Only Child

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Only Child Boom

Since the only two relatives I am used to seeing regularly are my parents, there is always an extra excitement when our little family of three reunites with our extended family.

Whether you have actual siblings or not, there really is no better feeling than being surrounded by the family you love, including those with paws. Going away to college was not much of a challenge for me.

The friendships

When I accepted my first post-grad job as an editorial intern in NYC, I made friends quickly in a place where I knew almost no one. I definitely do not need to be alone all the time and would never choose to be but I appreciate how this time to myself has shaped me into who I am today. My full contentment with being an only child would not be possible without my relationship with my parents.

In many ways, they are like siblings. We share the same interests and hobbies, we argue and forgive each other quickly as though nothing ever happened, and we laugh about things that no one else could ever understand.

Only Child VS Siblings

But the pseudo sibling in my parents is enhanced by the fact that they are even more than siblings. I'd always say, "I went to Rhode Island with my parents. And I'm an only child. There weren't any other only children in my class, so my status made me feel different, but "different" as in "special. As I got older and met other well-adjusted and successful only children, I couldn't imagine raising more than one child myself.

Only Children: Why "Only" Isn't Lonely

But it wasn't merely pure emotion that led me to this decision. I saw practical reasons for having a single-child family, including the soaring cost of childcare and the challenge of maintaining a work-home balance.

The questions

I wanted to offer my child the same emotional and financial advantages that I enjoyed, and my husband, Aaron, happily agreed with me. But his experience will be very different, in at least one respect: He'll have lots and lots of company. For the past two decades, the ranks of only children have been on the rise. Today, single-child families are the fastest-growing family unit in the nation, up from more than 10 million in to more than 15 million, according to the U.

In addition to the parents who choose to have only one child, people are marrying later in life, which sets the stage for fertility problems that can leave them with a small family by default. Plus, the stigma once associated with only children isn't as strong as it was 30 years ago, according to Susan Newman, PhD, a psychologist, the mother of an only child, and author of Parenting an Only Child: Specifically, they're not more spoiled, lonely, selfish, or overly dependent. Actually, there's plenty of good news about only children.

The truth about only children: are they more insular and confident?

In fact, research shows they're self-confident, well-organized, and ambitious. Still, many couples agonize over whether or not to have a second baby, concerned that they or their child may miss out on the sibling experience. Here are the pluses and minuses of raising just one child. One of the most obvious perks of having one child is the one-on-one focus you can give him. There's plenty of time to teach social graces, impart the values you hold dear, and drive to your child's myriad activities.

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Only children benefit from their parents' undivided attention and emotional support in several ways, say experts. They instill high self-esteem, foster maturity, and enable a child to develop a strong identity.

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What about the reality that only children tend to spend so much time alone? Turns out, it's also an advantage. But at the same time, evidence is mounting to show a one-child family can be a positive choice for both parents and child.

A Note to Mothers of Only Children — from an Only Child Herself | Babble

Much of the only-child myth-debunking has been done by Toni Falbo, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas, who has researched only children since the s. As for being awkward and antisocial, one study from found that while adults who had been only children engaged in fewer social activities with relatives which may possibly be explained by having fewer relatives to begin with , they found no difference in the number of social engagements with others, such as friends and colleagues.

A survey of more than 2, Spanish teenagers found only children experienced higher rates of peer victimisation, but Hughes points out this may be affected by their perception of victimisation: The other reason was only children were in the vast minority, so they often felt bullied and left out. There are also downsides, Blair says.

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  • The thing you do about that is be a little bit easy and slack and let things get a little chaotic as parents. Allow a little bit of chaos, just as would happen if you had three or four kids.

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