Will An Only Child Be Lonely?


18 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I am my parents only child and I have never felt lonely.I was always very close to my mother and have never felt like I missed brothers and sisters.I think even a person with siblings may feel lonely in life.feeling lonely has got nothing to do with siblings or the lack of it.I enjoyed my childhood.I feel that the positives of being an only child outweigh the negatives.when I marry I will surely have only one child because I don't want to deny my child the great childhood I had.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
I feel very rest-assured reading your post. I have only one child, she is 11 yrs. Old now but I feel deeply sadden that I can not give her a brother or a sister. It took us 5 years to conceive her (with fertility problems) and we are so blessed to have her, but I myself have 2 sisters and my husband has 8 sibblings. I have always felt that the best thing I could ever give my daughter would be a sibbling (instead of extra vacations or other things). As she gets older I ache a little more.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I am the mother of an only child.  I myself have an older sister and despite an OK relationship with that sibling never felt the need for my son to have a sibling.  My husband is from a family of 5 children, none of whom are close in my opinion- way too much bickering, jealousy, and competition.  My son is very happy and says he loves his childhood.  He is very bright and well provided for due to no competition for time or resources.  I know very few women who I'd consider good and self sacrificing "Mothers".  Remember, children need their parents time and attention more than they need the "company" of a sibling.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
Love that last line....that really helps me (me the mom who feels terrible because i only have one).
Thank you.
E Jacobson Profile
E Jacobson answered
Whether or not an only child will be lonely depends on its own individual circumstances. If the child has enough peer contact and stimulation, through mixing with other children, then it is unlikely that it will be lonely. Only children can feel that they should spend time with their parents and this can be made worse if the only child is the sole focus of the parents' attention. So including other children in activities and welcoming them into your home can ensure that company is valued and respected, rather than the child becoming introverted and lonely.

Some people have more than one child simply because they feel a child needs company. However, just because there are two or more children in a household does not necessarily mean that they will be good company for each other. They may not get on, one may bully the other and sibling rivalry can often be quite tough, so there are no guarantees that the children will be the best of friends.
Rajesh Shri Profile
Rajesh Shri answered
It all depends on the child's attitude as well as the home environment though in most cases there are no rigid rules about only children being different from those who have siblings. The most important thing should be regarding the child's all round development on various fronts from the social to the academic and from the intellectual to the physical. Most children are notably extrovert and social from childhood making friends easily while others are more laidback and prefer to be by themselves.

In any case a sibling whether it is a brother or a sister helps in the all round growth of both as it makes one realize that everyone does not have the same approaches to life. One also learns to adjust accordingly in different situations which results in a more mature outlook towards life in general. An only child if she/he has a number of friends or have the opportunity to mix up with friends and cousins daily would not be as lonely.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Hi,  I am the mother of a 5 year old son.  I was pregnant in 2009 with a daughter and I lost her at 20 weeks.  Now I am thinking I may not be able to have another.  A day doesn't go by that I don't worry about my 5 year old being lonely and sad.  He seems to be a very happy child.  I just worry that he is missing something by not having a sibling.  Its encouraging to read the posts on this site.  It helps me realize that just because he is an only, doesn't mean he needs to be unhappy.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
I am an adult only child and I had the happiest childhood. People often ask what it was like being an only child or if I wished I had siblings. Its funny because you really don't think about these things and the questions are weird to me! I grew up in a wonderful house with exceptional parents and being an only child was so normal to me, I never wished I had siblings. I have always made friends easily and have a wonderful marriage. I don't regret a thing about my childhood, it was perfect :)
anantha lakshmi Profile
anantha lakshmi answered
That depends on the parents behaviour. If they are always busy managing house affairs, spending very less time with the child, then he'll definitely feel lonely. When he saw other children with their sibling then there is a a greater chance for him to feel in such a way. So everyone should give more prominence to their offsprings than business, home management. Being friendly with them will help a lot!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I'm an only child. I think that because of my only childness, I was able to have a way better relationship with my parents. I was a little lonely at times, but it just made me more independent and less reliant on others. But I love being an only child.
Gillian Smith Profile
Gillian Smith answered
Having brothers and sisters doesn't mean that a child won't get lonely.
Only children can have a lot of advantages because their parents have much more time to spend with them. They tend to achieve well at school and contrary to what people say they have confidence as there haven't been other children to do things for them.
If an only child has plenty of friends and lots to occupy them they are unlikely to be lonely.
It was said a while ago that large families are not usually happy families and statistics show that only children have certain advantages over others.
I'm an only child and glad of it. My son's an only child and was happy that way.
No one can predict how lonely anyone will be only child or not.
Anthony Parker Profile
Anthony Parker answered
I can answer that quick, fast, and in a hurry. In a short, blunt answer, chances are high. But as previous answers have stated, it all depends on several factors.

