Only Child Benefits, According to Those Who Lived It - Parenting Expert, Susan Newman Ph.D.
Apr 28, The truth is, I loved being an only child when I was younger. I was able to develop unique relationships with both of my parents that I'm sure. Sep 28, Only children are used to hearing that they never learned to share or about very important life social lessons is through my sibling relationships." You will know your parents as long as they are around, but siblings can. Foster your child's independence. Since only children develop such a close relationship with their parents, some become too reliant on them for moral support.
I encountered many content only children while writing my book, The Case for the Only Child. They expressed happiness and enthusiasm about having being raised without siblings. Onlies in their 20s, 40s, 60s and 70s shared their feelings. They revealed five distinct only child benefits: Irene expressed it this way: They spent a lot of time with me playing and helping me with my homework, helping me study, and they were always at whatever I was interested in.
If I was playing softball that year, they were at every game.
The seven ages of an only child | Life and style | The Guardian
I definitely got a lot of attention and love. I suppose the big age gap reflects the fact that I wanted to give my elder daughter that "only child" experience for as long as possible. I do find having two children scary. The problem is I've absolutely no experience of this kind of situation: And on a practical level, things like sibling rivalry are going to be a whole new ball game. Ann Richardson, 49 I always felt a little odd, and assumed it was something about me.
It was only in my 30s, when I was training to be a psychotherapist, that I found myself with a group of only children, describing our experiences.
It was a revelation because it made me realise that other people felt many of the same things. Growing up in a small unit means the experience is intense, so we can be rather intense, especially in relationships.
Raising an Only Child
Paradoxically, we also need space and quiet, which can cause problems with partners, who might misinterpret it as rejection. We're often socially mature and present a confident exterior that hides a lot of turmoil and insecurity. There isn't another child that you can watch, compare yourself with and compete against. It's a missing experience. I think that does leave disadvantages in adult life: But there are pluses too. Time alone helps you become resourceful, develop your imagination and creativity.
- The seven ages of an only child
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I think the ability to operate on your own can sometimes give you the impetus to really go for something. Geoff Allinson, 60 When I was 13 my father died, and what sticks in my mind is how, at his funeral, a neighbour put her hand on my shoulder and said, "You're the man of the house now, Geoff. You've got to look after your mother.
I was only a boy. We were very close, as you are when there's just the two of you: Three years later Mum married again, and I remember feeling such relief, because now I could live my own life.
Over the following decades I was married and raising my own three children - I always wanted more than one - but there was always this worry in the back of my mind that one day my mother would be on her own again, and I'd be the only person there for her. Then six years ago, my stepfather died. I was living down south and my mum was in Leeds, so there was a big distance involved and that made things hard. It was very draining, not having anyone else to share it all with; not just the practical stuff, but the worry too.
In the end I decided to give up my job to care for her, and I moved her down to live with me. I'm pleased to think that, in the years ahead, my kids have one another to share the difficulties with. Slow down, and make sure your only child has a childhood. Don't ask for perfection. For most only children, perfectionism seems to go with the territory.
Only children want so much to please their parents, and because they peer with adults, they take on adult standards, says Carl E. While it's fine to want the best for your child, it's important not to make your goals and anxieties his. Since onlies often receive parental approval for their many successes or even their attemptsparents need to explain that their love is not conditioned on the child's performance.
Keep Splurging to a Minimum Keep gifts in check. Experts warn that when onlies are bombarded with gifts and their every wish is fulfilled, they get the message, "I always get what I want. Emotional protests will likely follow, but taking this stand will be beneficial in the long run.
A Note to Mothers of Only Children — from an Only Child Herself | Babble
Parents need to realize that it's not the gifts that matter; it's time spent with the child that's most important. Don't overindulge your child. During early childhood, an only child's expressions of need are responded to quickly. In contrast, children with siblings need to "wait in line" to have their needs met. And learning how to wait, says Dr. Tanner, is a vital lesson. To prevent only children from developing an attitude of "What I want, I get," parents should: Set limits Stick to household rules Instill discipline through guidelines and expectations Parents of onlies also have to learn this valuable lesson: You can't get hung up on the notion that your child always has to be happy.
If you dote on your only child and satisfy his every whim, you'll regret doing so in the long run, says Pickhardt.