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Advantages and disadvantages of being an only child.

Updated on December 6, 2011

I was one of those kind of kids whom does not have a brother or sister.  I am what you would call a only child.  Like anything there are advantages and disadvantages of only children.  Of  course there are also myths when it comes to only children.  For some it may be true and yet for others it may not.  It all depends on how the parents bring their only children up.


  • Have their own room
  • Don't have to fight for attention from your parents. If you are having a hard time in school, your parents will find the extra help that you need. They may do the same if you have siblings, but there is more of a chance that you will get the help you need.
  • Don't have siblings getting you into trouble.


  • Nobody to play with. Can get bored easily.
  • Sometimes may not be that social and like being alone.  When you are an only child you need to get involved in activities to be around other kids you own age.
  • No role models.  Usually you spend a lot of time around adults as there is no one else to look up to.

Some Other Things To Know

No matter what, there are advantages and disadvantages of being an only child. Growing up, I had always wanted to have a brother or sister, but that never happened. Because we are only children, we can be good leaders. I know sometimes I can be on the bossy side, but that is the only child in me. Sometimes I even like the quiet time I have. I also like having my own room which people whom have siblings may have to share the same room with them. I don't have to worry about that.

Yes it can be boring at times being an only child, but I always did find a way to occupy myself. Most of the time, I learned to occupy my time with a book. We didn't have computers back then like we do now.


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    Renee 6 years ago

    I agree with you, gmwilliams.

    I am an only child and I’m very proud of it as well. I don’t understand why some people think being an only child is lonely, boring, or weird. I was never lonely or bored, and I definitely don’t think it’s weird having one child. In that case, is it weird having one spouse, one mother, or one father?

    I had a great childhood and never wanted siblings. I agree that siblings are extremely overrated. I know many siblings that either hate each other or are indifferent to each other. Having siblings does not keep you from being selfish? There are many people with siblings who complain about their selfish siblings not helping them with their ailing parents, and leaving them to do all the work. Having siblings does not keep you from being lonely? The late great Michael Jackson had 8 siblings and said he was lonely. I have a neighbor with 4 siblings and he also says how lonely he is now and also as a child. Having siblings does not help you learn to share. That’s ridiculous! If anything it helps you to become territorial and fight/compete for things. I have a cousin who is a twin, and she’s very stingy, even to her own mother. She is certainly not big on sharing. Her having a sibling means nothing.

    And I know for a fact that siblings are not always wonderful. (1) My aunt is very jealous of my mother and tries to get other relatives to like her better than my mother. She’s very competitive and backstabs my mother quite often. (2) I have a cousin who is extremely jealous of his younger sister and emotionally abuses her every chance he gets. The sister actually had to call the police on her own brother. In fact, the older sister had to move out when he cursed her out and threatened violence. He eventually had to leave the house and moved out of state with his dad. The younger sister can now finally have peace in her own home with no one around bullying her. (3) My father was recovering from a stroke. He has 12 siblings. None of them came over to our house to offer any help in taking care of him. In fact, all they (selfishly) were worried about was wanting his money, house and car if my father died. (4) I have a cousin who was homeless and needed someone to stay. She ended up staying with an aunt and her best friend. Mind you, she has 6 siblings. (5) Also, my mother’s co-worker was in the hospital with a staph infection recently and nearly died. She has at least 8 siblings and NONE of them came to visit her, even though she could of died. Obviously, her siblings did not care if she lived or died. Thank god, she had good friends (like my mother) who took care of her. In my opinion, family means people who love you, support you, and have an interest in you. That means friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, in laws, stepparents/kids, spouses, grandparents, and children……NOT just siblings. In fact, in some cases, other people in your life can be much more caring and supportive than siblings.

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    Roop 6 years ago

    absolutely a true and amazing essay.

  • gmwilliams profile image

    Grace Marguerite Williams 7 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

    Dear TrekkieMelissa: I am an only child and darn proud of it. There are only advantages to being an only child. We have the undivided attention from parents. We are not categorized nor placed in a pigeonhole as children with siblings are i.e. one child is labelled "the slow one", another is labelled "the smart one" and yet another is labelled" the slob". We are also not compared to others ,"why are not you more like your brother/sister". We are allowed to be individuals and to maximize it.

    We have all the material resources at our disposal. Our parents can devote all their material, intellectual, and emotional resources on us. There is clearly no downside to being an only child. If we are lonely, we can make friends. Remember we can chose our friends, but not our siblings. Remember too, that siblings are not everything-sometimes they are overrated. There are instances, you know of them too, where siblings backstab each other and have rivalries which last for a lifetime. Think of the rivalry between Joan Fontaine and Olivia DeHaviland, they are sisters and they hated each other. There was a story on 48 hrs. quite sometime ago, where a millionaire businessman was framed by his two unemployed brothers and was imprisoned. It was his friends who got him out and realized that he was innocent. Blood is not necessarily thicker than water. Family does not mean blood relatives, but people who genuinely love and care for you. These people do not necessarily have to be blood relative. Do you know that there are siblings who actually hate and envy each other. Be glad that you are an only child. Only children have stupidly brought into the myths and stereotypes about their status from people who have siblings and are in fact prejudiced against only children. Be an only child with pride.

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    brandi 7 years ago

    i am only child(i call it lonely child sindraum) and i have no family but my parents to relate to it sucks in have one child now i do not want him to be a only child i praye that i have another one

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    only child 7 years ago

    I think its true too.

  • gmwilliams profile image

    Grace Marguerite Williams 7 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

    I am an only child and loved it. Stand up and be proud to be an only child. Having siblings is not all that it is cracked up to be. Listen to people who grew up with siblings, most of them hated it and they still do.

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    Fuego 8 years ago

    it really helped me in my essay

  • profile image

    gena 8 years ago

    thanks dear for that essay, it's totally helpful for me.. i'm an only child as well and living and surviving ..

  • profile image

    honey 8 years ago

    i find that 2 be very true

  • profile image

    ahmdab 8 years ago

    i am an only child and that's 100% true

  • profile image

    Muzaffar 8 years ago

    very interesting essay! That was just like the one i was looking for. Now my english is completed!


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