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 Chris

Also, you say you aren't meaning to insult those who only have 1 for medical and other reasons and then proceed to call their children obnoxious. Way to pull that punch. You sir are an ass.

nonmember avatar Chris

For those on here who've commented that you only have 1 child for various heartbreaking reasons, please keep in mind that Andrew here didn't mean you when he wrote this but that he does still think your child is an obnoxious little brat. He can make that sweeping generalization based on the multitude of hideous little only child monsters that he knows. I'm so glad he's here to put these parents and only brats in their places...what a gem he is. I would hate to meet you or your children Andrew...I'm sure those rotten apples didn't fall far from the tree (see how crappy it feels when some no name on a computer makes a generalization about your children... or perhaps you are as heartless as you seem).

Nycti... Nyctimene

What's with all the males posting on cafeMOM suddenly? If I wanted to read male/father articles I'd go to a Dad sight for that. :-/ I've seen a few and they only seem to stir up trouble and make controversial posts.


That said, this is a really bad stereotype leftover from decades ago. The 'only child' syndrome that equates being an only child with being treated like a Dauphin.


There's lots of positives to having (or being) an only child. You can give your child so much more one-on-one attention. Finances are less of an issue so you can do more things and trips with them that would probably become prohibitively expensive with multiple kids. You can probably do more to help them with college or university than you could (financially) with multiple kids. Your child doesn't have to worry about living in their sibling's shadow (I know many adults still doing this years later as they did as children), being compared to their sibling, sibling rivalry (often physical), not having any privacy, etc. I'm not sure how much of a real 'learning' experience constantly having your stuff stolen and/or broken by your sibling really is. Most adults I know don't steal things from their friends and break them or hit their friends when they get annoyed with them so this idea that a sibling somehow 'prepares your child for the world' is nonsense.

Lobelle Lobelle

You're an idiot. Stupid,misinformed, judgemental article. Clearly this author has too much time and not enough talent.

nonmember avatar Theresa

Andrew, you may think it's selfish for parents to have only one child and that's fine. I don't think any of those parents care what you think. I'm sure there are a million different practices in your parenting that people would thoroughly disapprove of. A man on a mommy blog is far fron anyone's parenting authority. In fact, no one here is. A parent who provides their child with love, security, and all of their essential needs is far from selfish. One thing is for sure, you are a bad example for your own children. Being a judgemental know it all disqualifies you from being a good role model.

mande... manderspanders

As an only child myself.... FUCK YOU ANDREW KARDON!



As an only child, I had to earn everything. My parents did hand me anything. I was far from spoiled...moved out at 17, put myself through college. I don't miss out ob having siblings because I don't know any different.

BUT, I know plenty of families with multiple kids who end up hating each other, who fight over petty bs, who refuse to help their aging parents.... That sounds to me like some pretty selfish behavior. Fortunately, those are things I never have to worry about.

mande... manderspanders

*my parents DID NOT hand me anything

LeighMcG LeighMcG

Behavioral problems do not stem back to how many children are in your family but by what kind of parenting has been done. To suggest with a blanket statement that parents who make a choice to have an only are in some way doing a disservice to their children is asinine. We couldn't have more children due to health reasons but even if we could I'm not sure in this world, with this level of expenses, it would be wise. The blessing of a sibling is a great one but so is being brought up in a home where the parents aren't pushed beyond their limits to fulfill someone else's idea of a family. As an only child with an only child I recently spoke directly to this subject at http://incaseimgone.com/2011/11/07/childhood/


I wonder if this post wasn't written simply to elicite a response. No one can possibly be that narrow minded.

mande... manderspanders

Oh and I'm also pregnant with my first and ONLY. My child will be an only child by choice...I don't want more and neither does my husband. And I will do my best to raise my child to be as independent and resourceful as I have been.

nonmember avatar Addie

You are clueless. Families that realize they can't handle more than one should just stick with one. Friends are the family you choose.

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