Like anything, being an only child has its advantages and downfalls. You don't have to share the family car or a bedroom, but you will spend more time alone. I had many imaginary friends when I was young, which I think was to fill the void of not having siblings.
I've heard a lot of jokes over the years about how "spoiled" or "uppity" only children are. (Most people say these without realizing I am an only child). Though I'm sure there are only children who are selfish, I don't think people with siblings realize the realities of being an only child.
Here are a few positive and negative results of being an only child.
1. Only children aren’t spoiled more than other children
Just because there's only one kid doesn't mean it's a lawless household. There are rules and chores---maybe more chores than someone with siblings since there's no one to distribute the workload with.
2. Being an only child is lonely
Sure, only children may get more one-on-one attention from their parents, but that also means more time spent in isolation. As an only child with working parents, I spent a good amount of my teenage years alone. I didn't have any younger siblings to care for, but I also didn't have anyone older to set an example of what the coming years in my life would bring.
One of my biggest fears is the loneliness I'll face when my parents pass away. I won't have any close blood relatives my age to lean on. Perhaps this is why I have my heart set on marrying.
3. Socializing with other kids is difficult
Throughout the years, I've been complimented on my maturity. While most adults think it's wonderful that a kid knows how to act older, children don't find that quality as easy to befriend. I had a lot of difficulty adjusting to kindergarten because I didn't have experience around other kids my age. I only knew how to talk to adults.
4. Only children make their own path in life
I attended a private middle/high school, which used a "legacy" system that some universities use. Essentially, if you have an older sibling attending the school (who's in good standing), you have a better chance of enrollment. Only children don't have these benefits and simply get in on their own merit.
5. Only children are more independent
Growing up, I didn't watch anybody go through the stages of life before me. I found my own passions without the influence of another child in the household. I think being an only child has fostered my tendency to be a leader, as well as fueled my self-sufficiency to complete tasks and homework.
Only children are creative
I think being an only child is what led to my love for writing. Having to play with myself as a kid and make up scenarios and characters spawned the boundless imagination I still use today for writing fiction.
Though being an only child is tough at times, it's a unique experience. I never shared a room with anyone until college, nor did I have to fight anyone over a bathroom schedule. I'm grateful I was raised an only child, but with that said, next time you consider making a joke about "the way only children are", imagine your life without your siblings. When they scream at you for borrowing their clothes, appreciate the bond you have.