Lonely Child Syndrome

August 26, 2009
By Kelsey Copley BRONZE, Anchorage, Alaska
Kelsey Copley BRONZE, Anchorage, Alaska
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

According to G. Stanley Hall only children are considered to be “bratty, selfish and spoiled” and are “a disease in itself.” Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychiatrist, says that “because only children have no rivals for their parents' affection, they may be pampered and spoiled by their parents.” He also suggests that “this could later cause interpersonal difficulties if the person is not universally liked and admired.” I cannot help but wonder if I am one of those ‘deficient’ children these experts talk about. Am I really spoiled? Am I really selfish? Am I really bratty? Does this lifestyle really make me desire for attention and admiration? Analyzing the answer to these questions brings me to a clearer understanding of myself and of others’ perspectives of ‘only child syndrome’.

My parents have always taught me to never flaunt oneself, be courteous to everyone, and be thankful for the life I was given. Am I bratty? I would have to say no. I am definitely not the type who would talk back, complain insistently, or act devious. There is no gain on my part or anyone else’s in acting this way. Am I selfish? Maybe a little bit. I share my things with those in need. However, I admit that I have a dislike towards children and therefore would like my life to be focused on only me. I have my reasons; one only receives one life to live. Am I spoiled? I would say yes. I am very lucky. My parents are older than most but have allowed me to do a sport, and a hobby. Not everyone gets the chance to figure skate, or play the violin. Not everyone gets the chance to kayak, ski, camp, or travel. In these aspects I am spoiled, but not overindulged. I do not get handed everything for free. My parents make me work or pay for expensive items or clothing. They have instilled the fact that ‘everything in life is not free.’ Do I seek attention and admiration? Of course I do not. I personally like staying out of the spotlight and in my own little world. Am I an only child? Yes. Do I have only child syndrome? Yes, I guess one could say so. Am I ‘a disease in itself’? No, I am not an impairment of health or a condition of abnormal functioning.

G. Stanley Hall and Alfred Adler’s belief that only children are spoiled and selfish might be true. Bratty; more like false. Only children may be lucky in some instances but they are not any different from other people. Only children are not an infectious disease, but rather just another person trying to make a living like everyone else.

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