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brief article on the pros and cons of being an only child.

How much of this do you think is true? How is it possible to raise an only child who appreciates their own unique experience of life as being an only child? Of course that's the goal of this community, figuring that out for myself, but it certainly is something that I hope to achieve with my daughter.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
jadaily4484
May. 15th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
Interesting (if poorly written) article. I'm sure all or at least most of it is true for some only children and for some who are not only children. Honestly, it does make so many generalizations (with the caveat that they don't apply in every case) that I'm not sure how useful these conclusions are.

In my personal experience, being an only child did not provide any obstacle to my intellectual/educational development. I believe that has more to do with natural intelligence or capacity for problem-solving or knowledge, regardless of whether one has siblings. Ditto for emotional maturity; I believe nature has more to do with that than nurture, though none of it is quite so cut-and-dried. (I hope all this doesn't sound to egotistical or anything.)

As I've mentioned before, I think the loneliness-social aspect is the only area of life in which I've felt that being an only child hindered my personal development. Though again, there are various factors that play into this as well. All I will say is that, assuming you do raise Anya as an only child, I implore you to encourage her to make friends (and help her learn HOW to make friends) early and often.

One thing this article made me think about is the bit about parents aging. My dad is 51; my mom 49. So I haven't really had to deal with that very much...yet. I'm definitely not looking forward to that, as I'm fairly close to both of my parents. At least I'm close to several of my cousins with parents in the same age range. I imagine that will help, though to what extent I'm not certain.
greg_kennedy
May. 16th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
I find it odd that many people think only children are 'spoiled'. I suppose it makes sense as far as: when there are more children, the parents' resources must be divided further, so an only child should theoretically receive twice as much as the kids in a two-child household.

However, I think being 'spoiled' means having an attitude of entitlement, not having a lot of possessions. This comes from learning to take things for granted, not the economics of raising a family. So being an only child should really make no difference, right?
goodnite_gracee
May. 16th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
You just have to be careful regarding that attitude of entitlement. My only has a lot of "things", but we try not to spoil him.

But when both parents work and he's a care program or school from 7am to 5pm - and then comes home to do homework, dinner and bed - its hard not to try and make the weekends "special" to make up for not being there during the week.

Its always a question of balance - and you win some and lose some...

goodnite_gracee
May. 16th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one to notice that it was poorly written! And I don't agree with some of the assumptions that were made.

Take, for example, siblings. Not all siblings develop close bonds, in fact some of them downright hate each other. And most of the time siblings cycle through an array of emotions and accessibility. I'm the oldest of 4 children and I have to say that I'm very close to my youngest sister, kind of close with my brother (second in line) and passing acquaintances with the middle sister. None of the three of them were around when my mother was terminally ill (all with good reason, and I wasn't there as much as I probably should have!) And my brother has taken on the lion's share of taking care of Dad with me helping out when I can. Dad lives in NJ as do my brother and I and the sisters live in Texas and Pennsylvania, respectively.

That's just personal experience. Between work and friends I can tear the siblings argument apart! But, ya know, it different for everyone, now isn't it. heh!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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