Only Child Syndrome (O)

I have a thing about boxes.  Not the cardboard kind.

When I was a child I was ‘boxed’.  According to one teacher I was the following:

An only-child, therefore:

a spoiled brat.  

Anti-social and unable to make friends.  

Didn’t mix with other children.  

Quiet.  

Introverted

I have to point out this assumption was made BEFORE I joined her class.  Before she new me.  Before she had a chance to talk to me.  This teacher had the cheek to say this, or words to this effect, to my parents.

After all; it was a fair assumption, was it not?

I was an only-child and all only-children are the same.  Exactly the same.  No room for personality or individuality.

The only child looks out into the world

Here is what I am actually like:

Yes I am an only-child.  

I was never spoiled, unless you count being spoiled with love and affection (I suspect this is not what the teacher meant).  

I love to talk, A LOT.  

I have always found it easy to make friends and I have been fortunate to be surrounded by great friends who have stuck with me for years. 

I do like my own company, but I also love the company of others.

On some occasions I can be shy (public speaking, arghh!).  BUT, I am in no way an introvert.  To prove my point I am a reporter for a newspaper, you cant do that job if you are an introvert!

Here is what I have to say to that teacher.  I was just a child.  I had a world of opportunities awaiting me.  I could have been anything.  With the right guidance – the right teacher – I could be anything I wanted.  Surely that was your job?  But instead you put me in a box, labelled me and filled me away.

What makes people automatically put people into boxes anyway?

Why do we have to fit a stereotype or be categorised in a certain way?

Why  should we assume that someone is a certain way because of the colour of their skin, where they were born, what their sexual preferences are or what they choose to wear?

Why cant we just be ourselves?  Individual.  Unique.  Special.

I am not square, so what makes you think I would fit into a box anyway?

I hate boxes.  

The only child as an adult embracing the world around her

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53 Comments

  1. 17th May 2016 / 10:32 pm

    Not a good teacher by any stretch of the imagination. I think you just have to look at certain sets of siblings to see that extrovert and introvert have bugger all to do with the company you may or not have foisted upon you by your parents! My nieces are at completely opposite ends of that spectrum. I’d also reason that an only child may well be more sociable as they probably crave company outside of the home more than a child who has siblings. I’ve got a sister and I’m an introvert – and I agree that it is impossible to be a working journalist and an introvert as it was my (completely unrealistic as it turns out) dream to be a journalist when I was younger to the extent of doing an HND in periodical journalism at the London College of Printing at the age of 18. I would say though that now I’m in my forties I am beginning to realise that ‘introvert’ doesn’t have to be a dirty word – I was also shy in my youth but nowadays shyness and introversion don’t necessarily go hand in hand. It just means that you enjoy your own company (and yes, I also enjoy the company of others) and recharge your energy by being alone rather than through gregarious social interactions and non-stop chatter. Thanks so much for linking up to #thetruthabout!

    • Double the Monkey Business
      21st May 2016 / 7:29 pm

      I agree… children are what they are, regardless of what siblings they do / do not have. I think my parents would have been offended even if she had got my card marked correctly. It is the assumption that annoyed them most. Thanks for reading xx

  2. 17th May 2016 / 7:48 pm

    Yeah, dangerous thing to do, making assumptions like that. Very unfair on you. Doesn’t sound like a good teacher at all. #truthabout

    • Double the Monkey Business
      21st May 2016 / 7:31 pm

      Very dangeous indeed to make assumptions on little ones. Thanks for reading 🙂 x

  3. 17th May 2016 / 4:50 pm

    Love this! I too am an only child and feel like I’ve always had to fight against the stereotype. I’m an extrovert, not spoilt per say and although I like quiet & alone time, I’m also someone who loves being around people and doesn’t stop talking too! I hate how people automatically assume that as an only child I will be spoilt, selfish and want everything on my terms. I politely remind them that when they assume, it makes an ass out of u and me! 😉 Great post x

    • Double the Monkey Business
      21st May 2016 / 7:33 pm

      It certainly does. I am going to use that the next time 🙂 thanks for reading xx

  4. 17th May 2016 / 12:18 am

    I too was an only child but I don’t ever remember feeling labeled. Not until I was older and from peers. I didn’t like being an only child though. And to this day wish I had a sibling to bond with. I have a half brother and sister but the age difference prevents a bond I think. Thanks so much for linking with #momsterslink and I apologize for the delay in commenting as blogging has been on the back burner.

    • Double the Monkey Business
      21st May 2016 / 7:36 pm

      Ah dont worry about that, I am hugely behind with replying to comments on here as well. I also missed having a sibling, especially now I see the bond my two have. Well when they are not fighting that is 🙂 x

  5. 15th May 2016 / 6:06 pm

    Labels and boxes and stigma. Why do we do it? I hate them. And I really hate it when I find myself pre-judging someone, or judging at all. We are all who we are, and I love it when I’m proven wrong, it makes me learn and grow. What a wonderful world this would be if we wouldn’t form opinions before we get the facts! ARG!

