When you gave birth to your first child you were all excited and exuberant. You probably did every little thing right. You probably took vitamins, went to Yoga and made sure that every single moment of that first born's first few moments were photographs.
Then came your second child. You forgot to avoid fat and caffeine. You gave birth to the kid but you are simply not as vigilant or as enthusiastic as you were with the first kid. Does this mean that there is something wrong with you?
The answer is no. There is even a name for this type of behavior. It is called Second Child Syndrome. The term was coined by a famous Austrian psychologist named Alfred Adler. He had a theory that children developed different character traits according to their birth order.
Normally the first child is new to you so you are naturally driven to applaud its every new moment. The first born is often the apple of the mother's eye. However when the second child comes many mothers have more of a 'been there, done that' type of attitude. The baby picks up on this and feels less recognized or appreciated then the first born. Soon he begins to develop resentful feelings for his sibling. In fact, treating the first born better than the second born, even on a subconscious level, can affect the second born's self-esteem and create feelings of sibling rivalry.
Another factor in this is looking after two kids at once. Ultimately one kid always gets ignored. Usually it is the younger one. This is usually because the older one has more confidence, is more demanding and usually gets his or her way.
This is why the second child acts a little weird. He or she can be a loner and not that great at cooperating with others. They tend to get in more trouble and get really upset if you compare them to the older child. The second child will build walls around him or herself and develop a negative attitude. They can be angry, sullen and sarcastic. Many of them have problems performing because they feel they are under too much pressure and cannot possibly live up to the image of the first born (who from his or her point of view, you love much better!)
For all of these reasons it does not hurt to give the middle child a little more attention every now and then. Just even an extra hour or two spent with him or her can make a big difference and help prevent your little one from developing huge emotional and personality dysfunctions in the future.