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#1 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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(x posted in any mums of an only tribe) So DH asked last night how we would deal with it when kids at preschool/school ask DS how come he doesn't have brothers and sisters. He's only 17mo now so its not too much of an issue and if grown ups/relatives start pushing the issue with us at the moment we just say "we got it right the first time" but we were talking about how if DS came out with that comment it would be taken as arrogant. Any tips from older onlys about dealing with this question?
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#2 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 02:33 AM
 
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Dd is an only and about to turn 9 years old.  She has never been asked this question.  Ever... and she's been in the same school since she was 3.5 yo.

 

If that question comes up, I think a good answer is probably,  "We wanted one child."  Leave it at that.  No need to elaborate.  You need no justification for your decision any more than people with 6 kids do.  I will say that I don't like the "we got it right the first time" comment.  It implies that people of multiple kids didn't like their eldest enough to stop there.  It leaves a bad taste in my mouth (and we're parents of an only, so I can't imagine how it would make parents of many feel).

 

Until you posted this question this is something that did not even cross my mind that kids would ask dd about this, TBH.

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#3 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 03:03 AM
 
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My oldest was an only for 13 years, it wasn't something that ever came up. 

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#4 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 03:21 AM
 
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Dd is 5.5 and has never been asked that. However, she herself certainly does see it as somrthing unusual and would like to have many siblings. (We are dealing with secondary infertility and know a lot of larger families, so it is a bit different for our dd, I would imagine. She knows we would like more kids and it just has not happened.)


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#5 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 06:35 AM
 
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I am an only and was never ever asked that in all of my many years of school.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about it.  He can always say "my parents only wanted to have one kid", yk?  There are so many onlies out there, it's not like it's at all unusual or anything.  And if you're just thinking of the preschool/early school years, there are likely to be even more onlies (because there will be a percentage of "older siblings" whose younger sibling[s) just haven't come along yet, iykwim).


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#6 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 06:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pianojazzgirl View Post

I am an only and was never ever asked that in all of my many years of school.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about it.  He can always say "my parents only wanted to have one kid", yk?  There are so many onlies out there, it's not like it's at all unusual or anything.  And if you're just thinking of the preschool/early school years, there are likely to be even more onlies (because there will be a percentage of "older siblings" whose younger sibling[s) just haven't come along yet, iykwim).



Same here, I've never been asked in all my life, and it never occured to me that someone might ask ME that. Sure, people might ask the PARENTS that, but the kid? Why? How would the kid know?

 

If I'd been asked that as a kid I'm sure I would have looked at the person like they had three heads and said "I don't know? Why do you have a sister?" But I think that would be a really bizarre question - like a kid being asked "when/where did your parents conceive you?" or "did your mother have the baby blues when you were born?"


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#7 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 08:05 AM
 
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My daughter is 14 and is an only child. When she was younger people would ask ME when we were going to have another child or even why we didn't have any more children. Even people I didn't know well would ask me these questions and it would get on my nerves. No one asked my daughter, though. Her friends think it is cool that she doesn't have any siblings to bother her and love to come over to our house and hang out. I wouldn't worry about it!

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#8 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 08:25 AM
 
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My son is 9 and has never been asked this question.  He has been asked "do you have any brothers or sisters, etc" and he just answers no and they move on. (For a while there he used to answer yes becuase he considers the dogs his siblings, LOL!)

 

I on the other hand get asked this ALL the time. To point of which I have chosen to be brutally honest with the really pushy ones who won't let if go. 

"Um, well honestly after 3 miscarriages before having him and then miscarrying the triplets one-at-a-time over 3 months and then 2 more failed IVF attempts I figured it was time to give up.  But really, thanks for asking". 


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#9 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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Dd is 10 and has always been homeschooled but also has not been asked by anyone- adult or child- why she doesn't have a brother or sister. I just don't think other kids care that much.

