Why is there prejudice and stigmatization regarding being the middle child in one's family?
I suppose if one had very special parents, there might not be. But when one looks at it, the middle child is neither this nor that. They do not have the unique position of being the first, the oldest. Nor does this child have the position of being the baby, the little cute one that everybody fawns over.
The oldest child is bringing diapers, helping out, being praised for taking a mature and responsible role, the little one is getting attention because babies need a ton of attention and everybody loves a baby...and the middle child has been ousted from that very role. To think that does not have an effect on a child may be a naive.
I suppose there are always exceptions--special parents, spacing between siblings, but generally I think there is a stigma.
All in all, the middle child in the family is the one who is ALWAYS UNDER-always underappreciated, undervalued, and underestimated. He/she seems to be in purgatory so to speak. The middle child is between a rock and a hard place in the family.
Does that change, say, in a family of 4? How does that work in larger number of children?
Middle children in smaller families of 3-4 children maybe overlooked sometimes but they are not completely lost in the shuffle; however, middle children in large to very large families just.....well, fade into the nebulous familail background!
I never felt stigmatized or prejudiced against. I am the middle of seven exactly the middle. After I grew up I realized how lucky I was. I knew everyone of my brothers and sisters and did things with them. My older sister is fourteen years older than my youngest brother. She was out of the house before he was even old enough to play with.
When I was a kid however I felt "missed" sometimes because I was the middle, I had a sister and 2 brothers older and a sister and 2 brothers younger. for some reason I felt the odd "man" out. But I think that is just being a kid and wanting more attention. As I said I feel lucky now.
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