March 2009

The one and only

Why more parents are choosing a single-child family By Damon Syson  25th March 2009 The Daily Mail Yesterday in the playground I watched a little girl point to a snotty-nosed toddler waddling behind her, puff out her chest with pride and announce: ‘That’s my brother!’ Something lurched in my chest – a pang of guilt, or maybe doubt. Because as things stand, my daughter Ava, who is two-and-a-half, will never be able to say those words. Ava, we have decided, will be raised as an only child. In the past, only children were rarely the product of an active choice. But today, couples like my partner Bethan and I are making the decision to stick at one. The number of children living in a one-child household in Britain has risen. In 1972, 18 per cent of children grew up without siblings. Now the figure is 26 per cent. Britain is [...]

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The joys of life with an only child

‘We love Paddy, he loves us’ Miranda Sawyer, mother of Patrick. The Observer, Sunday 15 March 2009 The fantastic thing about parenting is that, if you’re so inclined, it gives you yet more things to beat yourself up about. You used to worry about your bad diet? Try considering your toddler’s refusal to eat anything other than white bread, crap sausages and ice cream without bits in. Do you lie awake at 5am unpicking your lack of achievement and general all-round rubbishness? Just wait until the state school lottery system hammers home what a proper failure you are. Alternatively, you could try not worrying. Really. If having kids teaches you anything, it’s that you are not entirely in control. Not of your life, not of theirs. You can do your best – you’re an Observer-reading liberal, so you will do your best – but the moment you hand over your [...]

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