By Guest Blogger Suzy Fielders
Do you have only one child? Do you have more than one child? Either way, this blog is for you! For those that answered yes to the first question, I hope you read through this nodding in agreement and adding on your own insights into the comments. For those that answered yes to the second question, I hope you read through this and have a better understanding of what life is really like for those of us with just one child.
It’s often hard to understand and empathize with people whose situations are different than ours. That’s human nature and nothing wrong with that. But, the best way to know about those different situations is to listen to those other people’s stories and viewpoints. There are plenty of myths surrounding only children, and as a mom of one child I wanted to dispel some of those as best I could.
Myth 1: Only children are lonely.
I don’t even know how many times I’ve heard this one. In fact, just the other day I saw someone write on a Facebook post that they were hesitant to just have one kid because they thought it meant the child would be lonely. Let me put everyone’s mind at ease… my child (or any only child for that fact) is not lonely. In fact, only children receive all the parents’ time and attention, so they are far from lonely. If anything, there might be times, especially in the preteen and teen years, that they wish they got a little less attention and were lonely! My daughter, and I’m sure every other only child, has plenty of friends from various walks of life, as well as cousins, so they still have plenty of child interactions. Pets can also serve as a great ‘playmate.’
Another common thing I’ve been asked, is why I don’t want more kids so she will have someone to play with. I’m sure other parents of only children have heard this too. Having a child is a major decision, as well as very personal, and shouldn’t be something to be judged on if they don’t want more.
Myth 2: Only children are spoiled and won’t share.
Just because a person has just one child doesn’t mean they constantly give them everything they want and ask for. Plenty of only children, just like kids with siblings, don’t always get what they want and are told no.
My daughter has been in daycare since she was a baby and then made it all the way through elementary school. Not once was her not sharing ever an issue. Actually, her teachers and childcare instructors always told me that she was always one to be the first to share and give something.
Myth 3: Only children lack socialization skills.
Talking to friends is the one thing my daughter has always gotten into trouble for in school or extracurricular activities. Grades or anything else were never an issue. All her teachers have always commented on how she is such a little social butterfly. She loves her friends, and making new friends. Not because she’s lonely, but because she’s great at socializing and that is who she is.
If you have an only child as well, sound off in the comments with your thoughts on this topic or other myths that just aren’t true! If you have multiple children, and have friends with just one child please think about this blog when you see or talk to them next time – and comment below with myths of raising multiple children you want to dispel! Motherhood is a crazy journey and we should all be in this together and support one another – without the myths or assumptions! At the end of the day I have no doubt every parent will agree on this… being a parent to any child, no matter how many, is the hardest, yet most rewarding, ‘job’ there is!
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- Lead-in image photo credit: Inspired Memorys Photography