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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to start a thread so we can get a discussion going. Some of the issues I grapple with as a parent of an only are....<br><br>
- Getting DS to entertain/play by himself.<br>
- Helping him learn to share, take turns, etc.<br>
- Teaching him that the universe does not revolve around him.<br>
- Providing a community environment for him so that he learns the importance of empathy, teamwork and support.<br><br>
Right now he's five and a half and at an age, I feel, where he can really start to understand some of the things I have mentioned above. There are other things that are particular to him but I am not sure if they are just because of his personality or because he is an only. Like.....he never stops talking. Ever. Constantly wanting to engage with me. Also he will argue FOREVER in order to get his way. Of course all kids argue so I don't know if this really has anything to do with being an only!<br><br>
Okay how about you?
 

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My Only is my DD, who will be one in 3 short weeks!! Obviously, we haven't had those types of issues yet. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> DH have already decided she will be our only though, for so many reasons (my age, financial considerations, time, etc.). I have one brother, 3 years older, and we are not very close, and DH is an only child...but I do sometimes wonder if we are "cheating" DD out of a close bond with another person by not having another child. Even if you do have more than one child, though, there is no guarantee they will be close!<br><br>
Anyway, I'm just rambling here because I only have a moment, and I wanted to subscribe to the thread!<br><br>
I look forward to getting to know more Mamas of Onlies, and to learn from all of you!
 

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I have one dd. She will be 5 in Feb. Honestly, I don't have the same issues with her. She does A LOT of pretend play with dolls and figures. She'll engage herself for long periods with this. The only issue we have with this is with coloring. She doesn't like to color on her own and asks us to color with her. She does talk a lot, but that's only an issue when she's had too much sugar. She has been disciplined in school for talking too much, but she's in a language immersion school, and she talks too much in English rather than her target language.<br><br>
The biggest issue we have is her interactions with bullies at school. We don't encounter violence at home since she doesn't have siblings to fight with <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> and she has a really hard time dealing with kids at school that say mean things or hit her. I'm not there to help her with these issues and I don't think the teacher and assistant are able to adequately help her get through them, either, so we end up working on the issue hours after the incident. There is no way to deal with it at the time it happens, so when she's at home, she tends to act out her feelings and we're now the targets.
 

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My ds is 4. Debm, he sounds alot like your ds! He NEVER stops talking.<br>
He went through a phase where he wouldn't be alone and wanted me engaged 24./7 when he turned 4. He is easing up a little.<br><br>
As far as Velochic's issue, he has a more peaceful, quiet personality among his preschool friends. He actually started a 2 day program when he was 3. I was fully prepared to pull him out at any sign of problems, but he really loved it. He had a tough time defending himself from other kids though. Dh and I did alot of role playing with him and taught him things to say and do, "conflict resolution 101" we called it.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
It is tough being home with just him and me most of the time, he gets bored. We have a huge back yard, woods, and a nice playset. Ds will rarely take full advantage of it, unless another child is over, then he has sooo much fun and will play outside for hours. Sometimes I wish I could have another, but it's just not possible.<br><br>
I have lymphoma and am undergoing chemo. Because of this I have expanded his "village" so to speak. He is spending whole afternoons with the granparents, his aunts. I was so worried about how he would separate from me, but it has actually been a positive experience. When I first told him he acted out and was really sad and anxious.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Now that he's had a taste of going out with them, and getting all that attention, treats and 1:1 play from them, he loved it! I also have a friend with 2 little boys and he will get to spend a day with them too.
 

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My dd is 4.5 and we just really came to a firm decision that she's going to be an only a few months ago, after I had my 5th miscarriage (3 before her, 2 after).<br><br>
DD is very social and is thriving at preschool. She also demands a lot of attention at home, which is hard because dh and I both need time to decompress after work and we rarely have it.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">but I do sometimes wonder if we are "cheating" DD out of a close bond with another person by not having another child. Even if you do have more than one child, though, there is no guarantee they will be close!</td>
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Amy, this is something we struggled with too. I'm the youngest of 3, but my oldest brother was abusive to me and I avoid him completely. My dh has an older brother, but they're not very close at all. I think a lot parents assume that their children will be best friends and will love each other forever but that's just not the case. I'd rather dd learn to grow up and learn that she can choose to share her life with people that she loves and respects, and not just because genetics and fate threw them together.
 

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DD is going to be our only. Fortunately she's a bit of an introvert so we don't have the issue of having to occupy her all the time. I'm a wohm so she does get a lot of social interaction at daycare. Learning to share and take turns, etc. We also got her a board game for her birthday so we've used that for lessons in sharing and taking turns.<br><br>
She is a little bossy but I don't think that's b/c she's an only I think it more has to do with the age.<br><br>
I do sometimes worry about her not having a sibling. But I'm sure she'll develop close relationships with people of her own choosing. DH still has friends from nursery school.
 

