Only Children

[deleted account] ( 137 moms have responded )

I noticed on the "How Many Kids to Have" that a few people stated that the main reason, or at least one of the top reasons they wanted more children was because they did not want their child to be an only child. I come across this often in real life as well. What is so bad about only children?

We are very happy with our only child, there are tons of advantages not only to having an only, but to being an only as well. I understand it isn't for everyone, and I saw lots of great reasons people wanted more than one, I just wondered why so many people would want another just so that their child would not be an "only".

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Johnny - posted on 10/15/2010

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Well, here's the happy only child. Wasn't lonely, I'm not convinced I really missed out on making special family memories (since I have many, lol) and aside from a brief stage around age 6, I never asked my parents to have siblings for me.

That being said, we are planning to have a second. If it doesn't work out, I am not the slightest bit concerned about causing my daughter problems being an only child. We are having 2 because that's what we'd like. I am actually equally torn by the idea that if she's an only child, she'll be angry at not having gotten siblings and if she has siblings she'll be mad that she wasn't an only child. Both seem pretty much equally likely and unlikely. I'm hoping that either way, if I do a good job, it won't come up.

I was a happy only. My dad has a disconnected relationship with his brother. My mother is close to one brother and antagonistic with the other 3. My husband is very close with his brother and sister. My best friend is very tight with 2 of her sisters and absolutely hates 1. And my other closest girlfriend and her sister completely hate and have absolutely nothing to do with one another. My childhood bestfriend was miserable as an only and spent a lot of time trying to get her parents to adopt. I list all this, by way of saying, there's no guarantees. Whatever family size feels right for you & your family is the correct choice.

It really burns my buns when people claim that only children are deprived or spoiled. Just plain ignorance. They are just the same as other kids. Some good apples, some bad.

[deleted account]

Brandi, Yes, I have thought very much about how my son's feelings, he is included in the "We" in my OP.

Laressa, am I to understand that because your cousin turned out as a "bitch" and she is your sole reason for having more than one kid, that you believe all only children are "bitches"? I find that very narrow minded.

For those of you who brought up the idea that it is difficult to teach an only child to take turns, that is untrue. We taught our son to take turns by playing board games, baseball, and giving him opportunities to interact with other children where patience is needed, like waiting his turn for the swing or slide at the park. Opportunities to teach such simple skills are NOT "few and far between" they are plentiful.

And on a side note, at least one or two women on this post have said that they had more than one child for "purely selfish reasons"--They just wanted more than one kid, and that is what made them happy. Why is no one telling them that they are being "selfish" or that they should have considered how their child would feel? But if the mother of an only child says she only had one because that is all she wanted, she is considered selfish or without regard for her child's happiness?

Johnny - posted on 10/16/2010

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Reading some of these posts I'm starting to think I need therapy to uncover why I feel I am happy & had a happy childhood & never felt lonely. Because clearly I do and I'm just to blind to see it without help. Lol.

Some people are happy with their life. Some aren't. How many siblings you have has no causal effect on this issue statistically.

My mom has severe depression, anxiety and is a hoarder. Must have been caused by the 5 brothers & sisters. The silly comments about the misery of only children make about as much sense.

Johnny - posted on 10/19/2010

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Thank you Sara!!! That really is the undercurrent of this entire thread. I do not understand why people feel it is acceptable to stereotype only children? Perhaps because we've run out of other groups to stereotype in this age of political correctness. It boggles my mind how simplified some people's thinking about these issues are. Instead of seeing that a complicated algorithm of parenting, inborn personality, culture, education and many other variables come in to play, people are just assuming that family size makes the person. Those stereotyping the "baby" of the family are doing it too. It has never occurred to me to make blanket assumptions about people based on their family and placement in it. There's just so much more going on than a simplistic explanation like that.


I was also thinking today about several comments I've seen made in here about how only children can't share or wait their turn. Now, my daughter is 2 years old. She does not yet have a sibling, although we do intend to have another child. But she already knows how to wait her turn and share (she's not perfect at this, but understands the concept). All we had to do was TEACH her! Having a sibling will help her learn all sorts of lessons, but not being selfish, sharing, and waiting her turn, she doesn't need to wait to learn.

