Adavantages and Disadavantages of Being the Only Child

Being an only child can be either good or bad, depending on how you perceive it and how you are brought up by your parents. The advantages could be that you get the undivided love and attention of your parents. They would dote on you more and provide for you more – in terms of getting you stuff, toys, etc. Obviously, being an only child means that your parents have only you to spend the money on and not have to share it among other siblings. So, you’d get more toys than normal, more money to spend than normal, more inheritance than normal, and of course more love from your parents than normal.
So, in that sense, being the only child can be termed as a good thing. As far as disadvantages go, the “Little Emperor Syndrome” sums it up perfectly. For those unfamiliar with the term, “Little Emperor Syndrome” refers to the Chinese situation involving parents and their single child. Of course, all of you would be aware of China’s one-child policy. Little Emperor Syndrome is an unintended consequence of that policy. This is a situation in which the parents lavish their love, attention, resources on this one child of theirs, and as a result, the child becomes spoilt and, well, behaves like a “Little Emperor. This sort of excessive attention and care can prove detrimental in the long term for the child. The child gets used to having everything done, managed, taken care of – by their parents. When they have to live in the real world and face real problems, they might not be able to cope with it. They may lack self-confidence to go out in the world and get things done for themselves. They might feel lost outside of the cocoon that their parents created for them. Being an only child can also be very lonely. They would miss the fun of growing up with a brother or sister.
An only child can also grow up to be a selfish adult, i. e. one who thinks primarily of his/her needs over the needs of others. They may also lack in the ability to empathize with others as much as children with siblings. Another potential disadvantage of being an only child could be the excess burden on your shoulders as regards taking care of your parents, for example. It can take an emotional toll on you, being the only child with all the responsibilities. My Experience of not Being the Only Child in my Family So, there are advantages and disadvantages to being an only child.

However, how each child turns out – really depends on how the child has been brought up, among other factors. Personally, I always wished I was the only child in my family. Perhaps, its not a nice thing to say, but that’s how I feel! You know, the grass always seems greener on the other side. In my specific situation, the age gap between me and my brother was just 3 years, and therefore, there was a lot of rivalry and acrimony between us all through childhood – it affected me quite a bit, not the usual childhood fights, which you grow out of.
Being the eldest in my family, I always felt that I was not treated fairly when it came to certain situations, especially conflict situations. I was always expected to be magnanimous and large-hearted and forgive and forget – whereas my younger brother was doted on and shielded. I still feel that to be the case to this day. We do get along much better now, but it isn’t your usual loving relationship – more formal than familial. My mom still dotes on my little brother to no end, which is good, but she doesn’t see me the same way, which is what I regret and bemoan. I’ve never quite understood this difference.
At times, I think to myself that this is all my imagination – that I am just seeing things that aren’t there! That there is really no discrimination so to speak. But, then again, there is a difference, you know what I mean? Perhaps, a lot of you would have no clue about what I am talking about. Then again, there may be a lot of you who know exactly what I am talking about, so there you have it!! I am sure, there would be lots of single, lonely people out there, who were the only child in their families, who would have wished they had a brother or sister growing up. So, there are pros and cons to both!

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