Only Children unite! We are special! We are misunderstood! We are good in ways Ordinary Children can never achieve! If you are one of the unlucky Ordinary who had to share with brothers and/or sisters while growing up, we pity you, and please allow us some sharp elbow room as we take a moment to celebrate the goodness of Only Children. We understand only Only Children will understand most of this post.

1. We are never bored and that is the main hallmark of being an Only. We do not need to be entertained by you or by anything else. We do not need to be “looked after.” We behave by default. We find deep fun in our mind and we can sit for hours, isolated and immobile, in many worlds of our choosing.

Only Children grow into Autonomous Adults.

2. We love to work and play with other Onlys. We know we can depend on each other because we choose to unite by want instead of being required by blood.

3. Only Children are creative. We make our own inner worlds!

4. Onlys self-start faster and work harder than Ordinarys because our stimulation to succeed is generated from within and not from the approval or pressure of outside forces. No one is harder on an Only than the Only.

5. We are quiet.

6. We are rarely obnoxious.

7. We reject the “70’s” Kindergarten Grade Report labels of being “withdrawn” and awkward and “too quiet” and “distant” and “doesn’t play well with others” and “lonely.”

8. There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely!

9. We are never lonely!

10. We love being alone!


  1. Well, I for one embrace my ordinariness (sp? is that a word?) in the fact that I had a brother growing up. I wish I had had a sister as well. I love my sibling, and if you ask my parents, they’ll tell you that we were both very good children. I hope that my husband and I are able and lucky enough to have two kids. 😀

  2. Well, your feelings of superiority are merely a mask. Deep down, you know that you missed out on something special, but you tell yourself — and us — this story to make everyone else think that you are happy about it.
    I know the truth. 😉

  3. I was an Only for almost 7 wonderful years and then my brother came along. I always felt like an Only because my brother and I have no relationship. I think I act like an only as well which I consider a good thing.

  4. Carla! — Ouch! 🙂
    Robin — You are hereby an Only! There are 11 years between my wife and her older brother and sister: She’s an Only, too!
    A.W — There’s only love here for you even if you are an Ordinary!
    Dave — Yes, Lefties are Onlys: Welcome to the Club! :mrgreen:

  5. Here comes another only-ite!
    I was marked as a “pampered kid” from my childhood! 😀

  6. I wish I really were!
    At least I didn’t have to struggle in a residential school at the age of four to identify the right shoe for the right foot! My parents would have built a school of our own at our courtyard! 😀

  7. I CANNOT believe how false those statements were about Only Children. I myself have no siblings, never have, and undoubtedly never will. I have had to try to accept this fact over the years and I will say it has been one of my toughest struggles. I have spent countless hours upon hours gazing into dreamland, wondering what it would have been like, or could have been like, if things had turned out even slightly different than they did. Being an Only Child is the worst thing imaginable and I would never wish it upon even my worst of enemies. I will not deny the general quiteness associated with it, nor will I deny that things can be “peaceful,” however I feel that your statements are feeding a stereotype that others, and making people who are “Ordinary” start to feel even more so jealous and in envy of something that is in truth, not a good thing. When you cry at night, when you are scared, when you want to talk to someone and share your thoughts, when you want to be there for someone else and show them every step of growing up, when you want to be a part of someone’s life from birth on, all of these wants, these are things that at least I have always thought. Anyone reading this, don’t fall into the stereotype, don’t assume that it is good, because it can be one of the most lonely and tragic things imaginable. Oh and in case any were wondering, I am 16 years of age.

  8. It can be tough being an ONLY, mainly because of cruel stereotypes and the opinions people have about us. It’s always interesting how people have so many opinions about things with which they have no experience. How funny. It’s kind of like people who have opinions, sometimes strong opinions, about places they’ve never visited. Oh well. Ignorance abounds. I was a happy ONLY until I realized I wasn’t like everyone else. Kids were okay to me but really didn’t want to include me in their games, activities very much. I didn’t know how to play with kids and now at 43 years old I sometimes think I’ve missed something, but it’s not a huge hole, just a small one. On the upside of this, I learned how to play by myself and, later, travel to foreign countries as well as in the U.S. totally ALONE. I am able to go to restaurants and movies ALONE without feeling uncomfortable. I guess there is merit in that!

  9. Thank you for your touching comment, Lori. I feel with you on all the fine and important points you make. It’s good that together here we can feel a little less alone.

  10. Hm, is that the specified criteria for onlies only? haha another *obnoxious* jk.. I can see that there is a higher probability to fit into that category(title) whatever you wish to call it as an “one and only”. Funny of you to take the time to access it like that, from your own point of view.
    Hm…As the only (bad?) second myself I might just have developed a dual/splitted/blocked personality (with consideration of my yet somewhat limited psychological personality research) that inmobolizes me? somwhat anyways…funnewh
    I guess there is still a possibility to become one of those “big sister” or “big brother”‘s in one of those good example programsin america (if that is still something that interests someone) Ok, I’m absolutely not saying it is something good…………
    ~ Interesting article anyways!

  11. Since there have been numerous disagreements on the subject of only children here, I, as an Only Child, will bring a bit of clarification to it. However, I must state to all of the Ordinaries reading this not to drool too much. Please allow me some sharp elbow room and a bit of your time to bragg.
    As an only child I have never once had to deal with filthy siblings that only annoy and take up more of MY space!
    As an only child I recieve far more from my childhood and enjoy Christmas, my birthday, etc…, more than any mere Ordinary could possibly even dream of!
    We only children, are an elite; a few priviledged ones above the general population.
    As I progress onwards, again, I am truly, sincerly, and utterly sorry for all of you Ordinairies who can only go to sleep and dream of the world that Onlies occupy and enjoy every-single day of our lives!
    I have always had the delight of being able to live in my own world, and to mature more freely than any Ordinary.
    I laugh when I hear people bicker and whine about their siblings. Then, I just have to turn and be thankful once again that I am an Only.
    As the French would say, au revoir, mes amis!

