “doing her makeup” a.k.a. ruining the Chanel lipstick I got for Christmas.
3. Help your middle child “make friends” with her baby siblingÂ
Dr. Sears suggests you start this process before giving birth to the third child by showing your middle child sonogram pics and letting her pat your belly. MY middle kid took this time to set the record straight with this lumpy thing that was coming to take her rightful place as Queen Baby, “You will have YOUR toys and I will have MINE. You hear me baby!” I knew we were off to a great start.
4. Help your child learn about “Time Sharing” her mommy
HAHAHAHAHA. Seriously though, all three of my kids will “playfully” argue over whose mommy I am (or whose daddy my husband is), “She’s MY mommy.” “NO, she’s MY mommy” etc. I say “playful” because there are three kids and only one lap so eventually this turns into a Gladiators match unless I nip it in the bud.
5. Don’t let your middle child feel left out
When I read this I was like “What, am I going to leave her in a field somewhere?” Obviously you don’t want to have any of your kids feeling left out all the time. That being said, this phenomenon is impossible with my middle spawn. She somehow manages to find herself in the middle of everything. When I come home from work and sit down she magically appears in my lap with a look on her face like “What up, momma?”
Â (Photo: Facebook)