    • Double the Monkey Business
      21st May 2016 / 7:43 pm

      Absolutely, I hate it to but I am also guilty at times. It annoys me when I do it to xx

  6. 13th May 2016 / 6:48 am

    I hate labels, and boxes. I often find if people have labeled me I end up acting differently to prove them wrong. It’s just ridiculous.

    • Double the Monkey Business
      21st May 2016 / 7:55 pm

      ha ha me too!!!! I like to prove people wrong x

  7. 13th May 2016 / 6:48 am

    I hate labels, and boxes. I often find if people have labeled me I end up acting differently to prove them wrong. It’s just ridiculous.

  8. 12th May 2016 / 7:23 pm

    I hate boxes too and really try to not make any pre judgements on people. I totally think the only child thing is different depending on your family and how you are raised. I have friends who are only children and all completely different. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix

    • Double the Monkey Business
      21st May 2016 / 7:57 pm

      Very true! thanks for reading x

  9. 12th May 2016 / 2:53 pm

    I hate boxes too. Such stereotypes. I think you would be a great teacher. But I think being a reporter is far more exciting. I am jealous! 😉 xx

    Thank you so much for linking up wit us on #FabFridayPost

    • Double the Monkey Business
      21st May 2016 / 7:57 pm

      It is a fab job, always very interesting and beats sitting in an office all day. xxx

  10. 8th May 2016 / 9:40 pm

    Lovely post! My daughter is an only-one at the moment and a lot of her personality traits are exactly like her daddys (shes 3) and I always put it down to them being an only child as she is very different to me and I’m one of 3. Reading your post has made me realise that maybe its just who she is and she likes to be centre of attention, be the loudest child in the room, and is super confident but massively self-centred just because that’s who she is and not necessarily due to her having no siblings! I need to be less hard on her I think!
    As for your teacher labelling you at such a young age, its awful and no teacher should talk about a pupil like that! I was a teacher before having Mia and would never place a child in a box like that?!

    #PicnMix

    • Double the Monkey Business
      10th May 2016 / 7:51 pm

      I guess it is that age old nature vs nurture question. My twin boys are incredibly different, despite having the same experiences in life. It is interesting to see their personalities form x

  11. 8th May 2016 / 3:34 pm

    Glad I found you through #momsterslink! Fellow mom of twins my old tagline used to be “stumbling through parenthood and finding me.” So i can totally understand your tagline and I also love this post!

    • Double the Monkey Business
      10th May 2016 / 7:53 pm

      Ah great minds and all that 🙂 Always nice to meet another twin mummy. I am off to check out your blog x

  12. 8th May 2016 / 3:31 pm

    To be honest i have worried about Agent M getting put into this stereotype as he is an only child and my family don’t always help. He’s the only older kid in my family (he’s 9) that doesn’t have a sibling “to play with” and folk always comment on how lonely he must be. It got to a point where i started to believe he was lonely and at a disadvantage some how but when i actually asked him he told me he was fine and had never really thought on it. He’s quite happy having his little cousins to play with but still have his own space and time at home which works for us.

    Thanks for sharing, I feel a little less guilty about it now 🙂

    • Double the Monkey Business
      10th May 2016 / 7:56 pm

      I was always a happy child. On top of being an only child, I didn’t live near any cousins the same age as me. The cousins that lived down the road were born when I was in my teens. I didn’t mind, although I cost my Dad a fortune in telephone bills when I was older, but I am guessing that might have happened anyway lol! x

  13. 8th May 2016 / 3:27 am

    I too was an only child and although I hated it..it taught me a lot about being ok with being alone. To now always have to surround myself with other people. I never considered myself an introvert but I really do like the comforts of my own home. Great post. #momsterslink

    • Double the Monkey Business
      10th May 2016 / 7:57 pm

      Thanks, it certainly has taught me to be happy in my own company, which I don’t think is a bad thing 🙂

  14. 7th May 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Back again 🙂
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes
    Debbie

    • Double the Monkey Business
      10th May 2016 / 7:57 pm

      Thanks for hosting lovely 🙂 x

  15. 6th May 2016 / 1:09 am

    I agree, very unprofessional of a teacher to make any kind of judgement about a child without even having met them. You’re right – we’re not box-shaped, so how can we fit in a box?! #FortheloveofBLOG

    • Double the Monkey Business
      10th May 2016 / 7:59 pm

      It was incredibly unprofessional and I am guessing not something you could readily get away with saying these days. xx

  16. 4th May 2016 / 8:15 pm

    Its so odd how people perceive only children. I know many spoiled, anti-social, introverted people and all of them, without exception, have siblings. Actually it’s my experience that my friends that are only children are more outgoing because they didn’t have siblings to fall back on for entertainment. #passthesauce

    • Double the Monkey Business
      10th May 2016 / 8:02 pm

      So true, I think in my case it definitely forced me to be the opposite. x

  17. 4th May 2016 / 1:34 pm

    As if the world isn’t hateful enough without teachers, of all people, jumping to conclusions about their students. We are so much more than just one things: only child (which I was for 10.5 years) or twins, like my daughters, the antithesis of only childhood, I would imagine. #AnythingGoes.

