What affect does being an only child or having siblings have on a person?


6 Answers

dragonfly forty-six Profile

My goddaughter is an only child. Her mother would send her over all the time so she could experience siblings. We had a conversation in regards to this and we found that only children have a challenge with patience.

My best friend ( her mother) had only one child to cater to. So every wish was taken care of, simply put, only children do not have to wait their turn. Some might not think that that is a big deal, but in life it really is an important skill.

My goddaughter was more pampered because she had 3 adults to do her bidding. Because of that she acquired demanding habits that when she came to my house, I could not entertain. Because with her included I had 3 kids to take care of. An example, we had hot dogs for lunch. I've got three very hungry kids, all under 5. She sent her hot dog back to me because her condiments were touching. I told her to get over it and eat it. I didn't have time to cater to her specific issue. That might sound mean, but she did eat it, and she never had an issue with her condiments touching at my house again. She thanks me every day for teaching her that this life wasn't all about her and how to wait her turn.

Tom  Jackson Profile
Tom Jackson answered

I'm also an only child, so I'll just throw in a few characteristics I think are related to that:

Being "alone" is the state with which I am most familiar and therefore very comfortable with, and I have no trouble entertaining myself when necessary. I enjoy being with people, but I usually don't seek out groups.

I tend to be fascinated when I meet the siblings of people that I know when the physical resemblance is strong---especially if they are identical twins.

I can easily relate to the loss people experience with the death of a loved one, I have no insight into the unique dynamics of the loss a person experiences when one of his or her siblings die.

My father told me about one "perk" of being an only child when I was about  eleven----He told me if he had $5 to give his children and I had 3 siblings, I would only get $1.25, but as an "only" I got the whole $5.00

One downside of being raised as an only is that I still have an (unreasonable, apparently) expectation that if I put something important in a specific place, it will still be there when I go to look for it six months later.  (My wife is one of five, so you can imagine how that flies with her.)

I have various annoying habits (just ask my wife), but none of those can be directly attributed to being an only child.

PJ Stein Profile
PJ Stein answered

My mother is an only child. She never really understood that no matter how much my brothers and I would fight with each other we are alway there for each other. Or that we help one another without question.

At one point both of my brothers were asking me to help out A LOT. If I had a day off I was doing something for one of them. My mother told me she thought they were taking advantage of me. I told her that if things were changed they would do the same for me. She didn't believe me. My brother younger brother showed up about an hour later. With my mom in the next room, I looked at him and said, "I have a problem, will you help me?" He responded, "Sure, whatever you need. What can I do?" I told him he just did it. He helped me prove he would help needed it just like I had been helping him. And I have over the years gotten a lot of help when needed. She has never had that. I personally find that sad.

Rooster Cogburn Profile
Rooster Cogburn , Rooster Cogburn, answered

I always thought over the years that "only" kids get kind of lonely. At least some have told me that over the years. I had an older brother and sister and it was fun around the holidays being with them. I think the only affects might be that "only" children tend to be loners as kids with siblings might be more outgoing.

7 People thanked the writer.
View all 7 Comments
Matt Radiance
Matt Radiance commented
Me too! actually when i was younger! i didn't wanted to be alone! but what i wanted was my parents who always been busy! not sister or brother! but after while i just found out it's comfort to me, i enjoy to be on my own and alone. i nor like nor dislike having sibling! but i wouldn't think non of these status would bring problems! or as a solve of a problem! i don't have sibling! and i'm completely fine psychologically! and the fact is i enjoy my time alone in the house. but also in the other hand one of the most thing i would appreciate is i don't have anyone to start battles or jealousy with me. childish natural sibling battles we can see in families with sibling!
Taylor Brookes
Taylor Brookes commented
It's good that you don't mind being on your own. I go back and forth - sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. In all honestly, I always wanted a brother.
Matt Radiance
Matt Radiance commented
It's a new perspective for me, to this moment and age i never thought about if i want sibling! it's like it never been important to me!
Woof Woofy Profile
Woof Woofy answered

I pretty much grew up as an only child since 3 of my brothers were in foster care from a young age and my oldest moved out when i was a baby so i didn't see any of them very much. I don't have a relationship with any of them (I haven't spoken to 2 of them in 10 years, my mum is the same way with her sisters so I kind've take after her)... I think things were good overall...

Being "virtually an only child" I got to spend loads of time with my dad since he retired at 55 when I was 10... We did lots of things like camping, baseball games, swimming, horse races, card games, and lots of other fun things... 

Despite not having my siblings in my life.. I still had it good.. I had lots of fun and wasn't deprived.

My mum and I would go out for long bus rides, roam around the local malls, thrift shops (she loves her ornaments and magazines lol), and go to coffee shops and sit there for hours.... 

I'm actually quite glad I didn't grow up with my siblings. It saved me lots of potential fighting, arguing, jealousy etc..

Answer Question