Raising an Only Child

Parents with one child often feel social pressure from friends and family to add more kids to the family. You may feel pressured, but having more kids is more than okay. Raising a child is not an easy task. Raising more than one child may assume that raising only one is more manageable. Still, more often, parents go through similar challenges. 

If you are raising one child, you may hear some comments like the following:

  • Your child is going to be lonely.
  • Your child will be burdened with your care when you’re old.
  • Your child is going to grow up spoiled.
  • Your child may have difficulty socializing.

These claims are not scientifically proven. In fact, there are advantages to having one child. Here are some pros:

No sibling rivalry. Only children can’t be compared to other siblings. Most parents of more than one child make the mistake of comparing their children, increasing sibling rivalry. 

Privileges. Kids in one-child families are almost always included in their parent’s activities. Holidays often center around them.

Attention. Parents with one child may have the time to build a more personal relationship with their child. 

Independence. Your child may grow to be more independent than children from a larger family. They can learn to depend on themselves at an earlier age. 

Financial advantage. Parents raising one kid often have more savings than families with more than one child. It is cheaper to raise one child.

But of course, as a parent to one child, you may occasionally experience some of these fears:

Loneliness. A child that is born and raised alone may feel lonely. But there are ways to counter this fear. You may have play dates with your friends’ children, or you can enroll your kid into a daycare or in other activities that may enhance your child’s social skills.

Overprotective. Parents who have one child may be overprotective.

Sole caregivers. An only child may be burdened with the care of elderly parents. They have to provide for all their parents’ needs alone.

Self-entertaining. Only children may be forced to learn how to entertain themselves when alone. If they have no talent for self-entertainment, they end up bored much of the time. 

Lack of motivation. A child raised alone may be unambitious because there is no one to compete against and try to surpass.

These are just some of the fears one may have when raising an only child. Ultimately, you need not get caught up in what others say about having an only child or who your child will become if he’s your only one. Children are unique and varied, no matter how many siblings they may or may not have.