My Only Child Doesn’t Need A Sibling

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Via mom.me

By Leah Campbell

I have this amazing friend who is basically a single mama superhero. She is stunning (in the kind of shape I have never in my entire life been in), successful in her career, completely committed to parenting and always jetting off on some new adventure or another with her sidekick—a little girl who is full of her mama’s spunk and energy.

I am not kidding you when I say I look at this mama some days and wonder how in the heck she does it all.

But recently she posted something on Facebook that struck me. It was about the numerous comments she gets regarding how her daughter “needs” a sibling, and how rude, presumptuous and downright out-of-line those comments are.

As I read her post, I thought to myself, “You go, Mama!”

For the record, I have always wanted a large family. The idea of having an only never really crossed my mind, until I dealt with infertility, enduring singledom (I think they used to call it “spinsterhood”) and the realization that my daughter (adopted in the most serendipitous of ways) and I have a pretty damn good life together. If it is only ever just the two of us, both she and I will be just fine.

She doesn’t need a sibling any more than I need another child. Which is to say, it would be nice—and I certainly remain open to the possibility—but I also see the beauty ahead in the life I could create for us if it is only ever just her and me.

You know what kids need? Love, support, guidance, food, shelter and maybe a little more love. But a sibling?

I think people mean well enough when they comment on the need for a sibling. Nobody intends any harm; they are simply remembering back to their own childhoods, to the fun they had with their siblings, or the loneliness they may have felt as only children themselves. Plus, we all know the stereotypes surrounding only children, and I have certainly known an only child or two myself who has lived up to those stereotypes.

But what people forget is that those really are just stereotypes. The recent research points to the fact that only children are not nearly as lonely as we’ve been led to believe, and that they actually fare better than kids with siblings in some areas, including academic pursuits. And, as long as we’re talking in anecdotes, I’ve also known only children in my past who in no way lived up to the stereotypes attributed to them; they were kind, generous, loving people who were raised by parents that worked hard to mold them as such.

Whether or not a child has a sibling is not the defining factor for the type of person they will become, and no child needs a sibling. You know what kids need? Love, support, guidance, food, shelter and maybe a little more love. But a sibling? That’s about as crucial to development as a puppy—sure, lessons can be gained from the added responsibility, but it certainly isn’t the only way to grow into a responsible adult.

Look, if I am ever blessed with another child, I have no doubt my daughter will benefit from having a little brother or sister to grow up alongside. But she’s not going to grow into a spoiled, selfish person without one—which, let’s be honest, is the underlying implication whenever anyone suggests that a child needs that brother or sister.

How about instead of commenting on the size of other people’s families, or when/if they should add on to those families, we instead make a solemn vow to recognize that it’s none of our business. Not only because you have no idea what another family has dealt with (infertility, loss or struggles in their romantic relationship that make adding on seem like a bad idea) but also because no child needs a sibling. And asserting that they do is just kind of an asshole thing to say.

Don’t be an asshole. Just don’t comment on another person’s family. Because you don’t know the whole story, and your compilation of anecdotal evidence does not make you an expert on what any child might need.

One thing I can say for sure? My friend’s little girl is going to be just fine if she is forever an only child. Mostly because she has a superhero for a mama. One who works hard, every single day, to make sure she has everything she needs—and so much more.

I completely identify myself on this post. I hope you found it crucial found some comfort  if you are experience some similar situation.

Monica R.

Always Your Little Boy

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Being a little boy’s mama is to point the penis down in a diaper, and probably getting a face full of urine at least once in your life.

It means having to educate a child on owning a body that you know amazingly little about (testosterone, masturbation, facial hair), and answering questions like, “Why it straight, mommy? OH NO, WHY IS MY PENIS STRAIGHT?!” (Being a mama to only boys may also mean quietly weeping for the useless advice you have about owning ovaries and wild mood swings.)

Being a little boy’s mama means pockets full of wildflowers. It means cuddles and compliments and thoughtful gestures from a miniature gentleman.

Being a little boy’s mama means hearing phrases like, “Boys belong to their future wives, girls belong to their moms forever” and dying a little inside.

It means finding rocks hidden around the house. Being a little boy’s mama means teaching the lesson NO especially when it comes to someone’s body or personal space. It means not only teaching respect, but modeling what a respectful, strong, capable woman actually is.

It’s declaring that your son will not be that guy who creepily grinds up behind an unsuspecting girl in a club, or catcalls a woman walking across the street, or starts a drunken brawl. (And then accepting that it’s a possibility.)

Being a little boy’s mama means prematurely mourning his high-pitched chipmunk voice, realizing that you’ll eventually hear a deeper, stronger, manlier voice.

It means knowing that one day you’ll be looking up at your child.

It means kissing his cheek and knowing that, one day, it will be prickly or unshaven. It means looking at his chest and legs and knowing that hair will cover his baby-soft skin.

Being a little boy’s mama means always going, moving, running, energy. It means muddy shoes, bandaged legs, and breath-catching stunts that nearly stop your heart.

It means surrendering to rough housing and accepting the bloody noses.

It means playing certain games and watching certain movies that you really have no interest in, and yet still enjoy seeing through the ninja-superhero-karate perspective because it’s his perspective.

Being a little boy’s mama means loving your husband the same way you’d want your son to be loved.

Being a little boy’s mama means seeing the little boy in all men, and feeling more empathetic than you were before.

Being a little boy’s mama will change you — harden you in some places, soften you in others — but will ultimately give the sweetest memories of when, for a brief period, you were everything to a sticky-faced little man.