I would just tell your child to say I don't know or because my parents didn't have another child. Unless you want your fertility discussed, I see no reason to have him prepared to say any more.

 

You are not required to explain or defend your family size to anyone. "We got it right the first time" is kind of snotty even coming from an adult. I would reserve it for when someone has really been harassing you. You could simply try "Sex and reproduction is a pretty private matter that dh and I have agreed not to discuss that aspect of our marriage with others except as a medical necessity."

 

FWIW, people stopped asking me when we would have another child after dd was 5 I think. At some point people will give up.

 

 

 

 


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#10 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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My child is 4 and she has never been asked that question.  I agree with a pp that your response of "We got it right the first time" could be a little rude.  I have generally just told people that we love our family just the way it is right now.  I have had people ask a lot of questions in the past and if I feel up to it I will tell them that I almost died delivering my dd and I have a high possibility of having the same problems.  I'd rather have one child then leave my husband with two to raise on his own. 

 

My dd has told me that she was sad that there aren't more people on her family tree (a craft project they did at school).  I explained to her that our family tree is even bigger with all of our extended family.


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#11 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 02:33 PM
 
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My daughter is 5.5, and she has been asked by a classmate; afaik, she just didn't answer. It didnt' seem to upset her.

 

I sometimes use the "I got it right the first time" usually followed with the fact that I wanted more kids, actually, and life just didn't work out that way. I did have a woman basically follow me arundhte swimming pool once,with her brood, (I forget how many) insisting I should have more nad telling my child how great a brother or sister would be. I kind of wished i"d told her right off I did it right the first time, but I had no idea a stranger would be so pushy about it. therwise, she was nice, though,and her kids were adorable!

 

I was hoping there'd be more answers in this thread, since my kid HAS been asked, but hey, maybe no one will ask her again...I hope not. It's a senitive topic for me, as I DO want more, but for several reasons won't be having more. I'm glad to hear people back off eventually.

 

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#12 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess we were only wondering about this question as we seem to get asked ALL THE TIME and have had quite a few people be rude, pushy, disbelieving (telling us we'll change our minds), belittling etc when we say we only want one child. I've ended up in tears about it before and I suppose we were worrying that DS would be subjected to the same treatment. He has already had a relative say to him "look what you've done you've turned your parents off having more children" Now he was only 1 at the time and very high needs and also wouldn't have understood a word that was said but I still was disgusted by such a comment.

Thanks for all the reassurance that its a question that doesn't come up for kids. Oh and BTW the "We got it right the first time" comment is something I use now when people with multiple kids get really rude and pushy and start spouting "only" myths, it is probably not the best way to react but hey I'm no saint and I don't question the way other people live their lives so I still find it offensive when they question the way I live mine.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

My oldest was an only for 13 years, it wasn't something that ever came up. 



Yeah, this. My DS was an only for 7 years, and I don't think anyone ever asked him about his "only" status (unless you count my IL's asking him when his mom and dad were going to give him a little sister or brother!)  Other children never asked him about it, though some expressed how lucky they thought he was to not have to share his toys, games, etc. Only-child questions seem to be the domain of adults.


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#14 of 25 Old 12-07-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jellybeanmumma View Post

I guess we were only wondering about this question as we seem to get asked ALL THE TIME and have had quite a few people be rude, pushy, disbelieving (telling us we'll change our minds), belittling etc when we say we only want one child. I've ended up in tears about it before and I suppose we were worrying that DS would be subjected to the same treatment. He has already had a relative say to him "look what you've done you've turned your parents off having more children" Now he was only 1 at the time and very high needs and also wouldn't have understood a word that was said but I still was disgusted by such a comment.

Thanks for all the reassurance that its a question that doesn't come up for kids. Oh and BTW the "We got it right the first time" comment is something I use now when people with multiple kids get really rude and pushy and start spouting "only" myths, it is probably not the best way to react but hey I'm no saint and I don't question the way other people live their lives so I still find it offensive when they question the way I live mine.



