Why do you blame all your problems on not having siblings?

by on May 25, 2010

in Bernice responds

Here is the sort of email I often receive which shows how angry people with siblings can be and as you will see it is a lot to do with envy. Envy of the close relationship some onlies have with their parents and envy of the material benefits. Compounded by the fact that of course not everyone gets on with their siblings!!

I can’t believe you feel having no brothers or sisters is the root of all onlies’ problems. What about all the miserable people out their WITH siblings?  What do they blame THEIR childhood/adult issues on?

I have a sister and I always envied my cousins who were onlies, and I had quite a few of them. They always had nicer things, seemed closer with their parents, grew up and are doing well and are definitely not “alone in the world” as they are married with kids of their own. Me, I’m closer to my two best friends than my sister, who gets on my nerves if I have to be around her too much. My two best friends have onlies who are teens and are outgoing, happy and smart. I have one son, who is 7 and he actually begs me not to have any more kids because he “doesn’t want any babies in the house bothering him”.

The newspaper advice columns are filled with letters from adults who have horrible problems with their siblings. Siblings who leave the care of aging parents all on one of them. Siblings who fight over family money. And so on.

There is bad and good on both sides of the fence. You can’t blame your own shortcomings on the fact you didn’t have a magical sibling who was supposed to make everything ok for you!

Of course there are both good and bad things about being an only child, however I think many people with siblings only see the ‘good’ side and prefer not to be aware that there might be some disadvantages too! Often these disadvantages do not emerge until later in life and whilst some children may NOT be very keen  to have another sibling to share the attention of their parents; many others would, as it means some of that attention they receive can be diluted by having a sibling. It can be  hard to have to be all things to your parents and often means only children find it  harder to separate emotionally and psychologically from their parents’  in adolescence and beyond.

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