An Apology: Our Problematic Middle Child

It is hard to be a parent, especially if you got more children to manage.  There is no one formula that fits in raising all of them in one household.

 

We, parents, are humans, too, and we are also bound to make mistakes. We may even sometimes end up discriminating against one of our children because of many reasons such as frustrations regarding attitude and/or school performance.

 

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When You Are A Parent Of Three

Being a parent is never easy, whether a parent of one, two, three, or more.

I am a mother of two boys and a girl.  I often say that I have no favorite and I treat my kids all the same.  But if you will scrutinize it under the microscope, that is not the case.   I will always have a thing for my eldest, and I will not let my youngest be left out.  Focusing too much on my eldest and youngest, I forget that I still have another child.

 

What Happened Then To The Middle Child?

It is not that we ignore our middle child.  Of course, we love her just the same.  Well, it may not show but deep inside that is how we think.  And I was not aware that we are hurting her feelings because she feels neglected.

 

Our eldest was an only child for almost four years, and so he was everybody’s apple of the eye.  He often receives many privileges.

Our second child came four years after and did not enjoy the benefits of being the youngest for long because our third child came just a year after.

 

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Rebellious Child – So We Thought

Growing up and the gap in years, my second child became a problematic one.  She always gets into trouble and would often be punished.  We often hear her say that we don’t love her as much as we love her two brothers.  Of course, we will say that it’s not true, but we have not realized it back then.

 

It was in middle school when she again got into trouble to the point of almost getting kicked out when the guidance counselor talked to us and brought her problem to our attention.

 

We were never aware that kids tend to develop a sense of insecurity and fight for attention by being rebellious because of how they were treated at home, and that the order in which they were born would have a significant impact on how children often behave.

 

In the case of our daughter, she thought it was just a normal phase for a teenager to be rebellious, not realizing that she had been doing it since she was young.

 

We have discriminated against her without our knowledge, but in our actions and in our words and the way we treated her differently from the two boys, yes we did.  My husband and I were guilty of hurting our only daughter.

 

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Middle Child Syndrome

She had developed a middle child syndrome because of the fact that we had been comparing her to her two siblings since, oh well, we were never really aware of when.   But I came to realize that we often compared them based on their school standing and how caring and sweet my two boys are, and she just seemed to be so distant.  My husband and I were not aware that we pushed her away.  But the psychologist told us that over time our daughter might get over it as she matures.

 

The fact that we acknowledged that we have overlooked and undervalued her can help her a lot in healing from the pain.   We have undergone some training in order to shift family dynamics and had been undergoing family therapy to deal with every situation properly.   We love her, and we have to prove to her this time that we do.

 

Parents are not perfect and not all-knowing, but they should be a good example to their kids by learning to accept that they also sometimes do things the wrong way, just like how wrongly we treated and hurt our middle child.

 

Children, although connected by blood and came and raised by the same set of parents, have their own unique personality and should not be compared with one another for each has an intellect and talent of their own, and they show their love depending on their individuality.