The Mythical 'Only Child Syndrome' Explained, And No, We Aren't All Spoiled

The Mythical 'Only Child Syndrome' Explained, And No, We Aren't All Spoiled

Sure, it was lonely at times and there was quite a bit of time where imaginary friends were a thing


There is always that question when sitting down talking to friends on the first day of school asking, "Do you have any brothers or sisters?" My answer to that question was always, "Well no, but I have dogs!" Yes, I was that girl, but I ended up gaining many qualities from being an only child.

Sure, it was lonely at times and there was quite a bit of time where imaginary friends were a thing. But, I learned how to be very independent and mature from it.

I grew up being an only child with divorced parents at the age of two. I was always a really shy kid and felt a little out of place. In social settings outside of school, I was rarely around other people my age. After I would get home from elementary school, I would always play with my barbies, Polly Pockets, and little pet shop toys. My dog, Smirnoff, (yes her name is Smirnoff) would sit and watch me play with my toys. Smirnoff was like a sibling to me. Just one that couldn't talk… but would always listen.

There are many stereotypes that go along with being an only child. Antisocial, spoiled rotten, loners, and selfish, to name a few. I hate to break it to you but stereotypes are usually wrong. Just because two partners only had one child doesn't mean they're magically going to get be spoiled and get everything they want.

Most of the time only children end up being very independent, social, kind, and empathetic. Since us only children have spent most of our time with older adults we tend to have more of a mature outlook on situations.

I want to clear a couple things up about being an only child:

1. We aren't that weird.

There are many stereotypes out there that claim only children are weird because they aren't around children their age as much.

2. We don't get everything we want.

Our parents are the same as all other parents. They had one child for a reason and that reason being: having kids is a lot of money.

3. We actually don't mind sharing with other people.

Just because we've probably had our own room and bathroom our whole lives doesn't mean we can't be nice and share.

4. We aren't loners.

We have friends, just saying

5. We make sure to respect authority figures.

Growing up mainly around adult figures allowed us to gain a different type of respect for authority

6. We aren't self-absorbed.

"I love me, myself, and I" is not our motto.

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Dear Mom, Now That I'm Older

A letter to the woman who made me the woman I am today.

Dear Mom,

Now that I'm older, I definitely appreciate you a lot more than I did as a kid. I appreciate the little things, from the random text messages to constantly tagging me on Facebook in your "funny" photos and sending me pins of stuff I like on Pinterest. Now that I'm older, I can look back and realize that everything I am is all because of you. You've made me strong but realize it's okay to cry. You've shown me how a mother gives everything to her children to give them a better life than she had, even when she's left with nothing. And, most importantly you've taught me to never give up and without this, I would not be where I am today.

Mom, now that I'm older, I realize that you're the best friend I'm ever going to have. You cheer me on when I try new things and support me in deciding to be whatever person I want to be. Thank you for never telling me I can't do something and helping me figure out ways to be the best woman I can be. Your love for me is unconditional. They say true, unconditional love can only come from God, but mom, I think you're a pretty close second.

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Now that I'm older, I don't get to see you as much. But not seeing you as much just makes the times I do get to see you the absolute best, and I look forward to it every time. Now that I'm older, I'm not going to live at home. But, I promise to always come back because I know the door is always open. Your house is always going to be my home, and no other place is going to be the same.

Now that I'm older, I realize how much I miss you taking care of me. I miss you making me dinner, making sure I was doing well in school, and taking me to endless appointments. I miss you waking me up for school and then waking me up again because I didn't listen the first time.

But, Mom, now that I'm older, I can see all that you've done for me. I can look back and see how big of a brat I was but you still loved me (and let me live) anyways. I can understand why you did certain things and frankly, you're one bada** of a woman.

To have you as my mom and my best friend has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. So, Mom, now that I'm older, thank you, for everything.


Your Daughter

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An Open Letter To My 14-Year-Old Self

"Wish you could go back, and tell yourself what you know now." - Taylor Swift


I remember being 14 and couldn't wait to be one year older so I could finally sing Fifteen by Taylor Swift truthfully. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Tswift, and her songs were much like the narrative to my high school years. Her song Fifteen reflects back on her freshman year of high school realizing all that she has learned since then and wish she had known. But what I didn't know at 14 is that it was one of the most important years of my life.

