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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

I’m an Only Child and I’m Not Spoiled, Nor Too Loud.

I’m an Only Child and I’m Not Spoiled, Nor Too Loud.

 

Having been an only child for 17 years and counting, I have witnessed pretty much every reaction one could have when finding out someone doesn’t have any siblings.

From hearing “Of course she’d wear that, she’s an only child” to “Wow! You must get so bored!” to “You’re so lucky!”, I think that over the years I’ve crafted some pretty good responses to the skeptics and overdramatic.

Starting off with the classic “Don’t you get bored?” reaction. This one always cracks me up because we’re all alone for some moments in life,, so why is being without siblings any different? The best part of this question, in my opinion, is that people seem to assume I don’t leave my house or interact with people. I go to school and see tons of people there, I interact with my parents, and sometimes I even talk to my Uber driver about the weather. Also, I think it’s good to be alone sometimes, at least being an only child has pushed me to find creative things to do as a source of joy and entertainment. Having no one my age at home to socialize with, I was forced to make friends wherever I could, whether it be at school or in my neighborhood.

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Moving on to the trusty “I wish I was an only child” response. I have to admit, I feel kind of flattered and proud whenever I hear this one, but a bit puzzled at the same time. Do you wish your siblings would just, I guess, disappear? Wouldn’t you get bored if you were an only child?

This next response I simply don’t get. When people expect only children to be obnoxiously loud, isn’t that a bit conflicting? When you’re an only child, you don’t need to talk over multiple siblings or fight with them, therefore, shouldn’t only children be able to control their voices?

I guess I can see where people are coming from with this next one, but still, it’s a bit over exaggerated. Yes, I am an only child but I’m not spoiled! Yes, my parents give me nice Christmas and birthday gifts, but I still understand the value of the dollar and I don’t think I’d take advantage of being an only child in monetary sense.

Also, I just googled the definition of spoiled and am suddenly quite offended.

“Spoiled; adjective:

A spoiled child is allowed to do or have anything that it wants to, usually so that it expects to get everything it wants, and does not show respect to other people”… really?

Well. I think that I have the ability to be just as respectful as someone with siblings, maybe even more so, since I have grown up around many adults and learned manners from them.

I asked my advisor, Mme. Grelier if she is an only child to see if I could interview her for this article, and she promptly responded with “why, do I look sad?”

Well, let’s now hear from some other only children.

Ms. Nomdedeu, an only child says many people do not verbally express their thoughts regarding only children, although they do imply that only children are “spoiled” and don’t have the opportunity to learn how to share.

Only-child Celeste Bloom was very quick to agree with some of the only children stereotypes, exclaiming, that although she doesn’t get hand-me-downs brought to her on a “silver platter”, in some ways, the stereotypes are “kinda true”. When asked if she could resonate with any other stereotypes, she quietly muttered: “people think we’re lonely… that’s kinda true”.

Bloom expressed her philosophical point of view regarding “nature versus nurture”, explaining that if certain children are bad at sharing, it’s not necessarily because they are an only child, “this can also be due to other factors”. Bloom ended her argument by stating that most stereotypes concerning only children are true, but exaggerated.

To put it simply, stereotypes regarding only children might be true in some cases, but in others, these can be misconceptions. With that in mind, you should get to know the person before making judgements on their personality.

By Holden Davitian

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