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October 18th, 2011 07:25 AM #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
What's it like being an only child?
I got engaged and am thinking of kids now. I have two sisters, so I have no idea how's it like to be an only child. I always thought I would have two or three kids, but now, I feel like one would be enough, hopefully a girl. When I think of names, I always consider if it 'fits' well with Isabella (my most favorite name which will definitely be my girl's name). My fiance thinks I will end up having two or more kids because of this! I know it will be different when I actually become a mother, but I don't want to regret for having one kid. I want to make sure my child wouldn't hate being an only child. What is it like being an only child? Is it nothing to worry about? Thanks!
Last edited by fleurdelis; October 18th, 2011 at 08:15 AM.
October 18th, 2011 10:53 PM #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2011
I'm an only, so is my husband, so are my two best friends (a man and a woman who married each other too!). We're all fine. We were all blessed with good parents. This matters far more than anything else. All of us went through phases of wanting a sib, but never badly. All of us were on the "geeky" side of things, but I'm not so sure that's really related to being onlies or just who we were. We were all well-adjusted, if anything the geekiness maybe came from being academically inclined, from lots of parental language *maybe*, so anyway now we're all professionally very successful. Anyway, I'm sure there's grains of truth to any of the advantages and disadvantages you read about it, but I think the thing is that there are advantages and disadvantages to there being siblings that don't get as much popular press just because it's the default.
One insight though: you'll notice how my story seems to suggest onlies sort of seek each other out, and that is my experience. I have tons of friends who have siblings, of course, but I do think onlies often end up sharing a special sort of bond with each other as friends. Just a pet theory though.
October 21st, 2011 08:13 PM #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2009
I am an only child and there were definitely times I wished I had a sibling, this feeling came and went. I was lucky to have many cousins living nearby so I had the experience of lots of family kids even if they didn't come home with us!
But I want to stress that I am very very glad that I am an only child b/c it allowed me to have experiences that I do not think would have been possible if I had had siblings. We traveled a lot b/c my mom is from Europe and my dad worked abroad. I don't think there is any way financially we would have been able to travel to the places we did if there had been more than one kid. I really can't overstate how central all those traveling experiences are to who I am today.
My closest friends also tend to be only children. I don't know if that is b/c we seek each other out, or b/c I have gone to predominantly private schools and there may be a higher percentage of only child at private schools for financial reasons.
We are all as equally adjusted as my friends with siblings. We're no more spoiled or self centered. I also want to point out that I know several instances where siblings are estranged ( mainly between 2 brothers) and so having more than one kid in no way guarantees that your child will have a "friend for life". I'm just throwing that out there. I am much closer to some of my only-child friends than many of my other friends are to their siblings.
Do what is best for YOU and your husband, not what you "imagine" might be best for the kids. If you love and respect your child and expose them to many different types of people and experiences, this will go much further to making a happy, healthy adult than giving them 2 or 3 siblings. A loving relationship between parents is the most important thing to a happy childhood for the child. I know folks who are just too stressed (time, energy and financially) by having bigger families that they really aren't able to model happy behavior or a successful marriage/partnership for their kids.
October 21st, 2011 09:18 PM #7
As a teen with siblings, I could never imagine not having siblings. There is always someone to talk to, and someone to feel secure around. My brothers make me laugh, and I don't think I would be the same person without them. While I am not an only child, my feeling is that an only would probably get lonely."When the light falls on your face, don't let it change you
When the stars get in your eyes, don't let it blind you
You're beautiful, just the way you are
And I love it all, every line and every scar"
October 22nd, 2011 02:29 AM #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
I am the eldest of four children, I love it and wouldnt want it any other way. Of course we would have silly fights with each other when we were younger etc but overall were are all so close now that we are in our early 20s/late teens we are getting even closer going out together on the weekends etc. It feels like I have 3 lifelong friends who have all shared the same experiences as me which is pretty special. I plan on having 4 kids but if not then at least 3. I cant imagine what it would have been like being an only child, to me it seems that it would be boring, lonely and very quiet! The few 'only child's I know were very spoilt growing up and seem to have a different perspective than myself and my friends who have one or more siblings although they seem to be fine with the fact that they never had any siblings growing up but I guess who cant really miss something that you never had. Of course if you feel that you would be unable to manage the physical, emotional and financial demands of more than one child than obviously it is better for yourself, your partner and the child to only have one. Besides you can always have your first and then see how you are feeling then, who knows, you could end up wanting more and more!
