Raising children is much more than a routine. It is something that every parent does out of extreme love & affection. All parents want to provide the best possible upbringing to their child. Therefore, to give their child the best and have a better parenting experience for themselves, many new-age couples wish to plan for everything about their child in advance. Amidst such planning, a question that often strikes their minds is whether to have a single child or more than one child. Based on different experiences of many parents and research findings, in this post, we would be sharing some observations & thoughts concerning each of the two situations with all of you. Several years ago, having big families was common, and this was seen as an advantage. This was mainly because children began working at an early age to help provide for the family. But with the changing times and the cost of living getting higher every year, having a big family is no longer considered a practical option. More parents these days are choosing to have a single child.
In some cases, it is the family’s financial constraints, while in others, it is the parents’ desire to fulfill their own career goals. And many times, it is simply the couple’s belief that this is the best way to save & provide all the resources, love & care to the child. However, there are a lot many aspects that need to be understood from the child’s perspective.
Let’s have a look at some interesting statistics:
According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, back in 1986, most women were more likely to have given birth to two children. However, women were still more likely to have had three or more children than to have had two children. It was the most common trend back in 2006. However, these days, most families in Australia have two children. But the number of women who had given birth to a single child increased progressively from 8% to 13% in 2006.
Advantages of “only child”
Whether you want to have only child or siblings is one of the major debatable topics even to this century. There is a myth that an only child is often more selfish than someone who has siblings. People believe that they’re spoiled and lonely. But the truth is: Children being their first and foremost priority, parents usually try new & innovative activities, thus spending quality time with her. When they find it challenging to get involved in the child’s world of imaginary creations and activities, they tend to find a solution to involve & engage the child in their own world like taking them to movies, going to game arcades, or enjoying rides at amusement parks, etc., more often than usual. This brings the child much closer to her parents and helps the family’s bond grow even stronger.
Disadvantages of being an “only child”
One of the most noticeable difficulties that an only child faces is the feeling of loneliness. With no other child of her age at home to share her favorite toys with or to fight for a few extra bites of food, she tends to seek even more attention from the parents. The situation becomes furthermore tricky when both the parents are working.
However, if the parents maintain a friendly relationship with the child and spend ample time with her, they can surely fill in her sibling’s space with a little more effort and affection. Does your child’s school teacher often complain about your little one not being able to share or mingle with any of her classmates? Then that’s another challenge with an only child. And who can blame her? Think of a child who has spent most of his time with his parents and not with any brother or sister of his age group. Such a child will find it a bit hard to interact with others when she starts going to school.
Advantages of having siblings
Kids raised with siblings have a great and natural understanding. They generally spend more time with each other than their parents, so their relationship is likely to last long. Not just that, they can shape up against each other’s personalities. Kids who grow up with their siblings tend to feel more secured during adulthood. They get to understand the value of relationships, love, and family at an early age. No wonder they have their different individualities. But at the same time, siblings help each other to boost up in any circumstances. The most interesting thing about sibling relationships is your children will be able to strengthen their communication skills by watching and listening to their siblings. The older siblings are like role models to younger ones. The more, the younger siblings observe their older siblings, the faster they will strengthen their own skills.
Is it better to be the parents of the only child or siblings?
No wonder there are a lot of pros and cons of being an only child. Especially when it comes to personal development. Having a sibling will make your children more selfless. Research suggests that having a sibling will help your child develop sympathy, but there are exceptions to this. But as parents, what do you think is better: having an only child or siblings? Yes, we understand parenting more than one child is a little more of a hardship for you than a struggle for the children for their attention. And the very first logical challenge that you have to meet is the expense and the exertions to satisfy both the children at the same time. The different age groups and different needs of the children further add to this difficulty.
In the end, the decision of having the only child or siblings is completely yours. After discussing all the possible situations and thinking about how you want to step into the stage of parenthood, you can make your choice. Our suggestion? Well, there is no particular wrong or right answer to the question. It is just about giving your emotional best to your child or children while not sacrificing your own space too much. After all, wholly happy parents can raise a happy family.
So what’s your take on this? What, according to you, is better: only child or sibling? Also would love to know some exciting incidents about how privileged you are being “the only child” or parent of the “only child,” as well as how privileged you are being surrounded by siblings all your life?