Parents With Only One Kid Are Pretty Darn Selfish

Rant 452

I'm about to say something that's guaranteed to piss some people off. Not that that hasn't happened before. Okay, here goes.

Parents who choose to have only one child are just being selfish.

Let me quickly put up a short disclaimer before everyone jumps down my throat. I understand some people are unable to have more than one kid due to medical or even financial circumstances. I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about the couple who choose to have one kid and then decide it's a lot of work and they like having their freedom, so they stop at one.

Yes, it's your life, so do what you want. But remember this: you're doing a huge disservice to your child by not giving them a sibling. A brother or sister is more than just a 24/7 live-in playdate. It's somebody to literally grow up with and experience going through childhood with. Someone else to share being your child, with all the ups, downs, and inside family jokes that includes.

When you were a kid and your parents came down on you for something or set the most totally unfair rules (9 p.m. bedtime?!?), who could you find comfort in? Yes, your brother or sister. Misery does love company after all.

But my issues with the "only child" go much more deeper than just what you're not giving your kid. It's what happens to these siblingless children. They get pretty obnoxious and selfish. Every single person I've ever met who was an only child had more of a selfish nature than others. I can't blame the kids, though. When you only have one kid, you're going to spoil them rotten and make them think they're the center of the entire universe.

These kids also don't seem to know how to play well with other kids. Yes, they can get along, but there's always something a bit off with them. They tend to relate to adults better than kids at times, which just causes some odd interactions on playdates.

When we had our first son, I was filled with so much love for this cute little guy that I couldn't fathom how I could love another child even close to as much. But somehow, having a second child actually grows your heart so you can indeed share an equal amount of love with them. My wife and I always say that the best thing we ever did for our first born was to give him a brother.

Sure my two boys fight like regular siblings now, but they are constantly playing together, sharing experiences, and completely cracking each other up all the time. A brother or sister just helps round out your childhood.

Of course, some people go the other extreme and pop out seven or eight kids. And that's a different problem altogether.

Do you think siblings make for a more fulfilling life?

Photo via Berit/Flickr 



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nonmember avatar coco'smom158

I am an only child. Let me tell you that I am glad my mother didn't have another child because my stepfather is an abusive asshole. My mother and I had to constantly walk on eggshells around him. I stayed at my gradparents a lot to get away from the drama. I admit they spoiled me a little but I'm not a brat because they taught me values. Also, FYI, my husband has a younger brother and they are not especially close. They fought all the time as kids and they fight now. It sounds like you had a great childhood. Good for you. But that's not the norm. P.S. this article makes you sound like a judgemental jerk.

nonmember avatar katie

WOW. i am an only child, and this article is incredibly offensive. seriously, get off your high horse and realize it is not your place to judge only children and their parents. everyone is different, and deserving of respect, whether you choose to have multiple children or not.

Kelib... Kelibean81

This is a tough one. My brother and I are 8 years apart and have an amazing relationship that no one else comes close to. My husband is an only child, and is in no way any different in his interactions with others than any other person that did have a sibling. Together, we have one child right now, a two year old daughter. While we do plan on trying for another baby, we do not plan on doing so any time soon. Maybe in another 2 or 3 years. One reason is that with the big age difference between my brother and I, we pretty much never fought as kids. We spent tons of time together but had different enough interests, and I, being "older and wiser" knew better by that age not to pick on him. So I'd like for my daughter and her future sibling to be far enough apart in age that they may not pick on eachother like some siblings who are closer in age do. (This was stricly my experience and a bit of wishful thinking). The other (and biggest) reason is that we are fully enjoying our daughter right now, and we wouldn't have it any other way. We do want her to have a sibling one day, but for now we are a happy family of three and wouldn't change a thing.

Margaret Seda

i think the parents who have more kids are the selfish ones. in my view each new kid takes from the last.

hexxuss hexxuss

Even if I COULD have another child (doctors said 'no way' & made sure I couldn't for medical reasons - like almost dying having my last child), I wouldn't.  you see my son has Autism. I have my hands full with him alone.  He's also involved in the YMCA Summer Camps, Taekwondo, and I try to make sure he attends every after school function they have, but you're right, that sounds like a spoilt rotten brat doesn't it?  Especially since I make him go through his toys at least once a year, and things he just doesn't play with anymore, he donates to the local thrift store.  Yep, I'm raising a selfish brat.  I ALSO don't use the TV (I don't even have regular TV stations, let alone cable - by design), or video games as my all-night babysitter either.  1 hour a night, IF he's had a good day, and he still has to read for a certain amount of time before he gets that too.  Totally rotten 10-year old... (yes, that's sarcasm).

Easara Mandylion

My husband is an only child, but was raised without being spoiled rotten. If parents that have only one child don't spoil them and get away with everything then they can grow up to be wonderful people. It doesn't matter how many kids some people have, it's about how they are raised and taken care of that really matter.

Maria J. Niel

I wish I had been the only child. This article is just plain stupid.

Margaret Meyer

Well your first statement was accurate. You did piss alot of people off. Did you even think before you posted this nonsense. Who are you to judge other peoples parenting decisions? Not all siblings get along or even grow up to like one another.My daughter is 9 years old. She is a perfectly well adjusted only child. She may have a few more toys then other kids but she by no means is a brat. She is very kind, giving and sensitive. Every year we buy toys for the toys for tots program and she understands that some kids don't have what she has. She even offered to give away some of her own Christmas toys for other kids who have less. She plays well with others, we put her into preschool at 3 so she could have the social interaction i knew she was missing. She also in in gymnastics, has taken dance and did two years in girl scouts. Just because i(or anyone else) chose to have one child(regardless of reasons) does not make them selfish. It is a parents responsibility to make sure your child is happy and well adjusted regardless or how many siblings some one has. I have seen many cases where other kids are brats not just only children. Next time THINK before you shoot off stuff which you obviously know NOTHING about.

pirat... piratepixie

i agree most only children do turn out to be selfish little bastards that later turn into selfish adults that still believe they are the center of the world. there are exceptions to that of course but every person i have known that grew up as an only child was like that and i couldn't stand them for the most part. i know it wasn't there fault that there parents decided that they didn't want to have more kids, or that they didn't want to spend the extra money in raising a second child because there clothes or cars where more important to them... adults can be pretty selfish as well at times and i do think that parents that choose to have only one child are bing selfish. they clearly are not thinking about how not having a sibling will affect there child, and claiming that they only want one child to spoil just makes me mad. all they are doing in that case is teaching there child to be selfish!!!

im not saying that parents should have 4 or 5 kids just to teach there child to share, but atlest give them one sibling. because rather you like it or not your going to get old and die someday and then who is your child going to have in the world? who are they going to have there to grow up with and lean on when your too busy? friends come and go but a brother or sister is a bond that lasts a lifetime.

gabe05 gabe05

Funny, I often feel horribly guilty for having three kids.  I feel like my desire for more than one gives my children less attention and time with me than an only child would get.  I remember with great fondness the two and a half years with my firstborn.  He got all my time, all my attention, all my focus. I feel that I shortchange him and the other two now.  I chose to have more than one and love the family I have, but I often wonder if that was the truly selfish decision.

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