The secret of a happy child is having no siblings

Only children are happier than those with brothers and sisters, a new study suggests

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An only child is more content and confident than those with siblings, reports The Observer.

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Happiness in children declines once there are more siblings in the home, an Understanding Society research study has found.

More than 50% of those surveyed said a sibling had bullied them and one in three said they had been hit, kicked or pushed on regular occasions.  Others said they had been called names and had their things stolen by other siblings.

The study, which looked at 100,000 British people in 40,000 homes, also found that only children didn’t have to fight for parental attention or have to share their bedroom with their other sibings, said Gundi Knies, one of researchers.

Although the research didn’t focus on the impact of sibling rivalry on parents, it was a point that wasn’t ignored.

“From anecdotal reports, quarrelling siblings increase stress for parents and some just give up intervening or intervene inconsistently, leaving the field wide open for the bully sibling,” said the University of Warwick’s Dieter Wolke.
 
“In an average home, the more children, the less privacy for each child. Some love sharing a bedroom with a sibling but they would rather choose to do it than have to do it,” said Dr Ruth Koppard, a child psychologist.

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The official study results will be published on Friday.

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