Growing up as an only child I heard “oh, you are an only child so that means you must be spoiled rotten” or my favorite thing I heard was “aren’t you bored with out anyone to play with?”. First of all, my mom and dad made sure that just because I didn’t have any siblings that I was not going to be a spoiled brat. One thing that prevented this was the lack of extra money my family had and my mom also despised the saying, just as much as I did. She also like to keep me under control the best she could and had 0 tolerance for any child that needed a good spanking. Trust me when I say this, I was a child that probably needed more spankings than I actually received. Secondly, who said anything about me not having anyone to play with. I grew up with an uncle who was only 4 years older than me and lived 2 blocks away. That was the closest I was going to get to having a sibling and we even fought like them at times. Not only did I have him to play with there were other neighborhood kids to run around with, getting into any kind of trouble we could find. When all of those options got boring I always had a very active imagination I could rely on for entertainment. Being an only child means you always have your imagination and you learn how to play multi-player games with only one player.
Of course there are some definite perks to not having to share your parents with anyone else. I remember times my mom had to go to the city either for a doctors appointment or to the pharmacy. This normally meant I got to go with her, because this was her only opportunity to eat Chinese food (my dad hated it and still does to this day) and I also loved it, plus she shouldn’t have to ride 30 miles alone when I was perfectly happy to miss some school for an adventure. When ever there was something going on with my parents I normally tagged along, unless it wasn’t kid friendly. Those times I would get to go stay with my grandparents who lived 20 miles away. Even then I got to go do stuff with my grandpa (like go get ice cream at 9 am) or go to work with my grandma. Taking one child around wasn’t that big of an inconvenience, plus I knew when to stay out of the way and when to exactly be in the way when any type of candy or money was being handed out. I don’t think my friends that have siblings were allowed such perks because their moms and dads didn’t want to haul around 2-3 kids. Could you only imagine how stressed out everyone would be by the time they made it back home? Not only did I get to go on adventures I was also left alone to do my thing. During the summer as soon as I could I stayed home alone, my dad came home to check on me during lunch time and my mom only worked 3 blocks away. There was no risk of me tying up a sibling I didn’t like or burning down the house, I was expected to act responsible, which I did because I didn’t know any better. There was also the obvious perks like not having to share a bedroom, share any possessions, birthday’s were a big thing and Santa only had one stocking to fill. The clothing I wore wasn’t passed down through other children and 5 years out of style before I was graced with them. Also my car hadn’t been wrecked numerous times before the keys made it to my hands, I was the sole driver and didn’t have to taxi anyone around.
Being an only child and it’s perks also carry into adulthood. When I decided to get married, it was the one and only that was going to happen and my parents oh so graciously paid for it. They have helped me purchase numerous cars and even helped with a down payment on a house, none of this I think would be possible if there were more children in the picture. Also when it was time for me to have a child of my own (who is also an only child) they have been able to be there for the both of us. The perks have now been passed down to him and he is going on adventures with them, such as camping 3 times a year. He also received a tractor of his own at the age of 10, any help with school actives either monetarily or through attendance, they are also there without having to pick which grandchild’s event they will attend.
Through all of the perks and the numerous benefits there is still some downfalls to being the only one. There are are times I would like to vent, cry or share things in life with a sibling, someone who understands and came from the same up bringing as I did. To have a sibling to help share the responsibilities of my parents when they get older (which will inventively happen if I like it or not). It would be nice to have a bond with someone regardless if we hate each other or not. Of course these are all my fantasies of what having a brother or sister would be like and I know not all sibling relationships are ideal. I’m allowed this fantasy because at this point in my life I highly doubt my mom will be announcing I’m getting a baby brother or sister anytime soon.
Remember that before you judge someone for being an only child, think that maybe their life is actually better than yours. There are numerous great qualities to only children; independent, dependable, sensitive, close to our parents, mature and goal-orientated. Think about how many brothers and sisters you have and then remember, that my parents only had to have one, because they got it right the first time.