Helping Your Child Through 'Middle Child Syndrome'

Helping your child through 'middle child syndrome'

What can I do to help my middle child figure out who she is?

Parents should take steps to ensure the identity of all their children but especially the child in the middle. That can be accomplished by relating to each boy or girl as an individual, rather than merely as a member of the group. 

Let me offer two suggestions that will illustrate what I mean.

1) It is meaningful for Dad to “date” each child, one at a time, every four or five weeks. The other kids should not be told where they are going until it is revealed by the boy or girl in retrospect. They can go for a movie, bowling, play basketball, eat pizza, or visit the mall. The choice should be made by the child whose turn has arrived.

2) Ask each offspring to design his or her own flag, which can be sewn in canvas or cloth. That flag is then flown in the front yard on the child's “special” days, including birthdays, after he has received an A in school, when he scores a goal in football, and so forth.

There are other ways to accomplish the same purpose. The target, again, is to plan activities that emphasise one child's individuality apart from his identity within the group.

This article was written by Focus on the Family Malaysia ( and the Questions and Answers are extracted from “Complete Family and Marriage Home Reference Guide” by Dr James Dobson with permission.