Advantages and Disadvantages of Being an Only Child

Pros and Cons of Being the Only Child

The Advantages:

Being an only child can be either good or bad, depending on how you perceive it and how you are brought up by your parents. The advantages could be that you get the undivided love and attention of your parents. They would dote on you more and provide for you more - in terms of getting you stuff, toys, etc. Obviously, being an only child means that your parents have only you to spend the money on and not have to share it among other siblings. So, you'd get more toys than normal, more money to spend than normal, more inheritance than normal, and of course more love from your parents than normal.

As an only child, you may also be spared the complications arising out of having an overbearing, unhelpful, competitive sibling. It is no fun having a sibling like this, who hoards the attention of your parents, who in the eyes of your parents can do no wrong and is doted upon to no end, often at your expense. They may well walk off with much of the inheritance by virtue of being the doted one in the family. As an only child, you would be free of any of these complications.

As an only child, you may grow up to be more independent and able to fend for yourself better, if your parents haven't spoiled you by tending to your each and every need. Not having an older sibling to help you every step of the way may in that sense be beneficial and make you capable of looking after yourself earlier in life. Therefore, being an only child can certainly have its advantages.

The Disadvantages:

As far as disadvantages go, the "Little Emperor Syndrome" comes to mind. For those unfamiliar with the term, "Little Emperor Syndrome" refers to the Chinese situation involving parents and their single child. Of course, all of you would be aware of China's one-child policy. Little Emperor Syndrome is an unintended consequence of that policy. This is a situation in which the parents lavish their love, attention, resources on this one child of theirs, and as a result, the child becomes spoilt and, well, behaves like a "Little Emperor." This sort of excessive attention and care can prove detrimental in the long term for the child. The child gets used to having everything done, managed, taken care of - by their parents. When they have to live in the real world and face real problems, they might not be able to cope with it. They may lack self-confidence to go out in the world and get things done for themselves. They might feel lost outside of the cocoon that their parents created for them. This of course need not always be the case and can be overcome by good parenting.

Perhaps the most apparent disadvantage of being an only child is the feeling of loneliness - not having a sibling to play with regularly and to be able to share your thoughts and memories with. When you parents are no longer around, not having a sibling to talk about things with or look up to for any kind of help or support can be quite a disadvantage. Also, when you parents get older, being an only child, you would have to shoulder the responsibility of taking care of your parents on your own, which might be overwhelming.

As an only child, you may also face an immense pressure put on you by your parents; for example, to keep the family name going or to do well in your academics. As an only child, you would also be watched with an eagle eye by your parents and this may be quite suffocating and stressful for you. If you had siblings, the pressure wouldn't be as much and you may perhaps be able to lead a more stress-free life. This again would be a highly subjective experience. There may be many who may feel no stress at all and are able to take this pressure, real or perceived, within their stride.


My Experience of Not Being the Only Child in my Family

So, there are advantages and disadvantages to being an only child. However, how each child turns out - really depends on how the child has been brought up, among other factors.

Personally, I always wished I was the only child in my family. Perhaps, it is not a nice thing to say, but that's how I fee genuinely! You know, the grass always seems greener on the other side. In my specific situation, the age gap between me and my brother was just 3 years, and therefore, there was a lot of rivalry and acrimony between us - all through childhood - it affected me quite a bit, not the usual childhood fights, which you grow out of. Being the eldest in my family, I always felt that I was not treated fairly when it came to certain situations, especially conflict situations. I was always expected to be magnanimous and largehearted and forgive and forget - whereas my younger brother was doted on and shielded. I still feel that to be the case to this day. We do get along much better now, but it isn't your usual loving relationship - more formal than familial and loving.

My mom still dotes on my little brother to no end, which is good, but she doesn't see me the same way, which is what I regret and bemoan. I've never quite understood this difference. At times, I think to myself that this is all my imagination - that I am just seeing things that aren't there! That there is really no discrimination so to speak. But, then again, there is a difference, you know what I mean? Perhaps, a lot of you would have no clue about what I am talking about. Then again, there may be a lot of you who know exactly what I am talking about, so there you have it - each individual would have a very unique experience and a very unique answer to whether being an only child is an advantage or disadvantage.

I am sure, there would be lots of single, lonely people out there, who were the only child in their families, who would have wished they had a brother or sister growing up!! There is no real definitive answer to this question, as the responses to this question would be highly subjective and varied based on each person's own unique personal experience. Would love to hear your own personal experiences on being an only child or being a child with siblings growing up. Do feel free to share your personal experiences!

© 2009 Shil1978

Comments 105 comments

marcofratelli profile image

marcofratelli 7 years ago from Australia

True. So you now have the "Little Emperor" syndrome of the only child, the first born gets everything first, the middle child is hard done by and always has to fend for him/herself while suffering "Middle Child Syndrome" and the youngest always gets all the attention and is spoilt!

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Thank you for answering my hub request.  I'm an only child and wondered how others felt about it.  Growing up I never felt deprived, but at the same time I never felt spoiled.  Primarily because my parents didn't have the money to spoil me.  As an adult, I see more of the disadvantages.  I have no nieces or nephews.  It's only me to look after aging/dying parents.  My dad passed away in Sept.  So, I now look after my mother who doesn't drive.  I don't consider it a burden at all.  I love my mother, but at the same time it would be nice to have brothers or sisters to share that with.

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Oh, don't get me wrong....there are tons of pros and cons in being one of several children. That is a plus with being an only child. No bickering or feelings of being treated differently.

fishskinfreak2008 profile image

fishskinfreak2008 7 years ago from Fremont CA

Some really good ideas here. Thumbs up

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 7 years ago Author

Thanks and I am glad you agree with my perspective on the subject.

Betty Boop 6 years ago

Thanks!!! I know how you feel...felt about the "not treated fairly thing" because I've been getting it a lot.

MIDOU  6 years ago

Good ideas !

Joanne 6 years ago

I think that the information was pretty good except that maybe you could have just stuck to the topic a bit more , other from that it was pretty good .

Hi people , I'm Joanne's twin Issie and I just want to say that I also think that you could have stuck to the topic but the information really did help us in our english homework essay

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Thank you, both of you, for stopping by and for your comments. I am glad this hub helped you in your essay. Yes, I agree that I could have done better. I had written this about a couple of years back, I think.

I do intend revisiting this subject and dealing with it more comprehensively in the future. Thanks again for the feedback :)

jisha 6 years ago

it is better 2 be a single because we will get more chocalate and dresses etc..........

onlychild... 6 years ago

I disagree with your view of only children, i am an only child and from my point of view am known of those things you described. Admitedly when i was younger like 4 or 5 i vaguely remember nagging my parents about having a brother of sister. However, now that i'm older i realise that the only reason i wanted a sibling was becuase i was one of the few people among my friends and i that was an only child, and so i felt different and excluded. But now that i am much older i don't feel any regret nor longing for a sibling and from the stories of my friends, seem a lot happier. But as you said, i agree that it all depends on how your raised. But very valid points for someone who isn't actually an only child.

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Thank you 'onlychild' for stopping by and commenting. I wasn't promoting any one view on this subject, but discussing in general what the pros and cons could be and putting forth my experience! I did say in the article that 'the grass always seems greener on the other side.'

So, how one feels about this subject can be highly subjecting depending on a number of factors. Ultimately, there is no one fixed view that everyone would agree upon when it comes to this subject.

Thank you once again for visiting. Appreciate your comments!!

