I came across your website while looking for information on only children and was compelled to write a thought or two. I am my mother’s only child and I’m also am the mother of an only daughter who is just about to turn five.
In reading through the experiences of only children that were posted I was struck by, more than anything else, the sense that because of who a person is and by being raised as an “only”, the person is somehow lacking.
I have had many years of therapy sorting through my “issues”. I have learned over time that the more I blame my parents, or even the circumstances of my childhood, the worse I feel. It doesn’t help me to focus on what could have been at all. My parents are who they are. Our circumstances were as they were. They loved me and sometimes they were selfish and sometimes they were wrong and they were very, very human. Just, as it turns out, I am as a parent. Not perfect.
What would be most helpful to me to know from the research is:
- What the common self-perceptions of only children are and how can we better balance those?
- Do most only children feel almost phobic at the thought of confrontation?
- Do most only children feel automatically left out when in a large group of peers regardless of the situation?
- Can we change our current experiences by changing our perceptions of ourselves or learning simple skills?
If we can, and I hope we can – then maybe my daughter can have a very positive experience as an only child. I really need to hope so – and I really want to know what to do!