Dear 14 year-old-me,

So, I know you have your first serious boyfriend, and you still have all of your innocence. You are naive to almost everything and anything, but all you is to be loved. But take a step back and realizing what you are doing to yourself in order to be liked. You see so many kids walking down the hallway holding hands, the senior boys seem so intriguing, and your straightening the life out of your hair to make it "perfect". The pressure is so on, girl I know.

What does it take to be "popular" and how far will you go to validate your worth?

Don't buy those Uggs you and your bestie saw the most popular girl in school wearing- its creepy and weird. She will probably think you're a stalker. Stop laying your outfits out the night before because honestly no one is impressed with your Holister jeans and Abrcombie zip-up that is sooo last year.

You think that 90 you got on your History test is a clear sign you should be a history teacher. I love that you had so much passion for that then, but little do you know the next year of your life will shape who and what you will become for the rest of your life. At 14, things may seem awkward and embarrassing, but it is one of the best years for you. You are still so close with your best friend. You have weekly sleep overs, your still calling your crushes by their "code-names" (even though everyone knows them), and your metabolism is impeccable.

You finally are liked by the guy you always wanted. You turn down really great guys because all you care about is him. You think that he only has eyes for you and you're meant to be. Girl, don't be so foolish. Even though, in due time, you will realize 4 years later that some things aren't meant to be and that's okay.

The first time he breaks your heart, is not the last, and it will only get worse. And you will continue to let let him hurt you time and time again because you think his love is the only love that will make you feel that you are enough.

I wish you would've walked away when you had the chance, and what I'm about to tell you, you may not be ready for.

Within the next year your depression and anxiety will hit the fan. You will lose friends, lose 30 pounds and lose sight of whats really important, all in order to be "good enough".

Here is the secret, good enough does not exist. It is unattainable, and nothing but a false hope that keeps fueling your desire to obtain perfection. You will isolate yourself, you will lie about everything you are doing in order to protect it, and you won't tell a single soul how much you will suffer.

I lived through your lowest of lows, and I have watched you want to give up. I have watched you cry yourself to sleep every night, I watched you lay on the bathroom floor feeling hopeless and I have witnessed you whip those tears, throw your hair in the cutest messy bun and smile into the mirror saying, "You're okay. Get it together girlfriend." Your eyes are lifeless. Your soul belongs to your disorder. This isn't who you are. But you will become who you were meant to be because of this.

But you will not be okay. You will face the hardest years of your life, and girl I am here for it. Every step of the way. You will not give up, even when you swear the pain of never being enough is unbearable.

So enjoy your last year of innocence because you won't be this happy again for a while. I am telling you this 7 years later. But happiness will come when you rid the toxicity from your life. This is the only way you will only be successful at reclaiming your life back.

There is so much more to you than how many friends you have or the size of your jeans. I need you to be strong, after all- you're going to run marathons soon. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that you become a damn good runner. And that sport breaks your heart more than any boy ever has. But you finally find your passion, and it's to help people who struggled just like you.

Pay attention in your honors chemistry class because girl, this is the field you're going into. Don't entertain boys who want you to shrink in order to make them feel powerful. DO your homework, wash your face and enjoy your icecream before bed. Wear whatever the hell you want because girls are going to judge you regardless- jealously is a real b*tch. No one is going to like you more at your lowest weight, even though the voice in your head tells you so. No one is going to pay you more attention, no one is going to love you more, and no one is going to prioritize your needs more than you can. You have to do all of this on your own, for your own good.

At 14, this world seems like a really good place. Cherish this feeling before the world becomes tainted with your uncontrollable desire to fit its' standard of perfect.

I want you to know the moment that you fall out of love, is when you start to mend the most beautiful relationship you will ever have- the one with yourself. People will come and go, but at the end of the day you have to be okay with who you are.

Lastly, your years with your loved ones are numbered quicker than you know. Hug them tight, call them more often, and see them every opportunity you get. Always tell them you love them when you kiss them goodbye.


The woman who is still trying to pick up the pieces, even 7 years later. I'm in this all for you and our future. Xo

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