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DS is 3 and our Only by choice. DH and I have no desire for any more kids. I am so thankful that we are mutual on that because I would be adamant on my decision.<br><br>
I can relate to some of the issues you mentioned. At home, DS gets complete attention from me and DH and never has to *compete*. You could in fact say that we have wrapped our lives around him...and I think he *knows* it...(I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing)<br><br>
He is just now starting to play by himself at longer stretches. Give DS some Cars, trains or anything with wheels and I can have a cup of coffee and loaf through a magazine for about 30minutes. After that, he is ready to be engaged in whatever.<br><br>
He is not in school...he is at home with DH (WAHD) during the day...everyday. DH and I have agreed that he will start Pre-K next August 07. We do not feel he is ready at this time. However, it is very difficult for DH to get any work done as DS is EXTREMELY active. There are times when DH has to take him to his meetings with clients and he expresses frustration that the meeting was not productive. So we have to work on that.<br><br>
I've found that if I play with him for a good solid 20 minutes, then I am OFF the hook so to speak. I don't like Kid's Play. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> But I do it for DS.<br><br>
He has lots of toys...mostly hand me downs which he has outgrown. Toys for Babies and Toddlers. For Christmas, he is getting a slew of new toys.<br><br>
He does not like to share at all. In fact he is going through a "It's Mine!" stage. Even with me. I am getting him a book on Sharing from Barnes and Nobles to introduce the concept. So I DO have a "sharing problem"<br><br>
Taking Turns is hard for him too. He thinks it's his turn every time. So, I have to work on that.<br><br>
DS talks Nonstop too. And my patience is thin these days because I have alot on my mind and I need to *think*. I am a type of Mom who needs lots of quiet time.<br><br>
When he doesn't get what he wants he throws a complete Tantrum, kicking a screaming. Every time we go to the store, he *expects* a new Hotwheels car.<br><br>
The last time we went to the store and I denied him a new Hotwheels cars, he screamed so loud, he was kicking and hitting me, and cried so bad he vomited in the car. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> But I'm sure that's a "3-year old thing" not an "Only Thing".
 

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I wonder sometimes if we worry about this too much. My little brother hated sharing and threw tantrums when he didn't get a toy and obviously he isn't an only. They had originally planned on me being an only though and so for years before he was born I was constantly getting lectures about sharing because they had read in a book that only children don't know how to share. I think a lot of this has more to do with developmental stages and personality than if one has siblings or not.<br><br>
My mom was the youngest of six and she is the worst at sharing because she always got the leftovers as a kid.<br><br>
I am not sure if we're going to have another child or not. I know it's early to decide but every time I think about it I get sad, like I would be taking something away from my little one. Right now we're leaning heavily towards an only for that reason and also because it would make it easier for us to stick with our creative careers instead of having to switch to something more predictable.
 

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My ds has a really high need for interaction, but I just think that's how he is, not a result of being an only. He can be very generous and is pretty good about taking turns, though I've never made a big deal about sharing. He just isn't possesive of his things and doesn't mind others using the toys that he isn't using (he might not share something new until he has gotten a good long turn).<br><br>
I have avoided promoting competitive games with ds. I haven't actively pursued cooperative ones, but I approach our play from that perspective, meaning I avoid being goal oriented and trying to win (avoiding ds thinking winning is a goal in play). I don't like how other kids his age who are on sports teams interact with him. They get so caught up in scoring goals, winning, and playing in a rigid manner (following rules which aren't always clear - not neccessarily standard game rules).<br><br>
Since he is developing a close relationship with his cousins (who are a couple of hours away) and I imagine he will find a significant other as an adult, I don't worry unduly about his support network. I am putting in significant effort into meeting others who are also homeschooling so he can develop more friendships.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Its interesting how different some things are and how much the same others are. Everything is a blend I think. A blend of personality, being an only, our parenting styles, etc. Its nice to hear that others are going thru some of the things I am...helps me feel less alone....lol.<br><br>
Do any of you ever feel that other parents you know think you have it easy because you have one? I do and it really bugs me. I think parenting is hard no matter what ya know?
 

