June 2011

Only Child Syndrome?

What is only child syndrome? Bernice thought this article from Durango would be an interesting opener – feel free to add your comments. Left is a German cartoon. The German on the right is saying, “He’s an only child, isn’t he?” To which the one on the left says, “He is now!” by Durango Texas:- The Only Children I’ve known have all pretty much matched the cliches about children who had no siblings. Spoiled, bratty, self-centered, selfish, an odd sense of entitlement, difficult to get along with plus a tendency to say inappropriate things that are rude and ill-mannered. Yet being extremely hyper-sensitive and brittle about even the most remotely critical remark going in their direction. In other words, Only Children give themselves the permission to act, without expecting a consequence, in ways that when others act in a similar way to the Only Child, the Only Child becomes irrationally [...]

Read more…

An Eastern perspective

Thanks for giving me this wonderful opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings. After 34 years of being a single child to my aged parents, I would definitely say a big “NO NO” to being born and raised as the only child. I am going to support this with real life examples… My parents were not young when I was born, moreover it was a luv marriage. In a strictly caste conscious society, they didn’t have any of their relatives visiting us. This means no cousins¬†to act as my siblings. Maybe, my ill-luck. Still, in the later part of my life, when I started to get in touch with my cousins, there was a clear line between cousins and siblings. When there was a need to search for alliance for marriage, nobody would take any steps. Whereas, when it came to searching for their own brothers and sisters, they spent [...]

Read more…

Did being an only child affect your parenting?

Email: I was curious to know if you happened to have any children of your own. If so, do you think that being an only child affected how you could relate to them as a parent? My mom says that certain traits she possessed as a child differed from mine because of our birth orders. She was the youngest of many kids, but I was the only one, and sharing is something I sometimes struggle with. Thanks! Bernice’s Response: Yes I have two children! I had one initially and then realsing I was an only and my husband was an only¬† my son would have neither siblings or cousins which at least we both had- So I decided to have another child very promptly! It was the best decision I ever made because I learn more about sibling interaction from then than I would ever have done otherwise. I have [...]

Read more…

Cutting the Ties

How to cut the ties and become independent In a previous post: Do you need to seperate psychologically from your parents? I offered some questions to ask yourself. Now here are some answers to enable you to cut the ties! One of the difficulties of separation is that it takes two: child and parent. It is very hard for an adolescent to separate if the parent makes it difficult to do so becasue they fear losing the child to adulthood. A parent who does not want to let go emotionally and allow their child to develop as an individual and separate psychologically in adulthood makes it extremely difficult for that process to happen. Pressure can be subtle or otherwise to discourage separation and you may be told that you are selfish or unkind if you to want that psychological space. This is particularly difficult for the adult only who holds [...]

Read more…

Family Dilemmas

When parents are elderly Some of the issues on this site apply to me, I think, but not all. My Mom had several miscarriages and still-births so after 8 years of trying (8 failed attempts) I arrived on the scene; my mum has a self-confidence issue so I think went from being a “failure” to being a “success” as her 6 brothers mainly all had children. When I went to Uni I partly based my choices on where would be beyond a day’s journey from home and I remember thinking when my own daughter was born “Mum won’t kill herself now if anything happens to me.” I understand why my mum was (and is!) the way she is and we have a good relationship that I wouldn’t say is dependent, but partly because I lived in France for 5 years after University and I think she learned to deal with [...]

Read more…