Author Topic: They need to have a sibling  (Read 11791 times)

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citadelle

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #75 on: May 04, 2013, 01:15:12 PM »
My children are ages 9 and 19. They both were effectively only children, in terms of growing up as the only child in the household. While I think the youngest may have benefitted from having someone else of her age range in the home, the oldest was fine with it. So much of this depends on the personality of the child, that blanket statements and assertions either way are inappropriate at best.

Minmom3

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #76 on: May 04, 2013, 02:13:35 PM »
May I say something even if it will probably make some people upset?

I didn't read through all the responses here, but I'm going to assume nobody has posted anything similar to what I'm about to say. I just wanted to put this out there to give a little perspective because this is a touchy subject for me.

I do agree it's wrong for other people to comment on another person's parenting choices (like when they're going to have another child). But I have to say that as an only child myself, I would ask the parents of an only child when they're going to have another child in order to help out another only child. Some only children may love being an only child and it may work out for them in life. But I think it friggin sucks! For the rest of my life I will always be upset with my parents for not giving me a sibling. You have no idea how horrible it is (for me) being an only child. I think it's actually way worse now that I'm an adult. The older I get, the more upset I get about it.

So I would totally comment about how an only child needs a sibling. I don't care if it's considered poor etiquette because to me, being an only child is equivalent to child abuse. In fact, I would have preferred my parents to have beat me (or worse) than to be an only child. Yes, I actually felt that way as a teenager and still feel that way. I'm sorry if this upsets some people, but unless you're an only child, you don't have the right to be upset because there is no way you can possibly understand.

And again, I just had to say that to give a little perspective. Sometimes people wonder when you're going to have another child because they're concerned about a child being an only child. This wasn't meant to start a heated debate, I just wanted to give my view (a different perspective) on the subject because this entire thread is basically about being an only child and I am an only child. I don't think there's many of us out there. I think there was only two or three of us in my entire graduating class - 160 or so.

Blue - that's you.  That's not everybody, as you have acknowledged.  I was an only.  My mother was an only.  While I do wish Mom had had more than me, it's not because I wanted a sibling for my entertainment and pleasure.  No, no, no!  No, I wanted a sibling to give my Mother somebody else to beat on....  Also, to maybe give her perspective on just how NOT bad I actually was.  Which is a pretty wretched reason to want other children in my life!   But, being an only meant that IF we could afford to do something, we did it.  There was only Mom and me, so from that aspect of things, I was a spoiled kid, even though we had very little money.  I had plenty of friends to play with, so I didn't suffer from a lack of siblings to play with.  Heck, because we were so poor, most of my friends had much nicer stuff to play with, so if there had been more children besides me in our family, what little money we had would have been that much more thinly stretched.   Maybe where YOU lived it was not common to have singleton children, but where I grew up - San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, it was not rare at all.  It was more rare for my mother to be divorced and never remarried than it was for me to be an only. 

I also want to note that you said your graduating class was 160 people.  That sounds like you grew up in a very small town (like my MIL in Nebraska in the 1940's).  My mother's gradating class in Oakland in the 1940's was over 1000 people - I've seen her graduation group picture - it's huge.  My graduating class in Los Angeles was 1200 people.  Maybe you should think about how some of your suffering and aloneness was because you were in a small town, rather than a large metropolitan area - and possibly stop laying the blame on your parents for never having more than one child.

One final point to make - just because you have siblings born in to your family doesn't mean you have them all your life.  Sometimes siblings die.  I know people this has happened to.  Sometimes there are huge family fights that cause permanent severance between sibs.  This is the status in my husbands family.  There was an enormous blowout that took 6+ months to finish reverberating, and the final result is 3 of the 6 sibs no longer speak to the other 3 sibs AT ALL.  Granted, not all large families are that dysfunctional, but separations happen in many families.  People move to other countries, or the other side of the nation.  I recommend that you stop focusing on being a 'lonely only' and work a harder on making friends you have some commonality with NOW.  Find a hobby group, or a hiking/sports group, or an artisic or craft oriented group - join up.  Volunteer somewhere that matters to YOU.  Talk to people - just make SURE you aren't whining about being an only child. 

