I fall on the quiet type. I'm naturally an introvert because I grew up mostly alone at home. While I do know how to mingle with people, that's a trait I only learned outside school.
These are two extremes, I realized that, but it's true at least with the people I know (including myself). But I'm proud to say that a spoiled brat is very rare for people like us. I admit, we could be a bit difficult, and sometimes have our own world. But most of the time that's because there's already a notion attached that being an only child equals being a brat.
I really don't know where that belief originated. But some of the solo rich kids that I know are the most generous people I've met (me included). I guess it's our need to belong that drives us to be that way. Oftentimes to a fault.
I envy those who grew up to become extroverts even as only children. Those are kids lucky enough to have grown up with cousins or relatives of the same age. It's like they have real siblings. Unfortunately for me, there've been a few years gap between my birth year and those of my cousins. It's either I'm a few years younger or a few years older. So, when I'm with my cousins, we don't really mesh well together.
Don't get me wrong, I get along with my cousins, it's just that we're not as close as we should be.
Anyway, this entry supposedly is about getting to know an only child better. I'm no psychologist, I'm only saying this purely from my observations of kids like me.
- If we seem to be selfish, you have to understand we grew up not sharing our food, toys or whatever with other people. We aren't naturally selfish, it's just that we're not used to people grabbing our fries without permission. We are willing to share things, just ask first.
- If we don't talk alot, it's not because we're stupid. A number of the smartest kids I know are only children. But socially, a little bit handicapped. Growing up alone, it's either we only talk about what our parents want to talk about or we don't get to talk with anyone at all. We depend on you to steer conversations, but as long as we have the same interests, I don't think talking isn't going to be a problem.
- If we have a strong personality and seem like a brat, that may be because we're not really used to have someone challenge what we believe. It's not like we're never going to give in. You just need to be patient in explaining why some things need to be done another way.
- If we seem to be too competitive, it may be because we're used to having all attention given only to us. It may be our need to be on the spotlight that's why we strive to be number one. Whether you see it in a good way or a bad way depends on how open minded and truly mature you are.
So cut us some slack. The last thing we want is to be misunderstood. We may lack the maturity and level-headedness of first borns, or the natural sweetness of the youngest children. But inherently, we are very good listeners and very loyal friends.
I am not generalizing children without brothers or sisters, because in the end, how you grow up to be depends on how well you are raised. Like I said, have an open mind about us solo kids. Just think about this, we're the sole heir to our parent's wealth and fortune.