I liked it for not having to worry about my parents playing favorites, but I would have liked someone to confide in that wasn't them. I had cousins who were the same age as me that I was close to for a good part of my childhood. However, it wasn't the same as having someone to say, "hey did you see dad's outfit?" Little stuff like that means alot. My parents both come from big families and while they don't have the same relationship with all of their siblings, they still have one or two they confide in the most. But I'm not mad, I've had great opportunities that I may not have had if my parents had to worry about another child. It all worked out for the best in the end.
My husband and I both had siblings, but the age difference for both of us meant that we were raised like only children, and we have many "only" characteristics. Since his brother died, we had the responsibility of taking care of both of his parents when they went through Alzheimers. That was a very difficult task. While being an only child has great advantages when you are young. I think it carries a lot of responsiblities and difficulties when you are older. I worry about the many only children in China whom I've met. If their spouse is also an only child, then the two of them will have four parents to care for.
It had its good and bad points, but the good outweighed the bad for me. The only downside is not having someone close to confide in who you grew up with who knows all the ins and outs of your home life. For example, my husband has 3 sisters and they get to talk about their childhood all the time and it sounds like a lot of fun; this is something I don't have. Being an only child helped me decide to have more than one child, though.
Of course, I loved being an only child. This sibling society inundates parents to have more than one child. Multichild families are glorified in this society while one child families are derided. There is a strong prejudice and animus against only children.
Well, there is NOTHING wrong with being an only child. Recent studies, especially the one from Susan Newman, Ph.D. which states that only children are happier and have more self-esteem than children growing up in multichild families. Onlies do not have to compete with siblings for parental attention. They have more financial, emotional, and psychological resources from their parents than children growing up in multichild, especially large families.
Only children will never have to worry about favoritism because they will always be the favorite no matter what. Only children will never be harassed and/or bullied by their siblings. How lucky us onlies are indeed. We are not slated into rigid roles like children in multichild families are i.e. "the smart one", "the pretty one", "the dumb one," " the athletic one", and/or "the beautiful/handsome one".
Only children are always assured that their parents will be there for them. As an only child, I knew that my parents will always be in my corner and supportive. My parents were always present at my activities. Contrast this to parents who have more than one child, one child always have to suffer. How sad!
Only childen are also more likely to receive tertiary education and beyond because their parents have the financial means to do so. I also want to add that only children have the choice to attend better schools for the same reason- finances. Children from multichild families often must attend public schools and many do not attend college because their parents can ill afford to send more than one child to college. Guess what folks- it is usually the youngest child in multichild families, especially in medium large to very large families, who attend college and beyond.
Only children also can afford to travel to places and participate in cultural and intellectual activities that children from multichild families can only dream about! In other words, only children have all the advantages that children from multichild families do not!
Probably, that is why they hate us onlies. We onlies have a children that is calm and peaceful. We are not constantly interrupted by the constant going ons of siblings. We can read and indulge in our hobbies in peace. We have the most freedom of all the birth orders.
We are also the most imaginative and creative. Being an only child was a blast. I learned to entertain myself. I can be alone for periods at a time without being lonely. Solitude is not a stranger to me as it is for people who grew up with siblings. I am also not clingy and crowd hungry-always needing people to fill my "void".
Only children are beautiful and wonderful people. It is the sibling culture who dictate otherwise. Well, the population of onlies is gradually rising. Furthermore, having siblings are not everything. Recent studies have indicated that there is a darker side to having siblings such as teasing and abuse which often leaves emotional scars.
Only children have a rich life without siblings- there are parents, friends, and other associates. The idea of having siblings to fulfill a child's life is so atavistic and antediluvian. There are siblings who are not close to and actually hate each other while there are enduring and warm friendships. Remember, familiarity often breeds comtempt i.e. siblings often equal drama. Who needs the histrionic drama of the sibling relationship when there are more intellectual things to do! Give me the life of an only child any day! A milnillion amens!
I never considered being an only child, as it was what I was used to. I can't imagine what it would be like having siblings. I did have cousins, although I never saw them and so don't know them at all. I was the last person to be born in my family which was 40 years ago. Growing up, my family consisted of my parents, my grandparents and two great grandparents. Now, it is my mother and myself.
I would have loved being an only child, but my brothers and sisters would not leave me alone! I could have done with a few less brothers and sisters (2 in particular, who hang around and won't go away!) but seriously - family is overrated - an accident of birth causes us to have to pretend to love, even, these people who are real idiots! Sorry, but that's how I feel, and believe me, they don't feel very differently about me! I'm a scrooge when it comes to all the family relationships - I think that the friends I've chosen and the friendships I have I value far more than those people who pretend to love me just because they are from the same parents! bah! humbug!
Amen to that, sister. I hear you implicitly! The more blood, the more baggage. At least as an only child, I can choose my friends and associates. I do not have to be saddled with annoying siblings, especially siblings I would have nothing in common with! What blessings indeed! Many people are not EVEN close to their siblings in adulthood- they want to get as far away from them as possible! Many siblings are leeches and hangers on- oh the horror!
Totally agree with you mega. As an only child, I am free to select the type of people I want into my life. Many only children have great friends whom they consider to be family who have common interests as they do. Many people with siblings, especially those with large families, are saddled and must associate with siblings whom they have little in common with and have outgrown. This is sad. Many oldest children, as adults, have to sublimate their OWN interests to be caretakers for younger siblings who refuse to do for themselves.
I furthermore would like to add that there is a double standard in this society regarding onlies and non-onlies. All of time we onlies are asked if we liked our status but meanwhile seldom is an non-only child asked if he/she liked having siblings. It is generally assumed by this sibling society that people who have siblings loved it while those who are onlies "wished" for siblings. This is a totally preposterous premise originated by the sibling society.
To reiterate, there is nothing wrong with being an only child. Only children are happy and well-adjusted individuals. It all depends upon the familial environment of the said only children and how his/her parents raise him/her. It is about time that negative misperceptions of only children be permanently eradicated. People with siblings have issues too; however, this has been kept hush-hush until quite recently. To NiaG: I know you mean no harm and mean well but I just had to rant on this subject for a while! Thank you kindly.
I enjoyed being an only child and got all of the attnetion I needed and was still able to get my own space when I wanted to. I was still very social and had plenty of friends from school and in the neighborhood so I always had company.
Amen to you, Matt in Jax. Let us educate the sibling population that we onlies are not lonely as they have proposed. Friends, cousins, and other associates provide companions to us onlies. One does not need to grow up in a pack to have companionship- that idea is so atavistic and totally ludicrously laughable!
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