Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Let the Debate Begin!

According to a recent study conducted in Britain, children without brothers or sisters tend to be happier children. In fact, the more siblings a kid has, the more miserable he/she is.

Does this sound right to you? There were plenty of times in my youth when I wished I was an only child. But I was still pretty darn happy. And these days, I couldn't be more thrilled that I have a brother and sister. But who knows? Maybe I would have been SUPER happy if I had been the only kid in the family.

So what do you think? Does having siblings make a kid HAPPIER or MISERABLE?


Blogger brave chickens said...

Siblings help you learn so much about yourself and the world.
We have fights with them, but still love each other.
I say they make us happier, especially when you're older.

But... if you're the kid in the family which all the other siblings pick on (this does happen!), then you're miserable. Woe upon the child!

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well if ur one or the other u have nothing to compare it to!

10:18 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I only have one--a brother--and I know without a doubt my life has been way happier with him then it would've been without.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Hazel said...

How and when do they measure happiness? And do they distinguish between biological, adopted, foster, step, and half siblings? How do they control for other factors? Children with step and half siblings might be unhappier, but because of a divorce or the death of a parent. Children with foster siblings might be foster children themselves, which is often the result of some sort of trauma such as abandonment, or more likely abuse or neglect by their parents. Adopted children often have similar traumatic pasts.
Maybe they found a way to control for all the other myriad factors affecting happiness, but I doubt it.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Ari the Awesome said...

I'd be pretty happy if I no longer had a sister, but I don't think that she makes a big difference in my happiness. Also, I'm questioning with Hazel, how do they measure happiness?

3:34 PM  
Anonymous EQ said...

Absolutely not!! I have two and even if they can be a pain, I still love them. It might look like we pick on each other, but we don't take each other seriously (heck, I don't take me seriously!)--sort of verbal sparring. And if anybody else even LOOKS like they are picking on one of us, we flatten them. (Again, verbally. We're not nutcases. Not in that way anyhow...we can be certified lunatics in other ways, of course.)

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes my sibs annoy me to no end, but other times we have these epically amazing hear-to-hearts that I love! I know a lot of peeps who whate their brothers or sisters. My one only-child friend always asks what it's like to have siblings....I used to hate them, but I realize now that I love 'em! The little monkeys!

4:51 PM  
Blogger Jennie said...

I'm so confused, because other British scientists say that people with sisters are happier!

My sister's pretty awesome, so I tend to agree with such statements...

5:04 PM  
Anonymous ~chanel~ said...

Miserable. My brother definitely makes my life miserable. He brings out the absolute worst in me. A few of my friends actually like their siblings, but I think it has to do with the age difference. Right now my brother is at the age where he should be maturing, but he's acting like he's two. He's ELEVEN. He's going through some sort of phase where he's acting younger than he is. Like wayyyy younger. Whenever I watch him and try to put him to bed, he makes me walk upstairs with him and turn on all the lights because now he's appearantly terrified of the dark. He wasn't a year ago!! He hates sleeping in his room so he's always in my mom's and he is so super sensitive about everything. It's probably some phase where he's in denial about growing up. I think he can't imagine being a responsible teenager yet. Whatever it is, I hope he grows out of it.
My brother also annoys me in that he will do anything to get on my nerves. Five minutes ago he wouldn't get out of my room because he insisted I stole his stupid marker. AND he wouldn't feed the dog so I had to do it. He left to hang out with his friends while I cleaned up after him. He never listens to me when I'm in charge of him either. He loves being difficult I guess.
Hopefully he grows out of his undesireable traits, but by the way he's been behaving lately, he won't mature fast enough. Sorry about the incredibly long post but I really needed to vent. Things have been hard at home lately and my friends don't always enjoy listening to my complaints. xD Hahah
In conclusion, as of right now, I would much rather live without my brother.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its sure makes ME miserable.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Undiscovered Universe said...