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I think some things *are* easier - traveling, affording certain things, etc - and to be honest they absolutely did factor into staying with one. But, otoh, like PPs have mentioned there are certain things that are harder, too. I think parents of Onlies (depending on the temperment of the child) have a lot more pressure to entertain their child a lot more.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>debm</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6472083"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do any of you ever feel that other parents you know think you have it easy because you have one?</div>
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Yes, our best friends have 2 (Ages 3 and 4) and many times they have told us how easy things *should* be simply because we have 1. Also, from a financial perspective...them having to buy 2 of everything.<br><br>
But, I beg to differ. Our sweet, lovable DS is very spirited and some days it sure feels like we have parented 5 kids <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> So I don't think we have it easy just because we have 1 child because DH and I get stressed out very easily...well Me moreso than Him. Our temperaments/personalities make it hard for us.<br><br>
I agree with you, Parenting can be tough no matter how many kids you have.<br><br>
I have also been told that Me, DH and DS are not considered a Family because there are "only 3 of us and you need at least 4 people in their to be considered a family" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>debm</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6469185"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I decided to start a thread so we can get a discussion going. Some of the issues I grapple with as a parent of an only are....<br><br>
- Getting DS to entertain/play by himself.<br>
- Helping him learn to share, take turns, etc.<br>
- Teaching him that the universe does not revolve around him.<br>
- Providing a community environment for him so that he learns the importance of empathy, teamwork and support.<br><br>
Right now he's five and a half and at an age, I feel, where he can really start to understand some of the things I have mentioned above. There are other things that are particular to him but I am not sure if they are just because of his personality or because he is an only. Like.....he never stops talking. Ever. Constantly wanting to engage with me. Also he will argue FOREVER in order to get his way. Of course all kids argue so I don't know if this really has anything to do with being an only!<br><br>
Okay how about you?</div>
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Ok I have two kids but am butting in <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
You have described my 5.5 year old boy to a tee, and he has a younger sib. I think some kids just have this kind of personality where they are an only or one of many.
 

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I forgot to add, some things that are easier for us because we have an Only is when DS goes to sleep- I can have Me Time. Also Team Parenting is easier. We take turns alot. DH can get a full day to himself and I can get a full day to myself.<br><br>
This Christmas, we only have 1 kid to shop for.<br><br>
There are days when I just don't feel like cooking BUT I still want DS to have his veggies. We have a Piccadilly cafeteria that serves a great Kid's meal for $2.99 and you get a Main Entree, 2 Vegetable Side Dishes, Bread, Drink and a Balloon! .99cents if you dine in.<br><br>
Many days I spend the $3 bucks and come home with dinner in my hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Eman'smom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6472324"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ok I have two kids but am butting in <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
You have described my 5.5 year old boy to a tee, and he has a younger sib. I think some kids just have this kind of personality where they are an only or one of many.</div>
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We should get our kids together....lol!
 

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We got Cariboo for dd and really the only goal is to get all the balls in the thing so the treasure opens. I think with an only it's a little easier to not make it competitive b/c if I get a ball or dh gets a ball to put in we let her do it. But in the process she's learning about taking turns. While if we had 2 kids playing the game then there would be competition about getting the balls kwim?
 

