Being an only child can be the largest defining factor of your life, and you may not even know it. Although being an only child can have many benefits, there are some hard truths associated with your lack of siblings. Let’s analyse these.
1. Play Time Was Boring
As a young child, it was up to you to keep yourself entertained. Unless you grew up with technology, most of us had to keep ourselves amused.
This meant hours in your room, dancing to music, reading, playing with toys, creating imaginary worlds, and annoying your parents.
2. People Ask You About It All the Time
Do you ever wish you had a sibling? Don’t you get bored? I would hate to have no siblings! You must be so spoilt!
These are just some of the things you hear when someone finds out you have no siblings. Bringing up the topic is like volunteering yourself for the Hunger Games. You never know how someone will react.
Although some people like to bring you down and mention everything you’ve lived without, some people you speak to can be in awe or even just curious. Often, these people are diving into their own lives, wondering how they would be different if they shared our circumstances.
However people react, it’s always great when we meet another only child and bond over all our shared experiences!
3. You Spend a Lot Of Time with Your Parents
Going out to dinner, out on weekends, and out to shop for special occasions usually relies heavily on your parents, whether it’s for funding, for company, or just because they ‘want to spend more time with you’.
Being out with your parents can be great—but kind of tedious. It’s hard to spend that much time with someone you already live with, eat dinner with, and say goodnight to every evening. Even if you live away from your parents, they’re often the people you are closest to, and who you rely on.
Although your relationship will be stronger than most other’s relationship with their family, it’s always a good idea to have some time to yourself.
4. You Need to Rely on Yourself
Of course, only children have friends!
Many of us require broadening our friendship groups outside of just our parents. Due to the added maturity, we can often go it alone. We know our limits, and how to calm ourselves when they are tested.
We are strong and capable of more than we know, often we’re so confident in our own minds that it is others we worry about, and how they will behave.
Navigating the world can be difficult for an only child, but at least we have ourselves (and our parents) looking after us.
5. You Will Never Be an Aunty/Uncle
It’s a sad truth that while your friends will be the bridesmaids or groomsmen to their siblings, you never will (unless you have really close friends).
Another sad truth is that you will never be an aunty. You will never have nieces or nephews and no one will ever call you uncle or aunty.
But look on the bright side; you’ll save a heap of money!
6. Your Parents Look to You
They’re stuck to your hip and always calling or texting. Yep, they’re your parents.
Whenever something goes wrong, you often get the blame. When you do something wrong and the teacher calls your home, your parents never have to guess who they’re calling for. If your grades don’t stack up, your parents have no one to distract their attention. You will get nagged and you will get lectured.
Unfortunately, you don’t have anyone to follow in the footsteps of, or look up to. Birth order can dictate what role you play in the family. Because you are the oldest, middle, and youngest child, you get all the love (and all the stress). On the bright side, make your own path. Take the road not taken. It worked for Frost.
Your parents will always give you advice and expect you to take it, even though their generation may not operate the same as this one. You will find that while their knowledge is there, the social know-how is not. This is the knowledge you turn to your friends for. Listen to your parents when you are interviewing for a job, struggling with assignments, and wondering how to deal with a cranky boss. Turn to your friends to understand how to navigate the dating world, technology, friendships, and the latest trends.
7. You Matured Very Quickly
Not physically, of course, you can’t control that.
Mentally, only-children are required to grow up quickly. This comes as a result of the conversations we surround ourselves with.
Being with your parents almost all the time leaves allows you to soak in more information than you may think.
The places your parents may take you can also cause you to mature faster than most. Going to fancy restaurants and activities surrounded by older crowds requires you to act a certain way.
Although this may sound like a benefit (and it can be), maturing this quickly can lead to difficulty in relating to your friends. Don’t worry—they’ll catch up.