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My Advice: Respect Us Only Children For We Are Just As Good Or Better Than You Who Have Siblings

Updated on December 27, 2012

We Onlies Are On The Rise And Here To Stay-Get Used To It!

To all my wonderful, delightful kindred only children everywhere, being an only child is a wonderful and lovely experience. There is nothing wrong with being an only child. As an only child, I cherished and loved the experience. In the olden days, society glorified people having lots of children because it was culturally and religiously mandated. Furthermore, having a large family was a symbol of wealth and it meant having someone to care for you in your old age.

Psychologists and sociologists until recently used to glorify the idea of siblingship and the large family was viewed as crucial to family life and the development of children. They considered the idea of the only child as an odd anathema. Only children were viewed pejoratively as spoiled brats, social misfits, and every wrong assigned to mankind. For instance, if an only child is shy, people do not consider the child's personality or his/her environment. Oh no, they erroneously conclude the child is shy because he/she is an only child. To these people, children in multichild families can do no wrong. Even in this enlightened day and age, people still scapegoat, resent, and hate only children. We are living in a sibling culture which detest and ostracize only children.

This culture views only children as "missing something" because they "lack" siblings. Everyday one hears people who state that they "pity" only children " because they have no one to play with" and "they grow up alone." The sibling culture also perpetuate the idea that because only children have no siblings to interact with, they are social misfits who do not know how to interface with people. Such ludicrous balderdash!. It is so amazing that when people announce that they are only child, the reaction from those with siblings is either condescension or pity. Well, we do not need your pity!

Even though society outwardly praises the concept of siblingship, studies convey otherwise. Recent sociological and psychological studies show that having siblings actually have detrimental affect on a child's development. When a child grows up in a multichild environment, he/she is subjected to gameplaying which involves psychological games, verbal teasing to the point of abuse, emotional manipulation, and upmanship. Furthermore, children who grow up in multichild families are usually subjected to differential and/or preferential treatment based upon parental discretion. Favoritism is also very prevalent in multichild families and the larger the family, the more prevalent favoritism is.

We only children usually grow up in beautiful and nurturing environment where we are the recipients of our parents' love and attention. Only children do not have to vy for parental attention. Our parents are our teachers and friends. Contrast the beautiful and intimate life of the only child to the more chaotic life of a multichild family. I cannot even think of this! In the multichild family, especially in medium large to very large families, children have to constantly vy for parental attention. Oftentimes, older children in multichild families do not receive parental attention which usually goes to the younger children.

Children in multichild families clearly do not receive adequate love and attention. Any child in multichild famlies who purports that they receive adequate attention is making a prevarication as it is an impossibility for parents of multichild families to devote equal and undivided time with each child. It cannot be done as one child will receive more time than the other!

In multichild families, siblings are the main teachers. In many sociological and psychological studies, it authenticates that the more siblings there is in the immediate familial environment, the less intellectual maturity there is in the household. . This explains the reason why children in multichild familial environments have more childish mannerisms and more rudimentary and less advanced vocabularies. Contrast this to only children who are more mature and have advanced vocabularies in addition to intellectual acumen. This is due to the fact that only children interact primarily with their parents who have vastly more experience and knowledge than a mere sibling.

The outmoded idea that siblings help children develop quickly is so convaluted and illogical. Children cannot possibly learn from other children. Children learn knowledge from adults who have the education and expertise to impart such knowledge. Children only learn old wives tales and secondhand knowledge from other children, even older children, who do not have any verifiable life experience. Children teaching children does not equal a highly intellectual and educational environment.

Further studies confirm that only children are the happiest because they are not involved in the family drama that siblings creates. Only children are allowed to be their own persons and to maximize their human potential anyway they desire. In multichild families, children are slated and pigeonholed in rigid, familial roles based upon parental expectations and the child's characteristics. For example, one child may be labelled " the pretty one" while another child is labelled " the smart one" and yet another child is labelled "the stupid/slow one". These role specifications often follow the child into adulthood and often have either positive or negative ramifications upon the respective child's self esteem.

Because only children grow up without siblings, they are usually more creative and independent as there is no sibling to criticize and/or deride them for their ideas, beliefs, and opinions. Only children are also independent and self-starters who know how to take initiative in life situations. Often, people who grow up in multichild famlies behave and think in packs. They usually are afraid to venture outside of the familial modus operandi. This is true especially in large to very large families where children are admonished to be part of group think and that the individual is nothing. Only children prize individualism because they are taught to be themselves and to embrace their individual beings. Most of the highly individualistic and creative people I know are only children.

Yes, we only children know how to be alone and are quite comfortable being with ourselves. This is Yakut to people who grew up in multichild families who feel more comfortable being in an anonymous crowd. As a child, my parents and relatives who came from multichild famlies often lamented my comfort with being alone. My mother pushed me to join various activities while I was most comfortable being alone. I relish being alone and see nothing wrong with this! This made me quite self-sufficient and independent. I do not fall for false friendships and relationships which many people from multichild families are victims of. If I elect to socialize and have friends, it will be true relationships, not just having a friend to be an appendage for so-called companionship and loneliness.

