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Thread: interesting article on only children

  1. #1
    Champion Skater (Vicariously)
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    interesting article on only children

    This article was really interesting, it dispells the stereotypes that only children as socially mal adjusted and self centered.


    http://www.utexas.edu/features/

    In all of my ed, psych, and child development classes we always had arguments about contradicting research that was all really dated. I'm an only, and I always knew in my heart that I would be vindicated!!!

  2. #2
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    I agree with some but not all of this article. I certainly agree that only children get pushed more academically, and are more mature because they spend more time with adults.

    However, I think there are a lot of disadvantages to being an only child. I am an only child, so are both of my parents, so is my fiance, so is his father. I think while we are not over-indulged, we do miss some important lessons on sharing resources with others, be it sharing time or toys. We grow up with bigger expectations. I cannot imagine sharing my parents with anybody else, but it would sure be nice if I had someone with whom to share the responsibilities of being a daughter and a grandaughter.

  3. #3
    In love with the axel!
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    That article doesn't surprise me a bit because I've know it all along. It is, after all, all about me. Everything is, including this message board.......Psych!

    I'm an only kid - I hope I'm well adjusted . My son is an only kid too, with no problems. I do agree with Ptichka about the taking care of the parents thing. I'm not there yet, but when I am there won't be anyone else to help. Hopefully when I'm old, my son will have married a wonderful woman who wants to take care of me! :D

  4. #4
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    I've never been a big supporter of the whole "birth order determines personality" thing. I think that there are aspects to this theory that make sense, but so much of it is far too broad and doesn't take into account all of the other factors that determine personality. It is just a very small part of the picture and I don't think so much emphasis should be placed on it. I'm the baby of the family and I was not the precocious, spoiled brat I should have been. I was quiet and always more comfortable around adults. I've never agreed with the stereotype that only children are always selfish either. My real father was an only child and he is extremely self-centered, but that was because his parents allowed him to be. They let him get away with and have everything...and I'm certain it would have still been the case had he had siblings. It was the nature of my grandparents. I know plenty of selfish, insecure people with loads of siblings!

  5. #5
    Champion Skater (Vicariously)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    I agree with some but not all of this article. I certainly agree that only children get pushed more academically, and are more mature because they spend more time with adults.

    However, I think there are a lot of disadvantages to being an only child. I am an only child, so are both of my parents, so is my fiance, so is his father. I think while we are not over-indulged, we do miss some important lessons on sharing resources with others, be it sharing time or toys. We grow up with bigger expectations. I cannot imagine sharing my parents with anybody else, but it would sure be nice if I had someone with whom to share the responsibilities of being a daughter and a grandaughter.

    I think that the sharing thing issue is linked more to parenting practices than to birth order, I was in pre school starting at 6 months... So I had nearly as much exposure to sharing both toys and time spent with adults and peers from an early age. But I can imagine that if an only was raised in a situation where they rarely interacted with children that kindergarten would be quite a shock.

    I TOTALLY agree about how handling aging parents is a tougher issue for only children... My mom hasnt been in the best health this yeah and my dad drinks too much, so lately I have been panicing about what would happen if they werent around anymore ( I dont really need to work they are only 55) But its my biggest fear that I will be completely alone if something happend to them, I have very few relatives on each side and none that I'm close with. I need to hurry up and start a family of my own

  6. #6
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    RG Jr. is an only child. At 10, she's joyful, mature, generous, empathetic and kind. She's naturally bright but in no way excessively driven with regard to academics. (She'd rather play basketball than read a book--often to my chagrin!)

    Madelyn is our 2nd baby!

  7. #7
    Custom Title Pookie's Avatar
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    I have 2 sisters and one brother. My oldest sister died a couple of years ago. When it comes to taking care of parents, the four of us isn't enough. One lives over a thousand miles away. One lives in a world of her own. We have had to put my mom in an assisted living facility. That leaves me and my brother to sort out my mom's personal things and her financial responsiblities. I am so thankful that I have him to help. I don't know what I would do if I had to tackle this all by myself. When the five of us were growing up, only child sounded pretty good. Now I realize how much responsibility there would be for an only child. :\
    Last edited by Pookie; 07-22-2004 at 09:58 AM.

  8. #8
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    I've found that coping with the prejudices people harbor about only children is one of the most difficult aspects of being an only. I think that is changing somewhat, not only because of the research that has come out, but also because there are more one child families these days. When I was growing up during the sixties, one child families were rather rare.

    My parents were both from large families and I grew up with a large extended family and lots of cousins. So I had no trouble finding playmates or learning to share. Unfortunately, I was the target of some snarkiness from relatives who resented the perceived advantages I enjoyed as an only child. Sometimes people were so intent on making sure I didn't get more than my share, that I actually got less. For example, one of my uncles would buy Christmas presents for all his nieces and nephews, except me. He reasoned that I didn't need a gift because I was an only child. That always hurt my feelings. It feels good to unload that, even after forty years

    Thanks for letting me vent. May we onlies need a support group. :D

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