Thursday, July 5, 2007

Revenge of the only child!

CBC's headline read very similar to that one but it was just so catchy.

According to the latest census, 43 per cent of Canadian families have just one child. In the 1950s, 20 per cent of children played amongst five brothers and sisters. This decline in familial numbers is the result of the baby boom turning to baby bust, which, according to said CBC article, is actually a result of a booming economy. Families become comfortable in their prosperous lifestyle and realize that they can make fewer children even more comfortable, materially and otherwise. This according to the editor of Only Child magazine (yes...that's what I was thinking too.)

SO...all of these children who suffered teasing and stereotypes can shove it right back in everyone's faces as the single child moves into the normal realm. I'm mostly joking, but only children get accused of many things. Socially incompetent, spoiled, selfish, wimpy, gifted, suck-up...the list goes on. A century ago, psychologist Granville Stanley Hall equated only childhoodism with having a disease, with children being unable to interact normally in social situations and unlikely to hold important societal positions.

(If you follow family-based research, a new report released last month suggested that the most ideal family is made of up fewer children, with the eldest being 3 I.Q. points ahead. For what it's worth)

Now to admit to my very thinly-veiled bias. I am not an only child, but my one sibling is almost 11 years my junior. This means that, for almost 11 years, I was classifiable as an only child. So I've heard it all.

So while these stats, if they apply equally to the Jewish community (and that is an if), could mean bad things for the furthering of our excellent for seeing the only child take over! I mean...earn his or her proper respect in the previously multi-child-dominated world.

The only child quoted in the CBC article said it best:
"It's like we're disadvantaged, because we didn't have some 13-year-old goon sitting on our heads."

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