MollyMiigwan profile image

MollyMiigwan 6 years ago from Naples

Oddly enough, my expereince as an old child has been a bit different then as described above. My parents did pay much attention to me, but it wasn't always good attention-- I was always the only kid who got in trouble, I had no sibling to compare myself to as 'the better child', and my parents were extremely strict so they would not raise a brat. This hindered my experience to loathe the freedom my friends had, the opportunity of having a 'tired, broken-down from parenting' parent who said yes... I'm sure there are a million of the Little Emperor syndromes running about, but I am interested in knowning if you have had any incountered with the 'locked-in-the-attics' types like myself.

On a positive note, I was raised to be an adult very young, so I was more social with adults and felt comfortable in situations where children weren't present. However, I soon began to dislike environments for children because of lack of intereaction with them.

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Thank you MM for stopping by and commenting!! MM - yours is an example of the other extreme, where the parents try to be strict with their only child for fear that they might otherwise turn "Little Emperors." There is also an element of overprotectiveness that comes into play in instances like yours.

Being the only child, the parents tend to want to keep the child out of any danger, real or perceived.

Yes, I've come across the 'locked-in-the-attics' type. There was this one kid I knew in my childhood, whose parents were very strict and didn't allow to go out much. He didn't have the 'freedom' that other kids had. In my opinion, it hampered his development - especially in the areas of sports, etc.

However, now that he's grown up, I don't see any problems. He's a normal person. I don't know if there are any psychological effects that one can't see, but he seems normal and well-rounded outwardly. It would be interesting to see what sort of a parent he becomes, with his own personal experience!!

Thank you MM for sharing your personal experience, appreciate it!!

6 years ago

I am an adult only child.

My childhood was very lonely.

Not much different as an adult!

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Thank you 'D' for stopping by and commenting. I hope you find some friends 'D.' I can be defined as a 'lonely' person too, but I don't see it as a bad thing. I enjoy my relative loneliness!!

Shannon 6 years ago

Sorry ran across your website searching Pros and cons on only child:

reading all the posts, i'm a mother with one child who is turning 6 this year and in a delima where "do we have another" / its not the right time / etc etc, but as the years go by my son is getting older and older and pretty soon he is going to be an only child. I'm very confused on what to do. I'm out of the baby stage, i have my "freedom" so to speak and i find myself feeling that i'm only really considering having another child for my son's sake....? I just want to know if he is going to be ok growing up as an only child coz sometimes i look at him today and he looks so lonley.....

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Shannon, I can understand your dilemma. Am not sure if you should think of having another child just for your son's sake. There are lots of families with an 'only child,' who have turned out okay, so that shouldn't be the only reason for having another child. The most important thing is how you bring up that 'only child.'

However, if you do want to have another child, I would say this is the right time to have one - don't put it off longer. A small difference of age (like 3 years) between children can make them competitive in a bad way and can give rise to feelings of being unloved, jealousy, etc.

Whereas, a 7-year difference would just be about right, as the older child is likely to be caring and protective of his younger sibling and the younger one is going to look up to the older one as a role model and respect him more than if the difference were lesser.

So, Shannon, if you are going to have another child, do have one now. It is the right time. Ultimately, though, you have to make the decision as to whether you need to have another child. You are the best judge of that!!

I wish you the best and thank you so much for sharing your story. Thanks for visiting :)

gm williams 6 years ago

I am an only child and loved it. I only see pros to being an only child. I received a regular allowance and the regular amount of toys. I was not spoiled at all but expected to be a little adult. My parents did not tolerate any type of misbehavior at all.

As an only child, I was more empathic than children with siblings. I was always instructed to give away my old things to charity. I did this willingly without being asked much of the time. I enjoyed the time I spent with my parents. My parents were average middle income people. If I wanted more money, I worked for it willingly. I know of many an only child who willingly worked after school to earn extra cash. Not all only children are affluent children with parents who are cash cows. They shared things willingly and without much bother. I assume that you do not know much about only children but rely on atavistic and outmoded ideas about the only child.

Many only children are very self-sufficient and hardy. They are not dependent at all. I know many only children who had after school jobs from the time they are fourteen and worked to earn extra cash. One only child that I knew earned money to contribute to her household. Only children are very responsible.

At my summer job, the head administrator commended me of a job well done. I did not have to work that summer as the other children had to but I wanted to. The head administrator did not have to chase me to do work as she did the other children(mostly from large families). She wanted me to work with her the next summer. Another only child I knew at graduate school was also commended by her boss for being a hardest worker at the diner while the other children(with siblings and from large families) goofed off.

You are mistaken that only children have the "little emperor" syndrome. I know of children with siblings and some from large families who have the "little emperor" syndrome. I went to high school with a girl who is the oldest from a large family of ten. She expected people to wait on her hand and wait. She even had her younger siblings clean her room for her. She maintained that the sun rose and set with her.

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Thank you GM for stopping by and commenting!! I appreciate you sharing your experience in such detail. It is always nice to know the experience of real people out there.

Yes, you are correct when you say that the 'little emperor syndrome' can be found in children with siblings too. However, the prevalence is greater in families with only one child. To me, this is not much of a surprise.

One can always find pros and cons about both situations - being an only child or being a child with siblings. Ultimately though what matters is how the actual individual feels, which is why it was wonderful to hear from you. I am glad you loved your experience as the only child in your family. Thanks again for visiting :)

teegen 8 6 years ago

i think you are quite true maybe you get more thing

janett c  6 years ago

i think having a sister is annoyi\ng because there are sor babish and love barbis

Lynnette 6 years ago

Hello, it is I! ..again. :P I'm an only child too. However, I'm kinda different. I'm not pampered, neither do I get excessive affections from my parents. But I'd admit that my Dad in particular, is a great parent! Although I used to hate him much when I was younger, I now see why he does the things that he do in order to make me a better person. To explain logic rather than giving me commands was one of the things I believed that parents should do. Don't just say NO to your little ones, rather.. Explain why not & when they grow up, they might be different in a good way (I've also come to realise the benefits of this as my housemate is one stubborn, unreasonable block-head. I can't stand her nonsense any longer & I'm gonna kick her out. HAHAHA).

Yeah. I agree with the people here that not everyone gets the "little emperor/princess" syndrome. I honestly felt I'm under-treated instead of being pampered. Sigh. But I guess it's just due to the nature of my parents as they are practical and down to earth people. But interestingly, I don't wail out loud for toys & such too. Discipline taught to me must be really good. +1 to my parents once again. Teehehe. Hmm.. I guess the culture and upbringing really makes you what you are. It's kinda hard to change it in the future when you've got bad habits.. & being the only child doesn't only mean to have the burden of taking care of them, but rather.. You tend to panic & get worried over who you could rely on when you're older as you've got no siblings - particularly if you're not close to your relatives. Of course, not everyone's siblings are as helpful. :P

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Thank you, Lynnette, again for stopping by and commenting. Every experience is interesting to note and so thank you for sharing yours, much appreciated :)

Bethany 6 years ago

I know Exactly What you mean!, I'm the older sister by one year, and it definitely seems that my younger sister is doted on, I used to think it was my imagination, but it really is that way, growing up I got negative attention from my parents, always got into trouble, I've often wished I was the Only child, I have an older brother, I'm the middle one, so sometimes it seems like I get what's Left, lol

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Thank you, Bethany, for stopping by and sharing your story. Well, I guess you are in the same boat as I :)

SpaceAge 6 years ago

I was born in2 an abusive home. Most abuse was by my mom. I thought 4 many yrs that I was an only child til I saw my BC as an adult. I was shocked 2 learn that the whore (she really was) had 6 kids. I wondered where my family was, & what happened 2 every 1.

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 6 years ago Author

Sorry to hear you were abused - there is just no excuse for that, shouldn't happen to any child!! I hope you can find your family and probably connect with them. All the best!! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story!!