  12. Some of the Ordinairies who have made comments here in the past have truly missed the concept of Only Childness. They make blasphamous statements that we are indeed sad about being Only Children and are just trying to cover it up. They couldn’t be more wrong.
    The fact of the matter is that Only Children are the winners. We are on top. We are the elite, and every one of us should be proud of us. Let’s not let the underwashed Ordinairies get in the way of that.
    To all of the Ordinairies reading this, I only have two words for you. YOU LOOSE!
    Ha Ha Ha!

  13. I would like to hear from some of the Ordinairies out there. Do you envy me? Do you think I’m crazy? What are your feelings on being simply ordinary? Maybe you disagree with me, so tell me!
    Anyway too bad for all of those Ordinairies!
    I love being an Only Child!
    Oh yeah, happy Thanksgiving too!

  14. One more thing, I’ve been reading through all of the past comments and I liked the one that described how we are very good about being able to do things by ourselves. I myself have traveled to many different states throughout the U.S. as well as many other countries and foreign cities (my favorite being Paris!) each of which I have traveled to by myself over the course of a few years throughout my life.
    Most certainly, had I not been an Only Child, I would have never been able to handle myself so far away from home and alone. An Ordinairy would probably be miserable, having to depend on friends to have a good time.
    I am so glad to be an Only Child!

  15. A lot of the commentary posted here resonates with me; I’m an only child, too, but I have some serious concerns about the dynamics surfacing here.
    I’ve often wondered What If, just like many (but not all) other only children….what if Mom and Dad had had another kid or two or three? What would they be like? What would I be like, subsequently? ….etc., etc….. However, I’ve also been satisfied with my life as it is for many, many reasons. Other kids (and plenty adults, too) used to ask me all the time if I liked being an only child—I replied that how could I answer that, not having anything else with which I could compare it? We all live and grow in unique circumstances; being an only child certainly is unique, but so are many other experiences in life.
    What I cannot understand is this hierarchy that you all appear to be trying to establish. Why on earth is one set of life circumstances (over which we had absolutely no control) BETTER than another? I don’t think I’m better or worse than someone else because I don’t have siblings. That’s absurd. It’s just a difference. As I wrote above, there are many things that make us different from one another. What purpose could it serve to say those differences make me better or worse than you?
    There’s a tendency amongst the population of this country to perpetuate an Us vs. Them mentality in many areas of life….please don’t contribute to another one.
    I DO want to say that I seek out other only children to learn their perspectives on things, to ask them how they feel about being only children (especially as adults–I’m 28), to have a sense of community with people with whom I may have common experiences….but I’ve also discovered that there are just as many only children with whom I really cannot relate, because the way we choose to perceive or frame our life experiences are so different.
    I’d much rather befriend a person who grew up with many siblings who chooses not to judge the circumstances than befriend an only child who thinks s/he’s better or worse as a human being simply because he got his/her own bedroom and knew how to have a conversation with an adult.
    Incidentally, I think the label ‘Ordinary’ is demeaning and only serves to perpetuate the stereotypes about Only Children that do not apply to all of us…..
    Thanks for this forum in which I can express my opinions.

  16. Welcome to Urban Semiotic, Paula.
    My feeling from reading your comment is you did not take the tongue-in-cheek tone of the article to heart and read it instead as a serious diabtribe.

  17. I am an Only too. Now that I am an adult I can understand how lucky I was to be an Only. As a child I thought I wanted a sibling because it would give me a constant playmate. However, I did not understand the drawbacks of having to share everything, including attention from my family.
    Maybe some Only children disagree, and wish they had siblings. I don’t think anyone should wish they were different. Being an Only is part of who we are.
    Embrace It!
    I was not spoiled rotted and did not get everything I ever wanted like so many people like to think Onlys get.
    I don’t feel as though I am better than an “ordinary”. We were all given a different set of cards and we play them how we wish.
    I know that I am very creative, probably because I am an Only.
    I am also very dependant, and as a child I was more mature than the other kids my age.
    I LOVE being and Only. Ordinaries can’t appreciate it, just like I can’t appreciate any so called joys of having a sibling. But, I am grateful and the other Only children know what I mean.

  18. Yes, being an Only is fun isn’t it? Recently, because of my great pride in this distinction, I have hooked up with a few others who are Onlies as well. It has been great fun and I think that we should all unite more.

  19. I’m an only child and I absolutly hate it. I would do anything for anyone and often bend over backwards for my friends and even strangers. There’s nothing like sharing your life amongst people. I reside my trust and comfort with my savior and hero Jesus Christ and I hope that one day I will have a wonderful wife and as many children as she can push out! I missed out on almost everything I could have had in my childhood. At times, I went back and forth liking or disliking my situation. But now as I am moving into my adult years and problems and stress begin to set in and depression, i relize why brothers and sisters are a nessessary part of normal, healthy functioning. actually, it makes me feel less human. If you are considering having children but aren’t certain how many, here’s why I am HIGHLY recommending you have more than 1 (preferably many):
    1. childhood experiences…it’s neccessary to have siblings.
    2. the Bible says be fruitful and multiply.
    3. when the world becomes rough and hostile siblings allow people to confide in (i don’t have that).
    4. children from big families have better immune systems.
    5. it’s just plain old fun to have a big family!!!
    any questions about this, just post them here and I am here for you. i may have questions for you as well!!! Thank you and may God bless everyone of you and your families.

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