Throwing the double-six of life

PUBLISHED: 10:44 04 June 2018

If you have siblings then you learn board-game skills...

If you have siblings then you learn board-game skills...

Copyright:Sergey Novikov (SerrNovik)

Being an only child means you're rubbish at board games. But there are compensations, says Sharon Griffiths.

Liz Hurley says she regrets having an only child because 16-year-old Damian is “more insular”.

He’s probably rubbish at board games too.

Liz fears he’s missing out on siblings “to quarrel with and love”. Maybe. But at least he’s not unusual.

Many more children don’t have siblings these days. One is becoming almost the norm. But don’t feel sorry for only children, they might be the lucky ones.

As a virtually only child (my much older half-sister left home when I was two), I yearned for board games. But cousins or friends absolutely trounced me every time. They played fiercely and competitively, had honed their not-quite-cheating skills to vicious perfection and left me with neither house nor hotel and permanently at the bottom of a snake, waiting sadly for a double-six.

Still I came back for more because one day I thought I’d get the hang of it. I never did. Not enough practice.

But with both parents working full-time from the time I was seven, I had other skills. I could cope with the silence of a big empty house. I could entertain myself. I could cook and cope with emergencies.

Above all, although I had plenty of friends, I was self-reliant and entirely content with my own company. And I read my way - in peace - through nearly every book in our local library.

Which was a lot more fun than winning at Monopoly.

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