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Second Child Syndrome: Causes and Consequences

According to the famous Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler, certain character traits of a child depend on whether he was the first-born or second child in the family. Middle children may be susceptible to second child syndrome. Let us consider in more detail why this is happening.

When the first child appears in the family, everything seems new and unique to the parents. They admire every new achievement of the child, every day of his life brings them unforgettable memories. When a second child is born, this experience is not new for parents. When your child takes the first step, you have already seen it. However, for him this experience is new. But due to the fact that you have already seen these achievements, you do not appreciate them at their true worth, and therefore a child may consider himself unworthy. He may also feel offended by his older brother or sister, which may lead to rivalry between them.

Another cause of second child syndrome may be the age difference between the children. Sometimes parents do not cope with two children at once (for example, in situations where you need to send the eldest child to school and feed the youngest at the same time). It is difficult for parents to do several things at once, so they can not devote enough time to the youngest child, even with a great desire.Therefore, sometimes they are forced to take their youngest with them when they take the eldest to the sports section or music school. And this can negatively affect both you and your youngest child.

Signs to Watch Out For

When you do not respond to the first achievements of the youngest child, he may resort to such methods of attracting your attention:

the child may not respond to your feelings, thereby making you feel guilty for not spending enough time on him. But don’t be discouraged. A child needs your feelings more than you imagine;
a child may be behaving badly just to get your attention. Do not let him do this, but do not scold him constantly;
the child does not like comparisons with an older brother or sister. Do not tell him: “Why are you not like your brother?” This further motivates him to do otherwise;
Your child may be angry, sarcastic, or negative about your words. Be patient. This wall, which he built around himself, can be destroyed with the help of love and affection;
your inattention can lead to the fact that the child begins to think that his efforts will not be appreciated. He may also have difficulty doing anything under pressure;
the second child may feel lonely and have trouble building close relationships. He may not appreciate them as much as his older brother or sister. This, in turn, will lead to negative consequences in the future.
It should be remembered that not every youngest child behaves in this way. But, if he feels that his parents neglect him, he is able to use such models of behavior.

Benefits of Second Children

Parents may feel guilty when faced with the manifestations of their second child’s syndrome, but there are advantages to having two children. When you have a second child, you are better prepared to take care of him. For example, you already know that a small cough in a child is not so scary. In fact, you become less fussy. That is why second children are usually calmer. They also grow more self-reliant because their parents take less care of them and give them space to learn the necessary skills. Thus, your previous parenting experience benefits you in raising a second child.

The only way to break the barrier in relationships with the second child is to show love and attention. This may cost you some time and effort, but will help to avoid emotional problems in the child in the future.

On the other hand, if you fear that a second child may feel a lack of attention, you must understand that you will need to devote time to both children. When you had only one child, it is quite natural that all his attention belonged only to him. Now you need to devote time to both children, and it is natural that each child will receive less. Do not feel guilty because of this, it is better to try to organize your time correctly so that the children receive enough of your love and attention. So you can prevent the second child syndrome.

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