Why being an only child isn’t actually all that lonely

Growing up as an only child sounds incredibly boring to those with siblings. As a child, almost all of my friends had siblings and I was asked many times about what I did without another kid at home. One of my best friends always told me she wished she was an only child since her little brother was always bothering her, while other friends said how much they enjoyed having siblings. Growing up with no brothers or sisters made my childhood quite different from my friends’, but I wouldn’t change anything about it.

Being an only child was actually really fun, and not as lonely as people always expect it to be. Actually, there are many things that make being an only child totally amazing.

Since I didn’t have siblings, my friends were like my sisters.

We always did everything together and created such a strong bond with one another. My two best friends, Meg and Brianna, have been my friends for basically my whole life. We met before we entered kindergarten, and still are just as close today. None of us have sisters so we fill those positions for each other. As kids, we were inseparable. We’re close to each other and to one another’s families, showing just how close our bond really is.

My parents and I are super close. 

Since there was only my parents and me at home, I developed a much closer relationship with them than I think I would have with siblings. I’m the only kid they had to pay attention to, so I didn’t have to fight to be noticed. It’s always good to have strong bonds with your parents so that in the future, you can come to them when you need their help.

I actually have privacy.

Another reason being an only child is great is that I have my privacy at home. I have my room and there are no siblings to barge in. Being at friends’ houses, I have seen what it’s like to have a brother run into your room just to bother you. Being able to come home after a long day at school and have time for peace and quiet is one of the most amazing things. I can do what I want and not have to worry about someone coming into my room and interrupting me.

I can pursue my passions.

Living as an only child also helped me to really get in touch with my creative side. Since I didn’t have anyone to play with all of the time, I had to find new ways to entertain myself. I would invent new games and toys and would make up songs or dances. One invention that was my favorite was a “laptop” that I made out of an empty chocolate box. I would carry it around and pretend that I was in college, writing essays on it for my classes. My creativity would not have been as strong as it is now if I had siblings, and I’m glad I am very creative.

I’m great at making friends.

Since I didn’t have an automatic friend at home, I learned from an early age how to make friends and how to communicate how I felt to them. Some kids can have trouble making friends, like twins who only want to play with each other instead of the other kids. I didn’t have someone at home with me to be my friend, so I had to go out and find some. While kids with siblings can still have social skills better than kids without siblings, I think personally being an only child helped me. I was pretty shy as a kid and I think having to put myself out there whenever I started a new year at school or joined a new activity allowed me to come out of my shell a little bit an become more outgoing. I think if I had a sibling with whom I was friends, I wouldn’t have been forced to be less shy.

Being an only child doesn’t mean you have to be a lonely child. You definitely have more opportunities to really be yourself and learn things on your own without having someone there to tell you what they think you should do. Although sometimes I do wish I had a sibling, I wouldn’t change my childhood for anything.

(Image via Paramount Pictures.)