I think siblings are important, they are testing grounds to see what is ok to do and whats not.... like in society and stuff. I;v enoticed my friends who r only children are more maladapted, and VERY VERY VERY self centered. They think everything should revolve around THEM. It's pretty annoying!

Hazels comment is really smart

7:07 PM  
Blogger Kiki Strike said...

Jennie: You're right. I almost posted a link to that study myself. I think I'm happier as an adult because I have a sister. As a kid . . . I don't know. But I'm the person I am today thanks to her (and my brother). She's a big source of inspiration for me.

7:28 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

That study is ridiculous. If you get along with your siblings, it's like having your best friend always sleep over at your house. If you don't get along, well, you might not be happy, but ur learning important lessons. I know I wouldn't be half as assertive as I am if I didn't have two brothers. Also, only children might be happy because they are always the center of attention, but when your on vacation or you want to plY with someone, it's incredibly useful. Also, you can always put your siblings in headlocks. They're living lessons in patience and kindness. So basically, it depends on the person. I mean, yeah, sometimes they annoy you but you love them anyway. Sorry, bout the length.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess my childhood would probably have been a lot less stressful if I'd spent it as an only child, but at the same time I love my sister and her craziness. It would have been much more boring without her.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Reel Dancer said...

There are different factors. You usually have someone to do something with when you have siblings. But you have to split the attention from parents. When you're an only child you get all the attention but don't always have a backup for when everyone is busy.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dont know if i agree. sure my brother annoys the !@#$%^&* out of me sometimes, and once caused me to punch a bottle of salad dressing over a marker. (it ticked me off.) but i dont think i should take it personally, though, because one of my best friends, who ive known for as long as i can remember, insists that i am extremely fun to annoy. maybe its fun for other people, but not for me!! hmph.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Erin_Flight said...

It depends. Having one or two makes you happier but having 5 or 6 would make you miserable. The parent have less time for the child and they get less opportunities.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous missterious said...

Well, I'm an only child, and I've always been pretty glad of it. But I bet I'd feel differently if I had siblings.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I love my brother. I've actually always wished I've had a sister too, other than the times that I've wished I was an only child. Haha. But maybe I would be happy as an only child... all the people I know like that wish they had siblings. :P

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay I have three sisters and I am PERFECTLY happy silly brits

9:41 AM  
Blogger Chrissy Weeks said...

I think it can go either way and really just depends on the personalities of the people involved.

Sometimes my sister and I get a long great, sometimes we really really do not. And I was the always picked on one. It sucked!

I hope that my daughter enjoys being an only child b/c that is pretty much the only way her mama is going to stay happy ;) I love my daughter but I do not have any desire to have any more. Thank goodness we live in a time where we have options and BC so we cal all decide what works for us.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Hazel said...

@Erin_Flight: I know it's not the same for everyone, but I have six siblings and I LOVE IT.
@Undiscovered Universe: Why thank you. Although, credit where credit is due, my mother pointed out many of the things I said.

Another problem with this study is that it would be very easy to slant the questions. Maybe the researchers are Malthusian population control nuts! And even if the questions aren't slanted, they might have a slanty effect: If I'm asked how many times a day my siblings annoy me, I may get all worked up and exaggerate out of frustration. And even if they annoy me more often than not, the annoyances might me smaller than their opposites. For instance, when my brother leaves his socks on the floor, sure, it bugs me, but I get over it pretty quickly. When he gives me a hug and informs me loudly that I'm "epic", that makes me more happy than the socks make me mad. But, of course, in a completely non-quantifiable way.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think kids who are the only child tend to have more sadness in there life because they don't have anyone to talk with. (I agree with brave chickens!)

1:49 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

Depends on the sibling.. Alot of kids can get either alot of love from their sibling or be abused D:

3:15 PM  
Anonymous charstar said...

