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Having only 1 child..pro's and con's? - Page 2

post #21 of 32
I have some only child friends who are wonderful to be around and some who are a little messed up. In other words, just like my other friends who grew up with siblings! Have the number thats right for you. If you have two and they are the same sex, you will be pressured to keep trying until you have the opposite sex. If you have 3 or 4 kids, some will tell you that you have too many! SHEESH!!!! There will sadly always be some busybody judging you, so its our hard work as parents to ignore them and stick to whats right for us. Sorry you are being pressured, its so juvenile, isn't it?
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiZ
I have some only child friends who are wonderful to be around and some who are a little messed up. In other words, just like my other friends who grew up with siblings! Have the number thats right for you.
Well said!

I'm one of seven siblings who is choosing to have only one child myself. Honestly, like most families, mine has it's issues--some real whoppers. However, while some of my parenting has most definitely been reactionary to the type of parenting I was given, having more than one child is simply not my preferance. Nor is it DH's preferance. One feels right to us. When DS arrived, we felt a very complete family and that hasn't changed. I'm in awe of those who so easily make the leap from one to two or more. That impulse just hasn't taken me and frankly, sometimes I'm surprised by how much I DON'T feel that I would like another child seeing as my inner yearning if you will, to have that one and only was so strong I nearly lost myself in the process.

Indeed, there are those who have forced their (unwanted, unaskedfor) opinions up me (my mother included). There is SO MUCH SOCIETAL PRESSURE about this issue and I've said this before: of all the "uncommon" choices DH and I have made as parents, the decision to have one child only is the one that gets people talking the most. Nevermind that I'm nursing a four year old, that I never let him cry it out, that we're not sending him to school, but WHOAH! You're not going to make him a big brother? What you say? The horror!

That said, I definitely am concerned at times, worry at times about how DS's life will be shaped being an only child. But then again, I see my good friends with 2 and 3 kids be concerned and worry about their kids as well; in relation to having siblings. The list goes on for both parties. Best we can do is make decisions based on our own feelings as a family and then, support each other. The unwanted advice is bothersome, but as all advice goes, it can be taken into consideration, and used or discarded accordingly. I choose not to give advice to others about the size of their familes. I'm surprised when people think it's an ok thing to do alas...

I smile, I nod... And at the end of the day, I do what's right for me, and my family.

The best to you!
Em
post #23 of 32
Hi there.

We just have our little buns, and go back and forth on having more. I really like our family of three though and I worry more about having to have Buns share us than her not having a sibling. I have a brother, who I love dearly but don't see that often even though we live fairly close, we don't have anything in common and went almost 1 1/2 w/out talking because of some issues. I really WANTED to be an ONLY child when we were pre-teen/teenagers because he was horrible and caused some major problems in the family, that only recently have been somewhat better.

All the onlies I know are super smart, sweet and well adjusted. It is all the ones that had siblings that are screwed up :LOL

DH has a sister that lives in another country and she is NO HELP EVER. When she does come to visit she expects us to drive her everywhere, stay with us and is useless in helping with DH's Mother. When we visit her, she wants us to do things for her as well....anyway, I wish DH was an only child :
post #24 of 32
I think there are definitely positives abt having one. In my head I would love bunches of kids, but I can barely, and sometimes not at all, handle two. I think pouring your selves into one child would raise raise an awesome human being. My big reason for wanting more than oneis so that when dh andI are gone, they are not alone. However, having another child does not guarantee that siblingswill like each other or even be there for each other as adults. I think you just have to do what feels right for you. Everyone always encourages you to have more kids. They just want to play with your baby

xoxoxoxo, Michelle
post #25 of 32
My main point about onlies is not that the kids are spoiled or self-centered or anything like that at all. It's that the parents of onlies seem to agonize over every blessed little thing;
are we signed up for the right stuff?
should we choose private school?
should we choose their friends?
should we do summer camp???

I relaxed a lot after my second child was born. There wasn't time to agonize and second guess myself. I made the best choices I could and ran with them. My first child benefitted enormously from a mom that was no longer focused on her every breath. My kids are having a great childhood.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom
My main point about onlies is not that the kids are spoiled or self-centered or anything like that at all. It's that the parents of onlies seem to agonize over every blessed little thing;
are we signed up for the right stuff?
should we choose private school?
should we choose their friends?
should we do summer camp???

I relaxed a lot after my second child was born. There wasn't time to agonize My kids are having a great childhood.
I think this is an unfair generalization of Parents of Onlies. The above statement could apply to ANY family size.

To the OP, there is a popular book Parenting an Only Child by Susan Newman which debunks the myths and stereotypes of Only
Children.http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books



I have an Only by *Choice* and I don't worry about raising a spoiled child, it's all about parenting styles
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom
I relaxed a lot after my second child was born. I made the best choices I could and ran with them. My first child benefitted enormously from a mom that was no longer focused on her every breath.
I understand what you are saying. I think when my dd1 was an only (she was four when dd2 was born - though I must admit that we always knew we'd have at least two kids), I overthought every single thing! It was exhausting! Which preschool to choose was a full time job for the better part of a year! The amount of research, calls, visits, open houses, preschool information nights, notes (oh the notes - I could have written a book!), multiple deposits as my first choice registered after my second choice, on and on... When in reality, 3/4 of the MANY schools I considered would have been great.