    • Double the Monkey Business
      10th May 2016 / 8:04 pm

      I have to say I always said I would never just have one child. Although I also had twins so that choice was made for me ha ha! x

  18. 3rd May 2016 / 5:52 pm

    Fellow only child here and it makes my teeth itch when people assume that I must therefore have been spoiled rotten by my parents. The truth is absolutely far from it! The number of siblings a person has is not responsible for defining their personality! Fantastic post – and I love your new site!! Congratulations on the move to self hosted lovely x
    Thanks for linking up with #FartGlitter.

    • Double the Monkey Business
      3rd May 2016 / 6:54 pm

      Thanks for your kinds words about the new site 🙂 It is always interesting to hear from other only children, from those I have spoken to it appears this is a common assumption. You are absolutely right, the number of siblings doesn’t define who you are. xx

      • 5th May 2016 / 11:44 am

        Just popping back for a second visit through #passthesauce. Thank you for linking up lovely x

        • Double the Monkey Business
          10th May 2016 / 8:01 pm

          Thanks lovely x

  19. The Pramshed
    3rd May 2016 / 4:42 pm

    I hate boxes too lovely and I totally dislike this teacher when you went to school. I’m not an only child, but I know plenty of people who are, and they are no way an introvert or have trouble making friends. It’s terrible that you experienced this from a teacher when you were at school, and it just goes to show that you have defied the stereotypes and the teachers’ belief. In this day and age there should no longer be categories that we are placed in, however it does still exist – at school, in the workplace etc..the list goes on and on. We should just be able to be individuals without being judged. Thank you so much for linking up with us at #fortheloveofBLOG, hope you join the party with us next week. Claire x

    • Double the Monkey Business
      3rd May 2016 / 6:59 pm

      Yes I will definitely be back next week!!! I really enjoyed the posts I found on your linkup, some really great ones which kept me entertained on a rainy saturday.x

  20. 3rd May 2016 / 12:46 pm

    I completely agree with this! I hear it all the time with my friends who have just the one, as though they are in danger of creating a spoilt brat. And to be honest, some of them are spoilt brats, and yet some of my friends with many children have spoilt brats too! It’s just the way that some children are, be that from a family of one or a family of ten!! Love this post! #fartglitter

    • Double the Monkey Business
      3rd May 2016 / 7:00 pm

      Oh yes that is a good point, I know friends who have been told that they must have a second child or their child will be spoilt. I agree completely it is just the way some children are, regardless of the number of siblings they have. xx

  21. 3rd May 2016 / 8:23 am

    Yes, very well said!! It’s totally unprofessional of a teacher to make that kind of assumption about you, based on your only child status. Not only that, but you’re right, very few people fit perfectly into labelled boxes, and neither should we have to! The world would be a better place without having to try and categorise people in this way! Brilliant post, thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

    • Double the Monkey Business
      3rd May 2016 / 7:02 pm

      Agreed. The world would be such a better place if we didn’t put people in boxes and just accepted someone for what they were. x

  22. 2nd May 2016 / 12:54 pm

    My other half always says things like ‘it must be because you’re an only child’ or that I don’t understand because I am an only child! Its so frustrating when people jump to these conclusions, I would have killed for a brother or a sister when I was younger. We have to be loud and confident because we don’t have anyone else to fight our battles for us haha x #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Double the Monkey Business
      3rd May 2016 / 7:07 pm

      I love this perspective!! Yes we just have to fight our own battles don’t we x

  23. 2nd May 2016 / 12:26 pm

    I wouldn’t recommend a teacher say something like that about my daughter within my earshot. Besides the fact that she is the direct opposite, I might have a thing or two to say

    • Double the Monkey Business
      3rd May 2016 / 7:08 pm

      I am not sure I would be able to hold my cool if it happened with my kids teacher either! I never did ask my mum how she responded, I must ask her x

  24. 2nd May 2016 / 10:39 am

    Its so frustrating that too many people ‘judge a book by its cover,’ I am shocked that a teacher made such an assumption about you as a child when she has yet to know you!! And I completely agree, we shouldn’t have to ‘fit’ into a box 🙂 #bigpinklink x

  25. 30th April 2016 / 4:27 pm

    Such a great read! I love the way you turned the labels around – well done! Bet you wish you could pop those in a letter to said teacher now! I hate boxes too and labels (though shoeboxes and designer labels are OK – tell your teacher that you’re only prepared to have those thrown at you! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Double the Monkey Business
      3rd May 2016 / 7:14 pm

      Oh yes I do wish I could somehow get this to the teacher in question x

  26. 30th April 2016 / 10:51 am

    Love this post. I have read it twice now, the weirdo that I am. It is amazing the different things people can use to put you into a certain ‘box’ and label you as a certain type of person. Hair colour, weight, star sign, age, family situation. It’s all rubbish. It’s the old nature vs nurture thing isn’t it really.

    • Double the Monkey Business
      3rd May 2016 / 7:41 pm

      I love that you read it twice 🙂 x

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