Lonely Only?

Karen - posted on 06/30/2009 ( 36 moms have responded )

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I have a 5 year old boy and chances are good i may not have any other children, i just worry that he'll be lonely when he gets older.....i have two other sisters and i can't imagine life without siblings....Karen.

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Rabecca - posted on 07/01/2009

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I have a 8 year old son who has been asking me for a brother or sister since he could talk and he talked early and alot I know hes lonely and its hard we live in an area where theres really no kids around even to play with and I can seee him becomming more and more intraverted to an extent he really should have had a sibling close in age but just wasnt in the cardds for me then maybe in the future I hope .My son in one aspect is very outgoing but it seems to me like when he does get around kids his own age he doesnt know how to relate or play with them its like he wants friends but then when he gets one he just doesnt know what to do and I really think its because hes always been around adults and that he dosent have a sibling I feel really guilty because at some leavel its my fault because i couldnt give him that companion he really needed some kids it makes no difference to them but I really think for some they need that thing that only a brother or sister can do for you a playmate a rival a partner in crime

Veronica - posted on 11/08/2009

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I am sure my son (4 months old) will have times where he is lonely. Due to my age and the horrific delivery of my son I have chosen to not have anymore, which at times breaks my heart as I would love a daughter. However, I think by providing my son with lots of opportunities to be with other children his age it will be okay. A good friend of mine is an only child and he says the hardest part for him was when he went to friends homes where they had siblings and not understanding why they fought so much. He enjoyed being an only child as he never had to share his parents attention. I am hopeful my son will enjoy being a one and only.

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Kate - posted on 11/25/2009

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I have that concern for my son in the future, but the market right now I can not afford to have another child. What my husband and I are attempting to do is have our son spend a lot of time with other children in our family, his cousins that are close to him in age.



I grew up...basically as an only, and have been kinda jealous of the relationships and experiences my husband has had with his 3 siblings. But also I know we will not be able to afford to provide experiences and activities for 2. Hopefully, the whole cousins thing will work for my son. He says a lot that he wants people to come to his house, but i don't know if its he is lonely or if its how he shows he likes someone...



only time will tell with the younger ones

[deleted account]

I haven't really thought about my 7yr old being lonely. I have one brother, and we were not close growing up either, friends, but not super close. We are not super close now either. I do not have the option of having more children in the relationship I am in now. And if I were to change relationships and end this one, I am too old to think of what that would bring into my life, and if it were really great, I would adopt. But as of now, I am fine with the fact that my son is probably not lonely nor any more alone than I felt as a child with a sibling. I dont think siblings always help a lonely feeling child. And I do not see my son as being lonely, nor a loner. Leader? sometimes, not always a leader either. I was hoping that he as an only child could be more of a leader, and a little more fearless than I was ...on stage... and while speaking...
socially he is better off not being around the cousins in his life. They are too competitive for my liking, and like to push eachother around and bully others... so I'd rather he choose friends than put him into a crash course that he feels guilty for not liking. His friends at church are fun for him, and have time to do activities as well as kids at his private school. He also has preschool friends as of yet... that he loves to do things with also...but no playtimes . He has down time instead... to play board games, doodle , and to do legos...etc. He also has pets that he likes to talk to, dress, and walk around the block.

[deleted account]

This is something I've been worrying about, too. I have a brother, who I was not close to growing up, and am still not close to now as an adult. I don't foresee a time when he and I will ever be close, as we really don't have a lot in common and don't really have anything to talk about. However, I always hoped that my child would have a less lonely childhood. I know that if she's an only, I will be able to give her tons of attention. But I worry that she'll miss having someone younger around to play with and talk to. The thing that confuses the situation for me, is my own personal experience. Having a brother didn't make me any less lonely. In fact, the way he sucked up my parents' attention made it much worse than if I had been an only child. So, it's very conflicting for me.

Amy - posted on 09/11/2009

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I understand how you feel. I have 1 son who's 6 yrs old now & he's been asking for a sister for the past year or so. However, I did notice that once he entered kindergarten he doesn't ask quite as much, and it's decreasing more and more. I would enroll your son in as many extracurricular classes as possible to get him used to being around other children & dealing with them. Plan playdates, get him together with any cousins or other family members around his age as much as possible but mostly, just love him. All that will help to get him where he needs to be socially speaking.