When I had an only, I overscheduled her - there is so much and it is all fun and I want her to try everything to see what she likes and be comfortable in a variety of situations. Now I have three and am much more reasonable in my options for what each can do. Dd1 is in elementary and takes piano once a week - every now and then she takes a six week art class downtown. Dd2 in in pre-K and a ballet/tap class. Dd3 is in a music class. That is it - well, other than two weeks of swim lessons each summer - when the other classes/schools are not happening.

I am also MUCH more mellow, as philomom said about herself. It is nice not to stress about stuff. I think I am better now about giving the appropriate amount of focus on decisions, as well as less "taking it personally" when dd misbehaves or fails - I think I am just more reasonable and down to earth.

Some moms may be able to be mellow with their first baby/kid, but for me it was a HUGE change when dd2 and 3 came along. If I get any more mellow, not sure what I'll do! :LOL
post #28 of 32
It seems like there are two main schools of thought against only children;

1. that the child will be damaged by incorrect parenting (spoiling, smothering, etc.)
2. that the child will be emotionally and mentally deprived because of the lack of a sibling

I wholeheartedly disagree with both. My husband and my best friend are both only children, generous, loving, responsible, normal, healthy adults. Who don't want siblings, and were happy to be only children.

First, there are many, many children who are spoiled and smothered who have siblings. Some parents pick favorites even amongst several children who they dote upon. Some parents overschedule all of their children, regardless of how many there are. Most "spoiling" comes from giving in to bad behavior, like responding to tantrums with bribery (candy, toys, etc). A good parent is going to be a good parent regardless of how many children they want- in fact, a parent is going to be the best parent they can be when they are happy with the size of their family. It's a really bad idea to have a second child you don't want because you're afraid you're going to do a bad job with the first. A better idea would be to speak to other parents, read books, or talk with a pediatrician or even a counselor if you feel your child is becoming a selfish or spoiled child. The most spoiled child I know is my sister. She is so spoiled, in fact, that she cannot even carry on an adult conversation at age 18- if someone offends her, she immediately begins crying or otehrwise drawing attention upon herself until the offender apologizes, and she refuses to forgive them anyways. Obviously she's not an only, I was four when she was born.

The second theory, that a child will be undoubtedly deprived of a playmate, best friend, and partner in parental caregiving later on in life, is also completely untrue. Of all the people you know, how many would say their sibling is their best friend? I know many people with siblings, and I cannot think of one who would say this, including myself. My sister is a friend, but not a best one, not even a great one. She has hurt me in ways that, had she not been related to me, I would have cut her out of my life long ago. Yes, we played as children. I also played with my friends, as did she. We also fought a lot, but no more than usual.

I have nannyed for a family with two little girls aged two years apart. Friends? Barely. In over a year of being with them every day, I could count on one hand the hours they spent playing happily together. Their personalities clashed terribly. They were always happier when alone. So there are no guarantees a second child will be a playmate for the first. Not to mention the possibility, however unlikey or difficult it is to imagine, that a second child could be handicapped mentally or physically to the point that play would be impossible. Not to mention even if they did get along, there is no guarantee the second sibling could get sick or have an accident and die, leaving a huge impact on the first.

As far as taking care of elderly parents, we would be lucky enough if ONE of our children took care of us, as in this society it is much more common to be locked away in a home. My grandmother has SIX children, yet once she became too mentally incompetent to live on her own (they decided), she was sent to live in a very nice home. Some of the siblings help take care of her. Some do nothing. My sister did nothing to help me care for our other grandmother these past three weeks when Nanna had a very difficult time recovering from surgery. And Nanna has a living daughter, who did nothing. Myself and one other granddaughter, out of a medium sized family, were the only ones to do anything helpful. So I would seriously reconsider that as a reason to bring another life into the world.

Sorry to write a novel. In my belief, there is only one reason to bring a child into the world, whether it's your first, second, or 9th-

Because you and your husband want to raise another child.
post #29 of 32
I'd say my brother is in a 3 way tie with my mom and my husband for my "best friend". We've had our times when we haven't been so close, like when he first went away to college plus he could not stand my boyfriend at the time, (good sense on his part. I got badly burned in that relationship) but for the most part, we've always been close.
post #30 of 32
I'm an only. My DH is an only. I think we're just fine. :LOL Due to our own experiences, (both of us losing a parent at rather young ages) we will have another child. That is more down to us feeling up for another one and fitting our family though. Having an only fits you and your family... that is what's best for you. It's great that you recognize this. It's easy to do what your told, it's far hard to chose your own path.
post #31 of 32
We have just one, and contrary to what philomom said, we don't stress out about much of anything. One of the reasons we're probably stopping with one child is because I feel as though with more children we would end up feeling pulled in too many directions (financially, emotionally, etc.)

All 3 of us are really relaxed, laid-back people. And Dh and I feel pretty confident with our choices for her. I feel as though if I had another child I would end up rethinking things too much, or worrying unnecessarily about the stuff that doesn't matter that much.

If anyone's interested in the environmental / zpg aspect, there's a book called "Maybe One" which is pretty good. Kind of dry and full of statistics, but interesting.
post #32 of 32
SOOOOO glad I found this thread!! I was going to post about the doubts I've been having lately about just having 1 child, but I feel so much better now. I read a book on the subject a few months ago -- You and Your Only Child but doubts and/or the desire to have another one still pop up in my mind from time to time. I'm glad to see all my reasons to have 1 are shared by many of you. That's why I love these discussion boards so!! I can always find the support I need. Happy mothering!
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