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.
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.
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.
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.
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.