[deleted account]

In reality, the opposite is true. Only children HAVE to get along with others. We have to make friends since we don't have siblings. Most of us only children have friends and that can only happen if we know how to get on with others. Whereas, siblings don't need to learn to get on with others because they already have other kids around them.

I'm sorry, but I think getting along with others and academic success are both important. If a child is selfish and "bitchy" with an inability to get on with others, the likelihood will be they won't succeed in life as an adult. If a child is stupid, or to be nicer, poorly educated, they will have the same likelihood of future success.

@Jakki - You encourage people to have more than one child, yet you admit to 'neglecting' your own three? Am I the only one scratching my head on that one?

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Karen - posted on 10/28/2010

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i have a sister 2 years older, who i have no contact other than the news my parents pass on to me, i myself have two children, in some ways i would have loved lots, but the way i look at it, I have two hands,there is always a hand for each child to hold, I feel very very blessed to have my two children, each and every child is a blessing, I am very happy with my two, as for my sister, and i,,,,, sometimes siblings just dont have the ideal relationship.

Angel - posted on 10/26/2010

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Hey Everyone,



I know I am jumping in kinda late but here it goes.



I am the 3rd of 4 children. I have one sister that, I won't say that I hate but I really really dislike her. I have tried to get along with her but for some reason she has hated me from birth and so I gave up a few years ago and now I won't talk to her. My other two sisters I just love to peices and I could not imagine growing up with out them.



With that said, I have one child and do NOT plan on having anymore and hopefully my birth control lasts for 10 years like it is supposed to. My honey, who has 1 brother, wants another but for me I am done. I absolutely HATED being pregnant and can't believe my mom did it 4 times lol. Also, it is so exspensive to have kids, there would be no way we could afford another. Not once did it cross my mind that my son will be an "only" and after reading the other posts...it still doesn't. My best friend is an only child and I don't think I even notice a difference.

Jane - posted on 10/25/2010

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@Dana - hey, I'm never too proud or stubborn to say when I'm wrong...that's why I like debating. I might have something in my head and then someone brings something up that makes a little light go off in this 51 year old brain. It's all good :)

[deleted account]

Thank you, Brandi. I did ask for opinions, and I have enjoyed reading them. I honestly never knew these stereotypes about only children existed until I started telling people that my son was, and will always be, and only child. When I said that someone called me "selfish" for having only one child, I was not talking about you, or anyone one here specifically, but just general comments I have gotten from people in real life. I asked for opinions here because I wanted to see who wide these stereotypes were. They are much more common than I ever thought!

I did find many of them illogical, and many of the "only child" behaviors, I felt were more a product of poor parenting than a lack of siblings. I would like to break down the stereotypes. I know several only children who are wonderful adults and were very happy with their childhoods. Same goes for those with siblings, but there are bad apples in both groups.

Being an only child, do you think that your loneliness and shyness could have been averted if you had the opportunity to form close friendships earlier in life? I have a sister who is only 13 months my junior, and I do love her, but I have no bond with her. I have closer bonds with my girlfriends.

[deleted account]

Thanks Jane! I didn't expect that - you definitely caught me off guard. LMAO! However, you don't need to be sorry you stereotyped - everyone does it at some point and for different things. We just have to break down barriers one step at a time.

:)

Brandi - posted on 10/22/2010

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Hi! I am replying back to the question from DONNA. I hated it because I hated having to play alone, I hated not having someone to do fun things with. You see these kids that have this bond with a brother or a sister and you realize you want that, you want someone like that. In a way I think it affected me in many ways... I was and still am shy and a little reserved. I feel insecure from time to time, and it seems to me that I wouldn't have felt so alone as a child if I would have had a brother or sister who knew me and understood me... there are things that children don't tell their parents, so yes my mom was always there, but as a child you think your parent won't understand anything that you are going through... I just think it would have been better.

