Are parents with an only child discrediting them?

By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer

To my dismay, my long-lost twin sister never moved in across the street from me so we could be best friends. I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid, siblings or not, who fantasized this same story.

Only a happy report from an only child here. I’m independent, mature, comfortable with solitude, able to entertain myself and confident. I’m both my parents’ favorite, and yours’ too.

There is a stigma to only children that they are selfish. In hindsight, it would seem only children would be selfish because I never had to compete as a child. I never had to share my toys, food, bedroom, clothes, car or my parents. However, non-only children had to compete for everything. They are used to living in a competitive environment where to survive you had to be selfish.

I was also encouraged to participate in adult conversations at a young age. Now, I enjoy adult company where others might be intimidated.

The steady relationships in my life are humbling. My parents are my best friends, and so is my grandma. My parents had the time to put effort into our relationship. They had the energy to commit their attention to me, and even play “restaurant” at the end of the day. It was just me and them, and them and me.

My cousins are all the good parts about siblings. I would look forward to seeing them at family gatherings but when they got on my nerves, it was time to go. We share only the happy memories of family pictures, no arguing or hair-pulling that always goes on behind the camera.

On the other hand, I have to admit I’m a little sensitive. I rarely ever show it, but can be easily offended by criticism or brutal honesty. I haven’t built up walls from sibling retort, those comments that are simply to get on your nerves.

Parents may worry they’re harming their only children by not giving them any siblings, though I can’t remember a time when I truly wished for a sibling. The personality traits that I gained as an only child have been beneficial throughout my life.