Only Children

Lately, I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to have another child. Complete strangers tell me that I need to have another so that my son won’t be “lonely” and “spoiled”.

It’s not like I’m going to change my mind for these people, but it is getting pretty damn annoying. What’s so bad about having only one child! While my son is a little spoiled (I blame my mom and dad), he’s no worse than any of the other children I see running around who have brothers and sisters. In fact, he is pretty good at sharing and behaving. His main problem is bossiness, but I don’t see how having another small person in the house is going to help that.

I’ve taken to telling people that we can’t have any more children, just to get them off my back. Now they feel sorry for me, and give me fertility tips, so I’m not sure that I’m any better off.

So, are any of you only children? Or have only one child? Is my son doomed to be a lonely spoiled brat?

BTW, the reasons that we’ve decided on only one for now are:
A. Frankly, we just can’t afford two.
B. We did not plan on having my son, and I had to drop out of college because of a very difficult pregnancy/labor. I am back in school now and planning on going back to work when my son starts first grade. This might sound selfish, but I’d like to have the chance to have a career w/out worrying about giving baby #2 the same amount of time that I gave the first one.

I’m an only child, everything seems ok. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have sibs, but nothing mentally disturbing.

Mmm hehe um yah jack am coke, yah yah, vodka- Keith Richards

Tater, I have only one child. He’s loved and nurtured. Your child will only be spoiled if you let him be. When aunts and uncles come to visit they spoil my son, but if its within boundaries it shouldnt turn them into brats. I spent a lot of time with my son and I encourage him to use manners and to treat people with respect. He’s a kid so naturally sometimes he gets carried away but for the most part, he’s healthy,happy and pretty much unspoiled.

We are, each of us angels with only one wing;
and we can only fly by
embracing one another

Well, tatertot, I was an only child, and I think that I’d have been better off with a sibling or two. But I think that has more to do with my parents than me. In a nutshell, they each hung their (conflicting) ambitions on me, and I ended up disappointing them both, because I did what was right for me, not what they thought I should do (horrors!) I think it would have been easier if there had been someone else to share the expectations with.

If your son is socialized, and interacts well with other kids (“plays well with others”, in kindergarten teacher talk!) I wouldn’t worry too much.

Never attribute to malice anything that can be attributed to stupidity.
– Unknown

I knew they were full of it!

I wonder why people are so concerned? Is there some world-wide shortage of children that I’ve just not heard about? This whole “when ya gonna have another?” thing started when my son was 3 months old!

My son is not lonely, and like I said, just a wee bit spoiled. He does not run our house, no matter how hard he tries (and believe me he’s trying!).

I haven’t completely ruled out having another, but I wouldn’t mind a bit if he wound up being the only child I have.

I’m an only child as well, and I was never spoiled. (Actually, quickest way to piss me off is to call me spoiled…) The only thing I had was the same as Cat…all of my parent’s hopes ended up on me. Aside from that, never had a problem.

Just because you only have one kid doesn’t make them automatically spoiled…I say do what you want, and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

“Better people…better food…and better beer!”
-Neil Peart, Rush

Only child here. Other than very rarely wondering what having a bro or sis would be like, the only true negative was knowing you had no one to blame when something bad happened. I loved it. My parents didn’t spoil me (grandparents are another story, but that seems par for the course.) As long as you keep your kid grounded then it’s nothing to worry about.

Well, shut my mouth. It’s also illegal to put squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling.

Shoot, one more thing. Falcon and Opal mentioned having parents pin all of their hopes on the only child. In my case, that didn’t happen. Neither of my parents were athletes, however I turned into a really good basketball player (sure, the height thing helps just a little bit). But, since my parents weren’t frustrated former athletes, they just enjoyed watching me play and encouraged me. The felt no need to experience it through me. So, if your kid starts taking interests in things that are not your forte, then it is probably a little easier to keep from making your kid feel like his parents hopes and dreams are hanging on him.

Tatertot, don’t worry. If you don’t want any more kids, don’t have them.

After my daughter was born, people asked me all the time when I was going to have another one. My answer? “I’m not.” When they’d ask why, a simple “I don’t want any more” effectively shut them up. You don’t have to justify not wanting any more kids. It’s your business, not theirs.

