Expert Speak

A single child’s life is not easier or more difficult; it’s just different

There are many misconceptions about people who are only children. When your partner is an only child, it is important to understand a few things correctly about them
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Only Child Syndrome (OCS) is a new coinage for the behaviour and attitude of an only child. They are part of the society and we can’t side-line or repudiate them for their birth alone. When you marry an only child, there are some ways in which you can handle your marriage better.

Related reading: My wife is an only child and I think she is spoilt

What is not true about only children

1. Do not call them spoiled, because they are sure to have many good qualities apart from what you are pigeonholing them for.

2. “Oh! That explains it!” Do not use this sentence when you come across an only child. Do not judge them with your misconceptions. They also gain different traits from the environment they live. So it’s not always their parents who are responsible.

3. Do not assume that they are selfish, because contrary to popular belief, single children are giving, as they want to be accepted by others and therefore end up as people pleasers.

These things are true for an only child

4. They are confident people without insecurities and do not have the need to stand out, as they always had attention on them. They’re mature people, because they have grown up with adults rather than siblings.

They are mature people, because they have grown up with adults rather than siblings.

5. They like to have their ‘me’ time. Do not consider that as their selfishness, as they are used to being alone most of the time. This is how life has been for them. So for a partner to accept you into their personal space may not be very easy.

6. They do not live with a need for co-dependency and are very independent people; therefore, their decisions may come out as strong and grounded.

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7. They are not zero tolerant people. In fact they are more mature and they are clear about their deal breakers. They are able to identify toxic relationships and keep away from them.

Related reading: 5 toxic things you should discard from your relationship right now

Remember this when dealing with an only child

8. Do not drive home the point to them that since they were raised as an only child, life has been easier for them than it has been for you. When their parents realise they are pampered, they also put their foot down on strictness.

9. They aren’t loners/introverts or antisocial despite having lived without siblings. Only children make great friends and enjoy camaraderie. They do not like their personal space to be intruded and hence they also do not invade others’ space.

10. They have lived without siblings, and therefore have been self-reliant. Therefore they are used to sorting out their own problems, so they like to be left alone while dealing with problems.

Living with only-child adults just takes some understanding on the part of the spouse and things will be better with mutual adjustments.

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Published in Expert Speak

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