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Only child?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Write-brained, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. My four-year-old daughter wants a brother or sister.

    She's talking about it all the time. Problem is, my wife and I really don't want another one. The thought is tempting, sure, but practically, financially and not really wanting to go through it all again brings us back down to Earth really quick. That and what's the sense of bringing another kid into the world where there's already so many unloved and mistreated? (We've discussed being foster parents, but I don't think we're quite there yet.)

    It's depressing because I've had some adults who were only children tell me their childhoods were often lonely experiences - and that I shouldn't do that to my kid. It doesn't help right now that we don't have her in school, but I keep her exposed to other kids at the park, etc. and I spend all my free time with her.

    I was just wondering if there's any only children on here who want to pipe in. From my experience, adults who were only children are generally more mature and responsible. Plus, I had a bunch of brothers and sisters, most of whom I don't talk to anymore because they married assholes.

    Oh well. Any insight would be nice.
  2. Kaylee

    Kaylee Member

    I was an only child. More or less because my parents didn't want a child to begin with, much less another.

    I can't really apply my own experiences here, as my childhood and upbringing were a little, how you say, unorthodox. But I think the knock on being an only child is pretty much false. Looking back, I was perfectly happy being on my own. And while people say that being an only child can be lonely, having siblings can also load you up with complexes.

    So long as you don't spoil the kid, I think a child can have a happy and well-adjusted life without any company. And truly, there are so many kids crawling around this planet, I think one is plenty for anyone.
  3. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I have two sisters and a brother, and I was always jealous of my only-child friends, though they always expressed how shitty it was not having a brother or a sister.

    If it's any consolation, if you have another child, in five years, your little girl will ask you why you had to have one. It's a question I still ask my parents, and my brother is 18.
  4. Well, that brings up another issue entirely. It's sort of hard not to spoil 'em when there's only one. May sound like a cop-out, but she doesn't have to compete for toys, wear hand-me downs nor will she ever have to babysit a younger sibling.

    I've tried to explain the benefits to her - at one point telling her that her kitten was better than her friend's impending baby brother because it wouldn't take her toys. Didn't go over so well when she told the pregnant woman that her cat was better than her baby. :D
  5. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Write-brained, I'm pretty much exactly where you are. My 4-year-old daughter even calls herself a "sister" as if that is the greatest thing in the world to be.

    Then she watches television for a few minutes and tells us how she wants every single thing she sees in commercials. She's four. She doesn't really understand things like limits yet and she's not going to understand why she doesn't get the little brother or sister she wants. But she will adapt to the life you make for her.

    You have to base these kinds of decisions on what you and your wife want and what you feel is best for your entire family. If you don't want another child, particularly if it isn't financially practical for you, the entire family could end up suffering if you go ahead and have one.

    My wife always wanted to have at least two children because she is so close to her sisters. I always wanted to stop at one, in part because I grew up wishing I was an only child even though I'm not. My brother and I barely tolerated one another most of the time, though we are much closer now. She has slowly come around to my way of thinking and we are stopping at one.

    My little one is in preschool, so that helps. She's got friends and we live near my sisters-in-law, so she has cousins to be with. Your little one isn't far off from school, and that will change things for the better.

    Being an only child has its drawbacks. So does having siblings. Do what's best for your family as a whole and tell the adults who try to tell you what to do that with all due respect to their learned opinion, you're quite capable of making your own decisions.
  6. Highway 101

    Highway 101 Active Member

    I am an only child.

    And adopted at that. It happened when I was five-days-old. So my parents, are my parents.

    The good of being an OC is that you learn to be independent. As a kid, you make up your own games, you invent ways to entertain yourself and you become an adult faster than most kids. I always played basketball and other sports with the kids a year or two older than me.

    The down side is that I think I lost a lot in the way of building relationships, thinking about other people, and putting other people before me.

    When you're the only one, you get everything. Even as an adult when they pass.

    If I were to find the right lady, marry her, spend the rest of my life with her, I'd propose that we have one child and put everything, ever ounce of effort, every penny possible into making that one child the prize of this earth.

    Don't keep up with the Jones by having another child just to keep up with the Jones who say all kids need a sibling.

    I'm sure you and Mrs. WB will come to the best decision for you.
  7. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    If you look at your 4-year-old daughter as a blessing, having another would make you twice blessed. That is all I have to offer.
  8. printdust

    printdust New Member

    You build your network of support, one way or the other, as you grow up. They get their sense of family from you. If you bring a kid into the world behind them, and you emphasize family, then they will. But then, a bad marraige will also teach them something about family. And finances can put that kind of pressure on you.

    How about cousins? Does your kid have any?

    Having said all that, my mom was miserable as an only child. She also didn't have cousins.

    I guess it's all about how you shape love and support around them WB.
  9. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    A former partner in crime of mine, whose parents were very Catholic and involved in the medical field, insisted that only children weren't properly socialized.

    In my case, I tend to agree. My parents are wallflowers as it is, and I was raised as a veal.

    To this day, I wish I had a sibling for a lot of reasons -- most of all, to provide some assistance taking care of my parents, who now are in their 60s and not the greatest health.

    Don't get me wrong, I am blessed by what I do have in life, but I also do wonder how things may have been different if I had a sibling.

    My suggestion is that having a second child will enrich your daughter's life, a lot. But it also depends a lot on y'all as parents and how you handle it. Most of all, though, don't have another kid just because your daughter wants a sibling. Have one because you and your wife will think it's best.
  10. pallister

    pallister Guest

    I have four brothers and a sister, but they're 11, 14, 17, 20 and 21 years older than me, so I was essentially raised an only child. So just wait 10 years, your daughter gets a sister or brother and a few years later you're back to raising just one.

    Seriously, my situation is not common, but growing up completely separate from my siblings, I missed out on a lot of sibling memories, But I also missed out on all the rivalry and baggage that comes with growing up with borthers and/or sisters, and that is likely the reason I've pretty much gotten along with all five of them most of my life.
  11. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    A few thoughts...

    I'm an only child. My wife is an only child. We have two boys, ages 10 and 2.

    First off, eliminate two arguments: a four year old doesn't really know what she wants, so while it's nice that she'd like to be a big sister, next week she'll want a pony instead. And forget the "there are already so many unwanted children..." argument -- as long as you don't plan to raise an unwanted and unloved child, you'll be fine.

    I was perfectly happy as an only child, and I think my wife was too, though it would be cool now to have a brother or sister. Long term, I really don't think it makes a whole lot of difference in how the kid turns out.

    One thing I can say based on personal experience -- spacing the kids 7 years apart worked out really well for us. There's very little sibling rivalry, they get along very well, and once you have an older kid you appreciate all the little things with a younger kid more. When the ten year old gripes that it's not fair that he has to do homework and then decides it would be funny to only say the word "fart" over and over, it's kind of nice to have the two year old who toddles up and says "Look! Thomas Tank Engine!!"

    Having had two, I think my older son would have missed a lot by not having a younger brother.

    I'm not sure I clarified much, but there you go.
  12. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    If you have some time on your hands, this might make for some decent reading:

    I don't remember much about my brief period as an only child since my younger brother and sister are five years younger than me. I do believe, though, if I hadn't had those two to play with/harass/encourage/terrorize, I would've turned out even more peculiar than I am now (and that's saying something).
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