Onlies Make Friends as Easily as Others

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Onlies Make Friends as Easily as Others
9
Wed, 08-18-2010 - 2:53pm

Have any of you seen this story? I'm sure you won't be surprised by this, but it's about a new study finding that only children are just as good at making friends as those with siblings.

Do you think that studies like this will help alleviate the false stereotypes of only children?

http://www.ivillage.com/only-child-makes-friends-just-easily-kids-siblings-do/6-a-258239?ice=iv:mb:msg:js

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2002
Thu, 08-19-2010 - 8:19am

Yes, I saw something about this in the newspaper here.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-09-1999
Thu, 08-19-2010 - 9:33am

Olivia certainly makes friends easily. I don't think she's overly outgoing (like I am) but she wants company so she seeks it out. I've noticed, at the parks around here,

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Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 08-19-2010 - 10:18am

I see socialization skills as kind of

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 08-19-2010 - 10:19am

>Do you think that studies like this will help alleviate the false stereotypes of only children?<<

Well, I certainly hope and wish that it will! It's just silly to think that Onlies are isolated and socially stunted. I don't know ANY kids that aren't involved in a million things these days, it just doesn't make any sense to keep thinking that Onlies somehow manage to remain "unsocialized."

I had read a different article about the same study (this one... http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/16/only-children-as-social-as-their-peers/ ) and it kind of annoyed me even though the findings were meant to comfort and reassure me. I'm starting to think the only people not shocked by these findings are us parents of Onlies!! For one thing, I wonder about the original 2004 study, in which teacher evaluations were used "to conclude that only children had less self-control and fewer interpersonal skills than students with at least one sibling." Makes me wonder if the teachers knew they were evaluating onlies vs. kids with siblings or if the evaluations were truly blind. For another thing, this quote by the researcher rubbed me the wrong way: ""If we're right about the mechanism, that greater interaction throughout a child's school years causes that deficit to disappear, one thing parents could do is to look for opportunities for interaction before kindergarten," says Downey.
"Preschool, play groups – those opportunities provide great exposure to those peer interactions that would reduce or eventually eliminate that gap that we observed before kindergarten."

Does it really take a genius to figure that out? Does he think we need studies to teach us how to provide interaction for our kids?? This is not rocket science! I have to say I find it a bit insulting. I do like the line from the iVillage article about happy parents = happy child. I couldn't agree more with that, and it's similar to something I've preached on this board for years...if you don't make a big deal out of the fact that your child is an Only, they won't see it as a big deal either.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2002
Thu, 08-19-2010 - 4:45pm

"Once you've been in school for a while it may be that you've had plenty of opportunities for peer interaction and you overcome that deficit," says Downey.


But why does he think onlies are so isolated?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2009
Mon, 08-23-2010 - 1:50pm

WARNING: Tirade alert.


As the parent of an only child who has had difficulty socializing, I

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Mon, 08-23-2010 - 2:17pm

I just wanted to tell you there's hope.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2007
Mon, 08-23-2010 - 2:42pm
It amazes me how different Gabby is from me.We are both onlies but she has always been outgoing and social.She was a little nervous about going to band camp,then her roommate dropped out of band at the last minute,because she decided to go to Catholic school at the last minute.So she ended up without a roommate.I would have been freaked.But they ended up putting Gabby with three Sophmore squad girls and she was so excited because she got to make friends with girls a year older than her.I would have wanted to cry when I was her age if I had been stuck with girls I did not know.She did say she was glad they put her with the sophmore squad girls as opposed to freshman who played instruments since she hangs with the squad girls because that is what she is.It amazes me how outgoing she is compared to

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-19-1998
Mon, 08-23-2010 - 3:23pm
ITA - it has a lot more to do with personality than whether you are an only. I was always socially awkward and probably fit the stereotype. But my dd has always made friends easily and now has a huge social network as a teen. My older cousin (who's also an only) is the same way.
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