Only Child Syndrome?

by on June 27, 2011

in Articles

What is only child syndrome? Bernice thought this article from Durango would be an interesting opener – feel free to add your comments.

Left is a German cartoon. The German on the right is saying, “He’s an only child, isn’t he?” To which the one on the left says, “He is now!”

by Durango Texas:-

The Only Children I’ve known have all pretty much matched the cliches about children who had no siblings. Spoiled, bratty, self-centered, selfish, an odd sense of entitlement, difficult to get along with plus a tendency to say inappropriate things that are rude and ill-mannered. Yet being extremely hyper-sensitive and brittle about even the most remotely critical remark going in their direction.

In other words, Only Children give themselves the permission to act, without expecting a consequence, in ways that when others act in a similar way to the Only Child, the Only Child becomes irrationally upset and reactive. It is a very odd spectacle to witness.

I knew an Only Child here in Fort Worth who was probably the worst of the breed I’ve encountered. Driving onto a museum’s parking lot she told me a space would open up, because it always does. And sure enough, a car pulled out and we parked right by the entry. To which she said, “see, it always happens.” Thus having her odd sense of specialness once more reinforced.

This Fort Worth Only Child was a married, recovered drug addict. She went to one of those Betty Ford Clinic type places somewhere in the Austin zone. When she completed the program there was some sort of graduation ceremony. One day she told me she was mad at her husband because he forgot her drug treatment graduation ceremony anniversary. Only Children expect every little thing to be made a big deal of. While at the same time they make absolutely no attempt at any sort of reciprocity.

I’ve never known an Only Child who does not expect a huge deal to be made over their birthdays. It’s like they expect a day of worship. It’s kind of creepy.

The Wikipedia article about Only Child Syndrome was on both sides of this issue, with some saying the Syndrome does not exist and others insisting it does. I’m on the side of those who know it exists.

I don’t know who G. Stanley Hall* is, but in the Wikipedia article it said this, “G. Stanley Hall was one of the first experts to give only children a bad reputation when he referred to their situation as “a disease in itself.” (*I looked up G. Stanley Hall, he was a pioneering American psychologist.)

Googling “Only Child Syndrome” I found several blogs written by Only Children, basically admitting they are different and another blog blogging about the Syndrome with several Only Children commenting on the blog and ironically and cluelessly confirming the Syndrome with their comments.

Below is an excerpt from the Blog written by an Only Child…

We have the tendency to cut people out of our lives—entire groups of people even—without a sense of remorse or grief. We draw a line in the sandbox, this is mine, this yours. But our sense of justice is clear and unrelenting—the world falls into right and wrong easily for most of us. The sandbox, then, is pretty symmetrically divided. We do this because we’re only children, and solitude is our foundation.

I know several only children—we kind of attract each other. We’re the honey and the flies. We don’t need anybody else damnit.

Okay, that’s wrong. We DO, we DO need other people. We need friends and love and all that jazz, but we prefer to outweigh socializing with solitude. Sorry, no offense, we just can’t help it. We NEED the intense me-time in order to be able to deal with you because frankly, dealing with you is annoying. You have needs and wants and demand compromise and you can’t read our minds, which means we have to communicate our own thoughts and feelings. The whole interaction gets overly complicated and we tend, then, to run off and hide, or to mentally check out, or to pick a fight just so we can have things OUR way. Then you get hoity toity and turn your nose at us accusing, “Only child syndrome!”

As God is my witness. No more Only Children shall cross my radar screen. If I can help it.

  • Ckloog

    My boyfriend has one daughter. He says he has researched OCS and it is a myth. I have researched it and found it to be true. My experience with people who are an only child proves that it exists also. They are bossy, self centered, sometimes mean yet overly sensitive, they rule their parents as if they were the head of the house. I think its pretty sad when a child had no siblings. Granted, they typically Excel educationally, but make up for that in lack of social skills and other quirky behaviors. There are always exceptions to any rule, but over all the only child syndrome appears to be quite accurate.

