I am very heartened that so many people are now visiting this website which has not even been going a year. Our readership has now increased to 3000 a month! I am very curious to see how many non-onlies are using this site. That is not to say I am not grateful that people who are not only children are interested to read what I am posting. It does seem though that it is mostly people who have had a relationship with an only that are contributing. I am interested in their comments, and pleased that my posts have helped them to understand only child behaviours from a different point of view than perhaps they have been able to see before.
I also understand from other posts, that some people see the distinction between onlies and non onlies as superficial. However I think it is important to realise that the experience of being brought up as an only child means we have experienced the home and the world differently to those who have had siblings. This is not an ‘excuse’ for some only child behaviours, just a phenomenon that has certain consequences. This is what I am attempting to convey through my posts.
I believe we are all capable of all behaviours whether only children or not – however some behaviours are seen and understood in different ways, depending on which way you see the world, which is again dependent on things such as culture, class, economics, education etc.
For example, in my own research, only child adults were very prone to feel alone in the world but not necessarily lonely. Of course people with siblings can also feel this way, but often the loneliness is more to the fore than the aloneness. Only children have usually had a lot of opportunities to be alone but that does not mean they necessarily feel lonely in the same way as a person brought up in a large family might. If you are used to being surrounded by people – finding yourself alone can feel very lonely. (Of course for some it may be a relief – and human beings are all different). But my point here is that our early experiences shape the way we see the world and things like conflict and sharing are also coloured by that experience.
I welcome further comment and appreciate when people can do so in an open and non discriminatory way. After all we are all human beings with our own foibles! If you have any ideas for new posts I welcome that too!