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Cruel? Yes!!!

(16 Posts)
Bishopston Sun 07-Jun-15 14:44:38

OK I'm an only child and proud of it. There's nothing wrong objectively with being an only child or actively choosing to have one child. HOWEVER, when I was around 4, I can remember my own mum calling me 'spoilt' when telling me off - she said it in an abusive way. I can remember her also using the word 'ruined' to refer to me! It surprises me that she deliberately used the negative stereotype of the only child against me, especially as she's an only child herself! She's also an educated woman, so I'm really surprised with hindsight that she used this inaccurate stereotype as a term of abuse against me! I'm sure all you parents of one child reading this are more sensible and emotionally supportive of your children. I'd welcome your thoughts. Not surprisingly, this really affected my self esteem and turned me into a 'people pleaser'.

ancientbuchanan Sun 07-Jun-15 15:06:53

Um, one uses the term spoilt to siblings too...

I'd suggest that there is more to this than just being an only.

But onlies do get the full force of what attention parents have to give to their children, so they are used to bring the centre of that attention. And it can be quite hard to get them to appreciate that they are not the only pebble on the beach, that they are special to their parents but not necessarily to others.

Not saying she was appropriate or that you weren't hurt, but as a DM of a DO I have been quite worried from time to time.

I equally know DC would have loved siblings to share attention, pressure etc, and feels I was too hard sometimes. But my older DSis feels like that too.

Was there other stuff? It's pretty devastating if you don't have a good relationship with your (D)M.

RiverTam Sun 07-Jun-15 15:10:59

That is a major extrapolation and incredibly unfair. And yes, my parents might call me spoilt and I wasn't an only.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sun 07-Jun-15 15:14:49

What RiverTam said - I was one of 3 and my mum used to call me spoilt, and my siblings too, regardless. She was an only child herself and was hardly what anyone would call spoilt, tbh - her mum was quite hard on her (lots of background reasons) but was a lovely grandmother to us.

So - kind of throws your theory that this has anything to do with your "only child" status up in the air a bit, doesn't it.

I'm sorry that your mum was abusive to you though, and that it has affected your self esteem, that's rough. sad

Bishopston Sun 07-Jun-15 15:25:56

Yes I agree with you all, in no way do I think that 'spoilt' necessarily relates only to only children, can apply to those with siblings too. That's what makes her behaviour even more hideous imo.

Bishopston Sun 07-Jun-15 15:26:49

Yes ancient there was other stuff, my mum was narcissistic, looking back.

Bishopston Sun 07-Jun-15 15:30:42

Speaking as an only, ancient, if its any consolation, don't worry about your DO, from my experience onlies (with 1 exception I know personally) have grown into well adjusted, happy adults!

ancientbuchanan Sun 07-Jun-15 15:37:01

Sounds like your M was grim. It leaves a v v long shadow. V sorry and hugs. And flowers wine brew sad

Bishopston Sun 07-Jun-15 15:41:18

Thank you ancient really appreciate your supportive message, yes it does cast a long shadow. I think the older we get, the more we can evaluate our own parents' behaviour objectively. Only recently have I been able to categorize her behaviour a 'narcissistic'

ancientbuchanan Sun 07-Jun-15 15:48:47

Oh dear, sent you a hug..see you don't like them..

My veryD M had a dreadful relationship with her M. I wish she had had counselling because it haunted her all her life. My GM was quite frankly the bitch from hell to my DM, though not so bad to her other DCs and lovely to her dogs.

My DM managed to avert the quite usual course of abused becoming abuser to the next generation, as I am sure you have. There is nothing IMV more admirable. But do think about counselling. Because that maternal incompleteness can tear you apart.

Bishopston Sun 07-Jun-15 15:56:12

No I do like hugs ancient, I was only being a bit tongue in cheek smile given the humorous spirit of some other threads!

Bishopston Sun 07-Jun-15 15:57:14

Glad your DM managed to break the cycle, ancient!

ancientbuchanan Sun 07-Jun-15 22:33:47

Ha. Good. Yup, I was amazed, when thinking about it. Am sure you are just the same.

Lonz Mon 08-Jun-15 17:12:30

She sounds as though she is bitter about something else. But you have learned from her behaviour what you don't want to be.
I remember my mum sometimes punished me more so than my sibling. But now knowing what I do, I think there was an underlying problem that made her react that way. I wouldn't want that for my boy.

Bishopston Wed 10-Jun-15 17:04:07

I've always thought the same thing Lonz - about my mum - 'cos I definitely identified bitterness in her behaviour. The experience you mention definitely shows that families of all sizes have problems - siblings and 'on lies'!

Bethieboo25 Mon 14-Dec-15 21:12:37

It's always harder an an only!!! I too am one!

It's bitter sweet situation, on one hand u get all the love and attention but on the other ur parents don't have any other children to distract them so u get caught doin pretty much anything naughty...

My DM always encouraged my friends to come round and I was always around cousins so I learned from an early age that the world didn't revolve round me, though still sometimes I thought it did.

People used to say to my mum that I was was spoiled and ruined, but she would reply "no she is loved, there is a difference"

And low and behold.... I too have an only!!!! That was by choice!!!

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