    • Tf2424

      As a only child I didn’t enjoy reading being called ‘a disease in itself’ but then I guess that would be extreme hyper-sensitivity. Right? :)

      I really think whether you grew up with siblings or not takes too higher importance in the assumptions of character. Imagine every negative characteristic you have being placed on your birth order.

      I am curious as to what ‘research’ you have conducted also Ckloog? Perhaps it is just knowing a few bad mannered only children?

    • Guest

      I can only speak for myself as an “only child”,  as I don’t know any other “only children” (that term alone is very offensive!), but yes I am bossy, I can be self-centred (but can’t we all!) and overly sensitive, but I never ruled my parents as a child. They ruled me! Furthermore, yes, academically I excel, but am poor in social skills. I admit this.
      At school I had to put up with a great deal of stick and bullying from other kids about being an “only child”. But as I said above, people should realise that no only child chooses to be one. The situation is forced on us. Also your existence is so lonely when you’re a child. Personally I would never advocate having just one child. People should either have at least two, or none at all. 

  • Destiny

    The only children I’ve known who were rude and outspoken and thought the world revolved around them weren’t born that way. Their parents had just about everything to do with it, because, they treated the child as if the world revolved around them and they were some kind of royalty. However, it is also fair to say that I have known some kids and young adults who were not only children who were spoiled, self-centered, socially awkward, and thought the world revolved around them. 

    They thought they were the most beautiful children in the world, meant to be worshiped, and their birthday was a holiday. 

    A few of these people were oldest or youngest of their SIBLINGS. Yet, they were acting with symptoms of “only child syndrome.” 

    Birth order didn’t seem to make a difference. Btw, I am not an only child just in case there was any question as to whether I was getting personally offended. So, yes, I believe “only child syndrome” is a myth or at least that not only only children can get it. It is the result of poor parenting, (and possibly just selfish natured individuals, some people ARE born selfish) NOT lack of siblings.

    Perhaps now we should claim their is an “oldest child syndrome” and a “youngest child’s syndrome” and an “it’s all my parent’s fault” syndrome. Don’t forget “middle child” syndrome while you’re at it.

    I’m on the side of those who know it’s a myth.

  • Kristin

    Wow, this article is incredibly offensive.  The example given by Durango of a horrible only child is ridiculous.   Expecting a parking space to open up, and the anniversary of a drug treatment graduation?  Parking spaces do open up – people come and go – nothing special there.  And drug treatment graduation can be seen as a very important milestone in someone’s life.  They recovered from an addiction and need to continually work to stay clean.  Anniversaries are important milestones of that. 

    I’d be happy if people like Durango never cross my radar screen.  Durango seems to be one that is the spoiled brat or perhaps consumed by jealousy and need for attention herself!

  • Thelemonbee

    G. Stanley Hall – what a pity the writer of this tirade didn’t include a bit more of the Wikipedia entry about this ‘esteemed pioneer’ of psychology. Talk about manipulating information to support your own bias:
    “Hall had no sympathy for the poor, the sick or those with developmental differences or disabilities. A firm believer in selective breeding and forced sterilization, Hall believed that any respect or charity toward those he viewed as physically, emotionally, or intellectually weak or “defective” simply interfered with the movement of natural selection toward the development of a super-race”

    Adolf Hitler took Hall’s theories and put them into practice….

  • wisen

    I totally agree since I have been dating an only child for a year now.  All our fights are based on how self-centered he is and that he thinks that the world revolves around him ‘ all about me’ attitude.  He also feels that he is the king of the household bossing his mom and aunt around.  He expects me to be as submissive as they are towards him. I rest my case!

    • Guest

      Only child or not, I’d ditch this guy at once if I were you!

  • Rene

    On evaluating the argument of others- it is not my place, because to me “seeing is believing”. So I will speak only on what I have experienced.

    For the first 6 years of my life, I have been an “only child”. That timeframe was sufficient for much of the syndrome (if it were real) to be inculcated in my self.

