February 2014

Are you the ‘author’ of your life?

I have recently received several emails from parents of onlies and from people in the later stages of life, a time when we re-evaluate how we have lived our lives. It is interesting how often people, at this stage, become more cognisant of the effect growing up an only child has had on their life choices. Similarly parents’ of an only child may notice with each year, the subtle differences in behaviour etc. their child displays in social situations, compared to children with siblings. In this post I am going to explore some of these issues from both sides of the fence! And a quick thank you to all those who have written to me in the last few months, your emails certainly stimulate my thoughts! Growing up an only child can be both positive and negative and is often a mixture of the two. From a therapeutic perspective it [...]

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How can you support your daughter as an only child?

Hi Bernice I am the mother of a teenage (14 year old) only daughter. Her father and I have always encouraged her to be independent and courageous. She is talented at sports, excels at her school work and is respected by her peers and teachers. Despite all this, she has few close friends and often seems lonely. She is more serious and mature than many of her peers and she is not afraid to speak her mind – which often alienates her from others. She does not ‘suffer fools gladly’. I am starting to feel guilty for her being an only child as she seems unable to form close bonds with others. I don’t know what to do or how to support her in this. Any advice? Bernice replies: My first response is please do not feel guilty there are a lot worse experiences than being an only child! Clearly [...]

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