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One-child syndrome; A proven fact or an old myth?

Study guide

Only Child Syndrome refers to the misconception that children who do not have siblings develop a number of undesirable traits. This makes some parents very anxious and causes them to give birth to a second child just for that reason. Maybe you are the only child who has carried the label of being lazy throughout your childhood. Maybe you are a parent who is worried about your child’s only future after hearing these quotes. If so, you will be surprised by the research results and expert opinions of this article.

When did the theory of monogamy come about?

You’ve probably heard it said that single children are lazy, they find it difficult to share pleasures, they get very hot with other children and are not interested in compromising. Some even believe that the fate of single children is lonely. Where do these ideas really come from? You would not believe it if we said that the term single child syndrome did not exist until the late 1800s! During this time, two child psychologists reviewed the results of questionnaires to categorize children according to different characteristics. They came to the conclusion that the rumors began today.

In summary, the study found that children without siblings had a long list of negative behavioral traits. As we now know, the results of a questionnaire alone are not enough to make a definite statement; But at the time, the two psychologists relied solely on these findings to suggest that single children had a marked tendency for certain undesirable traits.

In the continuation of this article, we will examine the opinion of today’s experts.

What are the characteristics of monogamy syndrome?

Characteristics of children - single child syndrome

According to that initial research, minors are greedy, selfish, self-centered, incompatible, bossy, anti-social, and lonely. Such children become lazy because their parents give them whatever they want. Beliefs are that they grow up in a selfish individuality and think only of themselves and their needs. They also have antisocial tendencies because they are reluctant to communicate with siblings. Some even believe that only children in adulthood are not able to communicate well with their colleagues and show strong sensitivity to criticism.

What do recent research findings say about monogamy?

In the last hundred years, a lot of research has been done to test the prevalence of the single-child syndrome. It is interesting to know that although this theory is embedded in our culture, it is considered unfounded in today’s research! Of course, some current research agrees; But since the 1970s, it has been unanimously agreed that those initial findings were unscientific and incomplete and only contributed to the prevalence of monogamy!

That initial research was done at a time when families were more marginalized. For this reason, the family unit experienced a more isolated environment and only interacted with adults; So it may be said that the result of this research is valid considering its time conditions, but in the present era, this initial research is so scientifically invalid that in the last 20 years, no other significant study has been done in this regard. The use of the word “syndrome” also seems meaningless to the term.

Today’s research results and findings

Today’s experts believe that a variety of factors affect children’s personality. The fact is that the nature of some children is shy, cautious and introverted, and the number of children is not the only determining factor in the formation of these characteristics. However, monogamy syndrome has had such an effect on public belief that people have always attributed the negative behaviors of these young children to their monotony; If such behaviors may occur in children from large families.

Today's research on one-child syndrome

Recent studies show that being single does not necessarily mean that he or she is different from the children of large families. Single child syndrome does not make a child antisocial or self-centered. An expert who has spent more than 40 years researching single children has made remarkable findings. He concludes that the special attention these children receive may even be positive. They are less dependent, perhaps because they have not been deprived of love, they have not competed for attention, and they have received the necessary emotional support. This nurtures their maturity and allows them to build a strong identity for themselves.

Some positive characteristics of single children

A total of 115 other studies have been compiled by the same expert. Studies show that single children are even superior to children in large families in many personality traits and achievements and a variety of intelligence criteria; For example, research concludes that single children are confident, organized, and ambitious. According to some experts, the fact that they spend a lot of time alone is a privilege. They are generally creative and focused, as they have to learn how to entertain themselves. In addition, the bond between these children and their parents is stronger.

Of course, psychologists do not deny that children without siblings may be prone to certain social defects (although this is not generalizable); So if your daughter or son is shy, do not quickly relate it to the number of your children. There may be various reasons involved. Maybe there is no reason at all and it can be easily said that the beautiful nature of this child is shy. Sometimes the parents’ own behaviors lead to the development of characteristics in the child known as monogamy syndrome.

In the following, we will describe the main problems of such parents and provide effective solutions for them by psychologists.

How do we control the common problems of single children with our upbringing?

1. Do not over-support him

One way to control one-child syndrome

Such parents usually put all their eggs in their child’s only basket, so it is natural for them to feel very dangerous and to be overly cautious; For example, when a child starts to walk, he is constantly spinning around so that he does not fall. If he gets into a fight with someone else, he will be rescued quickly. The child will not be able to discover the world until the parents intervene in everything.

If you can not put aside your anxiety, consult a parent who has several children. Ask them out well if they are no longer absorbed in the connection.

2. Encourage him to socialize

Single children are usually at the center of their parents’ world. As a result, they may have difficulty dealing with their peers. If they have social relationships from an early age, they will learn how to share tools, take turns, and resolve differences. It is better to provide conditions for your child to spend time with his peers.

3. Do not set unrealistic expectations

One way to control one-child syndrome

Some parents think that their only success in life is having a child, so they impose high and even unrealistic expectations on them. Given that such young people have always had to please their parents, they may become incompatible with perfectionism in the future.

If you are also strict, try to adjust your expectations according to your child’s age and innate abilities. Reassure him that he does not have to be great at everything. If your daughter loves to paint, she does not have to be a God-given artist. Instead of trying to recover, they wallow in their sadness and thus, experience more failure.

4. Let him decide

Some parents become the directors of their child’s life! So it is not surprising that such a child considers his parents’ opinion to be superior to his own when making decisions. You should know that if you think and decide for him forever, your loved one will never learn these skills.

Give him simple decision-making options to strengthen these capabilities; For example, at bedtime, let him choose between the two books you suggest. Be careful not to leave too many options on the table (for example, do not confuse him with jigsaw puzzles or 48-color crayons).

Concluding remarks

If you are a single child or thinking of having only one child, do not worry about single child syndrome. Many who do not have siblings are kind, compassionate, and humble. If you see your child behaving badly, know that you have the power to guide him or her in the right direction. No syndrome will stand in your way. Encourage them to interact with others from an early age, set boundaries for them, and do not go to extremes in your upbringing. That is enough. Get help from a psychologist if you think you need more guidance.

what is your opinion? Do you think that single children have special and intolerable characteristics? Did reading this article change your way of thinking? If you have any experience or opinion, please feel free to share it with us in the “Submit a Comment” section.

Warning! This article is for educational purposes only and you should consult your doctor or specialist to use it. more information





One-child syndrome; A proven fact or an old myth?

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