An only child is a lonely child

End the prejudices lonely, selfish, only child

Siblings seem to have overestimated their importance for years. Great people develop even without a brother or sister. The drama about the only child: It will (hopefully) soon be no longer an issue.

The clichés on the subject Only child do not need to be explained in length. Everyone has probably already heard that children without siblings are irascible egoists who cannot move around on the social floor either in childhood or later as adults without attracting attention. Admittedly, the only child stamp is also a welcome swipe in the conflict with the boss, who as an only child was practically brought up to be a tyrant, the neighbor who parks so brazenly in the driveway solely for lack of siblings, or the best friend who deliberately moves always pours the most wine.

Selfish and lonely? Even with siblings!

As a person who is not as Only child grew up, one would almost think that such prejudices can curiously only have sprung from the mind of an only child. Because anyone who has ever quarreled with their little sister over the last piece of cake should actually know best what a great good egoism is. And even because of their often regretted loneliness, only children can hardly have a say. After all, having to constantly share parental attention with the rest of the rascals doesn't always feel well protected. And there are certainly dozens of other clichés that can be easily reversed.

Also read: Shall We Teach Our Children To Share?

Only child cliché: No longer up-to-date

In fact, there are now more and more studies that deal with the developmental differences between only children and children with siblings. What do these result? Well, unfortunately that's not that easy to say. An essential component here is namely the period in which the examinations were carried out. While studies and psychologists' judgments fueled the common only child clichés many decades ago, modern research has proven to be far more neutral. Today researchers assume that Only children show hardly any developmental differences to children with siblings.

Only children: It used to be a sensation ...

The clichés about only children come from a time when large families were still the rule. Only children were a rare exception; almost a sensation. It was a time when families were organized like small corporations, which for the most part fought their daily lives with and among each other. Siblings played with each other; Regular contact with other children was only possible from school age. Only children were actually left out at that time. Without contact with peers and through constant contact with adults, a special character could certainly not be ruled out.

Also read: How much does a child in Switzerland cost?

... the rule today

In the meantime, times have changed and with them the family structures. Only children are no longer uncommon these days. In fact, the opposite is the case: the ever increasing age of first-time mothers, but also the relatively high separation rates, have long ceased to make only children the exception. However, the social organization has also been adapted accordingly: Children today have contact with other children at an early age. Whether in crawling groups, daycare centers or play groups: Today no child is really alone anymore. Outside of the modern nuclear family, structures have grown that allow child-like coexistence and promote corresponding developments.

Parents support only children

Parents are also aware of the need for social contacts of the same age. More and more parents are making sure that the little ones meet outside of the organized groups. Being an only child means something completely different today than it was a few generations ago. So let's hope that the cliché will soon also disappear in the history books.

Cover picture: iStock

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