Nayla 5 years ago

I was 1 of 5 children and I hated it!! we always fought with one another and I have to admit life was hell at times. But Now that we are all older- we have all grown out of our childhood troubles and now have fantatic relationships with each other and we all share the burden of caring for our parents and each other. I am so happy to have my brothers and sisters and we wouldn't change it for the world now.

SDE 5 years ago

I the second child of 5 children. I have to admit that having 4 other brothers is awesome. But sometimes the little brothers drive you nuts!!!!!!! Because of them whining, crying etc. But I like having lots of brothers and prefer that than being an only child.

AC 5 years ago

I'm an only child and for me the cons outweigh the pros. It's true that as an only child I had the undivided attention of my parents, oh and I was an only grandchild too. However this meant too much attention, too much pressure on me. Too much scrutinising everything I do, and then being discussed over.

I wasn't spoilt as a child, no "Little Emperor Syndrome", however neither were my parents too strict with me. So I was lucky with that. From being an only child I am very good at being by myself, I find it a lot more comfortable to travel by myself, for example, and finding things to do. I almost never feel lonely when I'm by myself.

However I have never learnt to live with somebody-else of my generation. I have trouble with my boyfriend, whom I live with, because, well, he's there... all the time! When I was still living at home with my parents it was ok as, well, it's your parents, and they go ahead and do things parents do. When I shared a flat at uni and after that was ok too as I had my sanctuary (the bedroom) to escape to and shut the door. But with my boyfriend, I can't escape anywhere to have some peace and quiet, and I suddenly don't have any privacy. I am really struggling with it. We have arguments because he can't understand why I don't want him around sometimes. I get annoyed, irrationally, when my stuff is moved and not there where I put it. All this I know is not rational, and I know that as well, but you see I wasn't brought up with siblings goingt into my room and borrowing things, etc.

I shall never be an aunt, I will never know what it is like to have a brother or sister as a confidante (and yes, I do know this isn't always the case). When my parents will finally need help when they're old that burden will fall only onto me. Not that I will begrudge it, far from it, but I would love it if I had brothers or sisters to discuss what to do, what would be best for my parents.

But the thing that worries me the most is when I have my own children. I'm 33 now, and I would like to be able start a family soon, and I don't want to have only one kid. But I have no idea how to deal with two children as I don't have the knowledge of that, I don't know what it is like. How is it best to deal with sibling rivalry? How do I distinguish between normal arguments between siblings and something far more serious. How would I divide my attention between the children evenly? This scares me quite a bit.

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Thank you, AC, for taking the time to express how you feel in such detail. I appreciate that greatly. You have put forth some very compelling points that I wouldn't have thought of - well, I am not an only child, so how would I know!!

I can understand how you feel about the need for privacy, having gotten used to having a room - JUST for you! Well, being a shy person myself, I can relate to that. I hope your boyfriend gets to know why you feel that way - guess you need to tell him that. It can create problems or misunderstandings otherwise.

About the children, oh don't worry! You'd get to know what to do when the situation presents itself. We always worry, don't we, before we have to do a task that we think is impossible - but more often than not, we do manage to successfully complete it. So, am sure you would be a wonderful, fair and just mom to two kids or more :)

The only advice I'd give to deal with sibling rivalry is to remain equidistant in the conflicts they might have. Children want parents to be fair - that's all. Give them both a patient hearing and try to arrive at just judgments about who is in the wrong and discipline accordingly.

Don't you worry, AC, you'd do just fine as a mom to your kids :) Best of luck!!

DoctorRain profile image

DoctorRain 5 years ago

Really good read.

I am an only child and I feel the cons have outweighed any pro to it. In my adult life I feel that I got affected all the more by it. High school was rough, I had no sibling to hook me up with any of his/her friends. High school went lousy and its affected me into my 20s. No lie. If I had an only child, I would not give more to him just because I had no other kids. I would treat him like he had 3 brothers. My mom failed in trying to raise me and I have been a late bloomer ever since. You are only a late bloomer because of how you're brought up. You are not just born this way. Even if you have Aspergers since birth, I feel the parents perpetuate certain things as well and can be much more mild if you kick your kid in the ass and don't give him special treatment ever.

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Thank you, Doctor Rain, for stopping by and sharing your perspective!!

nedra 5 years ago

good ideas

proud to be a childless adopted only child 5 years ago

As an only child, I was kind and thoughtful, quiet and introverted; all that was often misinterpreted as snotty and aloof. I've been pressured all my life into being what I am not - a bubbly extrovert who can just glide into any situation thoughtlessly cackling a mile a minute with a phony smile on my face. My household was quiet and peaceful and dignified but far from boring - we did things together like travel and we did it with dignity. Part of the reason this world is screwed up is because it is overpopulated with kids who come from large, noisy, kicking and screaming households; they grow up to be cruel and hateful (oh I'm so sorry - I meant tough - isn't that the euphemism used to make them feel better about the way they act?) So many kids grow up to be mad and hateful adults as a result of these noisy kicking screaming uncaring households, and they like to bring us loved and cared-for onlies way down to the ground so that we retreat back to our parents' homes in our adulthood, thinking we are second class citizens and not meant to be a part of this cold cruel extroverted world. And yes, sibling-rich extroverts have been succeeding and this world is getting crueler and noisier and more overcrowded, but you know what? You all have had your way for far too long. We kind, thoughtful, dignified ONLY KIDS are figuring this out and we will defeat you. We are the Dark Horses pulling ahead in the end. You put us down for far too long. Far far too long. Hope you enjoyed it.

Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 5 years ago

Interesting hub, and interesting to read comments from many only-child who has grown up.

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Thank you, Ingenira, for stopping by and commenting. Glad you found this hub interesting :)

pinky 5 years ago

I hated being an only. Selfish parents have onlies. The children are not selfish. Just very sensitive and subject to a lifetime of lonliness as an outsider with no voice. I don't feel anyone ever had my back, or understood me. All my needs were to be taken care of by myself.

Carla 5 years ago

I think is makes sense as this piece was written by someone who is NOT an only child.

Big Brother profile image

Big Brother 5 years ago from Earth

Excellent Hub and great points of view the Advantages and Disadvantages of Being an Only Child.

Glad to meet you here in Hubpages.

Alex From Greece.

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Thank you, BB, for your appreciation of this hub. Glad to meet you too :)

Red 5 years ago

I am the youngest and I feel they love my brother ( middle child) more. They ALWAYS get's him stuff and leave me and my big sister out and I get really mad. Personally I think it's because he's a boy.

VS 5 years ago

Hi. we are in a dilemma of having a second child, we live in joint family. my elder brother has two daughters, studying in college and the other in 10th Std., our Son is about 5 1/2Yrs now. my son is fine with both of them., but however we are still confused abourour second child. we have visited so many websites, none of them discuss / speak about only child in a joint family situation.....

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

VS, thank you for stopping by and commenting. I can understand your dilemma, but unfortunately, it is a decision that you have to come to yourself. There are many deciding factors like being able to look after both children well, the financial aspect - whether you can afford to educate them both, etc.

Your dilemma isn't unique, many parents face the same decision. If you do choose to have a second child though, this is about the ideal time since your first child is 5-1/2 years now. Websites can't really guess at your unique situation - each family has unique dynamics, so it is best if you arrive at your own decision in this matter!!

Kelia 5 years ago

Interesting article. I am and the only child too. It will must less of a burden for my parents but sometimes, i do feel lonely

kevin  5 years ago

i need u help... would u give me the author name of this paper ?

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Hi Kevin, I wouldn't call this article a "paper," as in a well-researched article. This is just my personal take on the subject, not an in-depth look. I'd like to remain anonymous - I hope you understand!!

