Ask the only child

Sorry if this has been done before, or is in the wrong forum.

I’ve grown up hearing all sorts of BS regarding only children, and since I’ve seen it on these boards as well, I figured it was time to debunk some myths. So, if anyone has any misconseptions they’d like corrected, I’m answering.

For the record:

“Only children are spoiled” and “Only children can’t share” are both myths.

Did you always beg your mom to let you have kids over when you were a little kid? Were you lonely?

I was an only child out in the country. There was one other kid for miles and miles. I had all these board games and nobody to play them with! I always did hate that. I didn’t want a sibling, though.

I was also an only child. Did you do a lot of reading as a kid? Do you find that you really enjoy your alone time as an adult? I’m assuming that you are an adult now.

Were your speech skills very advanced over your peers? I’ve got the impression they frequently are in only children, as they speak mostly to adults, and not other kids very often.

Growing up were you friends with other only-children (for the most part), kids with siblings, or a 50/50 mix?

I have found that I only had one friend when I was little that was an only child. Actually, even as a grown-up I only hang out with folks who have siblings. Except for those 2 guys I dated who were only children and turned out to be horrible, wretched people. Not to say that’s because they were only children - I’m sure they were horrible and wretched because of Satan.

Oh dear. Hope I don’t miss any:

No, I was never lonely as a young child . But I grew up in a neighbourhood where most of the families had children my age. There was a girl my age next door, one two streets over, and one up the hill, as well as asorted younger/older children.

I got lonely later on, but by then I was old enough that my mother’s permission didn’t enter into it.

Yes to both. I read everything, more than I do now, in fact. And yes, I’m very content in my own company. As a teenager I assumed I just didn’t need people around me, but this isn’t true anymore. I go batty after a day or so now.

Spot on, though I did (as I said) have other children to speak to. I never really did get along with my own precise peers in age; most of my friends were either a few years older or younger.

Depends how you define “only child”, but I had friends of both kinds. Most of them had a gaggle of smaller sibs, and maybe a distant older one. There were fewer only children then people with siblings, but that’s a question of statistics; Scandinavia has a better birthrate than the rest of europe.

Did you relate better to adults than kids when you were younger?

From a certain point on, yes. From my preteen years onwards or so. I’ll qualify that by saying I related well to younger children: I spent family gatherings playing with my younger cousins (still do; they keep having more of them :eek: )

Did you get into trouble more often because there were no other siblings on which to pin the blame for your mischief, or did you get in trouble less often because without siblings around there were fewer opportunities to get into trouble?

There really is no way for me to answer this one :wink: . More often compared to what? I didn’t get into trouble all that much, you’ll have to settle for that.

I’m also an only child. Would you be ok having only one child of your own or do you feel you should give your child a sibling?

When I was younger I always said I would never put a child through only er…child-ness. Now, however, I would have no problem with it. I still wish I had siblings but I think being an only child made me more emotionally independent.

I am an only child. I have five children myself.

Hm, I suppose you and I had a very different experience. I never minded being an only child, and I always planned on having only one child. Not that I would mind having more than one, but “giving my child a sibling” would not be factor.

Do you have trouble dealing with spesific sibling-related problems, such as jealousy?

Since other only children are jumping in…

As an only child, I also read a lot, had advanced verbal skills, and related better with adults.

I tend to ‘think out loud’ which, I’ve always thought, might be an ‘only child’ trait.

Now, I don’t mind being alone, but I am very social, and love being with people even more.

Sharing space is difficult, I’ll admit.

I always thought it would have been nice to have had an older brother.

I hope to have at least two and at most three children, should I have children.

In that regard, I think I have an advantage. Having no sibling issues myself, I don’t project any on to my children. On more than one occasion, I have talked to another mother, and they’ll complain about a certain issue, such as the son always teasing the younger daughter mercilessly. From my observation, it doesn’t seem out of the realm of normal behavior. Yet, 20 minutes into the convo, it’ll turn out that she was teased unmercifully by her older brother, and her parents did nothing about it. I don’t have any of that baggage. As to jealousy, I often get right to the meat of the problem. When one of my kids ask "Why do you let them go and do that? Or “You love them more!” I just calmly reply, “I love them more that’s why.” This takes the wind out of their sails, and we can figure out what it going on better.

The hardest part? Incessant noise. Lowering standards. The inability to not pay attention when interacting with someone. Sharing.

I could’ve written this post with the exception of wanting at least two or three children. I am childless and I may remain that way. I just don’t know. I’m at the stage in my life where if I become a mom I’d like to just have one.
I, surprisingly, know several other only children and I’d say they’re all pretty well-adjusted. No worse or better than those people with sibs it seems. The one glaring difference I’ve noticed is that only children, as adults, seem to have strong ties with their parents. I only know of one person, in my circle, who does not. But that’s because his mom his stark raving mad.

In my experience as an only child I found that I had a bizarrely active and vivid imagination. At the end of the day, when all the kids went home to their houses full of their siblings, I went home with no one to play with. I had to create a social world all of my own.

Btw, I talk to my self all the time too.

Since the thread has turned into a free-for-all for only children, I might respond to this one.

I was born in 1953. You couldn’t move in our street for all the children. There was no need to invite others kids over; we all just swarmed everywhere.

I wasn’t lonely as a child but I am now. My parents are both dead, so there’s just me now.

:slight_smile: I’m glad it’s not just me. I would tell myself stories out loud as a child. There are some very embarassing tapes out there somewhere.

Sorry for invading your great thread, Septima!

Do you talk to yourself, too?

Did your parents try to have more kids? Was there a reason they couldn’t? Or were they content with you?