Hello good people of the internet,
Before we start, I’m an only child. Shocking, or not—depending on your opinion.
When you’re out with new people and getting acquainted. The topic of family can and will eventually come up. When an only child reveals that he/she is an only child, the group goes silent. Someone may even giggle or say “well that explains a lot”.
How on earth do you react/behave to an only child!? I mean….”They’re not like us”.
Just to put your fears to rest. It’s OK, only children are part of the human species too. We are like you.
You know what, I think only children get a bad rap. Allegedly, we’re lonely, selfish, mean, unsociable and just—weird.
I disagree with these stereotypes based on the fact that these are personalty traits that anyone can possess, regardless of siblings or no siblings status.
I do sometimes wonder what its like having a sibling. What its like growing up with someone, or what kind of person I would be today if I had one; and by extension, what would my life look like?
When speaking about only children, the stereotype is to bring up the negatives. However, today, I’m going to talk to you about the positives (especially in this global climate where only children are on the rise).
10 positive things about being an only child – as told by an only child
1. You learn to be independent at a young age. When you’re outside in the world, or when your parents are not at home. It’s just you. You learn to take care of yourself as yourself is all you have.
2. You get your own room as a kid. If you like your own space, this is amazing. As a kid, some of my friends yearned for their own room as if was an unattainable dream.
3. Your parents have more ability to support you: financially, emotionally, and educationally.
4. Sociable and big appreciation for friends. Only children aren’t unsociable as some stereotypes claim. As a species, we are innately sociable, we crave contact with other humans. Only children just have to seek interaction with peers outside their immediate family. Further, when you do find good friends, they almost become emotional surrogate siblings. I attest that I don’t know what it feels like to have a sibling, but friends can be pretty close and as a result, I really appreciate their existence—they are one of the closest things I have to siblings.
To my friends reading this…. Thank you for existing.
5. You’re OK being alone and enjoy it. There comes a time in life when everyone must jump from the nest—alone. This can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done it alone. Only children have grown up spending tons of time alone. So moving out of your parents house isn’t that shocking. We’ve been conditioned to be OK with our own company.
6. Putting yourself out there. If only children want to do something, we can be OK going it alone. For example, joining new sports/societies alone isn’t too daunting, and we may not feel the need to have to have a buddy with you (although, a buddy is always nice). You never had a sibling to do things with you before!
7. You’re closer to your parents. You enjoy their company and it was always just the three of us—at least from the child’s perspective (I know, it used to be just the two of them).
8. You are your own champion. We stand up for ourselves. We don’t have siblings to stand with us or to stick up for us! Alternatively, we are excellent at self-soothing and being gentle with ourselves when we aren’t able to fight or just have to accept…well, life.
9. Happiness comes from within*. We rely on ourselves to be our own best-friend. This kind of relates to to points 1 and 8. When we need to be picked up from say…getting punch in the face by life…we can look up and see ourselves lending a hand. (Is that weird imagery?) Personally, I find I talk to myself out loud when trying to work through a problem—big or small. Someone once said to me, this is a sign of insanity or an only child.
*Not to say that people with siblings don’t also do this!
10. Big imagination. We spend a lot of time as a child playing alone. So we had to use our imagination to keep ourselves entertained. Never had an imaginary friend, but toys almost came alive when playing with them—I used to reenact scenes from cartoons with my toys and sometimes even go off script *le gasp*, or would just make stuff up (though, I’m sure loads of kids do this regardless of sibling status). Other than that, we can get lost in our imagination pretty easily. To the outside world this just looks like a blank stare; but trust me, there’s a lot going on behind those blank eyes. Big imagination translates well into adulthood too, we can usually find a way to keep ourselves entertained—especially when doing boring adult chores.
Are any you only children? If so, do you agree/disagree or want to add to the list?
What about you guys who have siblings—what’s that like