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 KDA

Wow, you're already judging my one-year old daughter and accusing her of being selfish because she's an only child? Personally, the only children I have known have been more mature and giving than kids with siblings. I think it's because they don't have to fight and compete for everything. They don't see life as an eternal competition for attention. As far as siblings, some are close and some aren't. There's no guarantee that they will like each other.

Anne Nadler

I had one daughter because her dad and I were divorced when she was 2. I now have one grandson and yes it is their choice, but they are all very comfortable with that choice, including my grandson. They always ask him if he would like a brother or sister and he is always saying a big fat NO! My grandson is sweet, polite and darling. Does he have his moments?... sure, but for the mostpart he is well-adjusted and kind. I have a brother - haven't spoken in over 20 years. Hmmm, so what say you about that??

Emily McClanahan

I guess I don't even have to say how much of an idiot the man who wrote this is. Let's be real anyway, since when do men give women advice about how many children to have anyway? This was supposed to be a place for women (and some men) to come together and discuss being parents and common issues instead, every day almost they try to offend us. I'm done with this site. I currently only have one child and if she were my only ever child I would be more than happy. She would have everything she needs (since the economy it's hard to imagine paying for a second child to live with the means my daughter has now) and that makes me SELFISH?!? I could punch this guy in face for the smirk comments like that. Also I will say I have one older sister and I HATE HER - she does drugs, steals, fathers multiple children from different dads, but I guess since her children have sibblings they are better off...WHAT A TWIRP!

Clare Florence

This really touched a nerve with me.

I am an only child, but would like to point out that this was not through CHOICE of my parents.

In fact they struggled for eleven years to conceive, and when I was born they loved me every day. I am sure they would have loved to have another child, but they simply could not.

However, they CERTAINLY did not spoil me, nor would I say that I am spolied or obnoxious.

I constantly put others first and am a considerate and empathetic to a ridiculous degree (the words of my husband- a brother with one sister).

My parents are now separated, which breaks my heart. But never did I play the screaming brat card or go off the rails at 18 when they split up. No, I understood that they were adults who had to make a change in their lives to be happy and to continue their relationship. We all continue to have a close and amazing relationship to this day.

So, I ask you- is a personality not dependant on HOW an individual is raised rather than the number of siblings they have to keep them company?

Ironically, I find your very article to be selfish and obnoxious in it's very nature.

In my opinion, you need to broaden your comprehension on parenting before throwing about presumptions on topics which you clearly have insufficient expertise in.

nonmember avatar momof1

I am a mom on 1 child. I would like to have more children but after 2 miscarriages and 1 ectopic pregnancy-which i had to have my right tube removed-i decided against having more. She has grown up with her cousins one of them is two weeks younger than her and is like a brother to her. She does well in school due to homeschooling and has extra curriculum classes that she excels in. She has such a full life that i really do not think she is deprived from having a sibling due to something she cannot control. Please be more considerate about what you say next time.

nonmember avatar Zuri

You never fail to stoop to new lows, Mr. Kardon. I thought your sexist article mocking young girls was the bottom of the barrel with you. Nope. This is worse than that. And the "selfish" accusation makes zero sense at all.

nonmember avatar Steve

I completely disagree with the assertion that only children are all alike and similarly disadvantaged. I have known a lot of only children and have them to be as diverse in their personalities as everyone else is. Further, I can certainly think of selfish, self-absorbed, obnoxious people who DO have siblings.

funny... funnymommy71

My Mom was an only child because her brother died in infancy.  She is one of the most non-spoiled and independent people I know who went on to make "sisters" out of her life long friends. I wanted 2 kids and it is a plus for DS to have a sibling and they love each other and he actually has thanked me (omg) several times for having her in the last 5 years!  I cannot imagine not having my Sister, fights and all- we have a bond and love that is unbreakable.  My kids will too.

Anna DelGenio

Whatever a parents' reasons may be, I think there's no reason having an only is detrimental to said child. I speak from experience - I am one!  My parents taught me early on - a concept which stuck by early childhood- the importance of sharing, being polite & grateful to others, & NEVER taking for granted attention & financial benefits bestowed on me - 2 things that, in my family's situation, would have inevitably been stretched thinner if I'd had siblings. Granted, I developed a glose bond with my parents.  Yes, I've always related better than average to those older than me,. but that's exposed me to new points of view & experiences. Still, my closest friends range 30 years - all based on maturity level and common beliefs & experiences, regardless of age. I tbelieve it's "luck of the draw" when it comes to onlys vs. siblings. There are only children who don't receive the proper parenting to make them prosper in the "real world"; but just as often those with siblings can suffer neglect from parents who can't properly cope any better- children who may or may not have a mutually beneficial relationship(s) with their sibling(s). In my opinion it boils down to good parenting. Sure, onlies may have different skills than those with siblings, but different doesn't mean bad. If a child is raised with love, respect, empathy, and a proper amount of discipline,  believe that have equal likelihoods tof becoming a well-adjusted adult - only or not.

nonmember avatar LouisaFinnell

I guess you didn't think of China when fleshing out this theory.

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