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8 Only Children Myths Debunked By Researches

8 Only Children Myths Debunked By Researches

Once upon a time, in a planet called Earth, there lived a special kind of species named Humans. They wanted to make their existence profound so that generations after generations they would survive in this big world. And they successfully did. They started to produce more human beings, and at one time, it became natural for a single family to have 7-8 children. Or more.

But as generations proceeded, the number of children decreased. Therefore, from 20th Century onwards, many families have been seen with only one child. The previous generation raised their eyebrows. What disgrace to mankind! They remarked on various disadvantages those family would face if they stick to an only child policy. But is it true what they said? Or is it just myths? Let us find out here with 8 only children myths disapproved by researches:

1. They are lonely, and depressed.

FACT: No, they are not lonely. And they are not depressed. First of all, they get their parents’ full attention. Second of all, they have cousins who fill up the “missing” sibling(s) spaces. Third of all, they have friends. And since they are the only children, parents encourage them to hang out more with their cousins and friends. Thus, they can easily avoid feeling lonely and depressed. Of course, all situations have their pros and cons. But the pros here are heavier than the cons. Carl E. Pickhardt, PhD, wrote an article based on The Adolescent only child and friendship. This is a great read for all the parents of single children.

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2. They have imaginary friends to balance out their loneliness.

FACT: It is a common thing amongst children. All children, regardless of being the only one or being one among five other siblings do it.

According to Jerome L. Singer, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Department of Psychology, Yale University: “the imagination required to create make-believe friends is not the exclusive property of the ‘only’ child, the isolated, the ill or the handicapped. Imaginary friends serve a purpose of meeting a need—to confront loneliness, to combat a fear, or to compensate for feelings of weakness in relation to adults or older children. Any child can feel that need.”

In fact, studies have shown how to handle such a situation. Just remember, imaginary friends are as good as real life friends.

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3. They are violent and pushy.

FACT: Did you know that only children learn quicker than children with siblings? Maybe they are demanding and bossy at home, but they know that such behaviour with their peers produce a negative impression of them. They know they might even be considered as social outcasts. Thus, they adjust faster than other children, making them well liked by their friends.

4. They are selfish.

FACT: It is one of the most common myths, I should say. The answer is, No! Only children are not selfish. You may have every reason to believe in this, because they are the ones who don’t get to share their toys or clothes or chocolates with other siblings, they get their parents’ sole attention, they get a room of their own, they get the best clothes, and what not! For years, studies and experiments have been done on families and the results show that only children scored more in many important aspects than children with siblings. Then again, it is okay to be selfish sometimes. We all are selfish in our own ways. It is a natural habit and has nothing to do with being the only child of our parents.

5. They are dependent.

FACT: It is believed that since only children have no other siblings, they are tend to be dependent on their parents. A survey done in China shows that only children are more independent and self-supporting. They don’t have elder siblings to look after them and are more influenced by their individual experiences.

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6. They are spoiled.

FACT: Who isn’t? If compared to only children, I would say my two children are equally spoiled. Over the years, studies have found out that there are no such differences in only children being more spoiled than children with siblings.

7. They don’t have their own original ideas and views.

FACT: Since they are the only children, their ideas and views on things are entirely their own and original. They are not sharing their thoughts with their siblings. An article on Why only children are awesome shows that parents tend to talk in an “adult manner” with their only children rather than in “baby talk”. This encourages the children to develop their own ideas and views because they are directly relating to the adult world.

8. They lack talent.

FACT: In fact, they are the ones who are more talented and have more nurtured hobbies than children with siblings. The reason is their parents can give undivided, full attention, entirely to them. Parents encourage them to explore more into different sorts of things, and such encouragements make them talented. Another reason is since only children tend to be closer to their parents, this special relationship can do wonders in building creativity and imagination in the only children.

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Having only children isn’t bad. In fact, there are many advantages of being parents to an only child. There is an article on Parenting an only child that highlights the positive aspects of having only children. So next time you are family planning, do not hesitate to browse through the option of having an only child.

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Sumaiya Kabir

Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

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Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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