Raising an only child

I hope you liked this article, I found it interesting since I can see myself on this reading, having my child at age 42 years old (now I am 44) I can consider to have a second one since medically I am healthy and on these modern times woman are considering to have kids after 35 years old including the early 40s; but having children in a mature age represents a lot of physical and mental effort but fortunately I had my son healthy and without any complications.

adr

My 2 year old son, my one and only 🙂

What You Need to Know About Your Only Child
Fifty years ago, when only children represented just 10 percent of all kids under age 18, “onlies” were often thought of as lonely, spoiled, and socially inept. But the tide has turned, and as the number of only children climbs, their place in society has risen. Today there are some 14 million only children in America, representing about 20 percent of all kids, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
A small family differs dramatically from a large one and, consequently, comes with an entirely different set of challenges and rewards. Read the following pages for some strategic guidelines to parenting an only child.

Help Forge Friendships
Give only children the opportunity to interact with other kids. Social activities need to be engineered more for only children, even as early as 18 months of age, says J. Lane Tanner, MD, FAAP, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. Options for child socializing include:
• Preschool
• Special classes
• Play dates

Play dates should be scheduled both in the child’s home, where she has to share her toys and her parents’ attention, and at a friend’s home, where she has to follow the lead of her peer. Also be sure to orchestrate play time with kids your child’s age, since “onlies” often gravitate toward older or younger children.
Teach your child social skills. Only children don’t have the benefit of the rough-and-tumble of sibling relationships. What we call sibling rivalry is actually a chance to get along with peers on a daily basis, explains Meri Wallace, author of Order Blues. Losing a game, waiting a turn, joining a group — all of these things is hard for an only child, she adds. To help children succeed in social situations, parents should:
• Demonstrate by example how to share, compromise, and show consideration for others
• Reward children when they’re being considerate and administer consequences when they aren’t

Separate Yourself
Foster your child’s independence. Since only children develop such a close relationship with their parents, some become too reliant on them for moral support, homework help, and entertainment. Parents, too, can unknowingly reinforce this dependence.
A parent can counter the dependency by giving her child some responsibility, such as chores, explains Wallace. An only child needs to learn how to occupy himself and have fun — the parent doesn’t always have to be the entertainer.
Set clear boundaries. Only children often feel like one of the adults and believe they should have equal say and equal power, Wallace points out. And while many parents of “onlies” do give their child a say in some family matters, there are obviously many decisions that should be made by the parents alone.
Experts also emphasize the need for parents of “onlies” to enjoy some couple time. Getting to spend a lot of quality time with your child is one of the many advantages of having a single child, but it’s essential to nurture your marriage. Remember that Mom and Dad have a right to their own life.
Don’t Push Too Hard
Set realistic expectations. Since many “onlies” are verbally precocious and high achievers at an early age, it’s sometimes hard to know what behavior is age-appropriate for them. It’s also difficult to know when you’re pushing too hard and when you’re not pushing enough. By the age of 7 or 8, only children are like little adults. In their opinion, kids their own age are immature. Slow down, and make sure your only child has a childhood.
Don’t ask for perfection. For most only children, perfectionism seems to go with the territory. Only children want so much to please their parents, and because they peer with adults, they take on adult standards, says Carl E. Pickhardt, PhD, author ofKeys to Parenting an Only Child. While it’s fine to want the best for your child, it’s important not to make your goals and anxieties his.
Since “onlies” often receive parental approval for their many successes (or even their attempts), parents need to explain that their love is not conditioned on the child’s performance.

Keep Splurging to a Minimum
Keep gifts in check. Experts warn that when “onlies” are bombarded with gifts and their every wish is fulfilled, they get the message, “I always get what I want.”
It’s never too late to rein in excessive gift-giving, notes Pickhardt. Emotional protests will likely follow, but taking this stand will be beneficial in the long run. Parents need to realize that it’s not the gifts that matter; it’s time spent with the child that’s most important.
Don’t overindulge your child. During early childhood, an only child’s expressions of need are responded to quickly. In contrast, children with siblings need to “wait in line” to have their needs met. And learning how to wait, says Dr. Tanner, is a vital lesson.

To prevent only children from developing an attitude of “What I want, I get,” parents should:
• Set limits
• Delay gratification
• Stick to household rules
• Instill discipline through guidelines and expectations
Parents of “onlies” also have to learn this valuable lesson: You can’t get hung up on the notion that your child always has to be happy. If you dote on your only child and satisfy his every whim, you’ll regret doing so in the long run, says Pickhardt. One of the repercussions of such overindulgence: Some onlies want to have everything on their own terms. They develop a mentality of, “It’s either my way or no way at all.”
As experts and parents note, the undivided attention an only child receives from his parents can be either a positive or negative force. But if you avoid some of the common pitfalls and offer your only child your unconditional love, he will no doubt thrive. In fact, many parents of “onlies” say that their relationship with their child is like a wonderful friendship. Best of all, they say, it’s a great friendship that lasts a lifetime!

Famous Only Children :
What do all these celebrated people have in common? They’re all only children!
• Steve Allen
• Lance Armstrong
• Lauren Bacall
• Bill Bradley
• Carol Burnett
• Laura Bush
• Chelsea Clinton
• Walter Cronkite
• Leonardo da Vinci
• Albert Einstein
• Indira Gandhi
• Tipper Gore
• Ted Koppel
• Charles Lindbergh
• Joe Montana
• Isaac Newton
• Gregory Peck
• Nancy Reagan
• Franklin D. Roosevelt
• Brooke Shields
• Frank Sinatra
• Robin Williams

Again I hope you like this article Raising an Only Child. I opened my blog providing tips and articles to educate ourselves about parenting and the relationship with our children. I truly believe that our children are the mirror of ourselves.