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BlueRidge
08-17-2010, 08:20 PM
Oleada, is your sister the second or third child?

genevieve
08-17-2010, 08:29 PM
I was not unhappy being an only child when I was a child. However, as an adult I am overburdened with old people who need a variety of assistance and no one to help me. If I ever had children, I would have more than one if possible for this reason. Although there is no guarantee that a sibling would be willing to help me if I had one.
True - my mom is the oldest of 3, and due to various physical/mental limitations of her siblings, she is not only the primary caretaker for her parents, but just became the primary caretaker for 1 of her brothers, and will eventually become the primary caretaker of the other (unless he outlives her, which is possible). In terms of elder care, she would have been better off as a single child (not that she would wish that, but just looking at it from a help-with-care-of-parents angle)

oleada
08-17-2010, 08:30 PM
Oleada, is your sister the second or third child?

She is the third :)

BlueRidge
08-17-2010, 08:33 PM
She is the third :)

ah. thirds are different from seconds...

pat c
08-18-2010, 12:19 AM
I was not unhappy being an only child when I was a child. However, as an adult I am overburdened with old people who need a variety of assistance and no one to help me. If I ever had children, I would have more than one if possible for this reason. Although there is no guarantee that a sibling would be willing to help me if I had one.

I am an only and I have an older cousin who is an only. She experienced what you have gone through. She actually ended up helping her neighbors even tho they had children who lived too far away to be of any assistance. My sympathies.

I too am a reader and find that when I am surrounded by people for too long (my husband has 6 in his family and other close various relatives mine and his) I have to find a way to get away. Don't get me wrong, I love visiting with people but I find I need alone time. I was happy as an only, didn't miss having siblings per se. I've never needed a large group of friends, I have a tendency to enjoy smaller groups.

skategal
08-18-2010, 12:31 AM
I'm another only who wasn't the least bit lonely as a child. I never ever asked my parents for a sibling either. My parents intended to have more children but it didn't work out for them.


Although there is no guarantee that a sibling would be willing to help me if I had one.

That is so true. My husband has one sibling and we already know that she will not be helpful when the parents get older. My husband and I will provide the care for both sets of our parents.




I too am a reader and find that when I am surrounded by people for too long (my husband has 6 in his family and other close various relatives mine and his) I have to find a way to get away. Don't get me wrong, I love visiting with people but I find I need alone time. I was happy as an only, didn't miss having siblings per se. I've never needed a large group of friends, I have a tendency to enjoy smaller groups.

I read alot too and totally get what you mean about needing 'alone' time. I feel the same way when there are too many people around. I really enjoy it but it's like I need some time alone to recharge my brain or something...

RockTheTassel
08-18-2010, 12:49 AM
I read a study some years back that in families with two or more sisters, the younger(s) tend to be more social, conventional and outgoing than the olders. Which was true in my family, I'm the older, more serious one.

In my family, it's the opposite. My sister is the outgoing, sometimes irresponsible one, while I've always been more quiet and level-headed.

I've read that whatever personality traits the first born has, the second born takes the opposite. One child is usually quiet, impatient, competitive, and aggressive while the other is social, easygoing, and non-confrontational. The first set of traits seem to go to the first born more and the other to the second born, but not always.

Anita18
08-18-2010, 12:53 AM
I've read that whatever personality traits the first born has, the second born takes the opposite. One child is usually quiet, impatient, competitive, and aggressive while the other is social, easygoing, and non-confrontational. The first set of traits seem to go to the first born more and the other to the second born, but not always.
Yeah I think that's how you try to differentiate yourself.

What's funny is that despite being completely different as kids, as we get older, I'm taking on more of my sister's traits and she's taking on more of my traits. So when we're 30 or so, we'll be emotional twins. :lol:

Being an only child doesn't really affect my bf socially, although he would probably appreciate not having all of the attention from his helicopter mom. :lol: It's hard to say which is better, because it's all we know. I dunno if I'd be friends with my sister if we weren't related because we're still very different, but we do share a special bond. And when we get together with Mom, it's always a great time. :)

IceAlisa
08-18-2010, 12:59 AM
And I assume that most people who spend a lot of time online recreationally are introverts. They can express themselves much better by typing out their thoughts, allowing some time to process their thoughts, than in real-life conversations. I would also assume that this type of communication would feel torturous to an extrovert, on the other hand.