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

I find this interesting because I have been both. I was an only child for ten years before my brother was born. When I was an only child, I thought having a sibling (like most of my friends) would be great. When my brother was born, it was at first like having a new doll -- only a live one. But I soon became the built in baby sitter and my chores doubled. When the other kids in drivers' ed in high school got to go on drives far away, I had to be dropped off at home first to baby-sit because my mom had a class. i went away to school when I was 19, and that meant I only lived with my brother until he was nine. I married right after college and then he became the only child at home. He teen-aged years were rocky, because we had been close. Because my mom injured her back when he was 18 months old, I was his primary care-giver when Mom was not allowed to life him.

I never thought about it when before now, but I'm wondering if his teen years might have been rocky because we were close, Mom went to school full time and then got her first teaching job when he was in high school, and I was gone. He came home to a family friend in the afternoon until he was considered old enough to be alone. After having a sister around for his early years, he had to adjust to being by himself, and he was someone who needed constant attention when he was young. I don't think any of us ever thought about the difference that would make in his life. Up until I was ten, my mom was home, though Dad traveled for work. I had lots of attention from both parents and other adults in our lives. I also enjoyed a relationship with my cousins who were about my own age. My brother never enjoyed such a cousin relationship. No wonder he was lonely. I was busy at college with new friends at the dorm and hardly even came home. This may explain why my brother did his best to drive my dates crazy. He may have been jealous of the attention I paid them.

Thanks for making me think.

jajahe 5 years ago

My husband and I are having a very difficult time deciding whether or not to have a second child. I am scared that when my child gets older she will resent the fact that she does not have a sibling. The only pros I can come up with are that she will never be alone. The cons are financially (we are stable now and will be making more money soon and I just don't know if I'm ready for all the extra money to go to another child....hence the freedom part....I feel extremely selfish saying that) and giving up our "freedom". She is barely 4 and I feel like the clock is ticking! I'm scared because I come from a VERY close family and am best friends with my 2 siiblings. My husband feels like he was an only child because of a 6yr age difference and they are not close now.

Does anyone know any other sites to visit to get actual feedback of only children. These comments are the only "real" things I've been able to find other than studies.

Sprite 5 years ago

I loved being an only child. I would not want annoying siblings.

Kaytee 5 years ago

I thought this seemed more like "The Disadvantages of being an only child". Really, it went on about Little Emperor Syndrome, but didn't take into account that the parents can greatly influence whether or not a child is spoiled by how the are raised. While I realized that this is just a personal take, I don't think it is very helpful to those seeking to expand their families, or not.

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Kaytee, if you read the second part, I express my wish that I were the only child in my family. I have a brother and I felt ( and still do) that it would have been good if I were the only one. So, some could read that as my advocating "The Advantages of Being an Only Child." I have put some points forth in the first part as well as to the advantages of that!!

Ultimately, I did not set out to write this article as a comprehensive guide to helping parents make a choice if they want to expand their family. This article was written in response to a question and is my personal take on the matter.

Quite honestly, the decision on whether you want to expand your family or not is one that you have to make yourself depending on your own unique considerations and factors. I don't think anyone can advise with any sort of credibility or claim to give you a 100% correct answer on whether you need to have a second or third child.

Wouldn't you agree that this is just a purely personal choice? Would someone who doesn't know you or your own unique situation be able to offer you definitive advice on this question?

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Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Kaytee, here are a few scenarios where you may be advised to have one child versus have multiple children. Would you really follow this advice or question them?

For example, say you are told to not have a second or third child because the first child may feel neglected/less loved. You can well answer this saying, "No, I would ensure that the first child is not neglected or feel less loved."

Now, say you are told to not have a second or third because your fiances may be strained and you may struggle to provide for them all as well as you'd like. May be they'd advise, you can't provide your multiple kids the extra perks like the piano lessons or other extras. You may well answer that saying, "I know I can provide for them all, as well as I'd like to, and as well as I now provide for my existing child."

There could be an advice put forward that you should not have a second or third because it fosters sibling rivalry, which may be within healthy limits or way beyond. You could disagree and say "I would raise my children fairly and justly and with good parenting skills I'd ensure there is no unhealthy sibling rivalry."

The point I am trying to make Kaytee is that any one of the pros and cons given by someone else may not apply to your unique financial and personal situation. And so this decision whether you need to have more than one is and should be your own personal decision based on an evaluation of your own personal factors.

Bumble 5 years ago

I am one of six kids, the only girl with five brothers. I never really knew the elder three, they were absent and never really cared about my twin brother and I. The 4th eldest resented my arrival and used to abuse me verbally, emotionally, and on occasion sexually too. My twin brother is nice enough, but he is an incredibly selfish person and has next to no insight into his behaviour. I suspect my parents were stretched too thin, and gave up trying to police all the fights and arguments, hence it was open slather for the resident bully in our household. Siblings are absolutely no guarantee to have play mates or have fun, or have support for aging parents. My brothers don't give a rats arse about my folks and only see/speak to them when they want something. My parent's welfare will all on my shoulders but it doesn't bother me. I often wished I was an only child growing up as I would have been spared all the rivalry and destructive abuse, and the worst thing I might have complained about is feeling lonely. We are very strongly considering raising our son as an only child and will do our utmost to raise him in a well-balanced, independent, fun and carefree environment with just enough boundaries to give him direction, but not too many that he will feel suffocated. In the end our intentions are good and we will do our best, and hopefully he will have a long and happy life.

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Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Thank you, Bumble, for stopping by and sharing your story. Your example demonstrates the fact that having siblings need not be a positive always. I am sure your son would grow up the way you want him to and would have a long and happy life!!

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kimberlyh32 5 years ago

I grew up as the oldest sibling of three and have always felt that my youngest sibling, my sister,received the most attention, compasion, and pampering from my parents. This definetly created some jealousy and rivalry amoungst the three of us. However, I am pleased to say that as adults we are now closer than ever. I am now a parent myself. My boys are ages ten and five. They have a similar rivalry between them and admittedly I tend to dote more on my younger child. This is not because I love (or even like)one more than the other, but because I feel in many circumstances my ten year old is more capable than my five your old. For example if my children want a drink, I will pour the five year old his drink but expect my older son to help himself. This is usualy followed by my ten year old remarking, "You got him a drink, but not me, you must like him better." I am sad to hear that my older child sometimes feels that way, but I feel that if I do for him what he can do for himself, than he will never realize his own capabilities. In addition, it is my hope to raise a confident, independent man, who will one day live a very happy, successful, and productive life. I wish this for both my sons and as my younger child becomes more capable I will do less and less for him as well.

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago Author

Thank you, Kimberly, for stopping by this hub and sharing your story. Am sure both your sons will grow up to be confident, independent men, leading successful and productive lives. If your older one feels that way, do reassure him when needed.

Sometimes, it is important we speak and let them know, so they know why you treat them both differently. Thanks again for sharing your story :)

rpaunzel 5 years ago

Im an only child and maybe my parents kind of you know give me I think every single toy on the market and buy me clothes and stuff I have any troubles to making friends until oh yes high school, I was the weirdo the loner and that stuff but in my lonely times I think I enjoy it well cause I tend to demvelop hobbies my arts passion and discover awsome Industrial music bands¡ I make a few great buch of friends I think almost of them got siblings I never want one any way even now I dont complain about it , and I have to admit that yes my parents specially my mother can be very very overprotective with me but I just love it I know live is not easy that i propouse myselfe to be more responsible when college comes next year I got a tendency as I think many lonelly childs as well to be more mature than others with siblings and get more along with adults than people at my age.

