Dating an only child
Not wanting to be offensive I usually respond with a socially mindful answer highlighting the many achievements of only children.
However, a careful examination of what we know today about the advantages of having siblings exposes the perils of being the only offspring in a family.
Studies have suggested that sibling closeness in childhood is linked with social-emotional understanding, cognitive abilities, and psychological adjustment.
During adolescence sibling closeness contributes to healthy identity formation and minimization of teen problems.
Sibling competition was seen as an extension of Freud's work on the competitive nature of the oedipal triangle.
His disciple Adler's work on birth order continued to highlight the competitive nature of the sibling bond.
From your post, it sounds like onlies are actually the ones with a stereotypically bad rap.
I perhaps did an injustice to my only child by not providing a sibling for her.
Although I can’t overstate the profound feelings of joy and responsibility my wife and I felt when we had our first child, a different moment in our life that occurred a few years later stood out most to us in terms of feeling that we truly created something special.
When we had our second child and noticed the first time that our oldest daughter was interacting with our newborn it truly hit us that we created something grand: we created a relationship--the beauty of the sibling bond. I suppose your message is primarily directed to parents because as an only child (who didn't choose to be one) your message sounds awfully depressing to me.
You learned something very powerful about how the world works the first time you schemed with your brother about how to raid the candy drawer without your parents noticing.
These early competencies learned from siblings have lifelong consequences.
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Hence, what happens in the sibling relationship is the catalyst for all future social engagements.