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Social media platforms like TikTok are a breeding ground for new trends. Recently this space has seen a new trauma-related trend gain popularity with over 58 million views. This new trend involves people sharing their experiences of having the glass child syndrome. This is not the first time people are recording themselves talking about some trauma they have endured in the past or sharing instances that were harmful to them and their mental well-being.
With features such as likes, shares and comments available on the site, several users share their opinions promptly on the content uploaded. With so many individuals invested, each trend has its good, bad and ugly side on the internet, so here is a breakdown of the trend.
What is the Glass Child Syndrome?
According to experts, the glass child syndrome refers to healthy children who grew up with a special needs sibling. The term glass child does not imply that these children are weak but refers to the cellophane material of glass that represents how these parents would see through their child’s needs and look at their kid with special needs instead. Glass children grow up with emotional neglect and they experience severe pressure to be ‘problem-free’ and ‘perfect’. They also tend to take on parental responsibilities within the family from a young age and are overwhelmed by the need to make others happy.
What is the trend?
People are sharing instances from their childhood to the audio-lyric, “Did you get enough love, my love?” Some videos share how their parents didn’t even show up for a play they were the lead in because their sibling had medical appointments. Another user spoke about how she was left with a babysitter at the age of six for the whole day, who her parents hardly knew because they had to be in the hospital with their sibling.
The term glass child was popularized in 2010 when Alicia Maples gave a Ted Talk about her experience of growing up with a sibling who has autism. The talk highlighted the effects of not having enough attention from parents who often had to look after the other child. Whether people suffer from mental or clinical difficulties, their siblings often experience being overlooked.
People’s reaction to the trend
Some experts have warned that these experiences can lead to feelings of hopelessness, isolation, depression, anxiety and PTSD in glass children. Not only this but also several users have shared their guilt around being a child with special needs and making their sibling glass children. What several users highlighted is also the difficulty parents of children with special needs endure and how hard it would be for them to hear that while they are dealing with one child’s difficulties the other kid who seems to be doing well, needs more of their help.