October 22nd, 2011 06:28 PM #11Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2009
Just wanted to say that the sentiment "you can't miss what you never had" goes both ways. Ie you may not miss alone time or extra one-on-one time with your parents if you never had them.
And being an only child doesn't automatically mean bored and lonely.
Sorry if this feels defensive but I do get a little bothered but folks thinking they know what an experience must be like even if they have never experienced it for themselves. For some strange reason "only child" are viewed with suspicion on our society and many of the judgments above sound like rehashed and unfounded arguments.
October 23rd, 2011 12:28 PM #13
I have to agree with Moxielove's last post. Whether you are an only child, or one of many, you can't really know or understand the other. I am 1 of 5, and I love it! Of course, I can't imagine it any other other way. My best friend is an only child, and she had a great childhood too. I think occasionally she would have liked to have a sibling, but then again, I sometimes wished I didn't have any!
To the original poster: Just do what feels right for you and your family. If you choose to have one, don't worry, your child will grow up perfectly happy and well adjusted. Same with if you have 2 or 3 or 4!Mom to two little girls, Willow & Veda
Top boy name: Solomon
Top girl names: Marin, Garnet, Tamsin, Elidi, Artis, Salome, Thora, Bethan, Tressa, Raine
October 23rd, 2011 01:03 PM #15Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2011
I am the oldest of 3, and while I hate them sometimes I can't imagine not having them. I know that they will be there if anything happened to my parents. I also feel very independent as I am not my parents' sole focus. Several of my friends are only children and I know that they are MUCH closer to their parents than I am.
October 31st, 2011 03:43 AM #17
Im an only child, and only grand-child on both sides, it has its pros and cons.
-No fighting with siblings, but fighting with parents may increase since there is more interaction with them than if you had a sibling where the parents don't focus so much on the only child.
-Don't have to share
-Get more attention, The attention was great and satisfying, when the attention is positive and not negative. But having so much attention can get annoying especially if you just want to be left alone.
-Get more money for college and spending, that's really nice
-Grow up more around adults, so may be more mature at an earlier age
-No sibling support system when parents are fighting or dont understand you, to have someone who grew up in the same environment with you must be a cool thing, because they understand you like your friends cant.
-No one to play with when you're younger. I had so many nice board games I barely got to play cause I didn't have siblings to play them with
-Get more attention: Being the center of your parents attention, isn't always the easiest, especially if they don't understand you or you don't get along with them all the time. Because you just get a lot more negative attention, there's no one to share it with to diffuse it.
- More difficult for child when parents get older. Since my dad is an only child as well, I have seen how hard it can be for one person to deal with taking care of family members by themselves. And actually my mom is basically an only child too, which means they spend all of their free time and energy going from one parent to the next helping them out. Its a huge responsibility that would be much easier to share if a sibling were there.
As an only child I am against having only children, it's too lonely and there cons outweigh the pros. I wish I had had a sibling/siblings.
October 31st, 2011 03:49 AM #19
@ flexiballetgirl - PS, I and am only child and I am VERY VERY independent. I don't think whether or not you are an only child had anything do with how independent you are, it depends on your situation. I am actually not that close to my parents emotionally, even though our relationship is fine, not without its problems of course, but just not as emotionally attached. My best friends are very clingy to their parents and they are in families with 3-4 kids. Spending more time with parents as an only child does not necessarily mean you will be closer to them, it could have the opposite effect as well.