This is @ Kelly... you wanted opinions on this and you asked us. I don't think that any of these reasons are selfish at all. I never said having one child was being selfish, it all depends on what you want to do. OBVIOUSLY, my mom only had one child, and I don't think she is selfish... I just think I WOULD have been happier, that doesn't make anyone here selfish, I think you aren't getting the answers you wanted, so you think that everyone here is saying you are selfish, WE didn't say that.

Jane - posted on 10/22/2010

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@Dana - You state "It's either the parents that are responsible or it's the number of siblings - which is it Jane? If you agree that it's the parents responsibility then why would you even bother to mention the only children that you know? What about all the mulitiple children families that you know? How many of them have spoiled, overindulged, self centered children? People need to stop with the stereotypes because they're just not true."

When you're right, you're right. It's the parents no matter how many children you have...1 or more. To take it one step (or many) further, I blame parents for EVERYTHING that is wrong with their child/children, to be quite frank...except for most physical things that are not caused by a selfish mother who didn't take care of herself during her pregnancy.

I'm sorry I stereotyped...I agree that not all 'only's" are spoiled and self centered. I know PLENTY of multiple child families that have spoiled, self centered children. So, I concede...you're right :)

Hannah - posted on 10/21/2010

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I always thought that I would want 2+ kids but now...my hubby and I are leaning towards just one...we are not sure that we could afford a second one...we would rather be able to give everything to our son that he needs then just getting by with two kids. we havent ruled anything out yet, as my son is only 6 months old. i will keep his clothes that he outgrows for awhile or until we know if we want more children.

I grew up as an only child, although I do have half brothers, from my dads second marriage. There is 10+ years between the three of us so i never grew up around them and only saw them on holidays.

I can tell you from experience that I did ask for siblings but it wasnt a big deal for me and I was quite content being an "only" child. I wasnt spoiled, or any of the stigmas that go with being an only....

I think it just depends on the person really....

[deleted account]

Well, in all honesty, the only reason we're having number 2 is because we want to. But this will likely be it for us (unless we adopt later down the road) because of timing issues, finances, etc.

[deleted account]

Sorry Liz, I wasn't necessarily refering to you even though I did address my comment to you. I was more refering to Jakki but I also addressed you because you had agreed and commented about your lives being too hectic etc.

[deleted account]

AND, just for the record, Sara - we haven't necessarily decided to not have another but as of right now, Roxanne is an only child. This is actually something that ways heavily on me because we're struggling to decide and think it's best to just have one but part of me REALLY wants another. Tough decision. Lots of factors play into making that decision. I dunno...only time will tell! ;)

[deleted account]

I don't think I would say its a negative, for my family it tends to be a gray area. Sometimes my kids don't want to go with me alone and want the others to go too, then other times I tell them all to load up and I get the eye roll "do they have to go too".
I don't think I ever stereotyped being an only child but have seen some posts where people did. I don't see anything wrong with having one child. I did what I thought best for my life and others do whats best for theirs.

[deleted account]

I thought you summed everything up nicely and "THE END" just somehow seemed appropriate. LMAO!

"If ONLY" *giggles*

[deleted account]

In reality, there are advantages and disadvantages to every family type. That is why we each have to make the best decision for ourselves based on the many factors that make up our lives, and not criticize someone for making a different decision.

For my family, we've decided two kids is best. We have our reasons, but that is nobody's business. Same with Kelly, Dana, Sharon and anyone else on here with only children. They've decided one is best for their family based on reasons that are not anyone's business.

Now that we've made the decisions about our own families, it is up to us to keep our kids from turning into the douche bags described by the OP on the douche bag thread.

[deleted account]

Liz, Jakki - I see that as a negative to having multiple children but I would never label or stereotype your children because of it. I do think there are advantages to having or being an only child and I don't think they should be dismissed.

[deleted account]

"I didn't actually say I neglect my kids. Not at all. I've just felt bad sometimes that the pace of life is so hectic that I would like to give them more attention."

Jakki-Well said. That is one difficult reality of having multiple children. It get hard to juggle everything and make time for your kids individually because it is hectic. My kids are getting to that age where they want to do all these sports and activities, I swear it never stops.