Karen - posted on 09/11/2009

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I am an only child and now my 3-year-old daughter is an only child. I really enjoyed being an only child. There were times when I would be a bit lonely and wish for somebody to play with, but I had a lot of friends and had playmates most of the times I wanted. I also enjoyed being alone and I feel that sometimes my ability to be alone has helped me in my adult life. So it isn't always bad to be the only. I agree that if you don't have it you don't miss it. Sure, I don't have really close relationships with sisters or brothers. But I have a couple close friends and I have my little family.

Beth - posted on 09/09/2009

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I have a seven year old. Haven't been able to have another child. My daughter often talks about being lonely. I agree my sisters are my best freinds. When you put it like that it sounds horrible.Who'll be there for her when her parents are gone.

Brandi - posted on 09/07/2009

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Quoting Shahnaz:

Hi everyone. I'm Shahnaz and from South Africa. I have a 6 yr old daughter and hear it all the time from everyone that having one kid is lonely for them. My problem is that i am recovering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and i dont want to take the chance of passing this genetic disorder to my next child. Lameez is already showing signs of the disorder. Help!



You could always adopt a child.  I have 2 brothers that are adopted and they really are family.  Some people think that you cant love an adopted child like you do your own, but believe me you can.  I love my brothers and cant even imagine what my life would have been like if they would not have been adopted.  And that may also help your child with the OCD.  However if you dont want anymore children and you are having a hard time with the OCD then your child will be fine as an only!  My son actually loves it! 

Brandi - posted on 09/07/2009

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I have had the same worry for a few years myself. I come from a family of 4 children and 28 1st cousins, so I know what it is like to have plenty of children to play with. I never thought I would only have one child but since I do, it is always on my mind. Or I should say WAS always on my mind. I can tell you this though, I have learned with my son getting a little older that if you have never had something you never miss it. We miss it for them because we know what it feels like to have bigger families but they dont know anything but being an only child. Yes they will get lonely from time to time but at they get older and get more friends they will be busy enough that they will not have the time to get lonely. My biggest fear now is when he is an adult and does not have that brother to call and lean on through tough times but again that is just because I have that and I know what a bond it is.

[deleted account]

I have a 13-year-old boy who is also a only child. I too thought that I would have at least one more, but the hubby had a vasectomy, so unless one day I leave him, it looks like my son will be an only child.

Lyndsay - posted on 09/07/2009

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That's where it falls on your shoulders to encourage him to be social... take him to play groups, enroll him in activities, etc.

Deborah - posted on 09/03/2009

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I had my son months before I turned 40, he just turned 6 months. It is very hard for me to think of getting pregnant again so soon, so there is a good chance he may be an only child. I can't imagine not having my brothers in my life and worry that he may not have siblings. My family does not live close, so I wonder what I can do to insure he is never lonely.

ADIBAH - posted on 09/02/2009

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I agree. My daughter is 5 and I'm very positive she'll be my only one. She likes to play with the 'pretend game'; pretending to talk and play with her baby sister/ brother, pretend she has a friend to play with etc etc. I'm sure she's lonely.

JEN - posted on 08/27/2009

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I have the same situation.........my 5 year old is an only child-I grew up with 2 brothers.........it messes with my head sometimes cuz i feel guilty he'll be lonely
i understand!

[deleted account]

Quoting Heather:

My son just turned 9 and he is always asking for a brother or a sister. the thing is he is a fertility child so i can't have any more, we have tried so many times. He has alot of friends at school and at church. The thing is when we ask friends to come over to play the kids want to get together but the parents NEVER call back. It is sad and frustrating because my son gets so sad. Even now if I could have another child by the time the other one would be born my son would be almost 10 and they would be so far apart. I try to get him involved in stuff outside the house but he has no intrest. We just keep having cousins over and every so often friends come over. One day I think he will be happy he doesn't have a sibbling but for now it breaks my heart that I can't give him the playmate that he deserves.



