Being An Only Child – Some Advantages And Disadvantages!

Are you the only child of your parents? If that is the case it is not such a big deal. It goes without saying that being the only child can have some blessings that are special to them. An only child can achieve a lot and also has the freedom and wherewithal to take decisions. They can rise in their work life, be good in family life and have a life of glory.

Some reasons why having only child makes sense:

Financial aspects: Many people feel that having one child makes sense as they can provide for the child in a better way. In fact countries like China dictate that people have only one kid for the sake of welfare.

Due to health: Many couples feel that they may not be able to cope with raising more than one child given their poor health and that is why they want only one offspring. Sometimes the mother faces problems during childbirth or the father has some problem preventing them from having more kids.

Other specific reasons: Sometime the parents may decide to have not to have any more kids due to some special needs of their offspring. Or one of the siblings could have passed away making the surviving child the only offspring. Sometimes the death of one spouse or a divorce can also be the reason to have a single child.

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Here is a list of advantages of being a single child:

  • You get more freedom as compared to when you have siblings
  • You are focus of all the attentions and affection from your parents
  • There is no fighting between siblings
  • The standard of your life goes up
  • You will be smarter and quite self possessed
  • Can be more creative and well rounded due to the extra attention

Here is a list of disadvantages of being a single child:

  • It is lonely being the only kid at home
  • Social life is a little more restricted
  • Parents tend to more protective of an only kid
  • Sometimes being the focus of too much attention can be smothering
  • You miss having someone to share things with

The only kid phenomenon: There is a syndrome called the Little Emperor Syndrome (originating from China) that is attributed to an only child.

Some myths about being an only child: Some research and people associated with it have made some hypothesis about an only child. According to them only children tend to be not so social, may have a unsavory personality and display behavior that is not socially acceptable. But these are not based in fact and they are in fact myths.

The myth: Though it is believed that an only child becomes used to getting his or her own way due to unstinting attention from parents, it simply is not true in all cases.

Queen Victoria: An only child she was under the thumb of a mother who was too ambitious and also the comptroller of her mother Lord Conroy who was hungry for power. Though she was a docile child and obeyed her mother, she did not like the way her mother thought. She despised appearing in public and loved her privacy. On being crowned the queen she set a distance from her parent till she showed that she had changed in her thinking. She was a remarkably calm and tactful character which made her the longest ruler of Britain.

The myth: Theories suggest that only children tend to take to a life of crime. Again a supposition that is not proven. In fact many only children have proven to be very peace and justice oriented.

Mahatma Gandhi: Known for his love of peaceful methods of fighting for freedom, he was a single child. He was a model citizen who spent his life serving the poor, fighting for justice via peaceful methods and helping people through difficult times. He showed a marked willingness to help people through tough times.


The myth: Only kids tend to be loners and have a tough time having friends. Again something that is not wholly correct and proven by many only children who have lots of friends and a good social life.

Elvis Presley: Known for his exuberant showmanship, this king of Rock and Roll was the only kid to his parents. Not only was he popular among his fans but also among his pals. His friends liked him due to his warm and helping attitude. He had friends among the people from the bands and other places. He encouraged them in their work and stood by through tough times.

The myth: An only child does not like to share. Sharing in this case is not only about things but also to do with emotions and thoughts and also about caring for other people’s feelings. Again a single child is as likely to do this as others.

Gautama Buddha: A spiritual leader and founder of Buddhism was an only child. Though born into royalty, he gave all that up to become a leader in spiritual matters and his quest for the truth. As he reached enlightenment, he spread the word and served the needy people.


Most of myths stated above are not based in fact as proven by the examples of single people given above. What is more, here is a list of people who have achieved a name owing to their dynamic way of thinking, concentration and dedication to their area of work:

  • Condoleezza Rice: She is the secretary of state and a politician of note in the USA. Also been nominated the most powerful woman in Forbes magazine
  • Hans Christian Andersen: Though a person with a lonely life, he wove the best fairy tales that are loved by people across the globe.
  • Kareem Abdul Jabbar: One of the greatest players of NBA and also a writer, actor, coach and the cultural ambassador of USA.
  • Isaac Newton: Discovered Gravity and wrote the laws of motion. He was also an expert in many related areas.
  • James “Jim” Lovell: Astronaut and Apollo 13 commander apart from other achievements
  • David Copperfield: Storyteller and magician and also known for charitable works
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: Former president of USA and also very learned man
  • Leonardo da Vinci: Painter and skilled in many other fields
  • Queen Elizabeth 1: Tolerant monarch and patron of arts
  • Barbra Streisand: A great entertainer with 2 Oscars and several Grammy

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