There is an old saying that ‘only child is a lonely child’ which is not true. When I had my 1st child we had decided to have only one child boy or girl did not matter. When my daughter was a toddler many people advised us to plan for a 2nd one to give her company, even strangers would give us free advise “it’s good to have 2 kids”….”they will give one another company”…. “they will be there for one another in times of need” ….blah…blah…blah
Well, we stood our ground & my daughter is the ‘only child’, but by no means, is she lonely.
I’m also the only child but I grew up in a boarding school so I never felt the need for a sibling. I had too many friends who replaced the sibling love & I’m happy that most of them are still my friends. Surprisingly my daughter never asked for a sibling too!!
Most parents feel that two is family, siblings grow up together & later can be of great help, I don’t disagree but in current times having one child is more than enough.
If you are a parent to only one child & you are happy with your decision then give yourself a pat. There will be a few instances when your child will ask “why I don’t have a sibling?” & you may have your own explanation in place, but by and large make sure you make your kid understand the advantages of having just one kid!
Here are a few tips on bringing up your ‘only’ but not a lonely child :-
- Don’t over pamper your child. Just because they don’t have a sibling does not mean you spoil them. This is the first thing that most parents succumb to.
- Allow your child to make as many friends as possible, in school, in the neighbourhood wherever they go encourage them to make friends.
- Most of us have large families with children of the same age group, cousins are the best replacement of siblings.
- Don’t give into every demand of your child just because you don’t have to spend for two or more
- Make your only child emotionally & mentally strong so that they can fight their own battles in life
- Many times we have to replace their need for a sibling by playing with them, talking to them in their language, competing with them & it’s a no-brainer, just have to become a child for sometime & believe me it’s fun.
- Teach them to ‘share’ as this may not come naturally since they don’t have a sibling to share with, so make sure if they are having a chocolate or their favourite food they share it with their parents or any family member.
- Allow them to go for school trips so that they can become independent and make more friends.
- Finally if they still wish to have a sibling you can always adopt one or get them a pet.
There are a lot of wonderful things one can do with their only child, make sure as a parent you spend not just quality but quantity time with your kids, be it single or many! Happy Parenting.