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Only children are rude and inconsiderate apparently!

(37 Posts)
N0tinmylife Fri 13-Jul-12 10:08:40

Sorry, feel the need to have a bit of a rant! I was chatting with a friend yesterday. She was telling me about two teenage girls she knows. One is kind, polite, considerate, the other is rude, inconsiderate, and generally not very nice. Apparently "Its because she is an only child, you can really tell the difference!" Is it just me that finds this bloody annoying. Should I just give up trying to teach DS to be a decent polite member of society as he is an only child so it is a foregone conclusion that is how he will turn out? Aargh!

thrifty Fri 13-Jul-12 10:24:51

As the mum of an only, I'm inclined to agree smile however, it seems he's only like that at home, and is a model child at school and for other people. Oh and he's nearly 7 and all the boys seem to be behaving badly atm. It's a big generalization isn't it. I know plenty of non onlies that are rude. However, its very much easier to spoil if you've only got one, and of course they are not so used to sharing etc. No excuse for not doing your best to instill manners and nice behaviour though.

AMumInScotland Fri 13-Jul-12 10:38:56

It's a total pain, but you will hear it a lot. Even if you turn out a decent pleasant child the best you'll get is "You'd hardly know he's an only" - their prejudice will remain but your child will be the single exemption.

It's how you raise them that makes the difference - some parents do raise little princes/princesses who haven't learned how to treat others, and its a more easy trap to fall into with an only, but if you know the trap is there, you just put the effort into avoiding it.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 13-Jul-12 13:02:14

I agree with AMumInScotland.

As the parent of a singleton child and someone who has done a lot of youth work with a lot of children, I have to conclude that very many children are rude and inconsiderate, full stop. The absence or presence of siblings or place in the family seems to have very little to do with it.

Many people look for confirmation of their prejudices, so if they see an only child behaving in a brattish way, they'll think "well, it's only to be expected" whereas if a child with siblings is being a brat it will be attributed to other causes.

theredhen Mon 16-Jul-12 22:48:40

My ds is very well mannered if I don't say so myself. grin

I have four step children who haven't been taught manners as a priority.

I rest my case. wink

Devora Mon 16-Jul-12 22:50:13

Ah, people do love this 'only child as warped loner' bollocks. Ignore them and they might go away.

iklboo Mon 16-Jul-12 22:52:24

Does she want to come & meet my 6yr old DS who has better manners than a lot of adults I know?

theredhen Mon 16-Jul-12 22:55:25

It's so much easier to pick up on manners when there's only one child because they get your full attention.

Sometimes they can interrupt because they're not used to having to wait, but again, you can correct them on that.

Plaguegroup Mon 16-Jul-12 22:57:32

I saw the title and had to chip in as my best friend is an only, also one of the kindest, most generous people I've ever known. I agree, whether you have siblings or not doesn't make as much difference as how well you're raised.

The same people who make generalisations about onlies tend to also have opinions about second child syndrome, middle children being difficult, children from large families having social problems, etc, etc...

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Mon 16-Jul-12 23:07:08

I know quite a lot of 'only' children and most are beautifully behaved, a couple are very insecure, one in particular is a monstrously rude little boy who doesn't appear to have ever heard the word 'no' from his parents.

I don't think it's fair to generalise that 'only' children behave in only one way. That said I have noticed that many of the single children we know seem happier in the company of adults and appear to have difficulty coping with the chaotic noisiness and banter between my kids; I suppose from not being accustomed to that kind of relationship.

MrsJohnMurphy Mon 16-Jul-12 23:09:22

That is so much bollocks, both my niece and nephew are only children, both lovely, never give their parents an ounce of bother unlike my 3.

perplexedpirate Tue 17-Jul-12 05:31:14

Bollocks. My boy is kind, affectionate and thoughtful. He's brilliant at sharing and will go put of his way to cheer people would then are sad or hurt. he's 4.5.
The people who are making these comments are much ruder than the children they are criticising. Ignore the rotters.