Beck - posted on 10/20/2010

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I think having siblings is great for a child, my step son is an only child and he is the only child at his mums but now had 2 sisters with us. He can be very withdrawn from the point of view that he has been given so many toys etc he still didn't know what to do. Now thats increased by becoming his mums best friend. (another story) But what I am trying to say that even tho i don't have a really close relationship with my siblings I am not going to make the decision for my children to be stuck in a world alone wiothout siblings just cause i had a bad experience with them.
What happens when you and your partner pass, if they are still young and havent found a life partner they will be alll alone and won't have the comfort of a brother or sister. What about when you as a parent piss them off, they don't have someone to hug them and say thats okay. (you as in generic not the OP)
I just think brothers and sisters are a blassing to kids.

I am not against only children, this is just my opinion on the subject

[deleted account]

Kelly - the studies you quote all sound convincingly like there really isn't a problem with only children. That's great, and I was interested to read the quotes. But your original post was asking why people didn't want to have an only child, so to answer your question I said those things based on maybe a dozen families with only kids that I have met. That's not a big sample, but it was quite striking to me as I kept on seeing the same problems emerging.

Donna - I didn't actually say I neglect my kids. Not at all. I've just felt bad sometimes that the pace of life is so hectic that I would like to give them more attention.

A - posted on 10/19/2010

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I agree with Jakki that there are definitely more important things in life than academic success (although our society might say otherwise). All children are different and have their talents. But being a mother, I think (for me) only God comes before my family, and if I were to the point where I was feeling guilty for not being able to spend enough time with my children, I would re-evaluate my priorities, and not just accept it or say "i don't want to smother my children". I see "smothering" as a negative need of the mother. The child may want independence but the mother is not allowing it. That's much different from a mother meeting her childs needs, and all children are different in the amount of time and attention they need. Honestly, that is why I'm so hesitant to have another child because my first child has been so needy and demanding. You never know what you're going to get. :)

As far as the "getting along with other" argument- I see both sides. I think it depends on a lot of factors. Its kind of Nature Vs Nurture....I have read articles recently indicating our personality is shaped by the time we are 6 years old. Its a good point that onlies need to learn how to make friends and are more social because of it. But I think a lot of it is just genetics/nature. I've always been a loner- and I have two siblings. I'm anti-social. If I look at the people I've encountered in my life, who are like me and have trouble being a social butterfly, all of them have siblings.

Honestly I could care less what a person decided to do. Unless someone is abusing or neglecting their children I don't care. In this day and age so many people are having kids who are incapable of taking care of them I would rather those people only have one child than keep reproducing.... lol!

[deleted account]

Jakki, I didn't say those things, they are quoted from the article--the studies indicated those things.

"Mmmm - I suppose I'm thinking that there are more important things in life than academic success and I think how well you get on with people is even more important." Jakki
What kinds of things, specifially?
I assume that you are referring to social cooperation when you say "how well you get on with people," but other than social interaction, what kinds of things are you referring to?

Here are some quotes about social factors. Mostly they say there is no difference between the only child and the child with siblings.

"When it came to traits such as maturity, emotional stability and popularity only children did not distinguish themselves as different in studies, and as for the fear that only children lack in social skills and grow up feeling isolated and lonely, studies allayed apprehensive parents’ worries."

"One of the concerns about only children is that their lack of sibling relationships might lead them to have less desirable personalities than those who grew up with siblings. However, the results of hundreds of personality studies suggest that only children are generally like children with siblings in most personality dimensions, including autonomy, generosity, and cooperativeness" (Different article, same study: Polit and Falbo 1987).

"Falbo and Polit later completed a second quantitative review of more than 200 personality studies. By and large, they found that the personalities of only children were indistinguishable from their peers and siblings."

[deleted account]

"Mmmm - I suppose I'm thinking that there are more important things in life than academic success and I think how well you get on with people is even more important."