For example. If you're a hipster/trendsetter who's basically a HUGE socialite, chances are, you're not going to be that lonely. Same thing if you're not like that, but your parents spend a lot of time with you. The only difference is, you're going to start feeling lonely because you don't get to hang out with people your own age that can relate to you.

Then, there's the chance that you don't spend time with your parents or your friends. If you're that kind of person, then yes. You will be highly susceptible to loneliness. Take it from someone who suffers from it personally...
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
As an only child myself, I'd say it can go either way. In my case, I went to a private school far about 15 miles from my house, with no other kids I knew within about 10 miles of me after seventh grade. I felt enormously lonely plenty of times, but this let me build up a strong and diverse skill set as well as enticed me to join sports with strong team bonds. I wouldn't necessarily say your  child will be lonely, but I would make sure they have friends nearby, and try not to smother them with attention.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I think it has more disadvantages than advantages to be a only child. I never felt lonely as a child, because my family had a lot of friends with children in my age. But in my late teens when I had a difficult time because of my coming-out  I missed an older sister or bro to talk to and to support me. And I also think that the social skills of only children are generally worse than the ones of  children with siblings.
Excuse me if there are any mistakes. I`m not a native.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It all depends. An only child can feel pretty lonely especially without any other siblings. But then again, an only child may not at all have a problem with being lonely because of the attention he or she may have. Basically, it does depend on the child.
Sabrina Tilson Profile
Sabrina Tilson answered
The chances are great! I'm 38, an only child and I still feel lonely! Of course you'll have other family members and friends but I know in my heart there's nothing like having siblings. I thought I only wanted one child but after growing up a an only child.....I now have three!
Noqvel  Noqvel Otem Profile

I am only child and for sure I am lonely. But, suddenly I realized that being an only child is good. You just have to be creative.

Cheryle Masters Profile
Cheryle Masters answered
If you have lots of friends, hobbies, sports, don't have to be lonely just because you are an only child.  On the other hand, a person can be in a room full of people and be lonely.
charmaine saunders Profile
The chances of an only child being lonely are very high. I should know as I was one. I had a good childhood overall but it was definitely lonely. The temperament of the child would of course be a significant factor. I was by nature shy and reclusive though I recall getting into a lot of trouble in primary school for talking in class which was probably a reflection of my deep need for interaction. My single mother worked and so I spent tracts of time on my own. To make matters worse, the nature of our home life meant that I had little contact with other children on a daily basis although I had a large extended family. I've thought a lot about this subject through my own experience and also as a counsellor. The advantages and disadvantages are: pros -
rarely bored
good time management
inner strength
cons -
need for emotional/physical space can cause relationship problems
sharing of space in the home difficult
difficulty in trusting
too much emotional independence
find it hard to need or to show vulnerability
social skills may be lacking
Ruby Moore Profile
Ruby Moore answered
I'm an only child and I don't feel lonely, you get more attention and more things so it's fine.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I'm an only child, now in mid 30s, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't yearn for a brother. I hated it then, and I hate it now. There's no-one to take the pressure off me from parental expectations, no-one that I know will be around for ever with me. I have lots of friends now, but still can't get the emotional stability to form a relationship.

Every child is different, some only children are very happy, but I'd never wish it on anyone.

Answer Question