Wow, didn't see this post, OP. It was horribly rude and very unkind of your relative to talk to your son that way. I'm sorry that happened. I can understand your concern about the questioning now that your son has been spoken to so negatively about his status as an only.


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#15 of 25 Old 12-08-2010, 03:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jellybeanmumma View Post

I guess we were only wondering about this question as we seem to get asked ALL THE TIME and have had quite a few people be rude, pushy, disbelieving (telling us we'll change our minds), belittling etc when we say we only want one child. I've ended up in tears about it before and I suppose we were worrying that DS would be subjected to the same treatment. He has already had a relative say to him "look what you've done you've turned your parents off having more children" Now he was only 1 at the time and very high needs and also wouldn't have understood a word that was said but I still was disgusted by such a comment.

Thanks for all the reassurance that its a question that doesn't come up for kids. Oh and BTW the "We got it right the first time" comment is something I use now when people with multiple kids get really rude and pushy and start spouting "only" myths, it is probably not the best way to react but hey I'm no saint and I don't question the way other people live their lives so I still find it offensive when they question the way I live mine.


You seriously need to get away from these people.  They sound absolutely TOXIC.  Normal people don't do this.  I have never had to defend our decision... not to family and not to friends.  Not from friends/family members of many and not from friends/family members who have no children at all.

 

FTR - I don't think you're going to have to worry about your ds getting this at school.  People just don't act this way.  I mean, not in real life.  Your situation is so much of an outlier that it is beyond belief and it's not something I would expect to happen at school.  In the meantime, run, fast, away from these "friends" and "family".  Your son will most likely be fine in school because the kids are probably more stable than the people you are getting these comments from.  These comments are not normal.  Good luck!

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#16 of 25 Old 12-08-2010, 09:49 AM
 
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Ds, age 9, has never been asked.  I got asked a few times when he was younger if I was going to have more but that tapered off as he got older.  


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#17 of 25 Old 12-08-2010, 09:56 AM
 
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That has been brought up to my son (4) by strangers....doesn't phase him, yet.  I also from family get the "when are you going to have number 2?" or when seeing a sweet infant...."gee isn't that what you need?"  The thing is....we are trying (8 months and have had my first apt with a fertility specialist).  They don't know this...but still it irks me just the same.


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#18 of 25 Old 12-08-2010, 04:36 PM
 
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As an only child myself, I have never had this question come up in nearly 25 years of life. I wouldn't worry about it. :)


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#19 of 25 Old 12-08-2010, 08:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jellybeanmumma View Post

I guess we were only wondering about this question as we seem to get asked ALL THE TIME and have had quite a few people be rude, pushy, disbelieving (telling us we'll change our minds), belittling etc when we say we only want one child. I've ended up in tears about it before and I suppose we were worrying that DS would be subjected to the same treatment. He has already had a relative say to him "look what you've done you've turned your parents off having more children" Now he was only 1 at the time and very high needs and also wouldn't have understood a word that was said but I still was disgusted by such a comment.

Thanks for all the reassurance that its a question that doesn't come up for kids. Oh and BTW the "We got it right the first time" comment is something I use now when people with multiple kids get really rude and pushy and start spouting "only" myths, it is probably not the best way to react but hey I'm no saint and I don't question the way other people live their lives so I still find it offensive when they question the way I live mine.



I'm sorry people have been so unkind... especially saying that to your DS... how awful!

 

I would suggest that if people start getting rude and pushy that you use the last line line of your post "I'm not questioning your decisions, and I find it offensive that you are questioning mine."  I think that it's a more direct response to the inappropriate behavior.  Plus, I am a first born, and have always been rather sensitive... if, as a child, I had heard someone use the response, "we got it right the first time" I probably would have internalized it and thought "so my parents didn't get it right with me?  Did they mess up on me?  Or was I just not good enough so they needed to have another?" So, even if it's meant as a cut to the rude parent, I think it could end up being hurtful to a first born child.  

