Only Child: Lonely or Lively?

Staff Reporter debunks common 'only child' myths

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Only Child: Lonely or Lively?

Paper dolls of a small family (theodysseyonline.com)

Paper dolls of a small family (theodysseyonline.com)

Paper dolls of a small family (theodysseyonline.com)

Paper dolls of a small family (theodysseyonline.com)

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As an only child, I have some benefits. For example, I didn’t have to share any of my toys or fight for my mother’s attention when I was younger. I never had to hear my parents tell me that my brother or sister always did something better.  However, there are numerous stereotypes and myths out there for those of who are without siblings.

People think that just because I’m an only child, I’m supposed to be “aggressive and bossy.” I didn’t become super bossy just because I’m an only child. That’s just a personality quirk. Maybe the reason that people feel that only children are “aggressive and bossy” is because we are around more adults than children our age. A lot of times I would mimic the people around me, and being around adults, I would tend to think more like the adults. Anyone can be an “aggressive and bossy” person, and anyone can be a spoiled child, too. But when you are an only child, you can be a little of both.

Most people think that only children are spoiled rotten. When I was a child, yes, I was spoiled, but that was then and this is now. I’m not that person anymore; I’ve grown up and matured. Only kids, are thought to be spoiled because parents don’t have to divide money and time between multiple children. I did get mostly everything I wanted, but that was because there weren’t other siblings. However, I don’t need to have everything I want; I rarely ask for anything.

The people who had to share their childhood with other siblings also think that only children are extremely selfish. I don’t consider myself to be a selfish person. I believe that I put my friends and family before myself. The reason why only children are considered to be selfish is because they don’t have any other children in the house to share with.

People think that only children are dependent on their parents. If anything, I’m more independent than dependent. At a young age, I was taught how to cook, clean, and help take care of my parents, because I was the only child. My parents tried to make me perfect, because I don’t have any siblings to “help shoulder the burden”.

People with siblings believe that only children become too mature too quickly.  Like I said before, only children are very independent from their parents. I matured quicker than people with siblings because I had more chores and responsibilities than they did. More was expected of me as an only child, my parents had higher expectations because they had no one else to compare me to. I like the fact that I matured quickly because I could do more, than someone else my age. My mother could trust me with more responsibility, and she didn’t have to worry as much as she did when I was little, because I matured at a much younger age, than most.

Not every myth or stereotype about being an only child is true. We still have a lot of the same childhood experiences. Believe it or not, being an only child or being a child with siblings, we’re still all the same.

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