“Give Them an Opportunity To Rectify”: Middle Child Feels Unseen by Parents, Expert Advises

“Give Them an Opportunity To Rectify”: Middle Child Feels Unseen by Parents, Expert Advises

  • A young man who is a middle child at home said that he felt unseen and underappreciated by his parents
  • The guy expressed that his siblings are always praised in the family, and that makes him feel left out
  • Certified relationship therapy educator Paula Quinsee advised the gent to address the issue with his parents
Anonymous wrote: "I am the middle child in a family of five. My brother and sister are often praised for all they do right. But my mother and father only complain about me. My brother is the oldest and he is the "responsible, academic one", my sister is the young, blue-eyed girl and I feel like I am stuck between the two favourite kids.
"Maybe I am suffering from 'middle child syndrome' but it feels like I can't do anything right in my parents' eyes. I love my family, but feeling like I am constantly letting everyone down is making me depressed. How do I tell my mom and dad I feel like the black sheep of the family without them gaslighting me?"

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A middle child reached out to an expert for help after he felt unseen by his parents.
A middle child said he felt like a black sheep in his family. Image: @Paperkites
Source: Getty Images

Expert says middle child syndrome is real

Paula Quinsee founded Engaged Humans, which facilitates connections between individuals and organisations to create a more human-connected world. She is a certified Imago Relationship Therapy educator and facilitator, NLP practitioner, PDA analyst, and international speaker and author, to name just a few.

Speaking to Briefly News, certified relationship therapy educator Paula Quinsee said the guy's feelings are valid and should be addressed.

"Feeling unappreciated or your accomplishments not acknowledged within your family can be incredibly painful and impact your self-esteem and self-confidence. Often people are unaware of how we feel as we seldom share our emotions for fear of hurting them – especially our parents.
"It's important to give them an opportunity to rectify this by sharing these feelings with your parents in a calm and rational way by giving them real examples of their actions and how this makes you feel."

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The matter needs a careful approach

Paula highlighted how the child should approach his parents with the matter because it is sensitive and needs a careful approach. A wrong approach may result in worse outcomes.

"Avoid getting stuck in what may be seen as blaming or accusing them which can lead to defensiveness on their part – stick to using "I" statements to convey how their actions make you feel. Let them know that you love them but that you're struggling with feeling unacknowledged compared to your siblings instead of seeing you as an individual."

A third person might be needed to facilitate

She concluded that a third person, such as a family therapist, may be the best way to solve the youngster's issue.

"Going for family therapy could also be beneficial in improving communication and addressing underlying family dynamics and having a third party can help to encourage them to listen to you."

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Disclaimer: Advice given in this article is general and is not the views of Briefly News. It is not intended to influence a reader's decisions. Readers are advised to seek professional help before making any decisions.

Do you have a story to tell? Want an expert's advice? Please email us at contact@briefly.co.za with 'Ask an expert' in the subject line.

Lady wants to find love after four heartbreaks

In a previous story, Briefly News wrote about a woman who wanted to find love again after multiple heartbreaks.

Relationship expert Penny Holburn told the woman that she was not responsible for her previous partners' cheating. A person chooses to cheat, and they should take accountability.

Source: Briefly News

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