I was not born a single child but grew up to be one. It is not a birth defect to be one, get that straight you all. All my life I have had so many people comment, condemn and disparage this. Please understand it is not my choice to be one, it was my parents choice that I’m a single child. How do I take ownership of all the sarcasm that revolves around me for the simple reason being I’m a single child? It happened by choice and NOT by mistake. A choice my mother took for mine and her wellbeing which nobody should have the audacity to question or judge upon.
When I was ten years old, one of my far relative who is five years older than me mocked at me that I was fat because I’m a single child. That age I did not understand the logic or the motive between the two but later when I did, I did not have the nerve to question him.
When I was sixteen years old, a school mate of mine made a statement when we went for shopping together. Read shopping as buying pencils and eraser for practical. I chose a brand of pencil that was slightly more expensive than the one she chose simply because I found it more effective and writer friendly. “See, you are the only child and hence can afford this pencil” she said. I did not know how to react though I know the reason why she said this. I ended up buying two of those pencils, one for me and one for her simply because I did not want her to feel left out. Oh, did I tell you she was much wealthier than what I was? Anyways…moving on..
Then came the college, hunting for the right college and the right course was the least of my priorities. I was happy having my three times meal everyday and sleeping for eight hours and I thought money is not what is needed to move ahead. I was not ambitious to a point that I did not know which course to take. A friend of mine pointed out that I would get any college and any course because I’m the only child and the parents would go to any extent to give what I need. I ended up studying in a normal college that has no great past credibility to it although now it is one of the best colleges to study in the city.
But the point is, I had a normal upbringing just like anybody else who had a sibling would have. When I hear people making remarks that single child are the most spoilt and pampered and lazy and irresponsible people, I sure want to give them one tight slap. Ouch! Hurts? Well, it hurts us too people! I know so many people who are a single child and believe me they are more responsible ones with siblings. Do not generalize with accusations,not done!
Being a single child does not give us more benefits that someone with a sibling will not have. You are actually insulting the parents by saying these things. Are you saying siblings get lesser benefits? Like, one of them gets to go to college and the other washes the clothes at home? Oh come on now! Siblings are given the same love and affection that a single child is given without any partiality. Parents who have more than one child, treat both with 100% love each and not 50% to one and 50% to another. Any child receives the same love and care from the parents irrespective of how many children the parents have.
The biggest myth is that a single child is irresponsible and spoilt. Ah! The very fact that we are the only one our parents can count upon makes us much more responsible. We know we cannot fall back on someone else and hence we ensure we are more alert and responsible towards the wellbeing of our parents.
The next myth is that we are lazy. We do not sit on the couch and order our younger/elder sibling to bring the remote which is an inch away from the reach of our hand. We do things ourselves and from my experience, I have seen those who are a single child to be far more active and workaholic compared to those who have siblings.
The next myth is that we are weak. I laugh at this. I laugh at this every time. I’m the best example for this and I have no qualm in taking the pride on me. I’m the strongest woman I know and I understand the same goes for everyone out there. But, being a single child has not stopped me from facing life’s turbulences and storms. We do not have someone at home to go everyday and pour our problems to and thus we ensure we solve it or swallow it and move on stronger than before.
The next biggest myth is that being a single child, we don’t mingle or share things with people. Now, don’t you think your crossing the line on emotion here? From a very young age, I have been taught by my mother to always share things I have with people around me, be it friends or relatives. Those who know me will vouch for this by blood. We understand love and affection and we express it as much as a sibling would do. We may not be united by blood, but we certainly are united by the heart. We consider everyone to be our own and treat all of them the same. We do not have the nature of owning everything we see.
The next myth is that a single child is stubborn. Being a single child makes us realize that we need more people in life and that way we ensure we are more rooted to the earth. We are grounded and crave for people to be around us all the time. We know our parents have made a choice to nurture us just like how a parent with more than one would nurture. Being a single child does not make us ill mannered. We know the social etiquettes as good as anybody else out there.
The above mentioned points are not generalized but criticized upon us and I thought it is time to speak about it. It is not about being a single child or having siblings, it is about how our parents raise us and the values they inculcate within us and the learning’s of life that we undergo everyday that makes us who we are.
I’m Sharada Subramanian, the only daughter and more so the only child to my parents. I’m responsible and not pampered and spoilt silly by my parents. At 32, my father still slips in a 100/- in my purse when I meet him. This dosent make me anything but to be a blessed daughter.
Life has not been fair to me but it has been good and I have fought my battles with the strength drawn from within and my birth of being a single child does not affect me, if anything it only made me strong, loving and caring
We have nothing against those criticising us. We don’t tag someone who has a sibling to be anything in particular. Stop hasgtagging us. We are nice people you see..! 🙂