Forgot one - And please, if you're going ignore etiquette and tell people to have more children, MAKE GOOD AND SURE you don't ever say that to people who are trying to have children, and can't...  Not everybody can afford fertility treatment or adoption - neither of which are cheap.  And since a lot of people don't TALK about their efforts to enlarge their family, be prepared for a LOT of fall out when you firmly put your foot in your mouth, and hit a sore spot with them.  Don't be surprised if they lash out at you because - you just caused them pain to promote your POV and you ignored etiquette.
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magicdomino

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #77 on: May 04, 2013, 02:50:30 PM »
Having a second child solely to provide a companion for the first is a lot like having children to support you in your old age.  Odds are your children will provide some support, if only in picking out a nice nursing home.  But they will likely move far away.  They may not have the money, time or energy to support you as much as you need or want.  They may not be the nurturing type.  They may be totally selfish.  They may have severe mental or physical problems that will require you to still be supporting them in your old age.  It's a roll of the dice what you will get.

It's the same thing with siblings.  Most likely, you will get along as adults, if not as children.  But you may not be best friends, so to speak, and in rare cases, if nature or nurture aren't favorable, you may be enemies. 

Van down by the river

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #78 on: May 04, 2013, 03:04:18 PM »
I'm not an only child. I have several siblings. I was also a victim of pretty horrible child abuse. To compare being an only child to child abuse is so dead wrong I'm not sure where to start. I love my brothers, but I endured plenty of abuse at their hands as well. I'm sure I abused them plenty as well. Honestly the only difference I've ever seen w an only child vs a multiple child home, is sometimes they come out a bit entitled. I've also known multiple siblings to come out that way, but I notice it more in only children. Especially in relationships. None of it is abusive or damming, it's just is.

Allyson

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #79 on: May 04, 2013, 03:58:18 PM »
Also, saying something to a parent because you had a bad experience as an only isn't just rude, it's not very helpful. Does anyone really think someone's going to be like, oh, well, we decided for whatever reason only to have one child...but this random person really hated being an only/knew someone who hated it/loved being a sibling, so we're going to change our minds based on that!

Sure, there are people who hated being an only kid, people who hated having younger/older siblings, people who wanted more siblings. Nobody's experience is universal and regardless of what choices are made, the kid might hate it. It hardly means everyone feels that way.

thedudeabides

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #80 on: May 04, 2013, 04:40:10 PM »
May I say something even if it will probably make some people upset?

I didn't read through all the responses here, but I'm going to assume nobody has posted anything similar to what I'm about to say. I just wanted to put this out there to give a little perspective because this is a touchy subject for me.

I do agree it's wrong for other people to comment on another person's parenting choices (like when they're going to have another child). But I have to say that as an only child myself, I would ask the parents of an only child when they're going to have another child in order to help out another only child. Some only children may love being an only child and it may work out for them in life. But I think it friggin sucks! For the rest of my life I will always be upset with my parents for not giving me a sibling. You have no idea how horrible it is (for me) being an only child. I think it's actually way worse now that I'm an adult. The older I get, the more upset I get about it.

So I would totally comment about how an only child needs a sibling. I don't care if it's considered poor etiquette because to me, being an only child is equivalent to child abuse. In fact, I would have preferred my parents to have beat me (or worse) than to be an only child. Yes, I actually felt that way as a teenager and still feel that way. I'm sorry if this upsets some people, but unless you're an only child, you don't have the right to be upset because there is no way you can possibly understand.

And again, I just had to say that to give a little perspective. Sometimes people wonder when you're going to have another child because they're concerned about a child being an only child. This wasn't meant to start a heated debate, I just wanted to give my view (a different perspective) on the subject because this entire thread is basically about being an only child and I am an only child. I don't think there's many of us out there. I think there was only two or three of us in my entire graduating class - 160 or so.

I'm impressed with how asinine and offensive this is.

Wordgeek

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #81 on: May 04, 2013, 06:15:51 PM »
Yes, lilblu's post was inappropriate and offensive.  The matter has been dealt with, so please drop it. Carry on with the rest of the discussion.

Lynn2000

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #82 on: May 06, 2013, 11:03:24 AM »
I'm an only child. When I was a kid I really liked it, especially because all my friends were complaining about their siblings all the time. As an adult I kind of dislike it--I wish I had someone to help me with my parents as they get older. But, as others have pointed out, that's an idealized scenario--my hypothetical siblings could easily live far away, have their own health issues, or just plain be jerks.

Personally, I can't really imagine what it's like to have a sibling. And I've not met many people with close-age siblings, who can imagine what it's like to be an only child, especially growing up. If they dislike their siblings, they sometimes idealize being an only child; if they like them, they often pity only children, and imagine their childhoods were terribly lonely. (And some people of course just admit they can't imagine it at all--don't want to generalize.)

