American psychologists have put forward a hypothesis: the place that the child occupies in the family according to seniority affects his personality. In their opinion, parents almost always impose custody responsibility on the elder child and expect him to be a good example for a smaller child.
This forms certain features in older children, such as autonomy, conservatism, responsibility, purposefulness. They seek to preserve the existing order and resist change.
The younger ones, on the contrary, being in the role of all wards, grow up adventurous, careless, open to the new. But their feelings are often contradictory, because, on the one hand, they are favorites, and on the other hand, they constantly lag behind other family members, and this affects pride.
The average is compelled to comprehend the laws of diplomacy from a young finger in order to maintain good relations with both the elder brother or sister, and the younger, so the “medium” are usually sensitive, sociable, flexible, and they have well developed empathy.
But the order of birth is probably not the main and not the only factor. Gender is important, the number of members in the family, the age difference between children. The atmosphere in the family and its economic position, the distribution of functions between the mother and the father, and external influences have a strong effect.
But one cannot but agree that the order of birth in a family strongly influences children and can contribute to the manifestation of certain character traits.
Let each child have their own personal toys, books and magazines, as well as common ones for joint activities. For example, let the eldest child write a magazine about ships, the middle daughter – about horses, and the youngest – about animal life, coloring books or puzzles for the little ones. Encourage children to respect each other’s personal belongings and ask for permission if necessary.
Every kid will find a special hobby that will be different from another. This will give you an additional reason to pay attention to the younger, middle and senior children separately, looking at and reading with them their personal magazines.
For some time, the eldest child occupies the position of the only one in the family (as opposed to subsequent children), all the attention of parents is focused on him, all love and care is given to him. But as soon as the baby gets used to the privileged position, the situation changes. Now, he not only ceases to be the only one and is forced to share the attention of parents with another baby, but with the acquisition of the new status of the “oldest”, he receives all the heavy burden associated with him, for which he is completely unprepared and unwilling.
Requirements for the baby are increasing dramatically, the attitude of parents, as a rule, is also not changing for the better, because mom is adapting to a new role for her. At first, the lion’s share of parents ’attention is paid to the baby, it is not even divided equally, which means that the firstborn, who is accustomed to comprehensive care, receives his portion of love either in a walkable way or according to a residual principle.
Therefore, we must take care that such a change does not become too abrupt, and the requirements – excessive.
Most often, the older child has such traits as self-confidence, determination, responsibility, forethought. Older children in general have a higher IQ than their younger brothers and sisters, because parents expect more from them than others, and it is on them that younger ones are equal.
As a result, many parental qualities develop in the firstborn: they know how to be mentors, are able to take responsibility and play the role of leader.
The burden of this responsibility sometimes turns out to be too heavy for a small person, and he develops increased anxiety. During such a period, the child is looking for the cause of the changes that have occurred, and since children tend to blame themselves for everything, their logical conclusions often speak against them.
And then in the character of the baby suddenly there is a weeping, disobedience, sleep disturbances or various fears may appear, the child often begins to hurt or regress. The only reason is the lack of previous attention. He always strives for excellence, fearing to err and upset his parents.
Because of the habit of relying only on one’s strength and on one’s own path, and also because of excessive seriousness, older children sometimes have difficulty acquiring friends. They are especially sensitive to all criticism.
At the same time, they themselves are too critical and intolerant of other people’s mistakes.
Send in the right direction When a new baby appears in the house, try to give the older child the lion’s share of attention. Why? The newborn will not notice the difference, and the eldest child desperately needs your love and support.
Explain to him that adults tend to care more about those who are younger, because they are still helpless, but this does not mean that your attitude towards him has changed – you still love him and will always love you. No need to make a babysitter out of a firstborn.
Remember that first of all he is also a child, and then your assistant. Show your child how much you appreciate his help, praise and support him.
However, make sure that the younger brothers and sisters do not overly burden the older one; if necessary, be prepared to defend his personal space and his personal belongings.
Often pay attention to your firstborn advantages of its seniority. Larger children are more allowed.
Allow the eldest child to sometimes be small, sit on your arms, drink a bottle or lie down in the bed of the younger brother.
Loving your children differently is natural. However, excessive praise of one to the detriment of another gives the deprived child a feeling of merciless rivalry and envy. Frank enthusiasm for one of the children and ignoring the emotional needs of the other can damage both the object of special parental pride and those left behind.
The first is offended, but not free: all his life he is trying by all means to get proof of love and recognition. The second is spoiled and poorly prepared for real and, most importantly, independent, life.
Emphasize the benefits of each age and gender so that no one feels deprived.
Being average is not easy! On the one hand, the older one looks at him askance, because he has deprived him of the honorable role of the only child.
On the other hand, he himself does not like the third child, because he has deprived him of his younger status. As a result, a storm of conflicting feelings and difficulty in determining their status in the family. The middle child does not have the opportunity to acquire the role of leader, which is usually assumed by the firstborn, but he also does not have time to accept the role of the ward.
At the same time, he will feel that the demand from him is much less than from the firstborn, and this will bring him peace of mind. But at the same time, he is clearly experiencing a lack of attention.
Such a kid has to constantly compete with both the stronger and more skillful elders and the helpless younger ones. Probably many achievements of the average child, you just do not notice?
After all, the “new”, which makes the second child, the parents have already “passed” with the first, so they do not react so emotionally to it.