     With regards to solitude and people time- yes, I agree that solitude is my foundation.
     I need the people time, but [perhaps due to the adapting I've had to encounter]I find it easy to get to know them- still, I NEED that time alone, or I will be mentally-emotionally distressed and will then continuously feel as if the strain of bearing up under demands [of the various needs of people] is too much to bear.
    This has occurred multiple times in my past, and is still occurring up to this moment.

    I will agree that “only children” tend to attract each other, although they may exhibit different traits. A few months back, a girl’s behaviour (although eccentric) was attractive to me- instinctively [or not],  I saw her as my sister, and she saw me as her sister. Later I found out that she was an only child. It was not only to myself that I saw this behaviour occurring, however. Amusingly enough, it occurred to this girl as well, with another who also was an only child.

    Many who exhibit the “only child” syndrome tend to be blase about their opinions, whether they are the only child, the eldest, the youngest, or vice versa. Clearly, we are able to note the nuances and undertones within the excerpt posted.

     I would say that it is mainly due to the context of their upbringing that inculcated such ["only child"] behaviour; for instance, the parents may have given them all that they desire- time, money, attention, leeway. And for multiple reasons- such as when there is a gap between the time of the first-born to the second, or when most of the children have grown up and the youngest has it all- it is highly then like that we are able to see such traits being exhibited in them.

    To conclude, I dont think that the cliches about “Only children” are irrational. Rather, it is termed a syndrome simply because it occurs most often amongst them. Also, I do not think it is so much a syndrome as it is an attitude moulded by the environment they were brought up in- hence we are able to notice such traits in those with sibs as well.

    • Rene

      *highly likely

  • J-byer

    I’m a 26 year old only child and most people that find out say “Wow, I NEVER would have guessed!” I take it as a compliment, but I also appreciate the fact that my parents taught the importance of balance, working for what you want and understanding that not everything is handed over on a silver platter.

    I tell people that the reason I turned out ‘normal’ is because I had working parents who put me in daycare…and they don’t put up with sh*t in daycare :)

  • Tisa

    I am shocked by this article. It just perpetuates the myth of the maladjusted only child. Has this author never met a maladjusted first born or second born etc? To keep perpetuating this stereotype, stigma, is pure slander and cruel. Shame on this person. It is unbelievable that anyone could write this. The author must be very ignorant. I feel for anyone who is in his perfect inner circle.

  • Guest

    I’m an “only child” and, while I can identify with many of the symptoms you list in your article, I would still argue that you are referring to the most extreme type of “only child”, who probably doesn’t exist. Probably most of us only have a few of these symptoms.
    It is true though that I have a very great need to be alone, that is the strongest trait out of all those you list, but is this such an objectionable characteristic?  Does it actually hurt other people? No!
    However I hate any form of attention and each year I do my level best to forget my birthday. I have a strong sense of entitlement, and I’m hypersensitive, but on the other hand, whenever I’m wrong I immediately admit it and apologise. And I’m hypersensitive to others’ feelings too, not only to my own.
    Finally, however much you detest “only children”, please remember that none of us chose to live in this state. This was forced on us by our parents. Personally I’d have loved to have several brothers … 

  • Kurlykathb

    I can’t help thinking that this is a deliberately provocative article and has about as much creedance as the claim that all fat people are jolly, on the back of meeting a couple of large people who laughed a lot. I know lots of only children, myself included, who have experienced very different childhoods, have really diverse personalities and have issues very similar to our sibling- afflicted friends! Prove the myths wrong and don’t this ridiculous article seriously. Anyway, must go…need to instruct my friends on how to polish the golden carriage in time for my birthday party.

  • Cameron

    this is amazing.. i have a friend (only child) and he fits every decription in here. LOL

    • Guest

       well I suppose they must have got the description of a stereotypical “only child” (oooh I hate that term!!) from somewhere :-) . I fit in pretty well with this stereotype too …

  • Guest

    I’m an only child
    I’ve read many articles of only child “syndrome”. I understand why people stereotype only children but nobody realises that they are probably only children for a reason like parents getting a divorce or something happening to either parent which when you have to go through that alone it gets very tough and you feel you can’t talk to anyone about it. Only children may get an extra present at their birthday (which is not some worship ceremony!)or christmas but it is very lonely because your friends can’t be there 24/7. I am quite shy I admit that but I certainly don’t want to be the centre of attention.

