Email from a journalist from Brazil

by on August 11, 2013

in Bernice responds

Elida Oliveira

I’m a journalist in Brazil, and I’m writing an article about the Only Child. There is a lot of reseach that tries to discover if it is good or not. Many say that onlies achieve better are more intelligence, loved, and so on. Others demonstrate that only child are lonely, selfish and maladjusted.

Your goal is just talk with them to know if the onlies, that are adults, feel good about it. Amazing!

That’s why I’m writing you. I would like to know if in your research you found any bad aspect of being an only child, or any good aspect of being onlies.

What do you conclude?

I think that those who didn’t have siblings want to have them because they don’t know if it would be better or not. (I used to dream with an older sister, as I have an older brother) What about the fear of being alone? What did your research find about it?

Elida Oliveira

My reply: 

Dear Elida

Thank you for your positive email. There is a lot on my website about my research into the experiences of only child adults and some of the challenges they face. I can see from your email you have realized that my research attempts to show the different experiences adult onlies might have which they may perceive as being both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – it is always a matter of interpretation. If you go to the post ‘the only child matrix’ you can see a number of different behaviours that although not unique to onlies do present themselves in a particular way in the only child.

Some of the challenges I have written separate posts on are: dealing with conflict, relationships, enmeshment, separation, selfishness, splitting, space and intimacy, maturing, fairness, sharing, and independence.

Some positive experiences

Three types of only children also give an insight into how you can have contrasting only-child behaviour depending on the type of parenting.

Finally in the significant concerns for adult onlies you can see the answer to your final questions.

Ageing and dying parents are always a difficulty for onlies and the whole question of aloneness when they are left.


In the next post I will be offering answers to some research in China.

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