Your middle child will most likely be sociable, finding attention among peers. Perhaps he will take the position of a peacemaker in the relationship between the firstborn and the youngest child, and this will develop his ability to negotiate. Usually, these babies are characterized by flexibility, flexibility, diplomacy, sociability.
Since childhood, the average child is forced to negotiate with different people, and this is good for him, teaches him to get along with everyone, to be benevolent, tactful, and not too pushy.
Deprived of the privileges of both, he has become accustomed since childhood to the injustice of life, and this sometimes leads to the appearance of low self-esteem. “The desire to be like the elder, then the younger causes serious difficulties in self-determination. As a result, middle-aged children are less able to take the initiative and are less interested in achieving success, ”says psychologist S. Stepanov.
To send in the right direction Many violations in the behavior of middle children are not eliminated by suppressing their pranks and audacity, but by compensating for the lack of attention from parents.
The main key to the success of an average child is competence in something special. Write your child up for guitar lessons, introduce him to origami techniques and teach him how to make interesting toys, help him find himself in modeling or get carried away with radio-controlled equipment.
Let him have no competitors in this business, then he will gain self-confidence and respect in the circle of brothers and sisters.
It would seem that the second place that the average kid occupies in the family does not allow him to rely on any advantages over his brothers and sisters; he is not the youngest with his helplessness, nor the oldest with his relative independence. But you can help your child using the “mobile alliance”. Some important joint activities, such as going to the cinema, will bring him closer to his senior.
Sometimes let him be “small”, let him watch a cartoon with a younger one. Show him that he, on the contrary, has the opportunity to take advantage of both ages. Even easier for parents who have children of the same sex in the family.
In this case, the status of “middle child” can be replaced by the status of “eldest of brothers” or “younger of sisters”. Then it will be easier for the average child to perceive his position in the family, and for parents to determine the percentage of his advantage among children.
Before children of different sexes there are fundamentally different tasks, and when there is nothing to divide, then it is easier to be friends. In same-sex life tasks alone, and you just have to try to help find each child his hobby, his niche, in which only he will be successful.
As children grow older, their interests are becoming more and more diverse, so you should not be afraid to write them in different circles so that everyone develops in his own direction. They will not have to compete, because the outstanding abilities of one cannot influence the potential of the other.
Each of them will learn: what a brother or sister does (or does not do) has nothing to do with what he can do.
The youngest child in the family is not jealous as badly as the older one. But he can also have a reason, as a rule, because of envy: the younger one envies everything that the older person can already do, but he is still not allowed.
He will do everything in order to be on a par with the elder, who in this case is perceived as an obstacle to the goal. The younger child is also plagued by contradictions: on the one hand, he wants to grow up quickly in order to enjoy the same advantages as the older child, on the other hand, he is afraid that, having matured, he will lose parental love.
Here is what psychologist S. Stepanov says about younger children: “The youngest child, like the only one, is spared from mental trauma due to the appearance of a newborn. For the whole family he is a baby. Moreover, with this sensation, he can live for a very long time, retaining some infantilism even in his mature years.
He gets used to expecting only good things from life and therefore turns out to be a great optimist. ”
In the smallest, carelessness, tenderness, adventurism coexist. These children are often artistic, which is necessary for them to always remain in the limelight.
At the same time, the younger, as well as the middle one, learns to conduct peace negotiations, developing diplomacy skills, since he quickly realizes that the strength in achieving the goal (in a collision with stronger “senior” and “medium”) is ineffective. Younger children are popular among peers and know how to get along with people.
The youngest is focused and forgives more than others. Getting used to relying on the help of his elders all the time, he often succumbs to difficulties and gives up quickly.
Often he lacks self-discipline and faces difficulties in making decisions; accustomed to constant custody of relatives and low demands, the younger one often grows lazy, infantile and dependent, may begin to show selfishness, the desire to always achieve his own.
Send in the right direction. In order not to spoil the crumbs, set the frame for the whims and avoid excessive and unreasonable praise. But you can’t be stingy with “credit praise”: hang a drawing on a magnet, which he painstakingly painted. Even if the result leaves much to be desired, such a gesture will inspire the little one to new efforts.
When he fails and he is annoyed, support the crumb, assure that everything will work out. Do not disregard any achievements, even if they seem obvious to you: your participation and sensitivity will strengthen his determination to master new skills without regard to older children.
Your task is to stimulate the development of the youngest child and contribute to the disclosure of his abilities and interests. After all, one way or another, the younger tries to catch up with their elders all their lives, but they can only succeed due to their own inclinations.
Make sure that the younger is also involved in household chores. If you will always relieve the third child from worries, because “he is so small!”, This will create discontent among the older children, complicating the relationship between the children.
Teach your child to activities – find primitive tasks that he can perform. the baby should not feel like a privileged person who is not affected by home rules.
Do not encourage the habit of snitching and telling older brothers and sisters. Teach your child to look for the right words to negotiate with a brother or sister without adult involvement.
The problem of rivalry receives a particular perspective if the parents give a clear preference to the child of a particular sex. In families, focused on male values, girls often begin to feel their own inferiority simply because of gender.
The child is very sensitive to what kind of behavior is valuable for mom and dad, and this can lead to the assimilation of male values, the adoption of male forms of behavior. The desire for significance occurs according to the principle “I will be loved if I am equal to the boy in everything”.
It is easy to understand that rivalry with a brother in such a situation will only increase.