Second child syndrome is a set of traits or characteristics that are common in the second child simply because of their birth order. There are a lot of fancy explanations for why second children turn out the way they do, but what it typically comes down to is that parents are less excited about the little things with child number two, and because of this, the child disconnects from the parents faster, and often has to seek their attention elsewhere. This is not necessarily the parent’s fault, once you have seen a child take their first steps, or eat solid food for the first time, etc. it is natural to not find it quite so special the second, third, fourth, etc. time around.
Second child syndrome is often exhibited with inappropriate behavior. A child who feels ignored will typically act out, and become a bit of a problem child. They may eventually become extremely motivated and driven, as they seek attention, but in their youth it is often exhibited in a negative way.
Second children often disconnect from their parents at an earlier age. They are used to not receiving attention, and so they require it from the parents for a shorter period of time. While first children may cling to parents for quite some time, second children often become independent much earlier.
If your child has second child syndrome, hope is not lost, there are some things you can do, but it will take some real committed effort. Here are some tips:
Tip One: Increase the attention you show them. They may not be receptive to your attentions at first, but it is like trying to force feed a body that has been starving. Even though it needs the nourishment and food, the body will reject it because it is too big of a chance too quickly. So, don’t give up if they tell you they hate you, or reject your efforts, it just shows how much they need those efforts to be made.
Tip Two: Try to be understanding. Second children often feel neglected, and as a result, they act out, and get into trouble, etc. to gain attention. One of the best things you can do is not ignore the behavior but not reprimand it too sharply. Just react normally, and let them see you are displeased but not furious.
Tip Three: This is probably the most important tip for helping a child become less prone to second child syndrome. You want to make sure that you never compare them to their siblings. Comparing one child to another should be avoided. It can cause deep-rooted insecurities, and lead to resentment between siblings, rivalries, and more. It makes a child feel like they are less loved, or less important than their other siblings. This is a big mistake to make, and one that will lead to further problems with your child.