Notinmykitchen Tue 17-Jul-12 16:04:58

Thanks all, I knew it was rubbish when it was said, but it is good to hear about all the nice onlies out there. grin

puds11 Tue 17-Jul-12 16:10:29

Crock of shit. My DD is polite and well mannerd. If your child is rude, its because you didnt do a good enough job bringing them up!

Devora Tue 17-Jul-12 16:55:57

Only children are social misfits.
Girls are bitchy and manipulative.
Boys are born naughty.
A close age gap means they'll be friends.
Older mothers are patient but don't have the energy to run round the park and won't understand their teenagers.
Younger mothers are lots of fun but always off out clubbing and neglecting their children.

Ad nauseam.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 17-Jul-12 17:00:55

There is exactly generalisation which isn't bollocks: 'All generalisations are bollocks'. grin

GrimmaTheNome Tue 17-Jul-12 17:01:19

exactly one

skyebluesapphire Sat 21-Jul-12 19:39:26

My DD is an only child and has been brought up to say please and thank you. She shares her toys and her sweets and is a very sociable child. She also has a fantastic imagination and plays happily on her own.

The last thing I want is for her to be a spoiled brat just because she is an only child, so I try hard to ensure that she isn't.

HappyOrchid Thu 09-Aug-12 20:01:21

I am fuming this evening as DD's head has written:

I like X, but she has the disadvantage of being an only child and is too used to getting her own way.

1. Yes, she is an only child not much I can do about that.
2. Why is it a disadvantage
3. How does he judge that she gets her own way?


HappyOrchid Thu 09-Aug-12 20:06:46

She doesn't get her own way.
She doesn't decide bed time - I do
She doesn't decide what or when to eat - I do

Yes, she gets to choose some things it's called learning responsibility.

She's the only kid in her class without an iPad, several of the little darlings have ponies and will probably grow up to be 'proper little madams'

Ah well, DD got a good sport award today at her holiday club for being on the losing team and taking it well. As she said to me 'it doesn't matter does it mom'

LackingNameChangeInspiration Thu 09-Aug-12 20:09:17

I was an only child and had to learn to rein in my over generosity

My CM had 6 children and they were fiercly miserly and possessive of their things/space

because they had to be or it'ld be pinched by a sibling if they took their eyes off anything for 5 seconds and I didn't have to worry about anyone sharing my stuff too much!

Its bollocks, there are as many inconsiderate spoilt non onlies but when they do it they don't say "ooo its because they're not onlies"

as the most materially spoilt children I grew up with were, again, the extrememly large families - they were the kids who destroyed presents in 5 mins of getting them and didn't value anything. I understand why the parents did go for more material gifts with lots of kids, its easier to be fair with gifts than with activities! but I got money spent on my education and hobbies rather than "stuff" as my parents didin't have to worry that there was another sibling who would expect the same in 2 years or whatever IYKWIM

I'm expecting no2 and am quite worried about the negative implications for DS of NOT being an only child and I feel guilt that he will loose his only advantages in life.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 10-Aug-12 09:50:55

I don't generally believe in complaining to schools (I'm amazed at what some parents will go in, all guns blazing, about) but if any HT made such remarks about my child I would complain. Even without the stereotypical, prejudiced remarks about being an only child, basing any assessment on what one imagines their home life to be like is sloppy and unprofessional.

I noticed some of these prejudices yesterday on a thread about having a second child. Some posters thought it was one's duty to have a second child, as a child without siblings would inevitably be brattish. Huh.

LizzieVereker Fri 10-Aug-12 10:40:01

Happy Orchid - I'm speechless with outrage at the comments your child's HT wrote. How dare he comment on your family set up in such a glib manner? And who cares whether he likes her or not? Really unprofessional.

HappyOrchid Sat 11-Aug-12 13:35:36

Have calmed down now about HT's remarks. They were in a letter from him acknowledging that she is leaving the school as she has had a really rough year there. I'm taking it that he's feeling rather bitter. We shall rise above it grin

TheMonster Sat 11-Aug-12 13:37:07

My brother must be an only child then grin

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