Ask the only child

Feel free. Everyone yet as added something valuable. And yes, I talk to myself, embarrasingly so. I’ll be really deep in thought, and suddenly I’ll say something like “fifteen pound starlings can’t knitt very well”, and eveybody cracks up. It usually has no conection to what I was thinking about, and by that point I’ll have no idea what I was thinking anyway.

As far as I know, they just waited too long to start having children, so I’m all they got. And yes, they were content with just me (or maybe I scared them from having more; the way my mother tells it, I didn’t sleep for two years.)

I’m what I like to call a “uncomplicated” only child, which means I’m an only child because my parents only had me. Then there are “complicated” only children, like my friend who is an only child of a single mother, because her bio-father left the country and has kids all over the place (she has no contact with her half-sibs or her father.) And then there are the “really complicated” only children, like my other friend, who was removed from her biomother as a toddler due to neglect, and placed with a woman who had no other children. She always had some contact with her sisters, one of whom may or may not share the same father.
We were all raised as only children, and identify as that.

I too am an only child, raised by my mother.

I find it difficult to share living space. I like to read. A lot. I like quiet versus noise. I can stay in a crowd for short periods of time, usually as an observer. I’m with you on the board game, thing, though. I never learned to play things like Monopoly, etc. and find board games very difficult to learn.

I prefer one on one, opposed to a party type atmosphere.

I can stay by myself for very long periods of time in absolute silence. Which, from what I understand, multiple children find difficult. I can just sit, daydreaming or thinking of absolutely nothing.

I don’t talk to myself but I do talk to the plants in my garden and the wild critters in my yard.

jabiru: With the exception of an aunt five hours away, it’s just me now too. If I had to say anything negative about being an only child, and the child of an older parent (my mom was 38 when she had me), the grief from losing parents isn’t able to be shared with anyone.

Other than that, I can’t say much negative about being an only child. We seem to be able to handle things that multiples can’t while generally, the ability to socialize comes easier to multiples.

There was a book printed years ago called “First Child, Second Child” which was quite interesting, about birth orders. Oddly enough, middle children have a lot of things in common with only children.

Who did you blame when something was broken? I figure my sister took crap for about a third of what I did, and I took crap for about a third of what she did… until we learned to blame it on the dog or cat…

You were just screwed.

You make sure you don’t break anything.

Why would I need to blame it on anyone?

It depends what you mean by spoiled. I may not act spoiled, but I definitely did (and still do) benefit from being an only child. My parents paid for my college education. Granted, I went to a public university and tuition wasn’t very high, but I know that if I had a sibling, I would have had to either get scholarships and/or work my way through school. My parents also occasionally give me money and random “I thought you would like this” stuff, and I’m sure if I had a sibling I wouldn’t get as much.

I’ve never really attributed anything about myself to my being an only child. That said…

No. I was a quiet kid, and I liked the quiet of home. I always thought kids were noisy, and damn if I’m bringing that to my house. :stuck_out_tongue: Besides, we played outdoors most of the time.

I was never lonely. I always had friends or animals to play with. And when they weren’t around, it was ok because I was happy being alone. More Lego time!

Yes, and yes.

It was often remarked I spoke well. I read a lot and was good at spelling and grammar. I never thought of it as an only-child thing, though; something had to balance the fact I sucked at math.

There weren’t many kids in my neighborhood (it was a new development), so I befriended whoever was around. But the vast majority of my friends have siblings.

You didn’t ask about SOs, but my SO has a sister. Almost every guy I’ve had a thing with had a sibling.

I never really thought about it. I was a kid, other kids were kids too. I was quieter and nerdier than most of them. But I didn’t imagine myself more adultlike than my peers or anything. Adults were authority figures and I didn’t see myself as similar to them. I had an idea of what other kids did in their free time; I had no idea what adults did in theirs.

I was a perfect angel who never did anything wrong. :slight_smile: Seriously, I got in trouble only for the things I was going to get in trouble for: my grades, my chores, etc.

I’d be fine with having only one kid. I was happy being an only. I’ve only really been able to envision having one kid… though my SO wants two, which means we’ll need to compromise. Oh noes, I’m supposed to be bad at that! :wink:

I don’t see being an only as something to “go through.” It’s only a trial as far as growing up is, and everyone does that. It would sound odd to say I’m putting my child through growing up with siblings. Neither is an ordeal.

I can’t think of a downside to being an only child. In hindsight, it wasn’t the safest arrangement for me to be a latchkey kid, but it made me feel independent. I mostly turned to adults for advice, so maybe I learned how to deal with problems better as a result. I could entertain myself. I didn’t have to compete with a sibling in any sense. I think I had a great childhood.

I think out loud occasionally. I like to daydream about my SO, and I’ll sometimes say out loud parts of my daydream conversations with him.

I enjoy my alone time. I’m not very social, and I prefer solitude or the company of one or two particular friends or my SO over being surrounded by people.

Sharing space is easy for me as long as I have a place to call my own. I’ve had the same roommate for 5 years and I haven’t killed him yet. :smiley:

I wanted an older brother too. I think I was 6 when I figured out why it was impossible for me to get one.

I’m fairly sure one was all they wanted. My parents were 25/26 when they had me, so age wasn’t a factor. I was a good kid, so it wasn’t like I soured them to the experience. Both my parents worked, and I never heard anything about money being an issue. They both have 3-4 siblings, so maybe my aunts and uncles were the ones who did the souring.

Well, sure, there are benefits, but the ones you mention are indirect ones: your parents had more money because you were an only child. That was the case with me too.

The myth I mentioned is the belief some people seem have that the parents of only children suddenly turn into mindless morons who shower their children in gifts and attention to “make up for denying them a sibling”. That was the definition of “spoiled” I used: sour little brats with entitlement issues. I’ve never met a real only child like that.