July 2011

The Only Child: Debunking the Myths

By Lauren Sandler It’s a conversation I have most weeks — if not most days. This time, it happens when my 2-year-old daughter and I are buying milk at the supermarket. The cashiers fawn over her pink cheeks and applaud when she twirls for them, and then I endure the usual dialogue. “Your first?”, “Yup.” “Another one coming soon?”. “Nope — it might be just this one.” “You’ll have more. You’ll see.” “At the moment, I’m not planning on it.” “You wouldn’t do that to your child. You’ll see.” I offer no retort, but if I did, I’d start by asking these young minimum-wage earners to consider the following: the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the average child in the U.S. costs his or her parents about $286,050 — before college. Those costs have actually risen during the recession. The milk I’m buying adds up to $50 a month, [...]

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Finally I find out “it’s not just me!”

I came across this site by accident and was astonished and grateful to find that my experiences as an only child are reflected in other people’s lives. Logically that’s not surprising but in reality I’ve found it to never happen. I’m an only child of 55 whose Mother died just over a month ago, my Father a few years ago, I don’t know when. I, too, felt that I had been adopted when I was around 8 because I began to realise that life for others in larger families was not quite like mine. All my life I’ve felt that I just didn’t measure up and took a conscious decision to be as unlike my parents as I could be. My Father left and the emotional blackmail started from my Mother which has lasted all my life. My Mother’s death has finally freed me and her last acts confirmed that [...]

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A classic only child upbringing?

When I was younger I experienced the classic only child upbringing and although I always wondered why I did not have siblings and often wishing I had built in playmates, my only child status does not get to me as it does now. I believe that my only child status helped me to be more creative, comfortable with being alone and willing to take social risks. In terms of being able to relate to the world at large I think it has been a plus, I am comfortable diffusing energy….in terms of intense one-on-one relationships I feel that I have always been at a disadvantage, feeling a kind of discomfort that I felt in my own intense mother-father-daughter triad I worked hard at adopting myself to large gregarious family situations…friends with lots of sibs, cousins and co-housing with lots of roomates are just a few examples. I feel that I [...]

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Are only children happier?

A new study finds that quarreling siblings increase stress for the children as well as the parents.

Published in ‘The Week’  Is one the loneliest number? A new study says kids without siblings may be better off — thanks to an absence of bullying at home A new study finds that quarreling siblings increase stress for the children as well as the parents. Conventional wisdom holds that children without brothers and sisters are maladjusted and lonely compared to those with siblings. Not so, says a new British study from the University of Essex, which suggests that only children may have a better chance of happiness. Here’s a concise guide: What did the study find? Only children are happier than those with siblings, which may reflect the fact that they endure less bullying — something more than half of kids with siblings in the study reported. “Quarreling siblings increase stress for parents and some [parents] just give up intervening or intervene inconsistently, leaving the field wide open for [...]

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