Siblings vs Only Children: Who has it better?

Maddie Cox, Staff Writer

Siblings: both friends to have forever and burdens to live with. One day you can be enjoying a game of Frisbee out in the yard, and the next day you can be at each other’s throats because of some stupid video game.
With siblings there are many pro and cons, depending on which age group they sit in and how many siblings theyhave. According to the Chicago Tribune, about 80 percent of Americans have at least one sibling.
“If you’re the younger sibling then you can learn from your older siblings. Or if you’re the older sibling then you can share your responsibilities with your other siblings,” Victoria Rodriguez-Temko, freshman, said.
However, being the middle child of four in her family, Temko also says that one of the cons of having siblings is that she’s always being compared to them.
”You usually get compared for which one is the better one,” Temko said.
Zach Hafner, senior, has a different view on the situation being the older brother.
“I feel like sometimes I have to set a good example all the time, and it could be tough because I want to do something else, like I don’t want to take him to practice. But then [my younger brother] might know that I don’t want to, and the fact that I still do, and I don’t complain about it could show him how to handle his responsibilities,” Hafner said.
While he has a good relationship with his younger brother, Hafner says that maybe it would’ve made his transition into high school a bit easier if he didn’t have the responsibilities of having to take care of him, or maybe had an older sibling to guide him down his own path instead of trying to create one for his brother. Yet, that being said, Hafner still finds the advantages of having his little brother around.
“He’s always going to be there for me when I need him, and I can teach him and be a good example for him to follow,” Hafner said.
There are those, however, who have never had the opportunity to have these experiences.
“I think an advantage of being an only child is that you don’t really need to take care of a sibling. You have more free time on your hands, and you’ll never have to babysit a young sibling,” Anna Wheet, freshman, said.
“What we’ve seen is that the attention of the parent is going to be specific in a 100% fashion to that child, whereas children born with siblings there is going to be some division of that attention.” John Pereiro, psych teacher said.
According to, a researcher by the name of Douglas Downey, found kindergarteners who had no siblings scored lower on social skills and self-control. Whereas siblings fight each other, have conflicts, but figure out how to resolve those conflicts.
While others with siblings may have more responsibilities, that doesn’t mean that only children have it easy. Wheet says that she often feels pressured to do better than she would if she had a sibling to split the role of being a good student.
For others, it doesn’t seem to affect them all that much.
“It’s not very difficult to be an only child, at least for me. The only challenges I️ ever face is that I️ often have to do all the chores for my family and my parents put all of their effort into me, so I️ want to do good for them,” Ty Doman, freshman, said.
As for which one seems to be the better lifestyle, both have their pro and cons. Many people who have siblings wish they were an only child.
“I️ feel like people often want to be an only child because they think that it’s an easier life and that they get to be away from whatever their siblings do to annoy them,” Doman said.
That being said, it could go both ways.
”I feel like with a sibling there’s always going to be someone there for you,” Hafner said. “The times that you really need them they’re always going to be there for you.”