As an adult, I just Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off," but as a teenager, I couldn't help but wonder if it was true. I knew I got more Christmas and birthday presents than most of my friends, but was I spoiled or just part of an emotionally distant family that could only express love through the spending of what I assume was drug money? It's not a fun thing to worry about at a time when you're already worrying about how to get the attention of the cute girl in math class and why your penis is so much bigger than all the others in the locker room.
People who say things like that don't mean to be insulting; it's just a knee jerk reaction to a stereotype we all grew up with. I'm sure I annoy one-legged people when I ask them what their pet parrot is named. But where are all the only children perpetuating the stereotypes? Are there a bunch of Richie Rich types lurking in the suburbs that I'm not aware of? It's annoying to discover that, despite a lack of evidence, some people are going to assume you're a brat and wait for you to demonstrate otherwise.
"If you want to prove you aren't selfish, you can start by buying me some ice cream."
On the Scale of Hurtful Stereotypes, assumptions about only children rank just above assumptions about how much fun you have in life based on your hair colour, and so far below actual damaging stereotypes that anything involving a black person is a distant speck on the racist horizon. But if we're going to perpetuate stereotypes about only children, why not spread the fact that they tend to perform slightly better on IQ tests? I've yet to meet someone who's said, "You're an only child? You must be so smart!" and I can't begin to imagine why that is.