A person that has no siblings. I am an only child, and I seem to be less comfortable socially then my friends who aren't. However, I cannot determine a general relationship between the two factors..

The best part about growing up an only child is that you don't have to share your toys with anyone else. This has an upside and a downside. You tend to take better care of your stuff, 'cause you know that if it is to be broken, it will be done by you and you alone. However, it also makes you selfish when it comes to sharing with others as you grow older.

There are other good news, bad news things about being an only child. You get all the love your parents have to give a child. But you're the only one there to take care of them when they get old and feeble. And you're the only there one to bury them.

You tend to be more successful at whatever you decide to do, but you can also be ruthless and quite cold to those you step on while reaching this plateau. I say this only to warn you folks up there above me on the Best Users List. . .

Only child syndrome:

It's a strange quality that is by no means exclusive to only children. However, in my personal experience I've seen it more in those without siblings.

We've all seen it: those people who think they're the center of the universe. Ever since their birth, they have been the sole receiver of their parents' attention. They've had gifts and praise and love showered upon them freely. They get what they want, and when they don't get, they are completely shocked, or throw a fit (or both). They are very unique individuals, and feel a deep need to be the center of everyone else's attention.

Children with siblings, on the other hand, often observe their siblingless peers with great envy. With siblings around, children have to compete for their parents' attention. Material goods have to be shared. Praise is only sprinkled, and likewise must be shared with brothers and sisters. Rivalry runs rampant. These children have to learn how to interact with their peers early on: they play games together, share toys, or at least just peacefully ignore the others' existence.

The grass is always greener on the other side, they say. I have siblings, and many's the time I've wished to have been an only child. One of my closest friends is an only child, and has always wanted a sibling.

I am not advocating that either situation is better than the other, or that one produces a better individual than the other. However, it appears that people with siblings are better equipped to deal with society "in the real world" beyond their own family, while only children may have a difficult time particularly in school, which may lead to other issues in socializing further down the road.


Susan was an only child
for six years.
Her parents had big hopes
she was pre-med and a potential movie star.

When I came along I had no such pressure,
minimal dreams and modest goals:
graduate high school and stay out of juvenile

After the accident,
when I became the only child
my parents stopped expecting much at all.

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