Frankly, I would rather read a book and indulge in other solitary hobbies than to aimlessly socialize. As a child, I could sketch and read for hours on end. My mother, on the other hand, was always out and about which was typical for children in multichild families. This is why we only children prefer intellectual activities while people from multichild famlies also frown on intellectualism. Being alone is a beautiful thing-a time to think and be creative.

Only children are wonderful and creative souls. Yes, we are different from children in multichild families and that is a good thing. We onlies are not involved in sibling drama and upmanship which allows us to be our true individual selves. Also only children are not social misfits. In fact, only children often have a cultural and social savvy that children in multichild families do not have because our parents have the financial whereithal to involve us in varied cultural and intellectual activities where we interface with people and children from varied cultural, intellectual, and cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, we onlies can participate in cultural activities such as foreign travel, fine restaurants, dancing and music lessons, and attending first run plays that children from multichild families can only fantasize and dream about.

Only children have advanced and varied cultural and intellectual knowledge because of indulging in the abovementioned activities. Because I was an only child, I was exposed to these things and developed a love for opera and fine cuisine. My father was quite a gourmet cook and I ate only the finest foods. My family of origin was not ekeing out a living and living from hand to hand which was quite prevalent for children in multichild, especially large families. Being an only child is a blessing. We are secure knowing that our parents loved us and not having to compete for our parents' love and attention.

Furthermore, only children can express themselves freely without a sharp rebuttal from a sibling. Only children have lots of alone time and are free to create and be self-starters. Only children are also the main recipients of their parents' finances. They have the best and financial resources which are are not stretched thin as it would be in multichild families.

Also only children are more exposed to cultural and intellectual activities such as foreign travel, attending first run plays, and similar activities. Children in multichild famlies are not exposed to such activities, having to just make do. Only children can freely interact and discuss things with their parents who revere their opinions and treat them as people, not children. Interacting with parents on an intimate level gives the only children advanced communication skills. Contrast this to the multichild family where the main interactors in discussions and interfacings is another child-a sibling. Children in multichild families are not as adapt in interfacing with adults as only children are.

In terms of achievement, studies show that only children are high academic achievers because parents were the main teachers. Further studies show that only children ARE THE MOST LIKELY to attend college and postgraduate education because there is more financial resources allotted to an only child than there is in multichild families. Besides being high academic and intellectual achievers, only children are highly successful in careers and life. Studies show that regarding birth order, the majority of people in high level positions are either onlies or oldest children.

We onlies are a proud group of people. People often resent us because they are subconsciously jealous of us. People in multichild families are often struggling and are involved in stressful family drama and are envious of the calm and stressfree lifestyle of only child families. Only children are derided in this sibling society because people clearly do not understand us. People with siblings often have myopic views of us only children and displace their prejudices on us. Well, we onlies are not spoiled, maladjusted, and/or social misfits.

Quite the opposite. We are highly intellectual, independent, creative, and are quite comfortable in our own skins. Our population is rising slowly but steadily. We are a magnificent people. My final advice to my brother and sister onlies: Do not let the sibling culture denigrate you. You are special and unique while the sibling culture is a carbon copy. Do I hear a resounding Amen from my fellow onlies!

Being an Only Child and Loving It Despite Societal Stereotypes

Do You Believe That There is Still Prejudice and Negative Stereotypes Regarding Only Children

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© 2011 Grace Marguerite Williams


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    • profile image


      7 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      I am not aware of any bias against "Only Children". Of course I am not an only child. Most bias I've seen is in regard to race, religion or physical health or appearance.

      Also large families were more than encouraged, in the past it was often a necessity. In order to survive parents needed a lot of offspring since many families lived on farms and needed to grow there own food.

      Sadly many people died from illness, accident bad weather. A family may have 12 offspring and lose nine before they reach adulthood.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi, GMWilliams!

      I'm also an only child. I love and agree with every thing you stated. I am happy being an only child. I am not lonely or any of those stupid and mean-spirted things that society tries to put on us. I always enjoy meeting other only children. Also, I never wanted siblings. I'm just fine being an only.

    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

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

      To Dawn Conklin: Thank you so much for your wonderful input. I appreciate this very much. I also had the best of both worlds and a fantastic childhood. Thank you again for stopping by. God bless.

    • Dawn Conklin profile image

      Dawn Conklin 

      7 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      Hi Gmwilliams,

      I am an only child, I had the best of both worlds in a way tho. I was the only child but I grew up with great neighbors who were like siblings to me but were not. We were as close (probably closer as we did not fight like siblings) but we were not siblings and all had our own homes to be in at night. I have never really noticed criticism for being an only child myself. I did get to do more then my friends who had siblings tho. We traveled across the country and I had been to most of the states before I was in High School. Not sure if it was because I was an only child or because my parents liked to take road trips. Either way, I am quite happy with my life. I have 2 kids myself and it is a new concept to me the whole sibling rivalry!!


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