I am so baffled by comments about only children being thought of as less self-reliant, less mature than their peers. My experience as an only child, and in comparing notes with other only children from my life, is that we were placed in a position of HAVING to grow up faster, to be able to converse with adults appropriately, amuse ourselves, and generally have a richer inner life than our peers simply because we were alone more, or with adults..
Jin Valley Falls
When Son #4 (out of 6) drew his family in kindergarten he eliminated four of his siblings, keeping the baby and the parents. I asked him if he would he would prefer to be an only child, he candidly said yes because then he would have more of our time (plus his brothers wouldn't be around to annoy him.)
M. Klein NY
I grew up with 5 siblings and there was not enough for college tuition for any of us. In today's world I am happy that more parents are choosing to have one child and give that child the time and resources to be the best he or she can be.
SS Portland OR
This is important. When I brought my son, an only, to his kindergarten interview, he clung to me when the teacher came to take him away. She looked at the clipboard with barely hidden disgust and said, "Oh, of course, an only child." What nerve. I saw children from huge families bawling their eyes out, but that's okay -- they couldn't possibly be spoiled or incapable of handling stress, could they??
Maria Westchester County
I'm a teacher and. I find that only children and siblings are the product of their upbringing. Parents can raise self-absorbed, poorly socialized siblings and gracious, well-adjusted only children. Or vice versa. Thoughtful parenting cannot be replaced by a big brood.
I was on 'only' in a
communityof large families, but despite the comments of nuns and others lamenting my presumed loneliness (and attacking my presumed 'spoiled' state), I never had any illusions that either way was better. As I grew up, however, I came to see the damage rampant in those families that, through choice or circumstance, did not complete their families with just one child. I saw siblings pitted against one another in dealing with aging parents and eventual inheritances; I saw my mother-in-law, one of seven, dealing with coalitions during whatever permutation of sibling estrangement was going on that week; I saw single cousins closing ranks and giving grief to a younger sibling who dared marry in her mid-thirties; I saw my sister-in-law, who was adopted so my husband not be a 'lonely only,' tear her family apart through her irresponsible and destructive behavior. Based on this, my husband and I are choose to opt out of any such sibling drama for our daughter. I suppose there are plenty of 'Brady Bunch'-type idylls out there, but in our experience they are just that—fiction.
Eve United States
There are plenty of us with multiple siblings who wish we had been an only. I am the oldest of five, and the only thing we have in common is that we all wish that we had been only children.
Across the globe millions of parents are raising an only child.
This group of only
children has a lot
in common. They are educated, confident, connected and worldly.
Where ever they are, they are being shaped by a unique set of life experiences.
Their parents are middle class, urbanised, upwardly mobile, educated, ambitious and hard working.
Their world is fast paced and rapidly changing.
In some places these only children will soon be in the majority, in many others they are catching up fast.
They are a demographic force, a social phenomenon, maybe even the new normal.
Who is Gen
Why I stopped
Not everyone welcomes
Many economists, politicians, religious and business leaders fear so many only children.
Other people warn of a generation of spoiled, lonely, selfish, risk averse, little emperors and princesses.
But Generation Only arent any of these things. They are well educated, highly social and primed for success.
They should be celebrated not feared.
Gen Only might just be the solution to some of the world's biggest problems.
The Only Project
The only project is a multi-media campaign, a conversation and an opportunity to share and promote a positive message about the only child experience.
Join this 'only' community by sending your contact details and we'll keep you informed about what we're up to and add your thoughts to the conversation.
Become and Only activist today
Help make it an only friendly world.
One for all and all for one.