    Also if you want to write about only children why don’t you talk about them like humans, not some species that people should avoid.

  • G Dimm

    The research Durango cites from Wikipedia (Stanley Hall) has been discredited by subsequent research, so I’d take it with a pinch of salt. I’m a second born child myself and have experienced many onlies. I have several wonderful and generous friends who are onlies. My Dad is also an only and he in no way fits Durango’s description. I also know a couple of selfish onlies, just as I know selfish people with siblings. Durango has basically come up with his theory and then looked for evidence to fit it, rather than gathering data using accurate research methodology and then drawing conclusions.

    Durango’s piece is so laughable it has to be a joke. Is it?

  • netster

    The two examples that Durango gives are very weak. I’m not an only child but would be very upset if my husband forgot something as important as that! Also Wisen’s comments below are immature. Many men are self-centred, as are many women – with or without siblings.

  • Guest

    I dislike how people who were born and grew up as an only-child are negatively type-caste. Such sweeping generalisations are not conducive to the truth.

    Recently a peer of mine was complaining about how one of her flatmates wouldn’t share some food with her, nor contribute towards other things like cleaning. She implied that it was down to him being an only-child i.e. supposedly selfish, inconsiderate of others etc etc… Then continued to be critical of  OCS.  Thus, I was quite amused when she looked at me for back-up because, unbeknown to her at the time, I am also an only-child. I didn’t let on but I doubt she would have been quite so scathing if she’d have known.

    Funnily enough, on numerous other occassions I have also experienced surprised faces when people learn that I am, in fact, an only child. Yet as a child, I didn’t grow up with neighbours my age nor did I have cousins to play with. So am I an anomaly? I doubt it. The simply truth is that there are also selfish and inconsiderate people WITH siblings living in the world.

  • bulltihs

    i am dealing with a single child – my boyfriends daughter at 12 yrs old – and she matches the above perfectly. it’s nice to have it written out in black and white for what it is – there is something seriously wrong with some only children. it means the things i am witnessing and having to deal with are not figments of my imagination. the problem is the constant expectation of entitlement and “we’re proud of you” no matter what insignificant event it is. it’s not healthy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenelle.yaldo Jenelle Yaldo

    Why are you judging us!? I am a 14 year old only child and my brother died when I was seven. I never got to know him or even see him, I never got to hold him or tell him I loved him, watch him take his first steps, feed him a bottle, hold him, read to him, sing to him, or just be there for him in general. It’s not our choice to be only children, but it was your choice to hurt me like this. It hurts enough by having all your friends have siblings and having the teacher skip you in class when we were naming our siblings. I think being bullied about it was enough for me. Only children are usually not afraid to make decisions and
    are comfortable with their opinions. I’m not selfish, I love to share because there is no one to share with. I hate gifts, I’d much rather spend time with a person then to get something from them, and I certainly wouldn’t call myself spoiled. I barley ask for anything unless it’s a book, and I’m disciplined. No means no, I don’t have to ask again. I spend so much time with adults and I’m way more mature that the average sibling. I was bullied all my life and this just added on to it. I would be much happier with a brother or sister, and I do feel lonely. Everyone feels lonely sometimes, why it so different when an only feels lonely? Why is it so different when an only asks for something? Why is it so different when an only is difficult to get along with? Everyone can relate to some of the rotten things you listed, and don’t act like we’re so different. Picture all your siblings gone, how would you like it? I’m not good at making friends but at high school orientation, I had the guts to say hi so someone, and ironically, we ended up having the same class schedule, I’m so happy I can call her my best friend now. She probably already has a best friend because she’s just so lovable, but I’m blessed to call her my friend. As an only child, I value friendship so much more than the average sibling because without my friends I would have no one; without your friends, you would have your siblings. It hurts when a friend leaves your life because it’s like a sibling leaving your live, I recently lost my best friend, it was awful because it was like losing a sibling. Why can’t you see that we’re just like everyone else. It wasn’t our choice to be only children, and I would never dream of doing this to my kid. My mother was ill and couldn’t have a child, and now she’s too old, it’s her cross just as much as it is mine. We’re not a science experiment so why study a human? My birthday, yeah I don’t like it when people make a huge deal of it, I’m a simple girl with simple taste. Everyone does make a big deal of it because I’m an only child and they think I should have a “special day.” I don’t need a special day, the people suffering in Africa and those fighting in the war do. I don’t see why you would ever judge us this negatively, you act as if we’re some kind of monster. I could go on forever about how much this hurt me. Think twice about what you say, or God won’t on Judgement Day.

