Only Child Syndrome – Characteristics, Symptoms, Treatment

What is Only Child Syndrome?

Only Child Syndrome is one of the most common behavioral syndromes found in kids. The syndrome actually gives it a negative connotation; however, it is not exactly the same as others. It is developed after birth and the syndrome is more of behavioral then biological. The Only Child Syndrome is obviously found in those kids who are the only child of their parents. The name itself suggests that the kids are different from the others. It may sound very simple that a child is only pampered and he or she behaves differently. However, it is not so simple indeed. The Only Child Syndrome can cause serious complications in the lifestyle of a child. However, it has some positive aspects too. The kids who are having Only Child Syndrome sometimes also called “Spoilt” or “Pampered” in non-medical terms.


Only Child Syndrome image


Characteristics of Only Child Syndrome

The characteristics of the Only Child Syndrome are deeper then they appear. The kid with Only Child Syndrome tends to remain isolated from the crowd and rest of the people. It gives a huge impact on the childhood which then carries forward to the adulthood as well. The children face huge problems as they avoid mingling with others. It becomes a serious issue in adulthood and teenage. The child separates himself from the others and generally remains self-centered. However, the child may develop some good habits too due to the syndrome. The most common positive impacts are practicing healthy and hygienic lifestyle. But the negative list is so long that overcomes the positive side of the Only Child Syndrome sufferer.

Symptoms of Only Child Syndrome

It is very important for the family especially parents to identify and observed their kids if they are only child. The symptoms of the Only Child Syndrome can very well indicate the complications and they should take immediate action to eradicate the problem in order to provide their kid a healthy and normal life.

  • The kid has difficulties to mingle with others and make friends. He loves to stay alone and isolated.
  • He is very shy.
  • He generally talks to an imaginary friend and talks to himself.
  • The maturity rate is slower than the normal kids.
  • The kid does not share the problems and tends to be with it.
  • He is not at all confident.
  • He has serious issues with happiness and does not want to be happy.
  • He is way too exceptional and does not behave properly with others.
  • There is a lack of competitive attitude, and the child may be hostile or jealous.
  • They seek attention all the time and gets irritated if not given.
  • They are sometimes self-insufficient as well.
  • They are very self-esteemed and emotional.
  • They tend to bring prestige in everything.
  • Faces huge problems in doing team work and often remains incapable of performing it.
  • Does not want to share anything with others.
  • Faces difficulties live their life by own.
  • They do not develop family or friendship bond and remains isolated.

All the symptoms are very complicated and can interfere in normal life. If any of the symptoms is noticed in your kid then, it is best to address it as early as possible.

Treatment of Only Child Syndrome


As it is a behavioral syndrome, so there is hardly any treatment for it. However, support therapies and consultations are equally needed to address the situation. It is the most important duties of the parents to take the primary treatment for the syndrome. Even though there is no medication for it but friendly behavior, mingling with others and constant indulgence with the child may help to reduce the effect. The parents should always be supportive and caring. They should try to make the child understand the value of team work and create situation where the child can actually have friends and can play together. The problem can only be solved at the childhood; otherwise it may become too late. Regular consultation with medical experts and therapies may also be helpful in the situation.


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21 thoughts on “Only Child Syndrome – Characteristics, Symptoms, Treatment

  • 02/11/2015 at 10:22 AM
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    Being an only child is not a syndrome, it’s circumstantial. Just like being born with brown hair. There is not a syndrome to explain the behaviours for that circumstance. I hope that anyone scanning the internet looking for information on parenting does not read this poorly written piece of garbage. The information is outdated and incorrect. Children are individuals, whether they come from a family with many siblings or none. Children of large families can exhibit some or all of these traits as well, these are not solely those of the only child.

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    • 10/01/2016 at 12:11 AM
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      Being an only child sucks

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    • 27/04/2016 at 6:38 PM
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      Thank you for saying that. My daughter is an only child. Although, she doesn’t display any of those traits, this article had me super worried. She’s actually the opposite. She’s very caring, friendly, open, & always ready to mingle with other children. You made me feel better. Thank you!

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    • 12/05/2016 at 3:28 AM
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      Completely agree with you Cindy! I am the opposite of most of his comments!
      Anna Marie

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    • 20/05/2016 at 1:23 AM
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      hahahaahahahaahahaahahahaa this is easily the dumbest comment I have ever seen. You sound extremely unintelligent and uneducated.

      If thats not the case then you should probably turn off your computer and leave it on the curb, you have no value to add to just about anything from the sounds of it.

      Reply
  • 23/11/2015 at 11:33 PM
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    Being an only child myself i believe this article is extremely out of line, outdated and should not be read. To think people are going to read this and then judge angers me because we are almost the opposite to what this article suggests.

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  • 08/01/2016 at 5:21 PM
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    Totally agree with this article. I have yet to meet an only child who doesn’t display most of these negative traits.

