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To Garifalia, Amen to that! You have described my childhood to a "T". I remember in school, my classmates who had siblings endlessly kvetched. When I told them how HAPPY I was being an only child, they said, sure I can have ANYTHING I wanted!
gmwilliams, how do you know only children are happiest if you never had siblings? I'm just curious. I've always wondered about that. I've always felt something was missing in my life and lonely without them. I wish I had someone to validate me.
I am an only child and had friends who were onlies. We were the happiest. We had no sibling rivalry, undivided parental attention, and no sibling drama. We never missed not having any siblings. The people we knew with siblings hated it!
While the youngest seem the luckiest, they are often bullied by their older siblings. The youngest child is often a "beta" birth order. In other words, the youngest child is the lowest of the pecking order. ONLY CHILDREN are the happiest!
However, I've always thought the middle child was luckiest and more developed. Because, they get the best of both worlds-someone to look up to and someone underneath them.- But, I was told otherwise. But, I honestly wouldn't know.
Middle children are the most $%^# up of any birth order. They are the ones in between the oldest and youngest child in the family. They are also the least individualized and appreciated of all the birth orders. They are just nebulous !
My dearest mav04, I don't want to sound like a know-it-all because that I AM NOT. But I read a lot on psychology and I have learnt that the family is the root to our happiness or unhappiness. To whatever degree.
For some reason I only have so many words it allows me to share. Ok. So, what I'm getting is, depending on how happy my family made me, I would be happiest as the only child. I've read up on psychology for years-just not this subject. Interesting
To smzclark, the oldest does have its perks. However, the status of being the oldest child in the family is dependent upon family size. The oldest child in small families get the perks/freedoms while oldest in large families are on 24/7/365!
Youngest children are "luckiest" because they have no responsibilities at all. They are also manipulative spoiled brats who often displace the blame on older siblings. That is why many oldest/older siblings HATE their youngest siblings!
You're absolutely right. But what gmwilliams is referring to is besides personal experience a recent study that was conducted. I don't know how many participants were involved but surveys and studies are limiting depending on the country studied, etc
There are many books on the only children, notably by authors Ellen Peck and Susan Newman, Ph.D. Studies have shown that only children are indeed the luckiest of all birth orders. Only children have their parents undivided attention etc.
lindiesel, how were you able to write such a long comment. It won't let me do that.
I'm sorry this seemed like all the answers were based on personal experience. I did study this a little in college (I took psych as a second major) a lot of time the studies are controlled and it is easy to manipulate the situation to find the answer