  • Jess Wood

    I have come in search of understanding. I am married to an only child and while reading this post was affirming, it offers me no tools, no solutions to try when dealing with him. It is not in my nature to manipulate people; I want you to want something because you want it, not because I’m making you. With him, I’m constantly feeling manipulated. Forgive my reference to Dr. Phil, BUT it’s true: “People treat you the way you train them to.” My problem in dealing with this behavior is that I crave something he doesn’t. We come from different upbringings. Me, at 33, my parents both retired are still madly in love with each other. Recently, my father went on a Habitat-for-Humanity-Type expedition and my mother was all alone in the house for a week. I am so much like my parents. I want to be together much of the time. I’m offended by my husbands desire to be alone. It unnerves me, too, that if I give him his solitude, he gets what he wants and he doesn’t have to learn; he doesn’t have to grow. I need coping tools.

  • Valleyofthesun

    Wow, what an idiotic and irrational article.

  • AdoptedOnlyChild666

    “No more Only Children shall cross my radar screen.” Your selfish, arrogant statement said it all. And you know what? It’s been said to us before, it’s said to us at the very beginning of life before we say or do a diddly damn thing, it’s said to us over and over and over and over …….because you Sibling-Rich Extroverts aren’t about to give us Onlies-Introverts a chance to begin with. Oh, no, you’re not, because you wrongly think you have reason to be jealous of us and you want us to pay up.
    So we’re already feeling The Tension.
    You know, we could easily say that Sibling-Rich Extroverts are spoiled, too…..BY SOCIETY. Society caters to you. Employers want you. Sports teams want you (the Athlete is Patriotic; the Artist – usually an Introvert – is the Devil). Church folks want you to smile and talk or you need help. Parties are your domain. Just about everywhere you go, you Sibling-Rich Extroverts are glorified by society.
    So of course we Onlies/Introverts start out trying really hard to be Extroverts. It seems to be required. But it’s not who we are. So when we try to talk, something that is really difficult for us to do because we don’t come from a socialized environment, we seem to say, according to you and your selfish criteria, the wrong thing at the wrong time. And you let us know about it and act superior and make it clear you want us out of your way.
    OK, so we Onlies try to belong, we try to get out, we try to participate, we try to talk, and then, here, let’s examine your other statement that we Onlies have a “tendency to say inappropriate things that are rude and ill-mannered”.
    OK, so when we are quiet, we are snotty and aloof. And then when we struggle to talk through red hot non-stop social pressure, we have said, what you Sibling-Rich Extroverts proclaim as “inappropriate and rude and ill-mannered.”
    So we still don’t suit Your Majesty. You Sibling-Rich Extroverts bully us, you mock us, you ignore us, you turn your nose up at us, you make us feel like we are unworthy of your royal group. It’s already hard enough to be raised all by yourself in a nonsocial environment (self-raised in my case), and then you get out and you’re expected to start at the same social point as everyone else.
    The plight of the only child is similar to that of the adoptee – cut off, cut out, flat out rejected (if you’re like me and an Adopted Only Child you’re hit with an additional double whammy, really screwed by society from the get go oh but I digress). The very same people who tell adoptees to be grateful they are not in an orphanage and shut up and don’t look into where you come from (roots are vital for self-knowledge!!!!) are the same ones who glare at onlies and snap at you before you even say or do anything, you’re just standing there for God’s Sakes!, snap that you are a spoiled rotten brat!