 

It's really awful to be put in a position where you feel like you have to defend yourself.  It's hard for me to understand how people can find it acceptable to be so disrespectful.

 


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#20 of 25 Old 12-09-2010, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:

 

You seriously need to get away from these people.  They sound absolutely TOXIC.  Normal people don't do this.  I have never had to defend our decision... not to family and not to friends.  Not from friends/family members of many and not from friends/family members who have no children at all.

 

FTR - I don't think you're going to have to worry about your ds getting this at school.  People just don't act this way.  I mean, not in real life.  Your situation is so much of an outlier that it is beyond belief and it's not something I would expect to happen at school.  In the meantime, run, fast, away from these "friends" and "family".  Your son will most likely be fine in school because the kids are probably more stable than the people you are getting these comments from.  These comments are not normal.  Good luck!

 

Yeah there are some toxic people in my life - but that's a whole other story. My mother told me for my whole life that if I was the first born I would have been an only child because I was so difficult so she just loves digging the boot in now that I have a spirited child. Served me right apparently. She was out of my life for ages but is back in. I have culled so many toxic people from my life in the past few years that there are very few people left that I can turn to. Oh well. Thank goodness for annonymous internet forums hey? My inlaws are awesome but they "want a football team" of grandkids so don't really get the decision to stop at one. And the mums at playgroup just don't believe me and keep telling me Ill be pregnant again soon. I'm glad to hear people saying the comments taper off eventually though...
 

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#21 of 25 Old 12-09-2010, 04:52 AM
 
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@jellybeanmumma you might want to look into the psychological profile of sensation-seeking people.  Many are high-needs children and grow into creative adventurous wonderful adults who, when raised by parents who were similar as kids, have a great experience of being allowed to explore and experience childhood in their own way.  


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#22 of 25 Old 12-09-2010, 04:58 AM
 
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My dd was an only for 7 years, and no one ever asked her about it, and in fact people were surprised when we decided to have a second.  I wouldn't overthink this.

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#23 of 25 Old 12-09-2010, 06:31 AM
 
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My DS is 7 and he's homeschooled but we have a large network of friends & family, and this has never come up. And I confess I can be a little snarky when it comes to certain questions that betray a lack of imagination or a certain "there's only one 'normal' way to do something" kind of thinking).

 

So when I read your hypothetical question, I first thought of the answer

 

"Why do you ask?" (seriously, rather than being put on the defensive, find out why they are asking. It can take the conversation in a more constructive direction)

 

and if they persist in wanting to know WHY, your child can say

 

"I don't know. It wasn't my decision. Would you like to ask my mother? Here's our phone number."

 

Now, in my household that's no big deal; my son doesn't have a problem in the world calling up a grownup to ask them a question. But I'm guessing that for most kids that would be a question-stopper.  :-)

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#24 of 25 Old 12-12-2010, 08:24 AM
 
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I don't think my daughter (6 next week) has ever been asked that. If she has then she's probably just not cared enough to even answer! She has always had a few only children as classmates though, so it's not a big deal.


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#25 of 25 Old 12-12-2010, 09:00 PM
 
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dd is 8 and she has never been asked that question. i guess because at her dc/ps there were all kis nds of families. single child, single parent, two mommies, two daddies and blended of course. 

 

and even if she was asked she would probably brush it off as 'i dont know'.

 

eeeeeeee yikes! i just saw your other reply. ugh! that's horrible. it seems to me you should prepare your son to deal with people like them. because it wont stop at this question. they might be mean about other things. 

 

modeling has helped dd deal with certain things when v. young. the best way is to not let those comments get to you. took a lot of work on my part not to be emotionally triggered, but i did it and for the most part ignored them. as she grew older and when the situation demanded i'd explain to my dd everyone has their own opinion - doesnt mean we have to follow them or like or dislike them. just take it at face value and leave it at that. 


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