We're in the same position-we wont have other kids-naturally or adoptive due to our age. And, families with other children want ALL of the kids to have a 'match up' so sometimes it's just easier for them to hook up with families that have a boy / girl match up by age or age range rather than cart around each child to singular playmates/playdates. PLEASE don't let it break your heart---he'll pick up on that and it will add to his sense of lack. Best wishes.

[deleted account]

Quoting Jeni:

We actually chose to be a one child family. We only wanted one child, a daughter, and that's what we had. Both my husband and I have no desire to have more children. I loved being an only child. My husband always wished he was an only child. My mom and dad did adopt two children when I was 16, but I was more like a second mom then a sister to them because I was in fact the same age as their biological mothers. As of right now, Jezi loves being an only child. I ask her all the time if she wants a brother or sister or if she likes having mommy and daddy all to herself and she always responds immeadiately that she likes things the way they are. I'm sure at some point she'll ask for a sibliing but I don't think I'll have too hard a time explaining it to her when she does question it. And I'm sure when she sees her friends with siblings fighting all the time she'll appreciate the peace in our house. She also is in preschool now and gets lots of interaction with her friends and so that isn't an issue. She's incredibly social and outgoing.



Thank you for your uplifting message. An only child CAN be a blessing. In fact, I can recall praying--'please, Lord just give me ONE child' when I was trying to get pregnant at 39. He did. What am I whining about? Actually-my pain is for my son, not me. He IS lonely. He LONGS for a brother or sister and when he's around littlier ones--he embraces them and is brotherly to them--its beautiful to watch. And, sure I'd love to have more. I would have had a housefull of them. But really--there is something very unique and beautiful about the love triangle that is our family. The attitude I take towards it is being picked up by my son and slowly, he is warming up to being an only child. I realize he wants brothers and sisters but it's not going to happen and he needs to understand that his existence as an only child is just as wonderful as that family with 4 or 5 kids in it. From the outside, it looks like a "party" to him-so he feels like we are lacking. My mission is to turn that around and it starts with attitude! Thanks for telling others that you LOVED BEING AN ONLY!

[deleted account]

Quoting Rabecca:

I have a 8 year old son who has been asking me for a brother or sister since he could talk and he talked early and alot I know hes lonely and its hard we live in an area where theres really no kids around even to play with and I can seee him becomming more and more intraverted to an extent he really should have had a sibling close in age but just wasnt in the cardds for me then maybe in the future I hope .My son in one aspect is very outgoing but it seems to me like when he does get around kids his own age he doesnt know how to relate or play with them its like he wants friends but then when he gets one he just doesnt know what to do and I really think its because hes always been around adults and that he dosent have a sibling I feel really guilty because at some leavel its my fault because i couldnt give him that companion he really needed some kids it makes no difference to them but I really think for some they need that thing that only a brother or sister can do for you a playmate a rival a partner in crime



My son is also 8 and we have miscarried 3 times-trying to have others so we are confident that he will remain and only.  I have stopped mourning the loss and started to accept the joy of an only--it is slowly making a positive impact on my sons acceptance of being an only. I know he is lonely and I cannot help that except to arrange playdates often. He is like me-very outgoing and a people person but like you mention in your post, the balance of his time (outside of school) is with parents or adults. We do not have a neighborhood with children his age and wont move to change that. You never know what you'll move into anyhow--or if the children will be similar. I have 4 siblings and rely on and enjoy relationships with them.  The best I can do is to let him know that his closest friends will be his family and to treat them as he would Mom or Dad--so I am trying to model forgiveness, sharing, empathy and so on. If I focus on the lack of a sibling it will destroy our joy together and I won't let that happen but it is an every day matter I have to recommit to.

Ilene - posted on 08/16/2009

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My son has started asking for a pet now since he realizes that a sibling just isn't going to happen. We've decided we'll wait a few months until after our annual trip and then look into it then. I'm 42 now and I don't see getting pregnant again. While it is still possible, the risks associated with it and hating being pregnant just don't make it a real option.

