Being an only child can cause challenges


Rachel Handwerg

Peyton Beverwyk being held by parents Chris Beverwyk and Rachel Handwerg

Peyton Beverwyk

Attention seeker, spoiled-brat, selfish, and lonely. Many of those names have crossed the mouths of the people around me. I am an only child. There are many pros and cons about being an only child, but from personal experience, being an only child is not the lavish lifestyle many believe. 

   Being an only child makes me more independent. I work more on my own to solve problems, easing the process to make a name for myself since I’m not living in anyone’s shadow. I don’t get mistaken for a different name. 

Peyton Beverwyk reading a book (Rachel Handwerg)

  I don’t have to share anything with siblings. I receive undivided love and attention from my parents, because who else is going to receive that love and attention but me? I don’t have to share anything. When I was younger, my skills like reading and writing developed because of my parents only having to read to one kid at night before I went to bed.

   Christmases and birthdays were enjoyable, receiving most of the gifts I had asked for. At a young age, I didn’t understand the value of a dollar and took for granted most of the things I owned. 

   When I was younger, I was spoiled, but as I grew into my teen years, that spoilage disappeared. Getting a job has taught me the value of a dollar and how I choose to spend my money. This affected me and has made me appreciate the things given to me. I rarely ask for anything anymore, but if I do, both my parents and I work hard to get the things I ask for. I work hard for what I want, but not everyone in my family sees that. 

   My parents understand that I have to work for what I want. I excel in school and have a job that pays well. There is no need for my relatives to rain on my parade when I’m succeeding. Recently I bought a car, a car with my own hard earned cash. I had family saying that I don’t deserve this, that I’m spoiled. I’m the one who is paying for the car, not my parents, and yes, I deserve this car because I’ve worked so hard. 

   I have struggled with self-confidence, because I don’t have a figure to look up to. I live my life through my friends. Some friends aren’t the greatest influence, but siblings aren’t all the time either. Being an only child is demanding. There is a lot of pressure on me. In my circumstances, neither of my parents attended college, and I don’t have any siblings who went through the process, either. Therefore, I feel like I am on my own when planning, deciding, and preparing for college. 

   My parents are definitely overprotective, and I understand why. I’m their baby, the only piece that is their life. If something were to happen to any parent’s child, they would be devastated. I struggle to socialize with people, mostly because I don’t get to experience all the things that families with multiple children would have. Like huge Christmases and parties. In the future, I will never experience having nieces or nephews unless I marry someone who has siblings. 

Peyton Beverwyk enjoying life and throwing sand at the beach (Rachel Handwerg)

   The odds are not in my favor. I have been pressured to carry on my family name, which I can do. Many traditional roles have been broken when marrying someone, including taking your own last name when wedded. My parents and grandparents have discussed this with me, but there’s a possibility I don’t want to keep my family name when married to stick to traditional roles. I don’t understand why all the pressure is put on me when my parents had only one kid. 

   The cons for sure outweigh the pros when being an only child and again, being an only child isn’t the lavish lifestyle many believe. I’m grateful for what I have become and there is no shame in my parents for deciding to have one kid, and if I could, I wouldn’t change anything about my life. This is how I grew up. I grew up as an only child.