Single children are often pitied


I have always liked being an only child

There was a time when I was about six years old when my biggest fear was that my mother might get pregnant again. I can still feel how terribly I found that idea back then.

I’ve always loved being an only child and never imagined anything different. There are only purely pragmatic situations (the care of old parents), in which it would certainly be easier with siblings . But even those do not give you a guarantee in the end.

From four to fourteen I had a best friend who lived around the corner and had two younger sisters. I remember that even then I did not envy her. It was always kind of thermal: who is allowed to play, who is not, who gets the pretty Barbie , who can only be the dumb Ken … Whenever we wanted to play in peace, we went to me.

As an only child, you learn to actively participate

I was not a princess, not a retired, super spoiled child. On the contrary. I have parents who have experienced the war, and I have a lot of duties. And when we were traveling and I wanted something – be it in a shop or in a restaurant – I had to take care of it and ask. My mother rarely went.

And when I wanted to play with other kids, the same thing was true. That’s probably the hardest thing about having an only child: being allowed to play. We often went on vacation in a very small Bavarian village in a pension. There, the host children were raging in the yard and I wanted nothing better than to join in. “Go and ask,” my mother said and sent me away. I had to overcome myself every time. “Can I play with you?” is certainly the most widely spoken set of single children. And not infrequently the other’s answer is a “no”.

But that is perhaps the good thing: one does not question this rejection. It hurts, it is exhausting, but it is not arguable. Next time you go back. And you learn: If you want to achieve something, if you want to have contact with others, you have to go and talk. There is not anyone around. And that’s certainly not the worst school for life.

Single children are said to have many negative qualities

But regardless of the other children, I also remember the phases in which I played alone for hours. I dived into various worlds full of many children – I was a single mother of three doll girls, I had a dollhouse family with five children and a huge Lego riding stable with a big girl clique. After that I was glad to be only one.

Single children are said to have many negative qualities. They are selfish, moody, incompatible and often very spoiled . May be everything, but can also apply to siblings. Single children are sometimes the only happiness of their parents and must bear this burden. That’s not always easy.

I have read that many couples only have a second child so that the firstborn does not have to grow up without siblings. American researcher Toni Falbo, who has been researching the topic for more than 30 years, confirms that parents often feel guilty about leaving a child behind. I can calm everyone down: It’s not bad at all! On the contrary.