Is an Only Child almost always more lonely/sad?

[quote=“jdsmith”]One is fun.
Two is work.
Three? :loco:

Our son isn’t lonely or sad, although he does ask for me to play with him a lot. Which isn’t bad, just bad when I’m watching baseball…as in the end of the game. :s

He is very independent and creative, which is cool. He doesn’t sit in front of the TV hours on end…not when he could be happily smashing his toys cars together. :slight_smile:[/quote]

Just wait until he’s old enough to ask for your car keys for a nite out.

My 14 year old son is not prone to being lonely or sadder than other kids who have siblings. I was raised in a family of 7 kids and the shit fights were always brutal and nasty. :smiley: :smiley:

And this from the BBC… loneliness may be in your genes
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4426184.stm

I’m an only child, and I remember when I was little (being the selfish sh*t that I was), didn’t think I wanted a younger sibling. However, as I grew a bit older, I started to regret not having a little brother. At this point in time, I think it would be great to have a younger brother … wouldn’t really be too keen on a sister, but I wouldn’t have minded … hehe

Throughout my life people have had the same reaction upon hearing that I was an only child:
“Oh, poor you. You must be so lonely without a brother or a sister!”
And I’ve always had to repeat the same answer:
“No, actually, I’m not. I’ve never had one, so I don’t know how I should be feeling without one.”

In many cases, an only child is more resilient to loneliness as adult. Although I love socializing and being with friends, on the one hand, I also regularly take hours or even days to spend on my own, perfectly happy and entertained.

I do agree with other posters that it also depends on the child’s personality and character.

Other issues to look out for with an only child:

  • You don’t want him/her to be spoilt and egocentric. I was. I’ve learned to adjust, but instinctively I still expect people to do things for me just because I exist and for the world to revolve around me. :blush:

  • Teach him/her how to share thoughts and feelings, and to need others. Only children often have a world of their own and are self-sufficient. That can be an obstacle to building deep relationships later on.

  • Teach him/her how to share material things. It’ll be easier for them later when they’re forced to.

[quote=“tash”]Throughout my life people have had the same reaction upon hearing that I was an only child:
“Oh, poor you. You must be so lonely without a brother or a sister!”
And I’ve always had to repeat the same answer:
“No, actually, I’m not. I’ve never had one, so I don’t know how I should be feeling without one.”[/quote]I get the same with my Dad, people must think it affected me not having one, but I have no idea what it’s like to have one, so I don’t miss it. I’ve got 4 sisters, but I didn’t grow up with them either, they were never there for me. Would have I turned out differently in different circumstances ? Maybe, who knows ? I still might have turned out sad and pathetic anyway.

Our little girl loves babies, she’s intrigued by them and likes to get up close to look at them, so over hte past few months I’ve been asking for her opinion. I ask her in Chinese, “do you want a baby brother or baby sister,” meaning it as an either or question. But every single time she responds with a short matter of fact “no,” with no hesitation.

Initially I didn’t think her Chinese was good enough that she comprehended the question, but she’s given the same answer at least a dozen times, so it’s looking like she knows perfectly well and doesn’t want one. I know parents need to be careful about kids growing jealous of a younger sibling, but still this straightforward rejection of the idea surprised me (and may tip the scale against having another).

Two and a half years later and I’m now feeling we should’ve had a second child a year or two ago. It’s not too late and the issue has been reopened for discussion. Frankly, and I’ve told my wife this, I feel our daughter would greatly enjoy having a younger sibling, but my wife got so stressed out over every little thing during the first year or two (cold, oh no; fell down, uh oh; sneezed, go see a doctor; not shitting; see the doctor again) that I told her it’s up to her.

But our girl, now 4.5 yrs takes a bus every afternoon after school to nanny’s house – the same nanny who’s taken care of her since 1 month old. Nanny’s now taking care of a 2 year old boy and our girl enjoys playing with him, being the big sister, having him follow her around and try to play with her or copy her, etc (even though she tells us he’s a naughty little boy). Additionally, she loves helping out with housework, making the bed, help fold laundry, etc., now that she’s becoming a Big girl and can do things that mommy and daddy do too. So I’m certain she’d get a thrill out of taking care of a baby, helping out, and then teaching him/her and playing with him/her as didi/mei mei got bigger. Not only would it be a pleasant diversion/entertainment for her, but it would make her even prouder to be the Big sister.