Jennifer - posted on 08/15/2009

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Shahnaz - I can totally relate, as I have struggled with an anxiety disorder (similar to OCD) much of my life and worried about passing it on to my offspring. And sure enough, my son has an anxiety disorder at age 10. It really is hard to see him struggle with it, but I am also in a really good position to help him because of my own experience. The sooner we recognize the symptoms and get help for our kids, the better off they will be because they can learn coping skills before it gets really bad.

Shahnaz - posted on 08/15/2009

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Hi everyone. I'm Shahnaz and from South Africa. I have a 6 yr old daughter and hear it all the time from everyone that having one kid is lonely for them. My problem is that i am recovering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and i dont want to take the chance of passing this genetic disorder to my next child. Lameez is already showing signs of the disorder. Help!

Jeni - posted on 08/14/2009

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We actually chose to be a one child family. We only wanted one child, a daughter, and that's what we had. Both my husband and I have no desire to have more children. I loved being an only child. My husband always wished he was an only child. My mom and dad did adopt two children when I was 16, but I was more like a second mom then a sister to them because I was in fact the same age as their biological mothers. As of right now, Jezi loves being an only child. I ask her all the time if she wants a brother or sister or if she likes having mommy and daddy all to herself and she always responds immeadiately that she likes things the way they are. I'm sure at some point she'll ask for a sibliing but I don't think I'll have too hard a time explaining it to her when she does question it. And I'm sure when she sees her friends with siblings fighting all the time she'll appreciate the peace in our house. She also is in preschool now and gets lots of interaction with her friends and so that isn't an issue. She's incredibly social and outgoing.

Jeni - posted on 08/14/2009

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I was an only child until I was16 years old. I loved being an only child. I occasionally wanted a sibling but then I'd go spend the night with a friend who had a sibling and saw how much they fought and decided I really liked that I had none of that distent at home. I had lots of really close friends who would stay at my house all the time. Not having siblings didn't make me lonely, it made me more social. I had lots of friends and I had all of my parents attention. It was wonderful.

Carolyn - posted on 08/13/2009

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My son is 6 and sometimes I feel that he maybe lonely. I have talked with him and he has told me that he would like a sister. I told him that I wasn't ready to have another child right now or maybe never. I try my best to make sure that he keeps him self busy with sports and time with friends and family and I think he is doing good.

Carrie - posted on 08/12/2009

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My daughter is now 12 and she is an only... I had her at the young age of 19, and divorced when she was a month old so I wasn't in the position to have another child, then became ill and disabled by the time she was five so it was no longer a choice for me. I tried hard to keep her social with other children, and always felt the guilt of being a single mother one and two her being an only. She was interested in a brother or sister when she was younger, but now that she is older is glad she is on only. The hardest thing has been ever having a relationship because she's accustomed to being an only and doesn't do well sharing my attention, it's always been just her and I. As the teen years creep up she sees her friends and their younger siblings annoy them and is glad she doesn't have to share in that, but I still feel like I have robbed her of something. My brother and I are very close, and that is something she will never have... it's hard...

Jennifer - posted on 08/12/2009

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I have a ton of guilt over my son being a "lonely only." I had a few health issues, so we kept putting off trying for another child until it was too late. I wish now we had just gone ahead and done it, but at the time, I didn't realize how much I would regret not giving my son a sibling. I also underestimated how difficult it would be getting together with friends. The friends he has are always either out of town, having company at their house, or busy playing with their siblings. There are days he wants someone to play with so bad he is in tears, and it totally breaks my heart. To make matters worse, we are eight hours away from the nearest relatives, so he only sees cousins once or twice a year. If I could go back in time and have more children, this time I would not hesitate!

Athena - posted on 08/03/2009

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I was an only child and I always did wish that I had siblings. However, I am pretty introverted and can be a loner, so I managed to do fine. My only worry is once my Mom dies (in a really, really far off time) that I won't have any siblings to be with. My son is an only child too, but he is much more social in nature and he is very bored and annoyed about it..we don't live by many kids.