Roy 5 years ago

I am the only child in an average income family. And the burden can really suffocate me. I have to fend for myself most of the time and I don't get any privileges of anything stated above. Plus, I have to go continue my studies and keep up with the ever-growing community. Being the only child really do sucks.

princess 5 years ago

Many parents have a difficulty in making a distinction between loving their children enough and loving them too much. Certainly it is normal and healthy for parents to love their child enough but too much love leads them into becoming soft with their children making them weak and without a strong conscience. Loving a child helps to shape a child's future, in-order to encourage healthy values but too much of love makes them ill-mannered and makes them throw tantrums even when they grow up.

But some parents interfere so much with their child's life that they do not give their child any space to experience any hardships or rejection. These parents assume a rescuer's role. Because of their intense love, they want to save the child from the hardships they had to endure and their love becomes harmful for the children. Frequently, over loving and overprotecting go hand in hand resulting in the children becoming stubborn.Every parent loves their child, which is frequently shown by the concern they show for their children in terms of buying them expensive gifts or doing their homework for them. David Adams Richards illustrates the importance of family relationships in his novel, Nights below Station Street. The family lives of the characters from Nights below Station Street and Joy Luck Club demonstrate that a child's behavior is directly affected by the overdose of parental love for them.

Children have always been their parents' primary concern. In the story, Adele's father, Joe, loves her dearly even though she is not her daughter by blood relation. Joe suffers from chronic back pain, and he feels that drinking alcohol is the most effective method to get relief from his pain. However, he decides to quit drinking because he does not want his drinking problem to cause any harm and embarrassment for his daughter. Joe loves Adele more than anyone else. He tries to provide her with the best life possible he can give to her, just that some obstacles prevent him from doing so. For example, "Joe had always tried to get Adele the best present he could, and yet never seemed to have money to do it". Similar to Joe, Byron's mother, Myhrra, tries to be the best mother she can be for him. Myhrra worries so much for his son that she spoils him.

She used to make milk shakes for him in the morning, and fudge to take to school. She makes him read books on tropical fish. And one night when his supper wasn't French fries, hamburgers, and coke, he ran into his bedroom and trips over one of his toy tanks. Later that night, while he slept, Myhrra was down on her knees assembling the parts of the toy tank. Myhrra also supports her son at all times whether he's wrong or right. When Byron is caught robbing money from the cub troops, Myhrra still believes that her son is innocent and tries to clear his name. Although parental love continues to play a dominant role, children often misunderstand or remain ignorant of their parent's love for them. Adele feels like that she has the worst family in the neighborhood. She has no respect for her father and feels like that he does not deserve to be in the family. She tries expressing this to her friend. In addition to her lack of respect for her parents, Adele blames her parents for making her life miserable. Adele just loathes her parents and never recognizes their love for her.

Likewise, Byron is equally ignorant his mother's love for him. He views his mother as a servant working for him. Byron used to insult his mother and make rude comments at her in front of his friends. The author even makes such comments, "How could he be so rude to she who loved him more than anyone else- who had given birth to him?" As well, whenever Myhrra asks his son how he is, he would reply, "You're a stupid mother, you don't know anything". Therefore, the novel shows how children fail to recognize the importance of parents' love and taking that love in a wrong way which leads to their dark future.

Cynthia 4 years ago

I am an only child. I am 38, happily married with a 2 year old son whom we absolutely adore. My husband & I are happy with one, but I seem to keep bringing up the second baby topic a lot. I want to do it for my son... not sure why really. Ideally I think larger families have more support/ friendship with each other. Realistically I know this isn't always the case since my husband has 3 sisters & that family thrives on chaos & fighting.

I do not have any regrets being an only child. I think my hubby & friends would say that I am mindful of others, independent, respectful, compassionate & pretty easy to get along with. I have zero problems @ work... pretty chill when it comes to work conflicts (my husband is the stressor/ worrywart/doesn't get along well with people as much as i do). I definitely wasn't spoiled... in fact I was taught @ a young age how to be responsible (ironed clothes/mowed the lawn for some change).

Despite not feeling lonely (always have had a good core group of friends), I have felt alone in dealing with my mom & her chronic illness the past few years (passed away this February). My father is living & we have a strange relationship- he talks @ me, but never asks how I am doing. This is where I wish i had a sibling. Then again... who's to say my would-be sibling would be my friend. I know some friends who hardly talk to their brother/sister.

In the ideal world I think we would have another child if we had family nearby to help us watch our little ones on occasion, & if financially we could afford daycare for 2.

At this time, I am determined that our little man will be a mindful, compassionate, & easy going person if we focus his path on these things. He will be well traveled- something that we won't be able to do with 2 kids (financially speaking)- something very important to me. Traveling to other countries has definitely made me appreciate the things i have... It isn't about being an only child or having a multitude of siblings, it's about raising a well rounded child.

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Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Absolutely right, Cynthia - I couldn't agree with you more. It is indeed about raising a well-rounded, well-raised child - you are well on the way of doing just that being such a well-rounded individual yourself. Your son is fortunate to have a mom like you :)

I too keep bringing up the topic of having a second one, but am not really sure that's the best thing, personally, for our situation. Yes, the financial situation should be an important factor - also, one needs to ask oneself, if one can really give both kids all the opportunities they truly deserve.

For me, the answer to that question is, thus far, not clear and so I've held off on having a second one. Lovely to hear from you, Cynthia. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!!

An only child 4 years ago

Hi, everyone I have read all of your post on the subject of the pro’s and con’s of being an only child. I can tell you that I am an only child who was raised by my grandparents, and yes I can agree that being an only child especial one that was raised by their grandparents was great doing the holidays, and birthdays. However, I did not have the love of a mother not that she was dead but she did not have time for me in her life. That is why my grandparents had me. After my grandparent pass away, I try to get to know my mother and she still did not have time for me it seem that they only time that she wanted something to do with me is after I had my kids. I don’t know if it was her way of trying to reach out to me or not. But I let her end and after years of being in her life see would always put me down talk about me in a bad way never had my back for nothing that I did. Even after I received my Master Degree in computer science she never told me that I had did good with my life. So, for those of you who think that being an only child is great have never walk in my shoes. However, I think God for my grandparents they raise me to do my best in whatever it is that I would like to do in life.

ayesha.. 4 years ago

It is ofcorse better to be the single child cz its whn u get all love n affection frm ur parents n dts the best part of lyf

Andrea 4 years ago

I never had a problem with being an only child until two things happened:

1) I discovered that I am independent to a fault... no one can do anything for me. This is problematic as I seem to have trouble opening up to others.

2) Not having any cousins, aunts or uncles or family, I am solely responsible for my parent... who seems to be developing alzheimers. I am on my own and life seems hard enough already without the added stress of being the sole caregiver of a declining parent.

Elizabeth 4 years ago

I am an only child with half siblings and I have an only child. The issue is that only children are in the minority and the only child/parent dynamic is slightly different. The world is structured for children with siblings. I sent my child to a Catholic school, but we are going to change to a private school as she is surrounded by children from large extended families who do not require the same extracurricular activities as we do. I would rather have two as it is on the whole easier to bring up two rather than one in most cultures. If the world was made of mainly only children I suggest it would be a different experience as the single children are far more likely to socialise with each other. We frequently socialise with another single child family and the two girls sometimes fight like siblings, which we don't mind. My husband only wanted one as he hates his brother but does admit his brother was a playmate in younger years.

