Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Only Child Syndrome

Have you ever had someone come up to you and ask you questions that you absolutely cannot relate to? And the disbelief on their faces when you expressed your inability to connect the dots. An example? When people find out that I'm the only child and go

'So how does it feel to be an only child?'

Part of me just smiles and laugh at what I think is a ridiculously stupid question, but another part just goes 'oh, not again'

It's basically asking how does it feel to be me. And really, I do not want to get into some philosophical, existential debate. Am I suppose to feel different? Am I supposed to fall into deep spiraling depression because I don't have someone barging into my room every 5 seconds wanting to borrow my iPod?

It's like going up to a congenitally blind person and asking if he ever gets tired of not seeing shit. Or better yet, asking a black person if how does it feel to not be white.

News alert, they wouldn't know! 

Why you ask? Well, for one, a blind person who's been blind since birth does not know a life of vision so living life in darkness is what they are used to. So no, I do not how it feels to not have siblings. Because out of my 22 years, there hasn't been a time when I had a sibling and they were forcibly taken away from me for me to actually miss them.

But this fascination with my siblingless status can get pretty annoying. I've probably heard it all. every ignorance infused comment and quip.

'Oh you must be so spoiled'

'My parents must really love you' (Cause you know, it's unnatural for a parent to love their child)

'Oh, you probably have a hard time making friends'

Well, I'm here to debunk some of these stereotypes because frankly, us only children are getting a whole lot of flack for no good reason. Is it our fault that our parents got it right the first time and decided not to have anymore? I kid. I kid. So here I go, for every oppressed only child sitting on their throne at home.

#1 Only children are spoiled rotten.

There is some truth to this. Well, if you take two doting parents and have them love a child with all their heart, a child is bound to be a little spoiled. And I'm not even talking materialistically. An only child could be spoiled with just love and affection from two parents who are fond of them without turning out to be a material hungry whoremonger. I didn't have much growing up. But I sure was hell happy cause I was constantly surrounded by a loving family. And another thing worthy of a mention is that, why do you care? Not every only child gets what they want, and if they do, what is it to you?

#2 Only children are selfish

This is a little tough to call. Of course an only child is selfish! What do they know about sharing when they don't have anyone else to share with. I personally do not like sharing. Surprise surprise eh? But I do like making other people happy, even if it means sharing. I'm getting a little better, I especially enjoy cooking and feeding those around me. I'll attach an excerpt from an article from a site called the Only Child Project which I think cements the fact that we, only children are perfectly functional human beings (maybe even... superior? I kid again)

One does not need a sibling to know how to share and care. A mother of an only child reports to have inculcated the habit of sharing in her daughter by daily offering a portion of food from her own plate to the child. And while doing so, the mother reinforced the fact that she was only sharing her food and not giving it all away. This practice allowed the child a glimpse into the act of sharing without having to be deprived of one’s rightful share.
There are other factors that also come into play. Consider this: Unlike in the multi-child family, the only child does not have to fight for toys, space and attention. He is more willing to share because: 1) he hasn’t had to fight for the things that are shared, and 2) he feels secure in sharing because he know it is all his in the end- to him, sharing does not mean giving away.

 #3 Only children are immature and self absorbed

I remember when I was a little younger, I had asked my mom for the last piece of chicken from her plate at KFC (Damn you finger licking good chicken!). I could see the slight flash of disappointment in her eyes before handing me the drumstick. Yeah yeah, mother's love and all that. But now come to think of it, I think she was just trying to keep me fat. But in all seriousness, would you trust an 8 year old to pick up on these things? New studies have suggested that only children mature faster than peers their age because well, they grow up with adults so staying a child wasn't really an option. And only children are burdened with the expectations of their parents and are under the glare of their scrutiny so this strives them to be the best they can be.

Yes, I do realize we're talking about other only children here. Not me

#4 Only children are lonely

Yes, I don't have a brother to watch football with. Or a sister to gossip about boys with. And no, I don't appreciate you rubbing it in my face. But you know what, I'll live. I have never dependent on someone for my happiness and I'm not gonna start now. I can be shop alone, go out alone and eat alone because the matter of the fact it, I'm okay with being alone. Hell, I enjoy it sometimes. Just because I'm alone doesn't mean I'm lonely. So yes, I'm okay. I'm good.