The Only Child Syndrome

22 Dec

Little might some of you know or may not know, but I’m an only child. Technically I grew up an only child, but I have half brothers and sisters on my Father’s side which I have seen maybe a handful of times. I still have an older brother who I contact through Facebook that I still have not met in real life. That probably seems crazy to most people and it’s even crazy to me. To be honest, growing up an only child wasn’t exactly a bad thing. I never felt like I was missing out on something or felt jealous of my friends who had these great connections with their siblings or even rivalries. There was a small part of me though that did want to have a brother or sister or both around to be able to turn and have fights with and just goof around with. I didn’t grow up with that so I can’t say I know what it’s like. I also can’t take all of the blame for that either because you can’t choose your family. When you want your family to be close and they aren’t, sometimes it’s out of your hands and you just have to let it roll.

Nonetheless, being an only child has had it’s moments. I have had great friends come in and out of my life. Some have stayed and some have went. But I think the one thing I learned about being an only child is aloneness. It’s strange, but often times when I just want to call my best friend – I find myself not picking up the phone and being by myself. I guess it’s because I’m used to it by now. I have a few very best friends that I know I can turn to about anything, but sometimes the only child syndrome seems to kick in and I revert right back to dealing with things on my own. Maybe I’m wrong for my thought process and thinking that way?

I read a little bit on the OCS and found a bit of useful information, though some of it is questionable and definitely debatable to what we find in our society today. What I found interesting is that the People’s Republic of China, which I know enforced the one-child policy to control population and family planning – there is a term frequented Little Emperor Syndrome that is similar yet way beyond what in America the Only Child Syndrome means. There are way more socio-economic bearings that the Little Emperor Syndrome has on children are classified I think as detrimental to their growth. However, since the one-child policy, the Chinese culture has put these children on these high pedestals and made them look like they’re there to impress the family at all times. As most other countries, as the child of the family you are the representative of your entire family so in other words – DON’T MESS IT UP! As if that isn’t going to add any pressure on any one child, and if you’re the ONLY child? I mean, really.

I digress. Being an only child is tough. So I can imagine that not having brothers and sisters to look up to or having little brothers and sisters to be a role model for or guidance to is a challenge because it can be for me at times. Even if I don’t have that, I have a great support system nonetheless to make up for it and family and friends who make up for the missing links. Do I feel like I was ever cheated out of that experience? No, because if the man upstairs wanted me to experience it that way he would have given it to me. But I just hope he’ll agree with me that when I’m ready and if he allows me to have kids of my own – I want them to have a bunch of brothers and sisters because I secretly don’t want a quiet house. A noisy house always makes for a fun house. =D

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