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blue eyed ellie 4 years ago

I was an only child because I was adopted by a woman 43 and a man who was 46, who had no patience for a little child. I was later that I got the hint I was the product of an affair my father had. My adopted mother each time she would get angry at me as a child she would say"you don't get your actions from me, its where you sprang from" and her favorite when she lost her temper, :you little bastard and I'm not miscalling you" I was a very high strung nernous child becvsause each time my mother would get over whelmed with me she would quickly tell my father who always made this terrible face before he beat me from head to tie. I used to feel like someone took a blow torch to my little body. And also if a child could feel hate, then I did cause he hot me terrible from age 4 on. One time my mother kept talking about "stay away from the poison nightshade plant out back it will kill you" she said it so often my little 4 year old curiosity got the better of me and I licked one of the leaves, I didn't eat any of it but remembered what my mother told me I would die. I was so nervous thinking I was going to die I said to her" I'm not going to be around soon" she screamed at ma "what the hell did you do" which scared me more, and as usual as soon as my father came home from work, she ran to him screaming, "Denny she ate poison" and as usual, he made that horrid face and beat me all over. All they had to do was remove the little nightshade plant, and there would have been no temptation. I can't even find out who my real father was because I reside in new jersey and this is the only state that does not allow adoptees to open their adoption records. I grew up, met a boy who was abused by his mother and after I started having children, my husband started abusing my 13 year old daughter and I. His mother mentally and physically abused him. I was in therapy for awhile and the lady helped me understand why I chose the person I chose to marry, I equated love with abuse, and the boy I met who later I married was abusive one day and nice to me the next. I was 11 when I met him, and fell for him right away. My therapist told me we were trying to take each other's pain away. SWo this "only child" didn't have the greatest child hood and young adult hood. Only now that I am 65 I have some peace in my life. My abusive husband I divorced, and all my children and I have a good relationship.I chose a man this time around 6that treats me kind and is good to me. Sue my adoptive parents gave me toys and provided well for me, but what went with it was not pretty. I used to have day dreams that I had a brother that when he got older he protected me when my father would chase and beat me, and also give him a dose of his own medicine. Occasionally, I still have bad dreams about him. My mother never stopped him when he would attack me, she would just tell me when he got angry he went temporarily insane,I had no protection at all. There were no children's services back in the late 40's and 50's to help a child who needed protection. Thats my story and I sure wish I had had a big brother back then for protection and for a confidante.

britt00 4 years ago

Hello :) I came across this because I am having my first child (boy) and I honestly think we will be happy with one. Of course I'm worried if he will be lonely etc.

I am one of five kids, so I have no idea what it is like. I'm a twin and the oldest. I always got in trouble for what my younger siblings did. I was the one that had to forgive and forget while my younger sister could do whatever she pleased. I had the most responsibilities, matured a lot faster, and was in "charge". Honestly, it helped me a lot even though I hated it. Out of all 5 (one is still in school) I'm the only one with a job, car, apartment, stable relationship, and now soon to be mother. My twin isn't doing bad herself, but isn't as stable as I am. It does pay off when the parent makes you have responsibility, but they should do that for all their kids not just some.

Hayzel 4 years ago

This article was very nice! I'm an only- and lonely- child. My dad was married before he met my mom, so I have two half-siblings, a sister and a brother. The problem is, they are much older than me. I have two nephews and a niece, but they can't replace everyday siblings. I'm going through some really bad friendship trouble, and not having a big sister who I can talk to everyday isn't my ideal situation. I'm homeschooled, so some of my friends have +6 siblings. I feel jealous of my friends for having siblings, especially when I see how close they are compared to my half-siblings and I. Is it normal to be envious of your friends and their siblings?

Me 4 years ago

i personally love being with my sibling (Although we have a 6 year gap)!!! Its so much more interesting when they are around and i would hate to be alone on my holidays, life is so much more interesting and useful with the fact that they have been through exactly what i have. I love them :)

Christ Spulen 4 years ago

In the research of National Institute for Child and Family Development said siblings naturally engage in conflicts. As a parent with more than one child, or a professional who works with children, it can be difficult to know what to do when children are fighting over a toy or squabbling about who gets to go out the door first. But there are some simple steps that actually teach children how to handle conflicts appropriately. Siblings will learn to find out their problems independently and be willing to forgive. Siblings can face out problems more than only one child.

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blue eyed ellie 4 years ago

I'm truly sorry if my lengthy comment was depressing,I know it was but I was hoping for perhaps a validation that what my parents did was so wrong. They raised me with guilt and fear, and I am still harboring some of the guilt.I was always told I was a bad kid and there was something wrong with me. one day my friends and I were playing baseball, and I hit a home run, and jumped and laughed for joy, and at that point my so called father sent all the kids home and made me come in the house. All I did was laugh for joy cause I hit a home run,I could never just be myself, and I know I was not doing anything wrong. My mother told me that she did not adopt another child because I was enough, and she also said if she adopted another, there would be fights. I was not allowed to have a birthday party, she also told me "go to someone elses party, and on and on it goes. SO Please someone read my story above and please tell me what do you think about a set of parents that would do these things.

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Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Ellie, no parent should raise their kids with guilt and fear - only with love and understanding. Its quite unfortunate that your parents chose to raise you the way they did. I don't see any reason why you should feel any guilt for their lack of empathy and caring. You bear no fault at all for this.

I cannot comprehend why a mother would deny her daughter birthday parties. I have a daughter myself and I couldn't imagine letting a birthday of hers go without celebrating it and making her feel special and loved.

The years gone by can't be undone. You've gotten an unfair deal from your parents - the least you can do now is to NOT feel guilty about their bad parenting. You don't have to feel any guilt at all. Move on with your life, Ellie, without any guilt, be free and reclaim your life from such unnecessary feelings of guilt!!

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blue eyed ellie 4 years ago

thank you, kind person who said those kind words to me, it touched my heart and I am grateful.

Brisgal 4 years ago

This is a very interesting discussion and I thank the author and all who have contributed comments. My husband and I adopted a little girl, who is now 5 and are contemplating adopting another child. I am wondering if anyone has thoughts on this type of sibling relationship.

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Brisgal, thanks for stopping by and commenting. As regards the question you are wondering about, I don't think the dynamics of sibling relationships change whether the child is adopted or not. However, personally, I've always believed that an age difference of about 5 or 6 years diminishes the level of adverse/intense sibling rivalry.

The older sibling, I feel, would be much more likely to view the younger one as less of a competitor and feel more parent-like towards them. So, if I were to go in for a second child, I would do so keeping that in mind. That's just my opinion though, others may have a different view!!

Nugessur praveena 4 years ago

I also wished to be the only child of my parents.Being the only child is fantastic as gets loads of affection and love.

englishcat 4 years ago

I was brought up as an only child into a family where my parents split after 13 years of nasty, scary, and sometimes horrifying daily arguments. I am not saying I wasn't loved - in fact it was the complete opposite - but the loneliness of being the only child nearly drowned me. The lack of another young person during these years made me grow up cynical, angry, and scared to be alone. I am not idolising having siblings as I have seen the detrimental effect some siblings can have on one another, but to have no one that shared my years of hell is a thought so overwhelming that I try not to think about it, so as to break away from its burden. As I grow up, I am finding the realisation that very soon both my parents will be gone a confusing one. I would love for these so-called 'scientists' to experience the complex and suffocatingly lonely feelings that I have felt throughout my entire life, and then tell us that being an only child is better. Yes, I had lots of toys, but 20 Barbie Dolls does not make up for a family.

I totally respect the author's research and article, especially how she looks at the catch 22 of "grass is always greener".

Liz 4 years ago

Here's just an observation of my experience working with elderly people. All of the people who I have cared for who made it to a very old age were either only children or were the eldest in their families. Now, I realize that this is only observation and not a confirmation by any means, but it stands to reason that when parents lavish attention and resources on their child, that it will reap benefits from that attention.