Additionally, I think it would be nice as an old fart to have a couple of kids to talk with on the phone occasionally, to get together with sometimes, and to be proud of their accomplishments (or if one turned out to be a failure at least there would be greater odds of having one to be proud of :wink: ).

So, it’s in my wife’s hands now, but I think I’d go for it despite being 47 years old (issue number 2). Baby at 48 means dad’s 66 when the kid finishes high school, age 69 when the kid turns 21, age 78 when the kid turns 30. Yea, that’s older than ideal, but still not too bad.

Will write something profound in a 20 minutes or so but I need to go for a beer run. See ya.
“God that man loves drinking!”

Although I mostly teach adults these days, I have clocked up a fair bit of mileage teaching kids. I was surprised to find how different only children are. In fact, an observant teacher can pick it most of the time. Having seen the way they are I would not want to have just one kid.

That’s it? That’s your profound statement? We waited 21 minutes for that?

I thought at least you’d explain that with two children one can alternate sending them on beer runs, thereby lessening the burden on each.

Sorry, I used up all my profoundness chatting to a 7-11 hottie. Anyway, how much “profound” do you expect from a bastard going on a beer run?

Isn’t China a good test case for this? Bunch of miserable, selfish, spoiled brats

MT,
Whether you’re 47 or even 57, it makes little difference. But your wife’s age will make all the difference in the world. Unless she’s in her 20s, every day you put off having that baby, the higher the risk it is for her. When I first got married, a doctor friend advised me to have a baby ASAP; it wasn’t for my sake, he said, but for my wife’s sake.

my mother has 3 siblings and my dad has 4…growing up, I had a huge family…although scatterred, we could go for vacations, had lots of ‘family fights and get togethers’ not to mention all the warmth of belonging to a community and family…I am an only child and my husband has one brother, I think my kids will miss out on having first cousins, aunts, uncles, their spouses…

The second child gets to interact with the first. The first gets to realize everything mom and dad do is not exclusively about them.
You have experience from the first so it’s easier for you both and perhaps better for the second
After the second it becomes like a production line of sorts. Pump em out, else get the snips

I would not worry about the wife, they get more relaxed the more they bring up. I kid you not. Relax on that one.

Your daughter would have loved one a year or 2 ago. My first one and my second one was spaced at 3 years, they get along OK, and do lots of things together. A bit of jealousy, but not too bad.

My little one is a decade younger than the big one, and well… They adore him, play with him and carry him around etc. I don’t really think they will be that close when they are 15 and 25 though.

The only issue I see is that I feel that I have less energy to take care of a baby at 35 than I had at 25. At 47 HELP!!! (Read a nanny)

Yea, I’ve brought up the subject of an inhouse helper, say a young Filipina. :howyoudoin: But somehow I believe that would only cause more stress.

47’s not so old if you eat healthy and get exercise. But my wife’s worried about $ if we have a second one (not an issue, if you ask me, except for airfare once or twice a year), and she tells me if we have a second one I’ll have to work another 20 years before retiring. That’s what makes me feel reaaaaally tired. Taking care of the kids, on the other hand, won’t be a problem.

But whoever said it above is right that the bigger issue is my wife’s age. Good point. Fortunately, she’s 10 years younger than me, but still I realize her childbearing years are waning.

In that case, I would suggest that you get started.

I can see that education and money might be an issue, however 20 years of work???

Well, if you are in good health, working your privates off keep you younger after all.

I watched a program on this some time ago and they were describing the differences on average between single versus with siblings. One of the surprising differences they noted was that single children were generally happier and smarter, but obviously lacked the same level of social skills. I have a single child and wouldn’t dream of having another. I can provide better for just the one, and he’ll go to school soon and appreciate having friends more.

Yea, but look at the poll results.

A big majority of the non-Only Childs say it makes no difference, but half the Only Childs say it does make a difference, that Only Childs are almost inevitably more lonely and it’s almost cruel for the parents not to have given them a sibling.

Who knows better what it’s like to be an only child, a bunch of outsiders making guesses and speculation, or those who have actually lived through it?

That may be more true when the parents of only kids suck.