Middle child syndrome. As a middle child, I guess I should really understand how this works, and perhaps I had this and just can’t remember. The idea is that in a family of three you should be giving your time evenly to all of the children; Obviously breaking down to 33% each. As the middle child, they often feel left out due to the perks of being both older, and younger. The older child is able to do many things that the middle child is not. They seem to be able to be given more privileges, freedom, and all around the middle child envies the abilities that the older child has. (Keep in mind in my home, my oldest child is 13, while my middle is 7) Then there is the youngest. They are treated as the baby, and are seen as getting more attention, and possibly love, than the middle child. The baby gets away with things the middle child no longer can, and there is also an odd sense of freedom. The middle child is too old to do what the baby does, and too young to do what the oldest does. Here they are stuck in the middle, feeling left out and unloved as the other children ‘run free’ and get away with possibly everything they can!
My child has this to a T. Severely. Not only is she the middle child, but I am mothering three girls. The oldest is 6 1/2 years older, and the youngest is 3 years younger. My oldest and youngest are both tall for their age, while my middle is quite small. Standing only approx 3 inches taller than her 4 year old sister, she is often paired with her when it comes to activities. Though they are both incredibly adorable, my middle child’s intellect is beyond compare. She is not only logical, but critical and also moody. She is quick to upset, and even faster to scold you. Due to being bossed around by her older sister, she is extra bossy with her younger sister. The only problem with this is, yet again, she is barely taller than this sibling. Therefore when a fight breaks out between the two, it is often her who is left in tears, because my littlest girl has no qualms against fighting dirty. She will pinch, pull, kick and punch. Needless to say, this is not fun for the mommy.
So here I am, a single mother working to support three kids on my own, all the while suffering through multiple autoimmune diseases, and dealing with my lovely little middle child. Who is suffering through her own battle of angry self pity, and with the intellect to understand what is going on around her, she is becoming a bitter little blond soldier of war. War on the peace at home, and anyone else who she can possibly get away with mistreating. There is little hope for peace, and she is nowhere near willing to raise the white flag and give up on her middle child temper tantrums. Her adorable little face, big blue eyes, and almost white blond hair is quickly changed from a beautiful little cherub into a cringing almost demon like glare. She can scrunch her face up with the best of them, and will stare you down with no remorse. Should you refuse to give into this battle, she will cry out in a piercing scream of anger, stomping her way to her “castle”, causing as much destruction she can get away with on her way, and cursing your very existence. This will be followed by a slamming of doors, and silence. Now and then she will make her presence and anger known by stomping around in her bedroom, which causes our kitchen lights to flicker. I think I have made my point when it comes to my child’s behavior. Some days she can suffer through many ‘unfair’ events, while others she is finished upon the first. It is a never ending roller coaster of middle child syndrome.
There are a few things that I have tried to simmer down the middle child, and though things have worked in the past, recently her behavior has escalated. I have no doubt that this has to do with the fact that the smallest child has been ill with the flu, hence getting more attention from the oldest and me. She has not been able to play with middle child, thus leaving her lost as to what to do with her spare time. She has such an active mind, and requires so much interaction to keep her pleased, that the lack of having a ‘lacky’ has recently left her alone. Older child was suspended (long story, but nothing serious) therefore home with the little one for two days, while I worked and recovered from a week’s worth of bronchitis. At the end of the day, oldest was exhausted from the needy baby, I was exhausted from the extra work load I acquired this week as well as the struggle my illness was putting on my body. This week middle child has been so incredibly neglected, she has been nothing short of awful to everyone. I have tried putting her in her place with times outs, extra chores, and talks. I have also tried snuggling, talking, and spending extra time at home with her, however it is always interrupted with the other two and she ends up storming off in her overly dramatic manner. This mother is at a loss.
So, I am trying one last thing before I throw my hands in the air and give up on treating my beautiful little girl’s MCS. Tonight I am taking her to see Frozen, just her and I, and then to the Village Inn, which is her favorite place to eat. I have high hopes that by the end of the night she feels extra love, and that implementing mommy/daughter dates with my MC will resolve some of the issues she has. I have to say that at this time, having the MCS happening is causing so much stress on me that I am immediately tense whenever she approaches. This, no doubt, is felt by her and likely exacerbates the situation and the tension in the home. Hopefully my plan will work, we will have a lovely time together, and tomorrow the screaming, stomping and anger will be significantly less. Wish me luck! As a single mother, an autoimmune sufferer, and an all around stressed out person.
Lets do this, Middle Child!