DOREMON 4 years ago

It is better to be an only child because your parents shows more love to you. Also if you grow up being independent, then you won't really care about having a sibling. Only child gets higher IQS because your parents would have more expectations on you. Parents will have to pay doubled the price

4 years ago

I suppose I am the typical only child as my parents give me everything my heart desires but they run a tight ship. I am in no way independent and am very needy. I am also very possessive over everything from toys to actual people. I feel very pressured to do well in every aspect of my life and am terrified of failure as if I fail I just feel like sitting down and crying. I became an adult way too early as I would often go to events where I was the only child but on the other side of the coin I am also very childish with my younger cousins. I am also very hard on myself as I expect myself to be perfect. I am also very weak as I take insults to heart because I didn't have a sibling who constantly teased me. I do know that being an only child means that being on my own doesn't bother me, if I'm sad I can get over it myself and that I have no urge to rebel against my parents as, unlike my friends who go out and get drunk at discos, I stay in and read a book. Sad but true. My parents also let me try everything as I have done everything from ballet to the trombone. I also know that being an only child means I'm comfortable with myself and with not following the herd. I like being an only child but the stereotypes annoy me but, as with everything, it's a matter of personal taste. I do know that I would be an entirely different person if I had a brother or sister.

jp 4 years ago

Hi Everyone,

I stumbled upon this page looking for advise on whether to have a second child for my now 5 year old son. I grew up with a 5 year gap with my older brother (I am female). We were never really close but civil with each other growing up. It may be the age difference because we were never at the same school at any given time, or the gender difference. He had guy friends, into sports, I was into music, dance and dolls. My question may be a little different. I am concerned my only is truly an only, and what I mean by that is he will have no siblings or cousins and is biracial (Asian, Italian). I have yet to find any children of that lineage. So I fear he will grow up culturally unique and alone, and of course no siblings or cousins (older brother's wife can't have kids) Husband side same deal...too old. On top of that, I am what one would "diagnose" as a "highly sensitive" person. I tend to be introverted. Like having my alone time. Perfectionist (so I put undue expectations on husband and son, which I am trying to stop because I see how it affects a 5 year olds confidence if I show disappointment). But as a result, I don't like meeting new people, or going to the playground, having people at my house. I know in my heart this is not good for my only. He may also be a highly sensitive child. He fuses over labels on his clothes, he doesn't like changed environments, going to places with too many people, is quick to fall into trantrums. So I am thinking of having a second. But worry that a 6 year gap will create "2" onlys, as was my experience. My older brother on the other hand is an extrovert and when I ask him about how it felt to have a younger sister, he says great! But for me it was and still is, neither here nor there. I could have been and often felt like an only. Maybe being the younger child I was more dependent and insecure but my brother as the older and required to do more for me became more extrovert and able to make decisions and take charge. Any comments, advice?

Tom 4 years ago

MY older brother has middle child syndrome... it's a day to day struggle .

hiface2000 4 years ago

you guys are idiots


Wondering 4 years ago

More and more families are having only one child.

blue eyed ellie 4 years ago

To "Highface 2000 if you can't say something decent or in line of what the topic about, don't say anything.

BLUEYED ELLIE 4 years ago

I am responding to your comment "L" My parents adopted meat age 3 months. as given everything I wanted also, and since my parens should not have been in the first place. I was beaten down at a very early age, try 2 years old. Heavy handed father(?) and mom was a screamer and was quiter an actress. She lied to me about my adoption saying she heard of a little girl that needed a home, when in fact I was the prodct of my father's affair.I take everything to heart just like you, and have low self esteem, I kow it because of the men I chose during the years, mrried a man at age 20 that was abused by his mother, nd tookit out on me, brought 5 children into the world and I took my anger out on one of them, found outin therapy that he reminded me of his father. befriended an alcoholic, that was also schitzaphrenic , dropped that one, then got involved with a arried man, then got attracted with another maried man, I hung in there for 1 years, then his wife died and now I am with im almost everyday, but again not the best choice, he has done some hutful things like sent me in the kitcen when a wman came to visit with him, and told me hewants to sleep alone, hes living ith guilt and I se it everyday, if my self esteem is where it should be, I would have not tolerated any of this. MY poor adult kids have scars from the living hell I had with their father, and I blme myself, their father passed away at age 50 from stress related disease. I used to long for a brother or siste when I was growingup, but all I got as an answer was "you are quiteenough, grow up and have your own kids" I have alot of anger still within me, and it may never g away. I am a good lady, I help others, and love people, but I will not blame the couple that adopted me, I own how I conducted my life.Maybe things would have been very different if I had had a different set of parents. I cannot even have m adopotion records opened ,I live in New Jersey and this is the only state that does ot alow adoptees the right of knowing who their real parents were. very sad.

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Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

This is a very good hub. I have only one child and I think we have brought him up as an independent, responsible, loving, and kind person. We have not spoilt him as we taught him to be responsible in every actions he has to take. I pity him when he was a child for he has no siblings to play with, so I always brought him to childrens´ playgrounds and made it sure that he made friends with them. They are still his friends now, his 2nd "family" besides us. I think his Filipino and German upbringing has made him a great person. He´s not only our son but our friend whom we can talk to about everything. We are proud of him. I do wished though that we had given him a sibling.

Thanks for sharing. Thumbs up!

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 4 years ago Author

Thank you, Thelma, for stopping by and commenting. Glad you liked this hub. I can relate to how you feel, being the mother of an only child (daughter) - so far. I am still wondering about whether I should have a second child. As of now, I am not quite sure! However, I am parenting my daughter much the same way as you are, so irrespective of whether I choose to go in for a second child or not, I am sure she would grow up very well. Thanks for your appreciation and for taking the time to comment :)

J0nD03 4 years ago

Thanks for taking up this subject, as an only child I can say that I grew up in family with various problems, my dad had an alcohol problem in all of my childhood, and he decided to take his life when I was only 8 years old, and my mom was dealing with anxiety problems because of my dads alcohol abuse. It didn´t go too well in school because of all the problems I was dealing with at home, I had problems focusing on my work at school, making me an easy target for bullies. For many years I had to deal with a lack of self esteem and self confidence. When I was 13 years old, my mom thougth it would be better for me if I moved away to an institution for kids with problems similar to mine, and over many years I actually moved from one place to another until I was 21 and I got my own flat.

Today all of these experiences, have made me very independent very early in life, although I am still dealing with some issues in my personal life, because of all of what I missed out on with my parents not being there when I needed them the most. What I´m trying to say is, that forgiveness, love and faith in yourself will get you a long way, while envy and jealousy of your sibling will keep you from being truly happy with who you are. Parents are humans too :) They too make mistakes and bad choices, and they´re probably raising you the way they were raised when they were kids. So forgiveness is essential.

Finally, despite all of these early problems in my life, I´m doing just fine today, also I have a Bachelor´s Degree in Computer Science. So I guess I came out allright in the end. :)

I hope this post will serve as an ispiration for some of you with similar backgrounds - Remember it´s YOUR life, not your brothers/sisters, so make it the best you can with what you got ;)

Chrissy 4 years ago

As an only child, life was hard :( My parents were strict, and I was shouted at and smacked regularly. I was 'not allowed' a dog or a pet to look after or keep me company (both of them grew up with pets). And I remember being laughed at in primary school, because mum said that I was 'not allowed' to take the class hamster home for the weekend (when it was my turn). All my other friends were permitted their turn. I remember it broke my heart at the time, and I got yelled at for crying.. 'I'll give you something to cry about' I was very much the child=in=the=attic type ... my parents, I felt, ganged up against me, and seriously... they never listened to me. My ideas, feelings etc on any subject were shunned or ignored. I felt like I was living in a prison camp.

What has changed? Nothing! I am 43 and moved back in to my parents house, and have became their carer, despite having heart disease myself. I cannot move out, as I have no money, and if I mention it, my parents start screaming at me (70 and 80) that I am ungrateful and I'll get nothing when they die if I move out (again).