It sounds like people are STILL suggesting that only children can't get along with others. Jakki, not picking on you and maybe that's not how you meant it. But almost every argument on here has undertones that subtly suggest (or not so subtly suggest) that only children are self-centered, selfish and can't work with others. Having more children so the one you have can learn to get along with others seems like a pretty silly reason to have more. Especially when the PARENTS have more to do with children learning how to share and get along others that simply having more children in the house.

[deleted account]

Hi Kelly - yes I am sure you are right and only kids might do better academically because of the extra attention they are getting, and the extra money the parents can devote to activites and education because it isn't being divided amongst several kids.

Mmmm - I suppose I'm thinking that there are more important things in life than academic success and I think how well you get on with people is even more important.

And regarding the post by AN saying that the more kids you have the more you neglect each one... yes that's true, and having three myself I have often felt bad that I don't have the time or energy to really focus on each kid. I guess it's all about balance - I often think that the mums of only children I know are just too obsessed with every little detail of their child's life, and it seems a bit unhealthly and suffocating.

This might not apply to you - don't get mad with me!

[deleted account]

Here's a great article. It is long, so I'll post the important excerpts as well as the link :)
http://www.utexas.edu/features/archive/2...

"Toni Falbo’s findings were published in a book called “The Single Child Family,” in which a century’s worth of scholarship revealed that single children are not disadvantaged. They, in fact, seem to enjoy slight advantages in certain areas."

"Among other things, research indicated that only children’s achievement as adults was somewhat higher than that of other children, especially when it came to educational attainment. Researchers hypothesized that this was because of the family’s increased financial resources and the uniquely close relationship that only children shared with their parents."

With only children being immersed in an adult-oriented home environment from an early age and experiencing an interaction with parents that is undiluted by siblings, researchers assert that high achievement is a probability."

"These [only] children tend to score slightly higher in verbal ability, go farther in school and have a little bit higher self-esteem, and a lot of this just has to do with more parent involvement and uninterrupted time with adults."

[deleted account]

Jakki the one child policy in China was altered to two children. Just some random info for you =]

A - posted on 10/19/2010

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jakki- you have some good points but you could go the other way and say parents of many children are neglectful and can't give ENOUGH attention to all their children. Or the so called "middle child" syndrome happens.



I agree its possible to teach an only or a first child to share and not be spoiled. I've been teaching my 17 month old to share with our dog since he's an only right now. lol!



And of course not trying to stereotype, but another point is parents of an only may have less distractions and therefore be there to see opportunities to teach such skills as sharing, or be consistent with teaching. Whereas parents of a larger family may have a harder time seeing everything that goes on, or has so many things to attend to they let things slide. How often do I see siblings stealing toys and fighting? Probably more often than I see them sharing and being kind. lol But again, a lot falls back on the parents and their dedication to teaching such skills and values.

[deleted account]

I don't want to offend people who have chosen to only have one child (and I agree that there are many exceptions to what I am going to say), but I have met a lot of "only" children, and read about the problem in China where the one child policy has been in place for over a generation, and I am coming to the conclusion that the trend towards only children is laying down problems for the future.

Parents of only children often seem to "over parent" their child to an alarming degree - they are over-protective and over-involved in everything the child does , they make the child think that they are a little prince/princess, and the children can grow up to be more self-absorbed, lacking in empathy and anxious than kids from larger families. I'd be interested in seeing the results of studies on the long term success of these kids' relationships/marriages when they are adults.

So - I'd encourage people to have more than one kid if they can, and if they chose not to, to be careful of their parenting style to avoid these traps.

[deleted account]

I personally want another child so our son has a sibling but what people seem to be missing is a flaw in the "they need a sibling to learn how to share". If you need a sibling in order to do that then how does the 1st child learn?!?! As far as I was aware to teach them to share you're supposed to let them interact with other children at mother and baby groups or similar places.

[deleted account]

@Brandi - Why did you hate it? Why did you want a sibling? They are only just honest questions I have, not trying to bait you or anything. I'm honestly curious.

@Laressa - I know a child similar to your cousin. He is the baby of the family. If they aren't raised to be selfish and spoiled, most likely they won't be.

