Only Children


I had another one of my usual arguments with my friend Brian the other day and this time it was about Only Children. Here is how it breaks down.

My Belief: To only have one child is not cruel or wrong or hurtful. I think it’s smart, to realize you only want one and maybe can only handle one. I believe that only children are no more or less issues than eldest, middle or youngest children.

His Belief: To only have one child is cruel. Only children are all selfish and spoiled and needy. This is because only children had all the attention and never had to compete for anything with their siblings. Only children do not know how to relate to others.

What are your thoughts? I think it’s all in how you are raised. If your parents spoil you and isolate you then you’ll probably end up a little screwed up, whether you have siblings or not. Before my brother, I had plenty of friends and I wouldn’t say I was given too much attention. I also wouldn’t say my brother and I ever fought for our parent’s attention.

Are kids that are spaced out from their siblings by many years in any way only children? I was without a sibling for 7 years and my mom’s sister was an only child for 12 years. They say the first few years of your life make the deepest impression so did not having a sibling in those younger years make an impact on me?

These days it’s a fortune to have children, what’s so wrong about having one kid? Do you think it really makes a difference either way?

  1. crystal

    February 10, 2009 at 8:56 am

    If having a sibling makes a person unselfish and unspoiled, someone forgot to give that memo to my little sister! :tongue:

  2. Dana

    February 10, 2009 at 9:34 am

    I am an only child and I think your friends comments are so incredibly incorrect that they are almost offensive. I am neither spoiled, selfish or needy, nor are most other only children I have met.

    Yes, I didn’t have to fight for my parents attention. Yes, I didn’t have to share things with any sibs. But that does not, inherently, make me any of those things that your friend said all onlys are. My parents raised me to not be that way.

    On the other side of that coin, if ANYTHING got broke in the house, it was clear that I did it, so I didn’t get to play the “HE/SHE DID IT, NOT ME!” game. :clap:

  3. Amanda

    February 10, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Yeah I think it’s all about parenting… Sure, some parents dote too much on their only child, but that’s their fault. There’s tons of people with siblings that are just as spoiled and self centered.

  4. Maureen

    February 10, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Yep – it’s all about the parenting. Especially if the argument is solely based on ‘getting parental attention’. It truly depends on how the parent views their role in their child’s life. If you’ve only got one child, you might have more time on your hands to fill with other non-parenting hobbies, perhaps taking time away from being with your child. If you have lots of children, you’ve pretty much decided that that’s what your life is, currently, all about – therefore giving them all more attention. Or, it could happen other ways, too.

  5. themuttprincess

    February 10, 2009 at 10:06 am

    I do not think having siblings or not will make someone a better person. It is more up to the parenting and the relationships the child has with other kids.

    Honestly, most kids are spoiled beyond belief. AND they usually have a sibling or 3. I know people who have at 3 kids that never say no. HELLO, dumbasses. THAT is what causes kids to have problems. I only have one, so I don’t know what it is like to deal with 3, but I certainly don’t give in to everything even when I am watching friends kids or my neice. I am actually a pretty strict parent. I would be regardless of how many I have….. And that is what I think will make a difference with how well adjusted my son is as an adult.

    All that said, if someone is financially able to take care of more and able to actually nurture them, then by all means, have a litter. BUT if you think it is up to the schools/daycares to raise your kid, you should probably just get a puppy.

  6. Heather B

    February 10, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I used to want a boy and a girl (but would of been satisfied if I ended up with two boys as well. But now I realized that deep down I was meant for just my boy. Although I’m slowly (and I mean slow like a snail) am gm getting used to the two extra kids in the house. I don’t think there is anything wrong either way.

    If someone is careless during a night of passion and happens to get pregnant, Maybe they can barely pass by taking care of that child and themselves. Does that mean that they have to go have another child because someone else thinks its cruel?

  7. Avitable

    February 10, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Wow, your friend is kind of insensitive and kind of an idiot.

    There are no sweeping answers. Some only children are selfish and spoiled and some with siblings are. Some kids who are spanked behave and some don’t. Every situation is completely different.

  8. TJ from Keene

    February 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I think science puts a hole in your friends beliefs. According to this study, Only Children do better in school than not-first children, and do just as well as First-born children. It also showed that Only Children are indistinguishable from not-only-children in their social development.

  9. DeniseTN

    February 10, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Any child can be a spoiled freaking brat…it’s all dependent upon the kid and the parents. Birth order, only child or not doesn’t matter in my opinion.

  10. edmcbride

    February 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    i think i’m very well adjusted for being an older child. sure i don’t like to share, but i’m getting better.

    i don’t think i am spoiled. i mean no one but me is gonna cut my food for me, no matter how much i beg.

  11. Tug

    February 10, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    My daughter is an only child, and I know many people (including one of my brothers) that are far more spoiled, bratty, pissy than her…although she does have her moments. 😉 Don’t we all?

  12. Hannah

    February 10, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    I knew a girl who was an only child and she was VERY selfish, self centered and immature, but my husband is also an only child and he is the exact opposite of that. So, I agree it all depends on how a person is raised-If their parents spoil them and don’t punish, then the child will more than likely turn into a pain in the ass and all round bad person.

  13. Jen

    February 11, 2009 at 7:54 am

    I think your friend is wrong. Even though I am not an only child, I was raised as one. My sisters are a lot older than me and didn’t live with me. I never considered myself to be spoiled. I had a job as a teenager and had to learn to be responsible. My parents raised me well and I hope I do just as good of a job as they did!

  14. H.

    February 13, 2009 at 11:28 am

    My turn. 😀

    I only have one child. And yes, he’s spoiled.

    Personally, I don’t think I would be a very good mother if I had more. I love my son. I love our time together. And I love my alone time. I know, it’s selfish to say that. But I think it would be even more selfish to have another child just for the sake of having one when I don’t feel like I’d be as good of a mother if I had two.

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