That sounds very reasonable.

Anita18
08-18-2010, 01:07 AM
And I assume that most people who spend a lot of time online recreationally are introverts. They can express themselves much better by typing out their thoughts, allowing some time to process their thoughts, than in real-life conversations. I would also assume that this type of communication would feel torturous to an extrovert, on the other hand.
Not to mention that you can easily exit a forum and stop all social interactions without feeling like you're being rude. I think that's a huge one for me. It's hard for me to enter real-life social interactions and figure out how to make a smooth exit. :lol:

Matryeshka
08-18-2010, 01:32 AM
I'll concur that BR is pretty quiet in RL, but I think that's more from being all agog at whatever Tanith Belbin was not wearing than any kind of introvertedness. :P

And she talked to me! :cheer2: :P Of course, it could also be that I am one of the few extroverted people on this board and could talk the bricks off the walls if I had

RockTheTassel--those traits definitely describe my younger brother and me, only in reverse.

It's interesting--I can be defined as both an oldest, middle, and only child. My older brother and sister are 18 and 16 years older than me respectively, and my younger brother is six years younger. I've read that if there is more than five years difference between siblings, the conventional wisdom regarding oldest/youngest "resets." Personally, I like the age difference. My younger brother and I are much closer than we are to the older ones, and despite the closeness in age, closer to each other than the older ones are for each other. If you're going to have multiple children, five years is a good spread. The oldest one gets plenty of parent time/attention on his own before going off to kindergarten, and again, just personal experience, there's less jealousy. Also, you're not at school at the same time except elementary school, and possibly college (grad school where my brother was an undergrad).

Prancer
08-18-2010, 01:41 AM
If you're going to have multiple children, five years is a good spread.

It might be good for the kids, but I think most parents would be less thrilled at the prospect :lol:.

It's interesting to me that so many onlies say they were never lonely because they read a lot. I did and do that, too, but I'm not convinced that being entertained or engaged is the same thing as not being lonely.

Anita18
08-18-2010, 01:42 AM
I'll concur that BR is pretty quiet in RL, but I think that's more from being all agog at whatever Tanith Belbin was not wearing than any kind of introvertedness. :P

And she talked to me! :cheer2: :P Of course, it could also be that I am one of the few extroverted people on this board and could talk the bricks off the walls if I had
Well, did she talk to you or did you talk to her? Tanith talked to me once but that's cause when she got on the shuttle back to the hotel, the only empty seat left was next to mine. :rofl: And the gridlock was terrible and she really wanted to get back and suggested she could get off and make a run for it. I looked down at the drivers next to us and said that would probably be a bad idea, since everybody was texting. :rofl:

IceJunkie
08-18-2010, 01:58 AM
I got the best of both worlds. My brother was 12 when I was born and my sister was 9. My brother was a senior in high school when I was in kindergarten and my sister graduated a year early when I was 8, so I spent most of my school-aged years essentially an only child. I don't think I'm as close to them had they been nearer to me in age, but we rarely fought because they were so much older than me.

deltask8er
08-18-2010, 02:23 AM
It's interesting to me that so many onlies say they were never lonely because they read a lot. I did and do that, too, but I'm not convinced that being entertained or engaged is the same thing as not being lonely.

Reminds me of when I respond to questions about where I grew up. We moved about every 4 years from state to state until I was 18. Most react with "oh, that must have been HORRIBLE!". Not really. I can't imagine, for example, having divorced parents. At least the nuclear family remained intact as my father accepted a better job than the last one. The pros of that upbringing included not getting homesick when I went to college. It was just another move to me :lol: . But I probably don't value friendship as much as most. I purposely reduced the number of friends I had just before a move so I wouldn't need to say goodbye to as many people, especially in junior high and high school.

And maybe being an only child isn't as lonely as decades ago, with the Internet and all that. I recall reading a couple of very successful entertainers who led desperately lonely childhoods (Frank Sinatra, Robin Williams), but the personal pain was translated into creative thinking as a result of so much free time in their youth.

What about China and their one-child policy? I'm sure those children have been studied. A nation with very few aunts and uncles.