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to think that only children are lousy at playing ?

(162 Posts)
RosemaryandThyme Fri 02-Sep-11 13:23:35

Have had variety of children round to play during the school holidays and have had awful times with visits from and to three children, all boys all age six and all only-children.
None of them seem able to join in or involve others in games, often having break-downs or crying fits (yesturdays boy cried five times in an hour!) all over not getting the toy they wanted or basically not getting their own way.
I appreciate all kids are different and we all parent differently but wonder if anyone else has noticed particular play difficulties with only children ?

coppertop Fri 02-Sep-11 13:26:08

YABU - and I have 4 children so no particular bias.

Not all children without siblings are the same, just as not all children with siblings are the same.

Ripeberry Fri 02-Sep-11 13:26:28

Well they do seem MUCH bossier than kids who have siblings. Maybe they don't learn the art of 'comprimise' as an only child? But then each child is individual, you could have an only child who is totally in a world of their own, but then won't allow others into their world.

SequinsAndSparkles Fri 02-Sep-11 13:26:56

I think YABU. As a parent of an only child, I can say that my DD is brilliant at sharing and is always eager to approach other children to offer them things. But then again, I do spend a lot of time playing with DD, and have always been mindful to say 'Mummy's turn' just to drive the point home, and have encourage it when she has had others round to play.

pjmama Fri 02-Sep-11 13:27:15

I have twins who have had to share from day one and they are just as capable of displaying the behaviour you describe! I just think it's the end of the holidays and time for them to go back to school!

LouRoucas Fri 02-Sep-11 13:28:05

YABVU and making assumptions that the behaviour you witnessed is unique to only children.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 02-Sep-11 13:28:34

Not at all. It depends on the child. I'd make the assumption that a child who reads for enjoyment has imagination and confidence and is far better at playing than a child who doesn't enjoy it - regardless of whether they're a lone child or not.

CombineArvester Fri 02-Sep-11 13:30:07

YABU. DC1 plays by himself, takes turns without too much hassle. DC2 cannot play alone for 5 mins and is a crying screaming toy stealing machine. I always thought because he had never had any toys to himself and because he has always had someone to play with. DN is an only and brilliant at sharing.

Morloth Fri 02-Sep-11 13:31:36

YABU, DS1 was an only for 6 years, he is very socially adept and was always much better at sharing than the other kids I knew.

DS2 however is a bit of a tyrant and already takes advantage of his brother's easy going nature.

Morloth Fri 02-Sep-11 13:33:49

I think sometimes onlies are better at sharing because they know they don't always have to.

LetThereBeRock Fri 02-Sep-11 13:34:18


RCToday Fri 02-Sep-11 13:35:43


justpaddling Fri 02-Sep-11 13:35:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

faverolles Fri 02-Sep-11 13:36:36

I think that's a huge generalisation, but dd has continuous problems with a friend who, whilst very good at sharing, and a really lovely girl, always has to be in charge of every situation, which causes constant friction. She's an only.

rookiemater Fri 02-Sep-11 13:37:26

DS is an only and whilst what the OP says can be true - it's funny when he plays with the neighbours child as he is an only as well and neither of them will back down in any confrontation, it's a bit of a generalisation.

I make sure that DS plays with loads of kids so he gets used to sharing and playing in groups.

southeastastra Fri 02-Sep-11 13:38:05

i find most 6 year olds have their moments. grin

childhood games are about learning to socialise - think it's a little sad you are judging kids at play

Becaroooo Fri 02-Sep-11 13:38:27


ShirleyKnot Fri 02-Sep-11 13:40:18

Nothing like a sweeping generalisation is there?


CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 02-Sep-11 13:41:07

YABU .... fed up with only children being stigmatised.

RosemaryandThyme Fri 02-Sep-11 13:42:14

Thanks for your replies, yeah perhaps I'm making too simplistic a connection, I did get really cheesed off with yesturday's only-child, it was sooo draining, aaahhhh well -perhaps I need school to start again even more than they do !

LadyWellian Fri 02-Sep-11 13:45:20

Outrageous generalisation.

Of course it's not only children. It's boys grin

AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 02-Sep-11 13:45:56

I'm an only and I play very nicely!! I think you may have just been unlucky with kids you've had round! So YABVU

edam Fri 02-Sep-11 13:46:39

Rubbish. You can always find one or two people out of millions where a massive generalisation applies - doesn't mean it's actually true in every, or even most, cases. There will be one or two less bright blonde women - given the average IQ is 100, some of the people with lower scores will be female and some of them will be blonde. (Although there are more men at the extremes, as it happens.) That doesn't mean the old stereotype about dumb blondes is true - it just means the generalisation applies to a population of millions and ignores all the stupid men and stupid women with other hair colours.

My ds is an only and very happy to share with other children. Gets good reports on this from school and from his friends' parents (in fact sometimes a bit of a pushover - I think he can be too keen to please precisely because he doesn't always have another child to play with - or fight with). One of my nieces is an only and not great at sharing. They are just different children. And I've plenty of kids coming over to play who are rubbish at sharing or taking turns despite having brothers and sisters.

Hulababy Fri 02-Sep-11 13:47:10

YABU, very unreasonable tbh.

I have an only child and we do not have what you describe at all.

My DD is now 9y but even as a toddler she was very sociable and friendly. Now she has many friends who she plays wuth regularly at home or at theirs. She shares her toys and games very happily and shares other people's toys and possessions nicely too. She is naturally not very competitive - we never have issues with always having to win or be the best - tbh the worst of her friends for that is a child with a sibling anyway. If anything DD can be too far the other way - always wanting to make things be fair and have visiting friends win.

I think what you have experienced RosemaryandThyme are perhaps children who are not being brought up to share and play nicely. It is more of a personality thing for those individual children and perhaps even a parenting issue for those parents. Nothing to do with the children being onlies ime.

Also, I work in a y1 class with 5 and 6 year olds and the generalisation about only children does not apply at all for the vast majority of children. You can sometimes tell who is an older sibling ime (and I guess onlies can come into that) but rarely just who is an only child.

Most parents of only children ime do lots of social stuff with and for their children to ensure they are with other children a lot, so the potential issues don't often arise.

HummelBoy Fri 02-Sep-11 13:47:41

Do you know I have composed several carefully crafted replies to this, but actually what sums up what I am feeling the best is:

What a crock of Sh*t.

Yet another stick to beat the parents of single children with.

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