Perhaps being an only child is a nice thing, but who knows? While research suggests that an only child is attached to certain myths, it depends on how they raise the child. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages of being an only child, as discussed below:
Pros of being an only child
1. An only child gets very attached to their parents: You experience amazing first-hand love from your parents as an only child. You are attached to your parents, and you bond quite well because you are only three. Your parents become kind of your best friends, and there is a kind of closeness that you feel when you are with them.
2. An only child learns to relate well to adults: An only child grows up without their age mates, so they get used to spending most of their time with adults. It is easier for them to strike up conversations with older people.
3. They are independent: Not having siblings means an only child will have to make most of the decisions independently. Regardless of their personality, they develop their own beliefs and know what they want in life much earlier than their age mates.
4. Maturity: An only child matures real quick. They are used to interacting with people much older than themselves, so they process ideas differently. Listening to adults conversing makes them learn how to think like them. Also, most only children learn to be calm, sit still, and not play around often, appearing more mature.
5. Suited introvert: If you are an only child, there is a higher probability of you becoming an introvert. You will have time to spend by yourself, think, and hang out alone, which is thrilling.
6. Undivided attention from parents: This one is pretty obvious. You will get your parent’s full attention if it is just you. You don’t have siblings to compete for it to enjoy your childhood. Also, your parents expose you to real and continuous love, and as a result, you love being home.
7. Your parents provide for you only: An only child gets the best of everything; material things, pocket money, school fees, and so on are all catered for. Most children do not lack, and their parents are just a phone call away.
8. Parents will find it easier to cater to all your expenses: Growing up as an only child makes you the only focus. Your parents will consistently put your needs first before themselves and before anything else. Everything about you is done on time because there are no other siblings to spend on.
9. No competition from siblings: An only child is a happy child, says the research, and the more siblings you have, the unhappier you become due to competition. There are no rivalry issues, and most importantly, your needs come first because you do not have siblings.
10. No comparison with another sibling: Growing up as an only child is advantageous because your parents will not expect you to live up to the standards of other siblings. Putting much pressure on a child to behave like their siblings may cause self-esteem issues and less confidence while growing up.
11. Openness and comfort in social situations: As an only child, you will get used to being open to your parents. You learn to tell them almost everything. Most parents of an only child will always know what is going on in their child’s life.
Cons of being an only child
1. An only child can develop “little emperor syndrome”: Too much attention is also not good; such kids take everything for granted because they feel like the world revolves around them. It can be difficult for such a child to get out of their comfort zones. An only child can develop “little emperor syndrome,” which spoils them and makes them stubborn.
2. Frequent conflicts between the parents and the child: Because there is no other child, you are the only one who needs to live up to your parent’s expectations. Failure to adhere to their instructions could result in frequent conflicts.
3. Loneliness: Perhaps loneliness is the key disadvantage of being an only child. An only child grows up lonely since there is no one to talk to or play with regularly. Most of them grow up often wishing they could have another sibling for company.
4. It is your responsibility to take care of your elderly parents: An only child has the burden of being the sole caregiver of their old parents. Society expects them to take charge of everything in their parent’s golden years as they grow older.
5. Too much pressure from the parent: An only child is likely to experience too much pressure, which may cause anxiety and low self-esteem. They are expected to excel in school and behave in a certain way. In addition, parents expect them to have children to carry on the family name in the future.
6. Their parents are overprotective: Parents of an only child can be so protective to the extent that their child gets bored. They become overly involved in their child’s life, not giving them space. Moreover, the child gets used to having everything catered for by their parents, affecting their growth.
7. It is hard to make friends: The flip side of being alone and getting undivided attention from parents is discomfort when relating to other children. They feel awkward anytime they are playing with children. An only child is so used to being alone and spending much time with adults that they find it difficult to relate with children.
8. In the future, they may lack relatives: An only child will never have the experience of having sisters, brothers, nephews, and nieces. Similarly, the children of an only child will not have the experience of an aunt, uncle, and cousins.
9. Not knowing how to fight: Believe it or not, learning to fight for what is yours is an underrated skill. People will take advantage of you easily! An only child may not have someone to disagree with as they grow up, which may cost them a lot.
10. Unaware of others’ opinions: An only child always feels like whatever they decide is the absolute best. They do not know that everyone’s decision is valid and matters when finding a solution to something.
11. Selfish: From the minute they are born, an only child becomes the center of their parent’s world. After they come of age, they find it difficult to share or consider other people’s needs. They grow up knowing that everything is theirs; all the love and money are theirs.