    As for the hypersensitivity you mentioned – yeah, we sure as shit are sensitive, FED UP, because we are truly all alone, unemployable introverted personalities, and we can’t do anything right with you Sibling-Rich Extroverts. We keep quiet. That’s a problem. We say something. That’s a problem. Our natural facial expressions are a problem. Our existence is a problem. This word “entitlement” of yours – yeah, maybe we develop that sense, because we are already outcast – if we are outcast, we must be exempt to maintain some sort of balance, some sort of sanity – how else to survive??? We are already all alone fighting for ourselves because we don’t have a support system. We have to be extra defensive because we don’t have a sibling to back us up.
    You’ll retort, don’t you have backup from that parent who spoils you rotten? Are you kidding? Well, society that caters to (SPOILS) Sibling-Rich Extroverts already has that one figured out. An overprotective, pampering parent from an older generation – in my case much older generation – is like a big fat bottle of booze, giving you instant gratification and desperately needed comfort, but rendering you helpless and doomed in the end because you’ve been taught nothing, you’re basically withOUT any kind of upbringing, without chores, without discipline, raised in a noncompetitive, noncollaborative environment, and you and you alone have to give up what little hope you have left of a life to take care of them in their old age, lifting their wrinkled bulk up and down off of toilets, back and forth to the hospital, swimming in their manure and sick and filling their pill bottles and clipping their overgrown toenails…..so that’s not really a backup system of support, now is it. Is it any wonder why we don’t know how to act???? You Sibling-Rich Extroverts think you could overcome that? Huh? I prithee, oh, those of you so high on your mighty horses for which Society gladly hands you a saddle.
    My adoptive mother did spoil me rotten. I didn’t ask her to. I even discouraged it and forced myself to do my own chores, get my own ass to bed, etc. The main reason she did was because she just loved doing it, but she made the following excuses: I just wanted you to have what I didn’t have. But also, get this: “the reason I did was because you were always so hard on yourself.” And I sure was HARD ON MYSELF! We onlies have a tendency to live inside our heads and the inner turmoil is overwhelming; I’ve been crying to the point of physical sickness since I was a child, but that crying was ignored by everybody! Oh, I’ll grow out of it! Oh, I’m a tantrum-throwing spoiled brat! Well, those tears have become rain nurturing suicidal thoughts in my old age.
    I’ve been unhappy all my life because of all the hatred around me and the refusal from Non-Adopted, Sibling Rich Extroverts to give me any kind of a chance NO.MATTER.HOW.HARD.I.TRIED. Do I have to say that again? NO.MATTER.HOW.HARD.I.TRIED. Let me embellish. I TRIED THIS AND I TRIED THAT AND I TRIED THIS AND I TRIED THAT AND I TRIED THIS AND I TRIED THAT…………..SMILE, NOT SMILE, TALK, NOT TALK, STAND THERE, STAND OVER HERE, DO THIS, DO THAT…..WHAT EXACT COORDINATES AM I SUPPOSED TO BE PUNCHING INTO THE COMPUTER HERE, SIBLING RICH EXTROVERTS???
    It’s all about dishing out opportunities to those you to whom you relate. Since the majority of the population consists of Sibling-Rich Extroverts, the rest of us are left out in the cold.
    NO.MATTER.HOW.HARD.WE.TRY.!
    An ONLY CHILD IS DIFFERENT, NOT DEMONIC.

  • Christina

    I’m an only child and I agree 100% with this article . It opened my eyes not to insult me but to help me better myself and get over this curse of being an only child

  • Jim B

    wierd! In my experience of being an only child, it is the opposite. We go along with what everyone else wants to do. Pushing oneself to the forefront is difficult: it’s well documented. Wait for the gap to get in a say something, and the gap never comes. for the above comment, I might look at he parents.

