Divorce and the Middle Child: Tips for Parents

Posted on in Divorce

Divorce is change, plain and simple. As the family dynamic evolves, a child’s birth order can play a significant role on how a pending divorce is handled by both parent and child.

For families already dealing with a child experiencing Middle Child Syndrome, divorce may only complicate already existing issues.

middle child syndrome IMAGEMiddle Child Syndrome, defined by Alfred Adler ,a Freudian-age theorist who believed that birth order strongly influences personality traits, remains a psychological topic today.

For these children, already living with mixed emotions about his/her position in the family, dealing with a pending divorce may heighten existing behaviors and emotions. To keep your child on an even keel perhaps understanding what makes the middle child tick and solidifying your support can alleviate any additional problems.


Middle children can often feel lost. Unable to establish their proper position in the family, they often develop self-esteem issues. Even though your stress level may be high, keep a minute or two open to establish one on one contact. Keep the lines of communication open and be respectful of all concerns.

 Feeling Disconnected

The first born may be a star basketball player and the baby could excel at academics, but historically the middle child could struggle as an introvert and become the “loner” of the family. They learn to rely heavily on themselves or a few close friends. It is important to reign them back into the family fold. To decrease the disconnect, increase your availability.

 Trust Issues

Typically the middle child struggles with building trust. They believe that they can only trust themselves. This is an influential trait that follows the middle child throughout adulthood. Take time to encourage the child and establish a solid foundation of trust.

If you are facing a divorce and reside in the Geneva, Illinois area and have concerns about your child, contact a licensed psychologist for more information. If you have yet to contact a divorce attorney, the legal team of The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates can address all of your legal concerns today.

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