I don't really want to have any kids; but if I did have one, I would try really, really hard to have a second, because I wouldn't want to have an only child--I see too many disadvantages to it. So if someone I was close to had one child, and they were interested in my own personal experiences being an only child, I would be happy to talk to them about it. I hope I would do so in a polite and not pushy way, and not assume my experience was universal. But ultimately I would be discouraging of having only children.

I've seen so many strange things happen in families that I've come to believe it's folly to plan on XYZ happening decades from now--I mean, my grandma had five kids, but only one of them really helps her out on a regular basis, and that's not even the one who lives the closest. (Part of the reason being the way Grandma herself raised them/behaves.) So if she ever thought, "Hey, five kids! People to provide for me in my old age!" she must be disappointed.
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Garden Goblin

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #83 on: May 08, 2013, 03:16:12 PM »
I wish I'd been an only child.  Imagine - nobody stealing my clothes, nobody blaming me for leaving stuff out, nobody breaking my toys, nobody poking and prodding until I got mad and hit back and thus got in trouble, nobody stealing my ID to go out drinking and getting a speeding ticket and not knowing where the insurance card was creating a problem I spent two years trying to clear up, letting their friends read my diary, expecting me to leave work to drive an hour to their location with a gas can, leaving me to pay our mother's electrical bill after they stole $700 out of said mother's bank account, having temper tantrums because I wouldn't let them borrow my car, expecting me to give them rides everywhere without any consideration for my schedule, getting me in trouble with the school because they turned in one of my old papers for their assignment, etc...

And then having to deal with the approximately 10 billion folks who don't understand why you are irritated with any of the above because 'they are faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamily'.

Fortunately I didn't have to give the above mentioned sibling the cut direct, she did it to me.  She spent three days bragging and generally being obnoxious about what a great chess player she was and how she was going to teach my son and nephew (son of my other sibling) everything about chess.  Then I beat her in 4 moves.  She hasn't spoken to me since.  Alas, my heart, it bleeds.

Calistoga

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #84 on: May 08, 2013, 03:19:20 PM »
I think it's fair to say that whether you have 1 kid or 7, your kids are always going to wish you had done something different. So it's kind of pointless to argue with parents based on your own personal experiences. Parents need to make the decisions that they feel are best for them, their children, and their family as a whole.

wolfie

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #85 on: May 08, 2013, 03:25:31 PM »
getting me in trouble with the school because they turned in one of my old papers for their assignment, etc...

Why did that get you in trouble?

Twik

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #86 on: May 08, 2013, 03:35:56 PM »
I'm an only daughter, with a brother 3.5 years younger than me. I know it's not quite like being an only child, but not all siblings (particularly when they're different genders/ages) can be your best buddies. I'm closer to my brother as an adult than I was as a child. Don't get me wrong, I love him a lot and I'm glad I've got him, but I don't think my life would have been night-and-day different if I had been an only child.

I think Calistoga is pretty correct here:

Quote
I think it's fair to say that whether you have 1 kid or 7, your kids are always going to wish you had done something different.


It's the "grass is always greener" syndrome. Single kids wish they had built-in playmates, kids in big families wish they weren't always in a crowd.

In any event, even if I were convinced having more than one child is beneficial, I would hopefully also know that it is not my place to lecture random strangers about their lives.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Garden Goblin

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #87 on: May 08, 2013, 05:07:01 PM »
getting me in trouble with the school because they turned in one of my old papers for their assignment, etc...

Why did that get you in trouble?

I was still going to the same school and the default assumption was I had given her the paper for that precise purpose.

wolfie

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #88 on: May 08, 2013, 05:08:40 PM »
getting me in trouble with the school because they turned in one of my old papers for their assignment, etc...

Why did that get you in trouble?

I was still going to the same school and the default assumption was I had given her the paper for that precise purpose.

But they came down harder on her for actually handing it in, right? I am just boggled that they would get upset with the person who was plagiarized.

Garden Goblin

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #89 on: May 08, 2013, 05:13:08 PM »
getting me in trouble with the school because they turned in one of my old papers for their assignment, etc...

Why did that get you in trouble?

I was still going to the same school and the default assumption was I had given her the paper for that precise purpose.

But they came down harder on her for actually handing it in, right? I am just boggled that they would get upset with the person who was plagiarized.

Because I, the innocent party, got out of being punished, it wasn't considered 'fair' to punish her.

Yeah...that desire to bang your head against a desk?  That was my reaction too.