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On Being an Only Child in a Military Family

Each military kid’s story is unique. We asked Sophia, an Army kid, to talk about what it’s like being an only child in a military family. Maybe you can relate? What is your experience as an only child in a military family?


Being an only child in a military family can be boring but also fun. Here are a few thoughts on what’s it’s like…

The military kid part…

Moving is always the worst because there’s no one to play with right away and you don’t know anyone at school. That’s when I get really bored. But just because you are an only child does not mean you can’t experience the fun of moving — the fun of seeing new sights and the fun of living in a new house. Moving to a different country is the most fun.

I really miss the small towns where we lived in Germany. Everybody knew everybody. I could walk to school with my friends. In our small town, almost all the kids lived walking distance from our house. I did not have to call a week ahead just to go play with them. I could just walk over there and they were rarely away.

The regular kid part…

What do you do when your parents are both busy? Your homework is done. No more studying to do. No good TV shows on. Too buggy outside. No neighborhood kids. Friends are not home. Dogs are sleeping. You are stuck. I have those problems every once in a while. I get frustrated but there is something hidden — something that is possible to do but I can not think of it. Sometimes my cure comes when the mailman arrives with a new magazine.

Magazines are always entertaining. They have crafts, activities, and more. Also, sometimes I go in my room and it is super messy. I decide to put on the radio to my favorite classic rock station and clean. My desk area is always the messiest and the most fun because I find old stories I’ve written or old pictures I’ve drawn. I spend hours looking at old things. Before I know it, it is dinner time.The day is done and I used it up.

And then the awesome stuff part…

As much as I want a sibling, it is nice being an only child. My family can afford to travel more because there aren’t as many of us. When we were stationed in Germany, we got to travel to places like Sweden, Sardenia, Slovenia, and even Turkey. I visited over 20 countries by the time I was eight-years-old.

And then I asked for a … poodle! Yep. She’s the perfect buddy.

Even though I get bored and lonely sometimes, my poodle Emmy keeps me company. Three years ago, I wished for a new dog because our family dog slept all the time and did not play. I asked for my puppy for Christmas and my wish came true. Now she is my best friend and sleeps in my bed.

It’s not always easy being an only child in a military family, but I have a lot of fun.

Sophia is an 11-year-old girl who lives in Northern Virginia. She lived in Germany for four years and speaks fluent German. She has two dogs and wants to be a climate scientist when she grows up.

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1 Comment

  1. S.M. on April 3, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    I know it’s an old post, but thank you for this. I’m a military spouse and I think having only one child is the best option for our family, but I’m struggling with guilt and asking myself if my daughter would suffer from this choice even more than a “regular” child ’cause of the military life…

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