Only Child Syndrome: Proven Reality or Long-Standing Myth?
The only child syndrome is a long standing myth. There are many reasons why it may not exist as much as some believe. Some of these reasons include:
1) Only children have more responsibility than others.
They must work harder at school, chores, sports and other activities that require effort.
2) Only children do not have friends their own age.
They don’t get along with them either because they are too busy doing their own thing. If one of the kids gets sick, the rest will not go out to play with him/her since they would all need to take care of themselves.
3) Only children cannot be socialized into different types of groups like teens or older adults.
Their focus is on academics and nothing else.
4) Only children are often bullied by peers and adults alike.
These bullies will make fun of them and even hit them if they try to defend themselves.
5) When a parent dies, the only child is left alone.
Most parents tend to be very protective of their children and won’t let anyone bully them. Many times when a parent dies, there is no one around to protect the only child anymore so he/she becomes isolated from society altogether.
6) The only child has no one to share toys with.
This forces him/her to buy their own when they want a certain toy that they saw on TV, in a store, or friend has. Most of the time their parents do not have the money to support these extravagant wants so the only child decides to get a part-time job after school so they can buy the things they want when they want them.
7) School is a much bigger burden on only children.
They are expected to do much more than others in the same class. This means more homework, more studying and more projects.
8) As far as relationships go, only children are not very good at maintaining them.
They prefer to be by themselves rather than be in a group of people. This is why most only children choose a career that is either solitary or where they work alone.
As you can see, the only child syndrome is just a myth used to describe why some people do not get along in society. While there are only children that suffer from this (just like all other syndromes), there are far more that do not fit the mold at all.
This means that it is up to YOU to decide if you want to believe in it or not.
Only child depression:
Only children are prone to suffer from depression. Like all people, only children don’t really like change–and growing up is one of the major changes that everyone has to face at some point in their lives.
When only children grow up, they find themselves having to divide their time and energy between work and play–something that was never an issue for them when they were younger. Only children have the tendency to think back about the “good old days” when they didn’t have to worry about paying the bills or working a job they hated.
Only children have a tendency to feel alone–even when they are around other people. This feeling of aloneness is brought on by the fact that only children don’t have brothers or sisters to hang out with.
They miss having siblings to do things with or even fight with. When only children are forced to socialize with other people, it makes them uncomfortable. After spending all day working around complete strangers, the last thing an only child wants to do is socialize with more strangers when they get home.
Only children also tend to be loners. They prefer to be by themselves rather than in a group.
Most of the time, only children prefer one on one contact rather than group meetings. This is because they are afraid that they might say the wrong thing or that others will say something about them that isn’t true.
Only children are prone to suffer from low self-esteem. They are perfectionists and have a tendency to be critical of themselves–always seeing their own faults, but able to overlook the good things about themselves.
This is usually the result of being told that they need to try harder by their parents.
The best way to overcome these tendencies is to get yourself into counseling. Talk with a professional about your feelings, so you won’t keep them bottled up inside.
Find a support group that deals with only children issues. There are several out there. Most importantly, make an effort to get out and socialize with other people on a regular basis. It’s important to try new things even if they might be intimidating for you–the more you do it, the easier it gets.
When you feel those sad feelings coming on, do something to make yourself happy–like going to a movie or getting some ice cream. Do what you can to remind yourself of the good things in life and you’ll find that those sad feelings will start to go away with time.
Only child depression is very treatable and most who suffer from this can lead normal lives.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Under the influence: A guide to the myths and realities of alcoholism by JR Milam, K Ketcham – 2011 – books.google.com
HIV/AIDS and African Americans: Assumptions, myths, and realities by LM Gant, W Green, PA Stewart… – … workers speak out …, 1998 – books.google.com
Quantitative review of the only child literature: Research evidence and theory development. by T Falbo, DF Polit – Psychological Bulletin, 1986 – psycnet.apa.org