An Only Child

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    Are the dynamics different for an only child than someone with siblings? How so? (Someone mentioned that sometimes they are spoiled.)


    The interaction between that child and other children is also different regarding sharing, seeing things from another’s perspective, and a whole gamut of things. I am married to an only child and I don’t think he understands well how to relate to a person of the opposite gender (although the same can be said of a person who comes from a family of all boys or all girls), but it’s almost like he expects children to be adults all the time because that is the primary interpersonal relationship that he had for the majority of his life (not talking about school obviously).

    m in Israel

    There is a ton of psychological research out their on family placement and personality. Obviously each individual person does not necessarily fit the rules (just as there are boys who are more feminine and girls who are more masculine), but there are definite patterns. Only children have certain general characteristics, as does the oldest child, the youngest child, the only boy/ girl, etc.

    If you google it you can find a lot of information.


    well i think being an only child effects the child very much

    i happen to be a sort of only child

    (all my siblings are by FAR older than me so i grew up alone with my parents)

    i spent more time with my parents and benifited a lot from their wisdom on the other hand it was lonely

    i traveled the world constantly with them and experienced more than my peers

    my relationship with my siblings was hard i hardly saw them and they were more distant to me

    but everyone is different


    I am an only child and so is my husband. Actually I was not spoiled. In fact, there were times when my mother went to parent teachers conferences, and it happen to come up (my mother would mention it), the teachers were actually taken aback to find this out. They would tell my mother how surprised they were. I was not what ppl typically picture of an only child. I had no problems sharing, was not spoiled, etc. etc. I hope I don’t sound like I’m bragging chas v’shalom. I’m not. I actually credit my mother for the upbringing.

    I don’t believe my husband was spoiled either. He too does not have a problem sharing. As far as him relating to a person of the opposite gender, I just assumed it was a “guy” thing.

    Anyway, my kids have always had fun telling friends and teachers that they have NO first cousins, NO aunts or uncles! Although B”H they have a large extended family with whom we are close – 2nd cousins, great aunts and uncles, etc.


    I know 2 different only children. Both are extremely level headed, not spoiled and socially normal. On the other hand, I know children from families of 8, 10 or more children who are resentful to their parents and their siblings and are always looking for attention which makes for very awkward social interaction.


    There are exceptions to every rule.


    Csar: I’d say that there isn’t a rule, just some educated guesses which are sometimes right, sometimes wrong.

    I do not know any only children who are spoiled, can’t share, can’t relate to the other gender, etc.


    See m in Israel’s comment. There are studies and patterns, not guesses.


    If you want to talk spoiled, take a look at the only girl/only boy in a family of lots of boys/girls. Now they are spoiled. 😀

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