Laressa - posted on 10/19/2010

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Having more than 1 child is not for everyone. But my reason for not having just 1 is because of my cousin who was an "only" she is a spoiled brat and at age 30 she hasn't held one job for more than a few months. She's only developed a mentality of about 14 or so, although she sure is bright enough. I don't think she has the self discipline to devolop socially to her age level. I'd be amazed if she ever had a date. I'm sure alot turn out beautifully, but its not my choice to see if mine will be one of them or not.

A - posted on 10/19/2010

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My brother and sister are 7 & 9 years older than me- So I was pretty much an only in a lot of ways growing up. I never really thought about it being bad (other than the fact some only children are spoiled- but the same goes for babies of the family as well). Then I met my husband and his family. There are 5 children- he is the oldest. All of them are so close. They are friends and we see each other for game nights, barbeques,etc, every weekend almost. In my life,friends have always come and gone, but my husbands siblings (and mine) are always there. So I think they just want their children to have a friend later in life, and maybe also the more kids you have the more likely one of them will step up to the plate and take care of the parents when they get older and need help. I think its all in the way you raise the child, though. If you make the effort, and raise your child right, they will be secure enough to make it with or without a sibling.

Hannah - posted on 10/19/2010

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I have a little brother. We fought terribly as children. He literally would beat me up. Come to find out, he has a serious anger management problem now. I despised him when we were younger but have grown to love him now. Although we aren't close and don't talk often we still love each other. He does many things that seriously piss me off. He has the typical youngest child syndrome. He can get away with murder and my mom would find a way to get him out of it. All of that aside, I am thankful he is my brother and wouldn't change that for the world.

I have two kids. I wanted a boy and a girl. I had two for purely selfish reasons. Had I had two boys, I would have stopped though. I didn't want any more than two. I didn't have them because I felt they needed siblings. I just wanted my boy and girl. Thankfully that is what I got.

[deleted account]

I can see how that would get really annoying but what it all comes down to is parenting and personality are the two main factors in how a child will act. Hell, I have 5 siblings and the youngest, my brother, is the sweetest most caring person I know. My older brother is just an asshole and it comes naturally to him. My older sister very nice but particular about the things she buys, her house and pretty much everything. My first younger sister very spoiled and selfish. My other little sister very giving with natural urge to nurture. Myself, I like to think I'm a good person but I have my moments when I want it to be about me. I have 4 kids though so its not very often when anything is about me.

[deleted account]

Brandi, I'm sorry that you had such a horrible childhood, being an only child and all. And....I'm glad you have two boys that love each other and have an amazing bond. I get all those reasons. We're even seriously considering having another child because I love the dynamics of two children. The ONLY (haha) thing that pisses me off is when people make broad stereotypes and judgements about ONLY children. They're just not true. Other than that, I get it! I get wanting another child or even several more but DON'T judge other children JUST because they're onlies.

[deleted account]

Disclaimer : I don't have time to read all the comments yet, I'll get to that later.

I only want one, and plan to have only the child in my belly. I think part of it, is that they get a for life companion (usually) and things like sharing can be more easily taught.

Brandi - posted on 10/19/2010

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I was an only child... AND I HATED IT! I would have loved to have a brother or sister growing up, You said that "We are very happy with our only child..." BUT is your child happy, would they be happier with a brother or sister? In the end, it is your choice, but if I could have made the decision for my mom, I would not have been an only child. I have 2 boys and they love it, they are never lonely and they have someone around the same age that loves to play with them, I also think it helped a lot when they started school, they have great communication skills and since they learned to share at an early age, I don't have to worry about phone calls from the school saying my kids are fighting with other kids... I think I made a great choice. But like I said it really is up to the parent.

[deleted account]

@Sherri, Yeah I get what you mean. It is tricky to try and teach the "wait your turn" to an only child. It is possible, but means parents really need to be on the ball for that because the situations don't arise as frequently.

