Being the Only Child


Carlee Faber and her dad, Pat Faber, at a cross country race before Carlee left home to attend Central Michigan University.

As the late afternoon sun shines through her small window in her dorm room, Carlee Faber, a sophomore at Central Michigan University, sits down on her soft shag rug comfortably. She knows she’s going to be sitting for a considerable amount of time while she calls her parents. This is an everyday routine for Faber. As the only child in her family, her parents have made the adjustment from seeing her each day to talking to her on the phone instead.

Letting Faber leave the nest was difficult for her parents, especially her dad who has stayed home with her since she was a baby. Since the 20-year-old college student does not have any siblings, the transition was challenging. “It was really hard for my dad to let me go, but we all adjusted just fine,” Faber said. “I wish I had at least an older or younger sibling so that the [shift] could have been easier for them.”

Josh Krauth-Harding, a sophomore at Community High School, has similar feelings. “When I was younger, it was harder to not have any siblings,” Krauth-Harding said. “Although people called me lucky, I had a different opinion.” He wishes that he had other siblings so that it would not be just him and his parents at home all the time. It can be arduous not be to close in age with anyone in a household because there isn’t someone who can relate to that person’s everyday life.

Homelife can become dull without any interaction with a person’s same age group. This can be common in many homes of children that do not have siblings, including Krauth-Harding’s.  “My parents are fine people,” Krauth-Harding said. “But it would be a lot more pleasant to have someone else my age with me [at home].”

According to “The Deseret National News,” the census data found that 23 percent of families in the United States have only one child. Although some of those children could be obtaining ‘200 percent’ of attention from their parents, they could still aspire to have more siblings similarly to Faber and Krauth-Harding.

Both Faber and Krauth-Harding admitted that they receive extra attention from their parents at home compared to other kids their age because their parents are deeply invested in their lives.

“I still get a lot of attention to this day,” Faber said. “But not in a spoiled way. Many people do not expect me to be an only child.”

“I guess I get more attention since I don’t have other siblings to share it with,” Krauth-Harding said. Even though he gets a lot of advertence, Krauth-Harding claims that he is not spoiled. “My parents rarely give me things; I have to buy them. They do give me a lot of freedom. I think that I might just be more who they are as parents, and not that I’m an only child.”

Faber and Krauth-Harding desire more than just the attention from their parents; they still long for more siblings. When they were younger, they both developed ways to cope with not having brothers or sisters. “Just surround yourself with friends,” Krauth-Harding said. “They’re a pretty good alternative to having siblings if you can talk to them frequently.”

Faber has a congruous method. “I learned to play by myself if and when my friends were unavailable,” Faber said. In high school, she found another strategy. “I branched out. I made a ton of awesome friendships, and got involved with sports, volunteer work and clubs.”

Over time, Krauth-Harding has accepted not having other siblings at home and has become able to see the positives and negatives of his situation. “Being an only child has its ups and downs,” he said. “I like not having to share my stuff and not taking used stuff from older siblings, but it can get boring and it would nice to have another person in my family that was roughly my age.”