I’m convinced every only-child is different depending on parenting style and life experience. Many responded with surprise when they found out I am an only child, some said I am more like the oldest child. It is because my complicated childhood. I came from in fact selfish parents, both of them, it’s true. My dad didn’t want any kid at first, I don’t know who’s more self-centered, mom or dad. But clearly they are much into themselves, their own satisfaction, still are. But I was blessed to have lived with happy, normal families with many children, during the years after my parents got divorced and my dad settling in a new place before getting me there. And later on blessed with a loving church family. That’s where I learn about “love”. I have two children, and I am boldly open about why parents should not have just one child if they have the choice. I know a good number of parents having only one child, their reason is the same as my parents: Selfishness. It’s too hard, it’s too much trouble, it’s too expensive…. But it’s not about us, or for us. It’s for the children. I didn’t want my son, my first born to be alone and lonely, I know what lonely is; I wanted him to have someone to share things with, anything. I had wished to have an elder sibling for my own selfish reason when I was younger, so I can be spoiled. Then I wished if I could just have a sibling, anything, so I can have someone, anyone, to share anything I need to, who’s from my family. Who I can still talk to even if we just got so mad at each other. I also know some only-child who grew up happy, so it’s case by case. I do see obvious difference between only-child and those who are not. I did have problem with little kids growing up, they annoyed me. I thought I would not have any children before I got married. But husband loves children, he’s the youngest of 5. And I know I would not have just one. My ideal number was 3, in the order of son-daughter-son, I had a silly reason. I have a son and then a daughter, I lost the courage to have more. Too hard. And she’s a little mommy around the house and runs her brother’s life. Clearly he needs her. The world would be a more lonelier place for him without her. Only-child are more comfortable with adults, and they prefer to talk with them over kids their age. When my children’s friends come over, their only-child friend usually occupies me and prefer to have conversation with me more. Sometimes I worry for them.
I had to learn not to be selfish as only-child. My natural response is always thinking for myself first, I am grateful that my life experience and faith taught me to love others, this teaching did not come from my parents, in fact, I am trying to share with them what I learn, I said, trying.
Anyway, I may have a more of dark view about only-child, but it’s just me. Oh, I have convinced at least 2 moms to have their second…. I am Asian living in US, these are Asian moms as well. My point is, will your child have his/her own sibling/relative later on living in this country? Of course parents need to teach children to love each other, it’s our job.