According to public opinion and general belief, an only child is a lonely, self-centered, selfish, spoilt child who craves attention, easily falls ill, has issues socializing and literally plays with imaginary people.
This is, however, not totally true as any of these characteristics can be seen in children with multiple siblings. The fact that a person is without siblings does not mean that he is certainly going to have these attributes, neither does it mean that a person with a pack of sibling will grow to be the direct opposite of these characteristics.
Quite frankly, these characteristics have little to do with having a sibling or not, than it has to do with individual personalities, how the brain is structured, family environments and how a person was raised, with or without siblings.
Effects Of Being An Only Child In Adulthood
Many people believe that only children are usually unable to manage work and romantic relationships since they have not been involved with other people growing up.
Most of these beliefs are only assumptions and not at all true. In this article, we would be considering the advantages of being an only child and its disadvantages as you go into adulthood. Read on!
Advantages Of Being An Only Child
- An only child has a stronger bond with his parents and is very attached to them.
- He does not need to share his parents’ attention with a sibling or compete for anything at all with any sibling.
- He gets everything he wants in their best form, whether material or any other thing.
- He does not fear being compared with a sibling who is doing better than him.
- An only child tends to be loyal to anyone they form a bond with. They give their unrivaled loyalty to their partners in relationship.
- Being an only child can be advantageous as it provides you with cognitive benefits as they tend to be more flexible thinkers. This could be due to the many hours they spend with their parents who teach them to be creative and think outside the box.
- An only child tends to be quite independent, since he grew up and learnt to function on his own, not needing anyone asides his parents. He is self-sufficient and can make himself happy.
Disadvantages Of Being An Only Child
- Since there is no sibling to put any pressure on, so much pressure is usually put on an only child as a lot is expected of him from his parents, in terms of performance and success.
- An only child is likely to grow to be a lonely adult as he does not have a sibling with whom he will grow.
- An only child tends to be overly dependent on his parents, since he has practically lived his whole life with them doting on him and doing his every bidding.
- He is not likely to enjoy freedom as his parents might be overprotective of him.
- He might grow to be antisocial and not be able to socialize well as he is not used to being around people; making friends might seem like a herculean task.
- An only child might find it difficult to handle and cope with criticisms in the real world, as he is not used to such.
- As an only child, the parents tend to be all up in your business and this can be really frustrating.
- The responsibility of carrying on the family name and legacy would rest solely on an only child and so the pressure to have children will be on his shoulders.
- An only child does not have siblings that can give him little nieces and nephews to take care of.
- As the parents grow older and aged, an only child bears the full responsibility of taking care of them without any sibling to share responsibilities with.
- An only child might find it difficult to share their food, space or other material things. Beyond sharing material things, they might also find it difficult to open up to others and share their thoughts or feelings as this is not something they are used to. They are only used to talking to their parents about things that bother them.
- An only child tends to be less agreeable, probably as a result of little or no exposure to social groups and activities, isolation and doing things alone or even getting too much attention from parents.
- When in a relationship, an only child might have issues sharing their partner’s attention with others, or even have issues breaking free from the influence of their parents. In this case, they go to their parents with every information about their relationship. They also tend to have issues handling delayed gratification.
- An only child whose parents were never around and who did not enjoy his parent’s attention as a child is likely to grow up having insecure attachment issues. He becomes overly attached or even obsessed with his partner, seeking the attention he didn’t get while he was young.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Being An Only Child Damaging?
Studies have shown that being an only child has an effect on a child’s behavior and brain structure development.
Does Being An Only Child Cause Depression?
A research carried out on only children and children with siblings showed that only children had higher tendencies of anxiety and depression symptoms than children with siblings.
Consciously or subconsciously, only children tend to expect others to treat them the way their parents do. An only child is his parents’ priority and as such, he expects to be the priority of his partner in a relationship. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
As an only child, it is important to learn that other people have priorities other than you and you cannot be everyone’s priorities. That they are not running after you or doing your every bidding like your parents do does not mean that they do not love you. You both only understand love differently.