5 Things Your Only Child Should Learn

5 Things Your Only Child Should Learn
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Despite social difficulties, the birth rate doesn’t seem to be slowing down. More and more couples are having children. However, there are still many couples decide to have an only child, because having more children can be complicated, both to support and to reconcile with a life full of responsibilities that simply goes too fast.

But having an only child does not have to be negative. If you have an only child, you may feel bad, thinking he will “be alone in life.” But nothing could be further from the truth, because you can surely establish a good support network in his life.

Still, there are some things your only child must learn in order to succeed in life.

Things Your Only Child Should Learn

1. Let no one call you spoiled.

Many people think that an only child will automatically become “spoiled,” but nothing could be further from reality. People label an only child as selfish, spoiled or narcissistic, but they couldn’t be more wrong. This all depends on the values that are taught at home, not the number of siblings one has.

The fact that your child is an only child does not mean it has to be this way, so teach him that no one should label him. It is education and discipline at home that makes a child become selfish or not. It is necessary for your child to learn to ignore these comments and to know that it simply shows what type of person the speaker is.

only child with parents

2. The world does not revolve around him.

When there is more than one child in the family, they may compete for their parents’ attention, but when you have an only child, it is possible for parents to not realize that their attention centers entirely on the child, without any effort on his part. It is necessary to teach children without siblings that their needs are not always the priority, because they are not the center of the universe.

It is important to teach humility to only children, and to teach them patience and to enjoy experiences rather than material things. Teach them lessons about frustration and times when things don’t go as expected. This is very important in order for children to learn how the real world works, and to also see that everything does not revolve around them.

3. Friendships can be as strong as sibling relationships.

An only child can feel sad because he does not have siblings and will never know what it is like to have them. But in reality, when you cultivate a true friendship, it can be just as strong as any familial bond. There are friends that can be seen as true brothers and sisters. When you find these friends, you have to take good care of them so that they last forever. Teach this to your only child.

We will sacrifice our present so our children can have a better tomorrow.

-APJ Abdul Kalam-

4. Children with siblings also get bored.

Children who do not have siblings think they get bored more because they do not have anyone to play with. But the reality is that it doesn’t always have to be this way. Periods of boredom are common among all children, both with and without siblings.

In addition, boredom is not a bad thing because it challenges creativity and can make children discover their true interests.

5. He is not better or worse… he is simply himself.

It’s said that children without siblings are more successful because their parents can invest more resources in them, but there are also those who think that these children are not as emotionally stable. The truth is that there should not be such debates, because both children with siblings and children without siblings are who they are: people… people with their own idiosyncrasies. 

There are no studies that show the best or worst way to structure a family. A family may be large or small, with more children or fewer, and what really matters is taking care of the family and each of its members, to teach good values and to share happiness together for a good emotional bond.

Children without siblings should know that they are also part of a great family.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.