Stop asking mothers when we’ll have more kids. It’s OK to have an only child


Pros and Cons of Being the Only Child


You get the undivided love and attention of your parents.

The child could develop "little emperor syndrome," which is a situation in which the parents lavish their love, attention, and resources on one child, and as a result, the child becomes spoiled and behaves like a "little emperor."

Obviously, being an only child means that your parents have only you to spend the money on, so you will not have to share it among other siblings.

The child gets used to having everything done, managed, and taken care of by their parents.

You get more toys than normal, more money to spend than normal, and more inheritance than normal.

They may lack self-confidence.

You may grow up to be more independent and able to fend for yourself better, if your parents haven't spoiled you by tending to your each and every need.

The lack of help from older siblings may put too much pressure on the parents and cause conflicts.

You are not expected to live up to the standards of older siblings.

Parents may become too attached to the child's success and try to live through them, rather than giving them space.

Parents are able to spend more money, time, and attention on the child's school. Parents will find it easier to save for their child's college education.

Perhaps the most apparent disadvantage of being an only child is the feeling of loneliness. Not having a sibling to play with regularly, or who they are able to share their thoughts and memories with, can be difficult.

You may become more comfortable talking to adults.

When your parents get older, being an only child can leave you to shoulder the responsibility of taking care of your parents on your own, which might be overwhelming.

Parents may spend more time teaching you to be independent so that you can build your confidence and feel less pressure.

Parents may put too much pressure on the child, causing anxiety and low self-esteem.

Being the only child is tough, because their playmate is also the authority figure. If a child hits their sibling, maybe the sibling hits them back. Maybe the parent scolds or punishes the child. But it is understood that the punishment is because of actions toward the sibling. If the child hits their parent as a playmate, the parent scolds or punishes the child, and the child feels the added weight of separation from the attachment figure.

— Caroline Artley, LCSW-C Psychotherapist

By Mike Baird via Flickr


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Shil1978


Drawbacks of Having Single Child

There are certain disadvantages to having only one child in the family as well, which not only affect the kid but also the parents and the later life of them both.

1. A Tendency to Be Spoilt or Entitled

Too much attention can turn out to be a problem as well. Since single children get all the love and affection from their parents, they might develop an attitude where they feel the world revolves around them. Such kids tend to take everything for granted and feel entitled in every aspect of life.

2. A Development of Arrogance and Hollow Self-Esteem

If the parents of a single child are too loving and fulfil every wish that he has, the child could also develop a false sense of importance and self-esteem. Such kids end up being arrogant and have trouble empathizing with other people, instead maintaining a constant focus on their own attitude and emotions.

3. Fearful of Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

Parenting is at fault here, for many parents tend to treasure their only child beyond their wildest dreams. If a child is not allowed to fail and falter early in life, he resorts to staying within his comfort zone forever. This can make him cowardly in attempting newer things as he grows up, clinging to his parents at the slightest problems.

4. Carrying the Load of Parental Expectations

Experienced by many talented children out there, the pressure of parental expectations is quite real and stronger than many others on single children. Such kids feel that they need to earn their parents love, and can put themselves under immense stress. This is further accentuated by the absence of a sibling they can confide their fears in.

5. A Chance of Being Rebellious Early On

While single children can tend to show love and care towards their parents, there is a strong chance they can rebel as well. As parenting is a two-way street, if you are extremely controlling and restrictive of your child’s behaviour, he might burst out and assert his independence later in life.

6. The Sole Responsibility of Looking After Old Parents

A single child’s life and dreams have a high chance of being sacrificed in the necessity of looking after his parents once they are old. While the presence of siblings can provide the chance of sharing that responsibility, a single child begins to look at his ailing parents as a burden.

Figuring out whether one child or two is better in India is a task that parents need to undertake for themselves. While population control is a real problem, the focus instead needs to be on the right kind of parenting to ensure your child grows up to be a proper adult.

Also Read: Signs of Helicopter Parents & Its Effects on Children