  • harry potter

    as an only child i can relate to some of these characteristics, such as wanting to have personal time and not liking a lot of people due to my judgmental nature but i do not think this has anything to do with me being an only child. its just a personal choice. im not socially awkward, i have plenty of friends but im selective because i only feel comfortable with genuine people. being an only child has definably increased my awareness of other peoples thoughts though because just by a facial expression i can read them. i dont have many only children friends but the one that i do have has the same gift that i do, with reading people that is. i believe that being an only child makes you more aware of your surroundings and more observant to other peoples behavior because it was all we were able to do as children. was just observe because we didnt have older siblings to teach us.

    but, although i dont believe in only child syndrome, i do think that being an only child does shape your personality to a degree. i am defiantly a lot more manipulative because as a kid i would just use my outgoing personality (which was a plus to being an only child, always having to make friends made me more social, not less.) to win people over. i think you need to do a little more research before you make such distinguished theories.

  • Martina10

    I am 60 years old now, female and was an only child. Like others on this site, I am amazed to find so many people display the same symptoms as myself and I wish I had had this information years ago as it would have made sense of a lot of things for me. I was also an only child of older parents, who died when I was in my teens/early 20′s. I had school friends and friends from the area, but like all onlies, once that hall door was closed, I didn’t have to share anything with anybody. I have always had a problem with relationships and sharing. Now I know why. When I first went to dances as a teenager, I used to spend most of the time hiding in the ladies because I was so shy. I now realise the only place I could truly relax and be myself, was at home , on my own. this actually makes for a very lonely existence as other lonelies will testify too. What stopped me from being selfish for a few years was raising 2 children. You can’t raise children, if you really care about them, and be selfish. It doesn’t work. They drag you, kicking and screaming out of your selfishness. However, I am alone now once again and find I am drifting back into my old ways and find it very hard to put anyone elses needs before my own my now. I guess I am reverting to type. The only child syndrome in older age, is still alive and kicking.

  • Ian

    Not every only child is the same. It’s just really how the parents raise their kids. I was raised with discipline. if I i do something wrong then I’m punished. Some only kids are just really spoiled by their parents.

  • Jozetta

    I am an only child and I absolutely think this is the funniest piece of misconception that could have been written. I am not selfish, self centered, and I take into consideration other peoples feeling. I know the world does not revolve around me, because that is how my parents raised me. They gave me what I wanted yes but they made sure I understood the world is not them. When you make a general statement about this topic please keep in mind everyone is not alike no matter what description society has given them. Judge not unless ye be judged…….

  • Kristy

    This author must be incredibly ignorant. Im an only child and this whole article is an atrocity. It’s so far from the truth its almost humorous. This person really should do some investigation on the subject before claiming to be some kind of expert. If you want to have a relevant opinion get the facts. It is down right ridiculous to spew such rubbish!

  • Guest

    What an ignorance….anybody heard the term ? Ah yes, well hello Durango….how about only children being independent, mature, academically successful, responsible, charitaable, and many other qualities I can fill the page with…..your comments are incredibly offensive, .and how do you “know” it exists? Because of your wikipedia research and personal stereotypes? Ever heard the term scholarly research? Or sensitivity and tactfulness?

  • Vic

    This is unkind. There are only children who do fine, thanks to balanced parenting, and there are also parents who go too far the other way, ie make such an effort to ensure their child isn’t a spoilt brat that they end up making them feel inferior to others.

  • West-si-eed

    Middle child syndrome. (Insecure, sensitive, inferiority complex)
    Baby in the family syndrome. (spoiled, manipulative, extra selfish)
    Eldest child syndrome. (Bossy, martyr, lack emotional connectivity)
    Ill take my mild sociopathic, over-flated self esteem ocs ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.
    “SYNDROME” lol.
    Over protected parent syndrome.
    Favourite child syndrome.
    Slut.
    Prude.
    Small penis syndrome.
    Big penis syndrome.
    Oedipus complex.
    Elecra complex.
    Everyone has their critics. Everyone, no exception.
    Give a good psychologist with little ethics a sniff of what your primary point of socialisation was and they will make the best of us look like a genuine scum bag.
    Novice!!!

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