To those who are ONLY CHILDREN, what do you remember MOST about your childhood?
My parents never talked down to me, and they took me pretty much anywhere they went. When I was out with them, they expected me to have good manners, and to speak when I was spoken to, and to be respectful to my elders. I was taught that it was appropriate to run around like a maniac at play time, but not when out at a restaurant or at the mall. As a result, I learned how to act like a civilized human at a young age.
When I was about seven, we went out to dinner with my aunt and uncle, and three cousins who were six, five and four. I was horrified when they stood up in our booth, poured milk all over the table, and generally wandered around the place acting like heathens.
On the flip side, at about the same age, I remember going to a nice restaurant with my parents while we were on vacation, and hearing some people at a table close to us mutter things about having to sit near a child. After they finished their meal, they came over, and told my parents that they had never seen a child with such good manners.
Not acting like a total heathen had its perks. Because I read well above my grade level, my mother would let me pick out any books I wanted from the library, regardless of whether they were in the kids section or not. When the librarian told me I couldn't check out adult books with my card, my mom told her to give me an adult card, and that I should always be allowed to check out anything I wanted. I'm sure if I had acted like a kid my age at that moment, the librarian would have argued, but she looked at my mom, looked at me, and gave me a new card.
I had an extremely close relationship with my parents. I was spoken to and treated as an adult. I was exposed to cultural activities early such as plays, fashion shows, and/or recitals. I was not treated as an average child. My parents expected me to be mannerly and well behaved which I was.
I enjoyed my time with my parents going to movies, watching the late show movies on Friday nights. I shall cherish those memories forever. I also enjoyed reading and other solitary endeavors. I was quite adept at sketching. People loved having me around because I was so well behaved and was not disorderly like other children. They would always invite me back to their homes because when I visited them, I engaged them in an adult conversation and was not wild, running around like other children.
The library was also my best friend. I could go to the library and read books until closing. My parents told me that as a toddler, I never cried nor wet the bed. They further told me that as a child, I knew how to sit still and occupy myself in my hobbies. My adult neighbors even remarked how mature I was for my age. Yes, I enjoyed being an only child and would not have it any other way.
Growing up as an only child meant undivided attention. Because of this attention, I was never emotionally needy as other children who had to compete with each other for parental attention. I had everything that I wanted emotionally, physically, psychologically, and even psychically. It is so great to be an only child.
Yes, there is a vast difference between only children and children with siblings. Only children are on the average more mannerly, sophisticated, and well behaved because we grew up in an adult environment where our only models were parents. We also have a more advanced vocabularies because we were talked to as adults instead of children. We are more culturally, academically, and intellectually inclined than other children. As a child, I found children with siblings to be quite insufferable, childish, wild, and ill behaved for the most part. They were the ones who caused the most problems in school while the only children were studious, diligent, and well behaved. As a child, my friends were always older than me. I could not relate to children my age as they were too intellectually backwards.
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