May 2015

A follow on from the ‘negative side’ of having one child

I receive many emails from mothers and sometimes fathers who are not sure whether  to have another child or not, so I thought I would post this recent email from a younger only child adult. Whist ideally no parent gets divorced or looses a partner – leaving them alone with just a child for company. The reality is that it can happen, and will put an extra strain on one child who may not have another person to talk too. This is the ‘role reversal’ the writer speaks about. Having to ‘parent a parent’ can be extremely damaging to adolescent development, particularly when they are the only one to support a parent. This is because the young person cannot get on and develop the ability to psychologically separate from a parent who is relying on them emotionally. This will keep them in a semi-dependent state until the parent is ready [...]

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The ‘Negative’ side to being an only child

One of the visitor posts on ‘How only child prejudice affects the family’ states significantly that:  “There is a negative side to being an only child, but this is not often discussed.” I whole-heartedly agree. There seems to be a strong wish to overlook some of the shortcomings that can be a result of being brought up as an only child. The writer, very honestly goes on to say: “I fit all the stereotypes…spoiled, selfish, over-protected. I do not blend in with other people and I do not know how to do things other people do, even basic things like cooking. (What if I burned myself? What if a pot boiled over?) I think the key element here is being over-protected. Not that, of course, all only children are over-protected. At the other end of the spectrum some are in fact quite neglected. However first children are nearly always more [...]

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