I am lucky enough to consider myself an only child. Some people might find that as a bad or lonely thing, but I personally enjoy not having siblings. Then again, this is the only life I’ve ever known so who’s to say I wouldn’t enjoy it. I may only be a psychology minor, but throughout the years I have seemed to notice that only children seem to cope better being on their own than do individuals who come from families with multiple children.
I’ve tried to look up concrete statistics but seem to come up short on anything legitimate. I base my opinions strictly on what I have encountered. I haven’t had the pleasure of growing up with siblings, so in turn, I have learned to rely on myself a lot. At a young age, I feel this made it difficult for me to make friends. I went to preschool and was exposed to children, but I do think it can be difficult at such a young age learning that while you have nobody your age at home, you need to adapt to other children outside of that box.
While the friend issue has gotten easier, I also feel that only children are much closer to their parents. I don’t have a relationship where I share every detail of my life with my parents, but I consider us close. This has made it harder for me being away at school (okay, I know I’m not very far away but still) because I come from such a strong family unit where I was the sole receiver of all the attention.
Despite these downfalls, I feel that while I had most of my parents attention, I also learned to do things for myself more often. Yes, I always felt comfortable asking my parents for help, but I didn’t have an older sibling to show me the way. I navigated school on my own, hardly ever asking for help. Even now at college I hate asking my parents for money and try hard to fend for myself.
I cherish my alone time because I am frankly used to it. I can take a walk from my dorm to campus (which is about 15-20 minutes) and have no issues about it, while some of my friends can’t stand doing anything on their own. I have other friends who are only children, and while they may not all be as independent as each other, this trend seems to point to a positive correlation between lack of siblings and independence level (in my own experience).
Maybe too much independence can be a bad thing, but I see it as an important quality. I’m sure there are tons of benefits of having siblings, benefits to which I will never know. For now, I’m happy in my solitude, surrounded by all my friends and family whenever I wish to see them.
Lovelies, do you feel only children are generally more independent than people with siblings? What other differences do you see between these two groups?