Heather - posted on 08/03/2009

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My son just turned 9 and he is always asking for a brother or a sister. the thing is he is a fertility child so i can't have any more, we have tried so many times. He has alot of friends at school and at church. The thing is when we ask friends to come over to play the kids want to get together but the parents NEVER call back. It is sad and frustrating because my son gets so sad. Even now if I could have another child by the time the other one would be born my son would be almost 10 and they would be so far apart. I try to get him involved in stuff outside the house but he has no intrest. We just keep having cousins over and every so often friends come over. One day I think he will be happy he doesn't have a sibbling but for now it breaks my heart that I can't give him the playmate that he deserves.

Amy - posted on 08/02/2009

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I have an 8 year old son and it took 7 years to get him and cannot have anymore, so I feel so grateful I have happy, healthy outgoing boy. We live in a very small town of about 270 and we just make friends and have friends over a lot and keep him active in soccer, wrestling, baseball, and taekwondo. The nearest town which is 13 miles away has a pool in the summer. His closest cousins are really all older than him other than the ones in New Mexico and for us we don't get to see them but every 4 years or so. I have 3 brothers so know it's hard for him, but friends are really, very wonderful, and especially since just became a single mom, friends and family are everything to me right know.

[deleted account]

Just this morning my son commented that he wished he could be his dad's brother. Cause he has lots of brothers, he wants to be one of his brothers. I tried the "you're better, you're his SON" but he was still on the brother thing. He sometimes refers to his friends as his family (brother, sister or cousin sometimes) which kinda gets to me, but I'm also pretty sure I'm done. He's 7 now, and it seems to pass, but I know he would just love a sibling.

My son does very well making friends, he's outgrown his shyness and is more assertive than he was in Kindergarten. He'll be entering the 2nd grade in the fall.

Carol - posted on 07/05/2009

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My 8year old daughter is more than happy to be an only child (and she even has friends that voice their jealousy that she is an only child). She is not lonely she has many friends and then peace when they go home which she really appriciates too!
Only children do not have to be lonely, I think they have the best of both worlds - company when they chose and them good quality one-on-one time with parents the rest of the time!
I have siblings (two older brothers) and although I wouldn't be without either now, (although we still have our spats) I can remember being teased awfully by them and wishing I was an only child at times when growing up!

Gail - posted on 07/03/2009

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I spent a long time working with this one. My son just turned 6 and I can't have anymore children - so it was not a choice for me. I felt a lot of guilt about him without siblings,but have worked through that. He now asks all the time about having a brother or sister. I am honest with him, that we tried (no real details), but it just wasn't in the plan for us. I also explain to him the benefits - that as an only child, he gets more attention from his parents than his friends with siblings do. I work harder than other moms to plan playdates and make sure he is engaged with other kids...but it is what it is. He will be fine, because I will work hard to make sure. (I also tell him about all the other great people who were only children....Presidents, inventors, scientists, etc).

Karen - posted on 07/02/2009

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Absolutley Rabecca, I feel the same way, I've been a stay-at-home mom with Evan for his whole life....he's never been in daycare and there are only a select few kids around his age who he gets to interact with, he is in soccer every summer and i can see that he's not really sure how to act with them...he is so used to adults....I feel as tho i should have another child for him, but of course there are so many other things to take into consideration.....i don't feel as though he is very lonley right now at this stage in the game but I feel as though when he grows up he will need that partner in crime and confidant. All of the grown up "Only Children" I know all wished for a sibling.

[deleted account]

My 4 year old son is an only, but I don't feel he is lonely. He sees his male cousins on a frequent basis, and they are 4 1/2 & 7. I still send him to daycare 2-3 days a week to play and socialize with his friends. He honestly does enjoy going. I have him enrolled in a basketball class Saturday monrings. Plus we spend a lot of time at the library, park, and the public pool. In these settings, he can interact with his peers. We also live in a neighborhood with a ton of kids, so I am confident he raraly ever feels lonely.

René - posted on 07/01/2009

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I have that same worry. My boy is only three and when he gets with his cousins, I wish he had a sibling to play with. My family lives with my sister's family until we can find our own place. (I just moved back to Australia from the US). It is going to be hard to separate my son and my niece.

Amy - posted on 06/30/2009

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i agree. my daughter is 5 and an only child. i so want another one, but the hubby says hes not ready. i feel she may be my only one. i agree i couldnt imagine my life without my brothers.

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