I am back in prison. Yes, I have comforts such as PC, TV etc, but the emotional grief I have to contain with is a daily struggle. It's them and me, and it's always THEIR house, not our house. My opinions matter even less now, than when I was growing up. Every day there is conflict and yelling (then I get ignored for a week).

For instance, here is a true story. My parents said they were going on a cruise in September for 2 weeks. Fine, I thought, I'll invite my friend up for a few days. Everything was arranged and I was happy. Mum said today... "oh sorry the cruise is next year. You'll just have to cancel everything as I'm NOT moving out of MY house, so SHE (my pal) can come up for a few days!" I was devastated beyond belief that I spent the rest of the day in tears. I called my friend, and she soothed that it was not my fault, but I felt really bad.

The doctor has put me on anti depressants to help me cope with life at 'home' and they take the edge off my nerves, but pills don't take away the inner hurt and pain. I watch other fathers/daughters and mothers/daughters when I'm out, and wish that I had had that strong bond. I'm not close to either parent.... it's always been them...and me. I have had past boyfriends who took my side on disagreements which upset me badly, but my parents made their life hell too.

I'm still single, not been married or had kids. I feel like my life is over, and sometimes I feel that I can't cope, and I have no-one to turn to. I wish my only-child tale was a happier one. But maybe (and it's an awful thing to say) I will be happy one day.... when I am finally left on my own. It will be hard, but the prison bars will have lifted, and perhaps I can begin to live and enjoy life. Just now I feel it's a mere existence.

Gayathri Dinesh 4 years ago

Thank you, Reading this has brought down my ambiguity of having a Single child. I am a 27 year old mom of a 4 year old kid. My husband is a only born in his family and he has got good friends who are an extended family for us. My husband and I are in a dilemma planning our next kid.. I have a sister 22 years old, who is very sweet and very close to me.. We cannot just miss eachother and she stays with me at my in laws during her offs and holidays we make a very good family and my husband treats my Sister as his own sisy and we include her in all our celebrations and parties. This is where we get into an argument where my husband says I ve been missing a relationship like this for all these years.. He says I am happy with all I have but there is still something empty and I ve missed all this fun and love by not having a sibling. I am just confused becoz. I dont want to burden ourselves with another child financially and physically. . I was fine for a while now I really feel bad coz. two of my husbands close friends have two babies each and we hang out on many weekends with the family to resorts. Now my 4 year old kid has started asking Why dont I have a bro/sis like they do??? Right now I ve chosen to bring in a pet... but still looking for some advise...

Jefferson Faudan profile image

Jefferson Faudan 4 years ago

there really are disadvantages in being the only child... things would be much easier if you have siblings... when you're an only child, there's hardly an option for yourself and most decision couldn't be self-serving.... personally, from my experience, there are decisions in life that you just have to consider who's going to be left behind... you wanted to have a career advancement at some place but couldn't pursue it due to the fact that there's nobody left to take care of the family, the properties etc... when financial problem arises, there's no one else to rely on but only you... you can't mess up your life because the family is dependent on you and you certainly can't bring shame to the family knowing that they expect so much from you... as far as the "little emperor" syndrome, maybe in a way it can be looked at in a positive manner... due to that, a person can attain what he wants in life due to having the confidence that you get what you want (but that is of course if the person has an optimistic outlook in life).

3 years ago

Well I'm an only child. And, at 26, I'm now an irrecoverable wreck. Being an only child wasn't the main factor- I can only blame myself and not my parents for what has happened, but who knows- it may have been at least a factor behind why "it all went wrong". Probably by helping to make me more dependant, childish, lazy, over sensitive, lacking initiative, no confidence doormat.

ayesha 3 years ago

it feels really lonelyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

DeeJ85 2 years ago

For me, I was the only child for eight years and I loved my childhood. I had friends in my neighborhood friends at school, and cousins to play with. I remember asking my parents for a sibling but the main reason was because I was the only person I knew who was an only child. When you're a child you don't understand all of the work that goes into raising children. Because I was the only child for so long that shaped my personality, I am very independent, enjoy alone time and I am great at entertaining myself. My brother was born when I was eight, and my sister was born when I was 10. So even after my siblings were born, it was like I was still the only child because they were so much younger than I was. I helped take care of them and they were more like my kids than my siblings. As I was growing up in middle school and my teenage years I felt like my parents were too busy with my siblings to pay me any attention, so I spent a lot of time in my room writing poetry, listening to music and drawing. I didn't grow up with a close relationship with my parents and I always felt that if it would have just been me and them I would have been closer to them. I love my siblings, but just now as they are 20 and 18, and I'm 28 can I hang out with them a little more, but our lives are obviously in very different places. I am married and my husband and I have a son who is almost 6. He will be our only child and we don't love him any less. There is no right or wrong number of children to have, each couple and family has to do what's best for their family. My husband is the oldest of three children and him and his brother and sister don't get along, especially him and his sister and they're 31 and 27. All siblings are not close nor are they friends. The style of parenting makes a big difference on a child's experience whether they have one child or multiple kids. There are ups and downs in life no matter how many siblings you have.

awsomeman123 2 years ago

this is great Shil1978 i don't care what others say you are a great writer

Matt 2 years ago

I'm an only child in my early twenties' and I, too, also share the same worries that poster "KCC Big Country" alluded to in their original postings from five years ago (2008). I think as you get older, the cons of being an only child start creeping in. Knowing that your parents are getting older and you'll be the only one who has to take care of them and feel the burden of making all the decisions for them does hurt a bit. Not only that, but I'm single and expect to remain single for quite a long time until I graduate college and begin to make a steady income. I think this pressure, along with all the other factors, make it harder for an only child like me since I really don't have any one else to fall back on if something bad happens to me or if I fall on bad times.

Moon Daisy profile image

Moon Daisy 2 years ago from London

This is a nice hub, and I like how you were honest about you and your brother. It's so often the case that people with siblings don't get on with them. You can have a whole bunch of children, but there's no guarantee that they will get on either in childhood or later on.

A friend of mine has no relationship at all with her brother, as all of her life she felt as if he'd been the "golden child". I have another friend who has two brothers, but she doesn't speak to one of them at all, and whenever she sees the other one it always ends in terrible rows. I'm very lucky that I have a lovely sister, but she lives on the other side of the world and I hardly see her.

I wrote a hub on this subject too, but from my perspective of somebody with one child. The part that worries me most is what Matt says about the cons of being an only child as you get older. Because I'm conscious of this I hope that I'll be able to minimise these problems. From my own experiences I really wouldn't want to be a burden on my child and would do everything I could not to let that happen.

For now I have a happy, bright and independent child, and I really hope that these qualities will always stand her in good stead.

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 2 years ago Author

Thanks for sharing your perspective on this subject 'Moon Daisy.' I agree with your take on this. Thing is how things turn out between you and your brothers / sisters really depends on various factors and so you may either be very close and loving or far apart in your relationships with them.

In my case, it's the latter, but I do have friends who share very close and strong bonds with their siblings. I'd drop by to check your hub, sounds like it would be an interesting read :)

kirsten 2 years ago

just because i have siblings does not mean my parents love me less. Although siblings can be annoying and sometimes mean, you will always love them and the love you get from them overpowers how annoying they are.

LouCannon profile image

LouCannon 21 months ago from Wynndel BC Canada

Growing up, I was raised as an only child by my mother... Experienced being one of many siblings (in foster care) and then as the oldest of 6 as an adult (my father had five other children)... I found strengths and difficulties in all of the mixed configurations... Hopefully others out there can too!

myname 21 months ago

what a dilemma! So many interesting insights.

muskan 6 months ago

sometimes i think that i m lucky to have a brother but when he fights with me then it becomes a hell!!!though these are counted in my sweet memories i sometimes feel confusing about this topic

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