What Being An Only Child Teaches You About Life

Everyone thinks you’re just a spoiled brat who must have had a miserable, lonely childhood. What do they know? Your group of imaginary friends thought you were amazing. But seriously, being an only child is a good thing. You get the chance to learn so many valuable lessons that kids with siblings don’t quite get.

I’ve heard how much others feel sorry for me for being an only child. When I start explaining how much it benefited and taught me, they’re left feeling a little sorry for themselves instead. I’m not saying it’s bad to have siblings, I’m just saying I’ve always loved life as an only child and I wish others would quit judging me for it.

  1. You make your own family. Honestly, who needs siblings? You have the opportunity to pick your own siblings in the form of best friends. Plus, if they turn out to be backstabbing douchebag, you kick them out of your life and get new friends. You learn to create your own family and it’s awesome.
  2. You don’t need anyone else to have fun. Most people with siblings have no clue how to have fun by themselves. They’ve always had others around. Only children learn how to play games, explore their imagination and enjoy solitary activities. They’re just as happy staying in reading a book as going out with friends on a Saturday night.
  3. Being young doesn’t mean being stupid. Sure, you hung out with other children, but much of your time was spent with your parents. You’re privy to adult conversations and get a bigger picture of the world than the average child. In the end, it makes you more mature and wise beyond your years. It’s nothing unusual for others to call you an old woman in a young woman’s body.
  4. There’s nothing holding you back. Parents have a tendency to encourage you, while siblings aren’t always so supportive. When it’s just you, you realize there’s nothing you can’t do. Even if you’re bullied at school, your parents are there to pick you back up. You learn to push past any obstacles and achieve your goals.
  5. It’s nice being different. Telling someone you’re an only child is like saying “Hi, I’m a rare unicorn, look at me.” Yes, people think you’re odd. You quickly learn that it’s fun being different. You think trying so hard to fit in is just boring. Why fit in when you can stand out?
  6. Being an adult is hard. So many teens and early 20-somethings are clueless when it comes to finance, job problems. juggling a busy schedule and managing a house. Since you grew up listening to your parents discuss all their issues, you already know about all this. Odds are, you’ve also learned how to deal with these issues, too.
  7. Being alone isn’t a bad thing. Being alone for a second might make someone from a larger family freak out. They’re instantly lonely and don’t know what to do. You enjoy being alone. You know it’s not a bad thing. You’re not lonely. You’re just enjoying some quiet time.
  8. Parents are something to be grateful for. You learn this especially as you hit your late teens. Instead of just being the people who raised you, they’re also your friends. You end up having this extremely close bond to your parents and you’re truly grateful for all they did for you.
  9. Sharing is overrated. I’m not saying only children are selfish, but they don’t let others push them around either. They’re happy to share with others, but only if they deserve it. If you don’t ask nicely, they’re not going to share with you. Why should they? It’s their stuff. If you want it, get your own. Okay, so maybe you learn to be a little selfish.
  10. Everything worthwhile requires hard work. At first, an only child works harder because they want to impress their parents and get extra attention. It’s true that only children love being the center of attention. Gradually, it becomes less about your parents and more about that sense of accomplishment.
  11. Communication truly is key. Despite spending much of your time alone, you love to talk. You’ve learned how to talk to groups of adults with no problem. You’re also great at listening. You don’t feel awkward in a group of people. You listen, pick up the thread of conversation and jump right in.

Only children get a bad rep, but they learn some valuable lessons that help them as adults. The next time you deal with one, ask them to share some of their knowledge instead of making fun of them.

Crystal Crowder is a freelance writer and blogger. She's a tech geek at heart, but loves telling it like it is when it comes to love, beauty and style. She's enjoys writing music, poetry and fiction and curling up with a great book. You can find her on Twitter @ccrowderwrites or check out her other writing on Medium.