7 insights behind what being an only child is really like
Though being an "only child" may mean getting your parents' undivided attention, this first person account tells us that it can be lonely too...
I am the only child of my parents and when I looked back in time and analysed my experience of being the “only” child, here is what I found:
1. You’re expected to be entitled
There is often one misconception that people have about kids who are the “one and only” of their parents. Wow, you must have gotten everything that you wanted, your wish is like your parents’ command. True and Not True! Yes, you do get all the love of your parents but all the scolding too! It gets annoying when people look at you as “a spoilt and pampered brat”…
2. You don’t have anyone to share with
Since you are the only child, you don’t have to share toys, clothes, your anything! All is exclusively yours. Hurray! When you are a kid, it really makes you very happy, I must agree.
3. You are the centre of attention
Being the only child means you are the centre of attention of your parents 24×7. It feels very sheltered, protected but sometimes can get too interfering especially in teen years. Also, there is a possibility that you are unable to make decisions independently.
4. You deal with loneliness
You have no idea what to do in school holidays and those special Brother-Sister Days. Yes, you can have playmates and cousins, but over a period of time, realisation strikes that it is always very special and different to have your “own” brother or sister. You don’t have anyone who is your age and who has same family.
5. Extroverted Introvert
You grow up to be very friendly with outsiders – classmates, colleagues and you appear to be extrovert. Outings, parties, events – you will be the spice of them. Though, deep down in your heart, you are an introvert and find it difficult to open up to strangers.
6. Special bond with animals
You love animals a lot and tend to care for them. I remember having 10 cats at one point of time in my home and one of the cats, I considered as my brother.
7. You were not exposed early enough to competition
You will never be able to truly understand emotions like sibling rivalry and revelry. You will never have someone to bully, to play with, to complain about, to learn from.
8. As you grow old and your parents older, you will start getting that haunting feeling of what will happen when your parents are gone. You will not have anyone to share their memories, to talk about them, to miss them. Of course, by then, your own set of family – hubby and kids will be there with you. But still, there will be a huge void inside your heart that no one can truly understand.
More than one?
Of course, it is not that bad to be the only kid, it has its own advantages too. Though, in retrospect, I might have been a better person with siblings around.
When I observe my kids – their fun fights, mock anger at each other and at the same time, the way they share things, miss each other, refuse to go somewhere without the other sibling – I find it so so amusing and enriching! These kids through their collective behaviour teach me small life lessons on love, caring and sharing that I never got to learn due to absence of a sibling.
So if possible, parents, do give a sibling to your kid!
Disclaimer: This post is completely based on personal experience.