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    • 03/02/2016 at 6:15 AM
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      You must have a very limited amount of only children in which to stand in judgment of.

      Reply
  • 08/01/2016 at 5:38 PM
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    Totally agree with everything in this article. A very accurate portrayal of the only child.

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    • 13/07/2016 at 7:17 AM
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      Pull your head out of your ass and then look around! You probably have 3 kids syndrome! Now does’nt that sound stupid!

      Reply
  • Pingback: The vagaries and vicissitudes of being an only child | keepingthegoodsideout

  • 03/02/2016 at 6:12 AM
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    I myself am an only child, and I am the mother of an only child. This so called Dr is a joke, this article is so out of line he is quack and a moron.

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  • 06/03/2016 at 4:38 AM
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    This article is very much the opposite of my only child life I am now 27 years old. I feel that they are implying being an only child is like a disease and needs to be treated immediately wtf!

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  • 02/04/2016 at 10:41 PM
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    I cannot agree with this article. It makes all only children sound like head cases. The only thing I would say about growing up as an only child is that sometimes you can feel lonely, particularly at times when your parents are preoccupied with their own stuff, since you have no siblings to take refuge with. You therefore become very self reliant – which isn’t a negative trait.

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  • 29/05/2016 at 9:26 AM
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    I have an only child. She is out-going, always wanting to be with others. I believe it’s because she’s lonely. She does infact try to make herself an equal to adults but that’s because she has alot of time with them and we have to tell her otherwise. I think part of it could be a little parenting but also personality of the child. I always attempted to keep my child around others. But on the other, hand it’s easier to and devote alot of time with one child rather than a bunch. My child deplays very little of what this article article is implying. But, it can be a little overwelming for us because the child wants attention and we can’t give it, they have no one else to seek out. But, we attempt to include her in whatever we are doing if it is possible. Every child is different.

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  • 07/08/2016 at 3:39 AM
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    Whomever wrote this article doesn’t know a thing about proper research and is spouting opinion rather than fact. This person also has terrible grammar and clearly did not care enough to have someone proofread the article before publishing it. If you’re too lazy to proofread, I highly doubt that you did any research at all, let alone proper research. Stop discriminating against people! Don’t you have better things to do?

    Reply
  • 07/08/2016 at 3:41 AM
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    This guy doesn’t know a thing about proper research and is spouting opinion rather than fact. This person also has terrible grammar and clearly did not care enough to have someone proofread the article before publishing it. If you’re too lazy to proofread, I highly doubt that you did any research at all, let alone proper research. Stop discriminating against people! Don’t you have better things to do?

    Reply
  • 26/09/2016 at 3:01 AM
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    Having treated tens of thousands of kids with my wife (both orthodontists) i can safely say a lot of issues are escapeism. We haven’t been off ill for 15 years each – we have been ill but coughs colds etc. All just attitude. Look on the internet find a few similar symptoms and the blame everything on life – it is never our fault and society owes us. Our 7 year old daughter is happy, confident very successful sporting and academc without our reassurance. In our experience, we have met terrible multi kids and great single kids and vice versa. It is usually due to the parents. We have 4 degrees and 5 sets of royal college higher degrees between us but actually those that attend the university of common sense could spot the fact that lucky kids (1–>10+) have parents that care and support. P.s. playing classical music to a baby won’t make it any brighter butif it relaxes you then great

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  • 02/10/2016 at 2:28 AM
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    For those people who are attacking the writer of this article you are not justified in doing so. Those are traits of only children. What the writer failed to do is point out that many only children over come these traits and become the opposite do to several reasons. 1. How they are raised. 2. Changing in order to fit into society, all the while suppressing many of the traits pointed out in the article. 3. Having groups of friends growing up that replace the lack of siblings. I am an only child. And at the age of 53 many of the traits mentioned are just now manifesting themselves. I work at it everyday to keep many of the harmful one away. Relationships tend to be difficult because I have always try to nurtured everyone else, while not making demands for my wants or needs. People tend to find this selfish mainly because they have no understanding of what it is to be isolated and alone at a young age, with no peers to share things with, depend on, play or experience life with in the home environment. Many people few these traits as just improper behavior. What they really are is coping tools for mental stability.

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    • 18/12/2016 at 9:28 PM
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      I too am in my 50’s and feel the same way, whilst I was an only one I too now feel that things as you are now manifesting. I can be in a room full of friends and still feel like I’m an only one! I don’t blame my parents they could not have another child, but do think that while they loved and truly think they did the best by me, l do think if they gave me more experiences and confidence to try things there is no reason why an only child shouldn’t be confident and outgoing with the right parenting! I wasn’t spoilt as an only child I got what my parents could afford and learnt to appreciate what I got! Has my parents wasn’t made of money and never had a credit card!

      Reply
  • 30/10/2016 at 2:35 PM
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    Couldn’t help but laugh whilst reading this article. It’s sad how ill informed this post is. I guess that’s the internet for you.

    Reply

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