I think this is dumb!
how are they testing it!?! XD
I have 4 brothers and 2 sisters and I'm plenty happy sure we get in fights some times now and then but you can't live with ANY ONE every day with out fighting once in awhile.
XD I find this whole thing funny and stupid why do they even care XDDD.

I haven't been able to comment on internet explorer for some reason that's why I havent commented in a while Im using fire fox rite now but I dont like fire fox very much any ideas why explorer isnt working guys? please help :'(

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Clare said...

I agree that it is a really hard thing to measure. Every person is different and every family is different, and there's no way of knowing if you would be happier with or without siblings. I can't actually recall any times when I wished I was an only child, but there are a couple of times I've wished I'd had more than one sibling. But I know my family would be really different if we had more people, and I have no idea how it would change.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having only one sibling who passed away I can tell you that I am far from happier and wish I had more siblings.

7:02 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

i'm very sorry Anonymous at 7:02- I feel terrible for you! id tell you they're in a better place, but I know that rarely helps.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have that big an opinion about the study, but one thing that always strikes me as unfair is that if you've got siblings, you're expected to be sort of like them. This is especially wrong in high school. My sister: Goody-two-shoes academic overachiever. I was a withdrawn, highly focused nerd. My brother: Individualistic, socially adept, academically successful jock. Aside from great grades and SAT scores, we were nothing alike then. But all we got was "You're 's brother? You're not like her at all!" Or "You're Robert in San Diego's brother? How come he never tries out for any sports?"

It's not that big a deal, but that doesn't mean it's fair.

Robert in San Diego

10:44 PM  
Anonymous lucy said...

If thats true i know exactly why my little brother never puts the seat down and i step on legos pretty much everyday of my life join forces with me to defeat all little brothers and force them to pick up all of their toys and put the seat down bwaaaaaaaaaahahaha lol

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Hazel said...

Anonymous at 7:02, I'm very sorry. Can I offer you a virtual hug and real prayers?

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting study, but I wonder if maybe a lot of the children surveyed were the youngest in the family or something. I only have ONE older sibling and we get along worse than my friend who's one of FIVE. The happiest children that I've ever met tend to be the first-born, or at least not the last. Not suggesting that the study is completely irrelevant, but perhaps that it really depends on your family and where you live as well as the number of kids in the household. Just as some background:
Friend With Four Siblings: is not youngest and still communicates with everyone, pshchological issues appear to be unrelated to siblings
Me: Youngest of two, sibling hates me so much for something I didn't even do that he hasn't talked to me in months, psychological issues mostly attributed in some way to older sibling

9:18 PM  
Blogger Alli The Totally Wicked Novelist said...

I disagree completely. Not only does having a sibling teach you social skills, but it gives you a place to focus negative energy (>:-D). But right now, I'm finding she is the source of my negative energy... ANYWAY, when all is said and done, you have a lifelong best friend.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Kirsten said...

I love being an only child; it is the best thing possible. I can do every extracurricular I want, since my parents don't have to cart around a sibling. I do miss having company, though.

But I have to say that just because one is an only child doesn't mean they're self-centered or feel entitled to things. On the contrary, we're less bossy or whiny than the eldest or the baby in a family!

I am definitely very happy, but I doubt that I would be less happy with a sibling.

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say not having siblings make you happier. When you have a brother or sister there's someone there for you, and to look out for you. Sure, there are fights, but that’s how you learn about life. If you are an only child you have to learn those lessons that you learn from you siblings somewhere else. I have a sister and I am very happy. One of the reasons I think I am happy for having a sister is because I’ve learnt so much from her. I don't think I could live without her.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

siblings are incredible. i have to admit, sometimes i wish mine would leave me, but i would be INCREDIBLY lonely without him. they teach you things and you need them.. even if you don't want them sometimes.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous XD said...

I have three siblings, sometimes I get really upset with them around but im never miserable. Id be so bored with no siblings. And my house would be way too quiet without them!!!

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOVE MY SISTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10:16 AM  

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