I am the proud parent of a 5 year old only child. He is our first and our last child. Trust me when I say we encountered opposition. Both my family and my husband’s family “encouraged” us to reconsider. In the end we had to make the best choice for us. One child completes our family and we are very comfortable with our decision. Having one child carries a stigma for parents as well as for the child. My solution is to write a blog on only child parenting. I write about my experiences as a parent of an only child to help others make the decision on how many children is right for their family.
I keep the pitfalls of only-child parenting in mind as I proceed through this thing called life. I took care of a child my son’s age for the first 3 years of his life so he learned to share early-on. As I type, my son is playing with a friend who came home from church with us for lunch and fun. We went to a science museum last week with another of his friends. We don’t give him everything he wants and require him to pull his weight with the family chores (age-appropriate).
Despite the stigmas and overriding stereotypes, only children are very successful and significant contributors to society.
Many very famous people were only children and (I dare say) some of the characteristics that made them successful were directly related to being the only child in their family. Their careers span the arts, science, sports, politics, and everything in between: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ansel Adams, Lance Armstrong, Laura Bush, David Copperfield, Leonardo da Vinci, Gerald Ford, Indira Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, Alan Greenspan, Alicia Keys, Isaac Newton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Striesand, and Robin Williams to name a few.
The bottom line is that no matter where you fall in the birth order (even if you are the only one) you will have strengths and challenges that you must overcome to be successful. I was the oldest of 2 children and my husband was the youngest of 3. We both had things to work through to be the best people God created us to be.
Alicia Staz- The Only Child Option