She says that back in 1896 psychologist G. Stanley Hall claimed that “being an only child is a disease in itself“. A disease?
But recent research by Douglas Downey (Ohio State University) shows that kids from smaller families do “better on standardized tests, earn higher grades and stay in school longer” and that “As the number of siblings increases you see a steady decline in performance for all the children in the family”.
Author and social psychologist Susan Newman wrote a book called “Parenting An Only Child: The Joys and Challenges of Raising Your One and Only“. She says that “the myths of the lonely, spoiled, bossy only child” are just that – myths.
Many people who have only one child feel guilty about it – whether it was by choice or not – and worry that their child won’t have other kids to play with, etc. or that other people will think their child is spoiled or lonely.
Of course people have many personal reasons for the number of children they have or don’t have. Regardless of the reasons – or even if the stereotypes had some truth to them – kids from all family sizes shouldn’t be assumed to be freaks or over achievers. They should be treated an individuals.
What do you think? Do you think the stereotypes of only-children are still out there? How do you think those stereotypes affect only-children?
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