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Parents With Only One Kid Are Pretty Darn Selfish

by Andrew Kardon on January 15, 2013 at 3:13 PM

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 

Filed Under: family

Comments

453
  • handy...
    --

    handy0318

    January 15, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    OK, Mr. Kardon... we'll all look to you for child bearing advice. So far, we need more than one, but not girls, boys only... however, not too many boys.  Two is OK, but not, heaven forbid popping out 7 or 8.  

    Is it just me, or do an inordinate amount of Stir Bloggers like to push hot buttons just to see us get all het up?

     


  • LuRis
    -- Nonmember comment from

    LuRis

    January 15, 2013 at 3:17 PM
    Yes, God forbid we stop at one when we know we cannot handle more. Because my kid is an only child, I spend even more time with her. Unlike you, who obviously uses her other child as a babysitter. Think before you speak.... Wow...
  • Brittany
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Brittany

    January 15, 2013 at 3:17 PM
    I agree with most of this post- my brother and I have a bond that no one else can touch, and I'd have grown up so lonely without him. I mean, we both had/have friends, but there's just something about a sibling that's different. But...why the picture of a duck??? Lol
  • dirti...
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    dirtiekittie

    January 15, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    since we're going to overgeneralize here: technically, by your standards, i should be better off. i grew up with a sister only two years younger than me. my parents did so wonderful for me by having another child! 

    until it turned out that child had undiagnosed schizophrenia and manic depressive disorder, amongst other incapacities. i didn't grow up with a playmate; i grew up terrified that my sister would actually hurt me on one of the many, many occasions she threatened my life with a knife. i prayed for my parents to send her to boarding school, to get her medicated, ANYTHING to save me from the horror of growing up with this insane person. oh, but according to you, she should have had my back and made growing up better, right? she made my life a living hell. 

    i'm not trying to sound like a martyr, nor am i trying to tell you that everyone with multiple children will have this same problem. all my story is here to tell you is that YOUR solution is not EVERYONE's solution. your "fairy tale upbringing" doesn't work for everyone, and judging people for making decisions that are not the same as you yourself would make is just selfish on your own part, really. 


  • Michelle
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Michelle

    January 15, 2013 at 3:21 PM
    Here is your first hate letter: not all only children (by choice) are badly behaved, deprived little people. Guess what? Mine has wonderful manners for which she is often praised for by total strangers. We don't spoil her any more than you probably do with your TWO children. Guess what? She is an independent, free-thinker who has traveled to Europe almost five times in her four short years on earth. Gasp! She does that without a sibling too...along with her preschool classes, gymnastics and ballet, not to mention time with grandmas, grandpas, other peers, aunties, and cousins....she has a happy and complete life...and doesn't have a sibling! Maybe take a hint from the mass of hate mail I am CERTAIN you will receive and go back to writing posts about things that matter, not the bullshit you've been posting the last few times.
  • M
    -- Nonmember comment from

    M

    January 15, 2013 at 3:23 PM
    Well said, dirtiekittie! Well said.
  • michelle
    -- Nonmember comment from

    michelle

    January 15, 2013 at 3:23 PM
    I'd love to give my son a sibling for all the reasons you mention and more. But my sons father died from a brain tumor when my son was 6mths, hes now 3 but I cant imagine dating let alone having children with someone new. Sometimes the reasons people only have one child have nothing to do with fertility issues, financial issues, or selfishness. Just saying.
  • blue
    -- Nonmember comment from

    blue

    January 15, 2013 at 3:25 PM
    I have siblings, and I don't even talk to them. We have nothing in common, but DNA. I don't like them very much, to be honest. In fact, MOST people I know aren't close with their siblings. Oh, and by the way...you're a freaking idiot.
  • Rootbear
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    Rootbear

    January 15, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    This is ri-goddamn-diculous. One of my best friends was an only child, and she is the nicest, most loyal, giving, drama free person I've ever met in my life. Not every only child grows up to be a spoiled brat. It's the parents that are responsible for that.


  • Pinkmani
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    Pinkmani

    January 15, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Umm, I fight with my brother all the time. He wasn't a built-in playmate, he was a bully. He's 3 years younger than I am, and he hasn't changed. The "only child syndrome" that you're referring to is a myth. 

    Don't you think it's selfish to have a whole bunch of kids? (Especially when you can barely afford them!) 


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