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I have a lot of thoughts on this as Dd is 5 and most likely to be an only child. From the start I suspected this would be the case and I made an effort to build a small but close network of friends for her, and to foster those friendships carefully.<br><br>
I work and have deadlines, and I've always let Dd know she is first in my heart but can't always be first on my schedule. She accepts that she is part of a household and when I have other responsibilities, be it housework or professional work, she's grown pretty good at amusing herself - which can be sitting near me tackling her own stack of "paperwork." That ability has really improved over the past few months.<br><br>
She talks all the time and would take all the attention she can get. She's like this at home but more understanding that others have needs too, when we are out. A friend just had a baby and I had told Dd that the toddler brother needed TLC because he's not used to not being the baby anymore. She was incredibly sweet with him, generous in a way you might not expect from seeing her at home!<br><br>
Sharing is a problem but not insurmountable. Dd gets possessive about things and won't let other kids play with them. I tell her she just has to guard the toy because I will not put things away for her. I am not talking about real sentimental items or things that might be considered fragile. I mean, things she hardly pays attention to unless someone else eyes it. I She gets tired of guarding the toys and eventually lets others play.<br><br>
We've done a lot of things at other people's homes. We are homeschooling and we have a group for that, and we've had a playgroup meet regularly since Dd was 2. I haven't felt like inviting others to our house because our place is small. But last week we had a friend over and I realized I need to have more children invade Dd's space.<br><br>
A friend came over and when Dd learned the 2 year old was going to be touching her toys, she grumbled. But when she learned she couldn't do anything about it, she went along AND she really rose to the occasion. In the end, she didn't want the company to leave.<br><br>
Dd can easily look spoiled and indulged, but when I see her under pressure (outside our usual environment, around other kids with needs of their own), she is so gracious. I feel that while she loves any attention she can get (who doesn't?), her reservoir is full and she can give to others. The ease of giving to others is something many adults struggle with, even adults who have had siblings.<br><br>
As for siblings, Dh and I both I have siblings who could care less that we are alive, but friends who show they really appreciate us. My mother is 83 and very close to her siblings, 78 and 88. It's beautiful, but can't be counted on to be that way for everyone.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>newmommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6472294"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yes, our best friends have 2 (Ages 3 and 4) and many times they have told us how easy things *should* be simply because we have 1. Also, from a financial perspective...them having to buy 2 of everything.<br><br>
But, I beg to differ. Our sweet, lovable DS is very spirited and some days it sure feels like we have parented 5 kids <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> So I don't think we have it easy just because we have 1 child because DH and I get stressed out very easily...well Me moreso than Him. Our temperaments/personalities make it hard for us.<br><br>
I agree with you, Parenting can be tough no matter how many kids you have.<br><br>
I have also been told that Me, DH and DS are not considered a Family because there are "only 3 of us and you need at least 4 people in their to be considered a family" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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I have 2 children, ages 14 months and 3 months <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: But I can already see that having TWO is going to be easier than having ONE. My toddler loves his little brother and is always trying to play with him, and this just started: when Mama has to do something like wash dishes or put something away, my toddler will keep the baby occupied. I have a little bouncy thing that I use for the 3 month old while I wash dishes ( tried slinging...got soap in his eye....not a good idea ) and his big brother will go make silly faces at him, bounce him, and its wonderful to see the two of them interacting. Even though my toddler was only 12 months old when his brother was born, he was already heading down the "the world revolves around me" path. He seems to be much more calm and grounded now that he knows this is not true. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
However, I do not think that only children will all grow up to be self centered. I was an only child myself for much of my life ( I had two half-sisters, we all had the same dad ) But I only saw them on the weekends. My mom taught me to entertain myself, she was always telling me to go outside and find someone to play with. BTW I think that's terrible that someone told you you and yours are not a true "family" just because there's only three of you. My mom and I got similar hurtful comments, so I know how that feels <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I think it is important to acknowledge that many of these issues are the child's personality or age rather than an issue solely of an only child.<br><br>
My only dd is 6 years old. In some ways she is more mature than other children her age and in other ways she is less mature. I think our major only child issue is expectations of dd. I think we struggle to find balance there.<br><br>
Dd talks a lot but I think it is her age.<br><br>
She entertains herself pretty well. I think that is consistant with her being more introverted. We do try to keep lots of toys and activities on hand that don't require a crowd of people to do to make it easier. Self entertaining is an important skill for all kids even if they have siblings.<br><br>
I think dd shares and takes turns as much as any other child her age. She gets exposure to those concepts even if it is not always with a peer. When I play with dd I don't let her always be in charge or not take turns. She has to share things with dh and me. She has always been good about getting along and sharing with other children. She has never been grabby or competitive about having to have what other kids have. That may be because of our parenting or her only status or just her personality.<br><br>
I think our family is pretty balanced between child and adults. We do child friendly activities often but dd also goes pretty much everywhere with us even to boring adult places.<br><br><br>
I think some moms of multiple kids that I know dismiss me because I only have one child. I'm not sure if they view us as less of a family. I've felt some of them become more distant as they go on to have more children and I do not.<br>
I've gotten a nasty attitude from one family member with two kids that I don't know what real work is because I was a SAHM with only one child. At the time dh was out of state for a month starting a new job and finding us a place to live. I was packing everything by myself to move our family to another state. Dd is a handful on our best days but was really upset because her father was gone and we were moving. The relative wanted me to do something time consuming and I said I was too busy.
 

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My dd is 6 as well and plays well by herself. She does have issues sometimes w/kids being mean or saying mean things. But then again I think it may be somewhat her personality, a girl thing, a phase, or whatever you want to call it, b/c her best friends in school has a twin brother and my dd and her act SOO much alike it is scary sometimes. My dd can also be pretty moody, but from the time she could seperate herself from a situation (around 3 or so) she will. One time she was just so full of herself and was being whiny, she then said to me and my teenage niece that she was going to her room for a little while. She left for about 10 minutes and came back and everything was fine again. My dd also likes to share, she even took one of her favorite books to school to put in their "library" in class so the other kids could enjoy it throughout the year. For the most part though, my dd is pretty mellow and doesn't like alot of confusion and chaos and gets a little frazzled. I remember when she was in preschool, and the one teacher had a hard time controlling the class. My dd would get so upset they would take her out of the room until things were under control again. She likes order and structure otherwise she can fall apart.
 
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