The stork returns…

Families with many children is a very beautiful image, with many little children faces, smiles and beautiful moments. But how do children feel when or every time a new member is added to the family structure?

Writen by
Elina Gika
Clinical Psychologist/Psychotherapist
General, Obstetrics/Gynaecology & Paediatrics Clinic of «MITERA»

The decision for a second child whether it is conscious, programmed or not, is always an easy one. Many times, parents are encouraged and they take decision for a second child because their first-born child keeps asking for a company to play with. That’s of course because the child thinks that suddenly a child of his/her age will be added or that it will magically grow-up quickly to play with him/her. Of course, things don’t happen exactly like this or not at all like this. For this reason, the decision to expand a family should be based solely on the desire of the couple.

Siblings and the relationships between them is a matter that is of concern of Psychology science. Siblings play an important role in the formation of one’s personality, the formation of subjective thinking and the formation of the “social bond” concept in them as well.

At a psychological level, the first-born kid is forced to share the love of his parents with another equal member and this is in any case difficult to accept; the first-born child feels to be ousted by the coming of the second child and s/he asks to find again his/her place and is ready to “fight” whether on a diplomatic level or not. Depending on the age difference between the siblings, the first born child fights to maintain material and emotional privileges given by his/her parents but also by the family (uncles, aunts, grandparents) in general. In case the child doesn’t manage to “save his/her world” or in other words, if s/he doesn’t succeed to have the least changes (preschoolers and school age don’t like changes at every level), the child feels desperate, sad and many times there is a sad child who expresses this dysphoria in future difficulties that may arise. It is very possible that it becomes chid with an introvert, non-giving and “passive” character. If the child’s idiosyncrasy is a more dynamic one, we have the image of a child which possibly nags, constantly asks for things with an offensive and competitive character.

As far as the second child is concerned, s/he is never alone thus s/he always confronts the eldest child. This permanent image of an older and therefore a stronger sibling hat the second child has in front of his/her eyes cultivates the feeling of competition. If the child achieves to compete with his/her older sibling, then an exceptional character is built. If s/he fails and is not able for instance to compete the elder child in games and in activities and works of his/her age, s/he is getting sad, desperate and lives difficult moments.

The third child (or the last child of the family), should fight for a place under the sun. But it has the advantage that there is no one to follow, a fact that creates a feeling of superiority and if this child is a capable one, frequently surpasses the first-born child of the family in terms of importance. If the child is not able to do this and the idiosyncrasy is not so dynamic, s/he hides behind the fact that s/he used to be spoiled, tries to make excuses to avoid responsibilities and creates a lazy or/and narcissistic character.

In any case, we should mention the concept of “uniqueness” of each person and also the important role that parents play in the upbringing of their children. In order to keep a balance in the family, parents should treat equally and fairly their children. Mental energy and stability of every person individually and of the family structure in particular are very important concepts in a society that moves rapidly on an everyday basis.

The decision for a second child whether it is conscious, programmed or not, is always an easy one.