Of course, an awful lot of people chuckled at me when I announced that I was pregnant with my son…but I digress. Just remember, it’s none of their business.

Not me, Mull.

Anyway, I’m an only child and I always wanted brothers or sisters… but that was because I was seriously neglected and sometimes abused and my childhood was very, very lonely.

O p a l C a t

I do have a brother, who is 13 years younger than me and we were not raised together. I haven’t seen him in almost 10 years. So for all intents and purposes, I consider myself an only child. I feel lonely sometimes. I wish I had brothers and sisters closer to my own age, especially when I see how my friends relate to their siblings. Despite my feelings that I am missing something, I don’t think every only child feels this way and I don’t think anyone has a right to pressure others into having more kids. If one is enough for you, that’s fine.

I’m an only child, and I’m quite happy with it. I wouldn’t say I was spoiled, my parents pretty much kept a lid on their paying/giving stuff. I should add that I have 16 cousins on my mother’s side, myself being the oldest. My extended family is very close, so its like having 14 brothers and 2 sisters, only I didn’t have to live with them. Kind of a best-of-both-worlds scenario, if you ask me.


I can think of no more stirring symbol of man’s humanity to man than a fire engine - Kurt Vonnegut

AAAAH!!! I’m NOT an only child. See? I did it again. DOH!!!

I have: 3 brothers and 2 sisters. But I often forget.

Before you start calling me a looney, it’s justifiable. My dad got remarried about a year after I got married, and his wife had a son already. My dad adopted the kid [Brother number 1] who had never even met his biological dad. This happened when I was about 20-21 years old. They proceeded to breed like rabbits and have 4 more kids in the last 6-7 years. They live about 900 miles away (2000 miles away when we still lived in AZ) and I’ve only met them a few times… so it’s easy to forget and still call myself an only child.

O p a l C a t

Tell these people who think you need to have another kid to mind their own business.
I’ve known plenty of only children who were perfectly happy and unspoiled. The only thing is to make sure that he has plenty of chances to play with other kids his age (cousins are especially nice, as Jeremy noted.)
BTW, I don’t think it’s selfish of you at all to want to go back to school. If (God forbid) I became pregnant and had to leave school, I’d go back the first chance I got.


Why sex is better than religion: There are laws against forcing sex on minors who can’t think for themselves.

The best thing about being an only child is that you get all the attention.

The worst thing about being an only child is that you get all the attention.

The only lasting effect I’ve noticed is that I get along with other only children (only adults, do we call ourselves now?)extremely well.

Incidently, what’s up with the compulsion to ask only children Are you spoiled? As a child, I always answered YES! and that ended the conversation.

Wow! Lots of only children here!

I’m one too and perfectly content not to have any siblings (well, my dad just remarried, so now I’ve got 3 step-sisters, but they don’t count, cuz I wasn’t raised with them.).
The only thing that seems to have come from being an only is that I have always been more comfortable with people who are older than me. My mother always tells me that I have always been “mature for my age”. I don’t think that this is necessarily a bad thing, though.

The only real downside that I can see to being an only child happens not now but in fifty years. If all goes as you hope, you will predecease your child by a good number of years. Hopefully your child will have a spouse/kids/good friends/etc by the time this happens, but if not, he will be terribly alone. Every family is different, and their are many factors to be considered–I don’t think this issue by itself ought to be a determing factor, since the kids might hate each other anyway. But it is something to keep in mind.

Only child here. . .

There’s nothing wrong with being an only child. I know this is going to sound conceited, but I think I turned out better than a LOT of kids I went to school with. The credit, of course, goes to my parents.
– Sylence

And now, for my next trick, I will talk in spooky half-references.

Yeah, yeah raises hand only child … big whoop.

Only child. My wife came from a family with 4 kids.We have 2.
I thought one kid was ok with our first one, for 3 years. We have a boy and a girl who are quite similar in behavior.
We thought that when we turn into old farts and drive 300 miles when we meant to get milk and bread at the store, then the twokids will have an easier time taking the car keys away from us.