The multichild family is such an intricate system within itself. In multichild families, a strict hierarchal system is often present with the oldest, middle, and yougest child wihere each has its specific roles and duties to the parents and to each other. There is a sociocultural and psychosocial dynamic in multiichild families.
Sibling rivary is par for the course in the mulitchild family. More children are vying with each other for parental attention and resources. Upmanship and other forms of mindgames are de rigueur in the multichild family system. Sometimes, there is a more darker side to sibling rivalry and its scars often last into adulthood.
In the multichild family system, there are issues of favoritism and the golden child where a child or some children are treated better by their parents than other children. Then there is the child is the unfavorite child. He/she often feels slighted by the parent. He/she feels like a nonentity. Being the unfavored child can have lasting detrimental effects. There is the child who can be classified as "the odd child out" or the scapegoated child. He/she is oftentimes used as the family whipping person. This child is usually the worst treated in the family. He/she goes through HELL on earth.
Birth order is another scenario where differential and/or preferential treatment comes into play. Oldest children are the ones who is treated the most differentially. They are given responsibilities earlier than either the middle and/or youngest child. They are held to a higher standard of behavior and are punished more harshly, even for behavior that they did not do. Some have to be on 24/7/365 for their parents and siblings. They have no lives of their own, always being the example setter for younger siblings. The life of an oldest child is mandated by strict rules regarding what he/she should be. The oldest child is NOT FREE to be what he/she wants to be.
The middle child in the family is oftentimes the most ignored and/or overlooked. He/she exists in familial anonymity so to speak. It seems that the middle child oftentimes have an arduous battle to make himself/herself be known and noticed. Middle children are the MOST likely to be the unfavored child. They are not appreciated for unique, individualized persons that they are. They are always considered to be appendages of either an older and/or younger sibling. There is one good thing about being the middle child-he/she is not under strictures like the oldest child in the family. He/she can develop into the individual person he/she wants to be.
The youngest child is oftentimes the freest, the most pampered, and indulged. He/she can get away with things that the oldest child cannot get away with. He/she is the one with the LEAST FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES. While the oldest child was given responsibilities very early, the youngest is given little or no responsibilities at all. The youngest child is often THE JEWEL and is the MOST FAVORED CHILD in the family. He/she can do NO WRONG. Even if he/she does wrong, he/she given leeway because he/she is THE BABY and DOESN'T KNOW BETTER.
Do you agree with this premise regarding family dynamics in the multichild household? Let's discuss!
by J. Kumm 8 years ago
Is sibling rivalry something a family should address with the middle child? What is it like to be a middle child and how can your family help you feel better about yourself?
by jagandelight 17 months ago
Do you think an only child is better off more than they are with siblings?
by Grace Marguerite Williams 6 years ago
influence you as a child and teenager? As an adult, employee/boss, spouse, friend/lover, associate, sibling, and/or parent?
by Grace Marguerite Williams 17 months ago
What is the FIRST thing that comes to mind when you hear the words...............ONLY CHILD?
by katdiaz2011 7 years ago
Does the gap in age between your kids matter when it comes to sibling rivalry?Is it better to have them closer in age or not?
by Yvette Stupart PhD 3 years ago
What are the best ways to manage sibling rivalry?Parents sometimes get very frustrated with the fighting among their children. What steps can parents take to lessen sibling conflict?
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