[deleted account]

@Jane, I wasn't responding to your comment per se, just making a comment in a conversation that I've been having in this thread. I can think of an only child I know who is EXACTLY as you, and many others have stated about only children can be spoilt. She is an absolute spoiled bitch. There's no other way to put it. However, when nearly her entire family (grandparents, parents, etc) pander to her every whim what else was to be expected.

I still reckon more "baby of the family" kids are spoiled. Mine is in for a rude awakening if he thinks things will continue as they have thus far. :-)

[deleted account]

It's either the parents that are responsible or it's the number of siblings - which is it Jane? If you agree that it's the parents responsibility then why would you even bother to mention the only children that you know? What about all the mulitiple children families that you know? How many of them have spoiled, overindulged, self centered children? People need to stop with the stereotypes because they're just not true.

Jane - posted on 10/18/2010

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I noticed a lot of people had something to say about multiples once I posted. I SAID it was MY experience with only children and I said "I'm SURE there are many only children out there that are NOT this way". It's just that I have never experienced it. I agree that it is the parents no matter HOW many children you have. I just gave my opinion based on my personal experience.

[deleted account]

I believe more "spoiled brats" are born out of multiples (as in siblings) than only children. Because there are far more people who have more than one child, the number of multiple children families are higher (although in recent years that is turning around). But regardless, it doesn't matter one little bit about whether there's one or ten children in a family... it's the PARENTS who create spoiled brats. If you coddle, pander to, make excuses for or otherwise cotton wool your child.... they will most likely become spoiled.

I think my youngest is developing into the "spoiled brat" category in a way, as I think most babies in families do. He doesn't get pandered to by me, but by his older brother! He will pick up toys and tidy up for his younger brother and just generally do things for him. And I don't have the time I had with the eldest to keep up the lessons and help him learn to do for himself. Since I am aware of this happening, it will stop very, very soon. I love that my eldest is so willing to help, share and teach his little brother, but the little one needs to learn the lessons for himself too.

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Lol my two sister-in-laws who are 11 and 12 are good examples! I would say they need a good slap but I don't advocate smacking...

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I've met a lot of self centered, coddled, spoiled children from multiple family homes - so what? I suppose there's a different reason they're that way? My goodness people, quit stereotyping.

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Whilst a lot of only children do fit the "spilt brat" persona, plenty of children with siblings are spoilt brats.

Jane - posted on 10/18/2010

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I grew up with two older brothers and we all got along really well. The olddest of the three of us has passed away but he and I were very close as adults and the middle guy and I are like best friends now. I can't imagine NOT having them in my life. I didn't want to have one child...I wanted four, actually but wound up with two. My kids (20 and 17) are such great friends. Always got along well and get along even better now and now share friends and hang out together...well, when she's not in Arkansas in college (LOL).

My experience....and it's just MY experience so no one beat me up. Every person I know that is an only child is very self centered and was coddled and spoiled by their parents. I do NOT know an only child that does not fit this mold. I'm SURE there are many only children out there that are NOT this way but again, I have not experienced them. Because of this, this was one of the reasons why (but there were so many more) I wanted more than 1 child.

Cat - posted on 10/17/2010

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I really dispised my siblings growing up...as the oldest I felt they were able to get away with murder, while everything I did wrong was scritinized and punished... I was a bit misguided, possibly a bit spoiled and entitled, who knows, I was a kid... NOW however I love my brother and sister to death, and have a BIL and SIL too, AND last year I got my first nephew, i was over the moon about it... Thing is, even though I love big happy families, since mine wasnt so happy growing up, I moved across the country when I was a teen, first chance I could... So NO holidays together anymore, unless someone goes to a huge expense, and the guilt of that eats at me... SO my husband and I have our own big family, 3 kids, 2 stepkids, AND we are starting the process of becoming foster parents... I know there will be trying times, as there already have been, but this house is always filled with kids b/c I love them... That's really the ONLY reason to have more than one kid, do it because you love kids, not b/c you feel guilty having only one, not b/c you want them to have a bond with other siblings they may or may not have... Just do it for a love of children, and a love of big families, and for gosh sakes, have NO expectations, b/c life has no guarantees!

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