How do you cope you child being the only child at home?

Ruchi - posted on 04/24/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My daughter is the only child and desperately misses the opportunity of having another sibling at home. So every time she has any play-dates she starts crying at the end of the play date when it is time for her friend to go home. I also try to do as many fun activities with her as possible. I work from home but full time. How do I help her cope with this situation?

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Sue - posted on 10/25/2011

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I think it is safe to say that children with siblings may protest or get weepy when a play date ends as well - what if there is a younger sibling @ home that is in an infancy stage that really cannot "play with" their older sibling? I am one of 6 kids - my older sister was 5 yrs older than I and my younger brother was close in age to me but we had different interests based on our genders...I hung out with my siblings more than we "played." My son is 4 and an only - he doesn't cry when play dates end but he is not happy about it (usually because he likes the different toys his friend has). My son has never complained of being lonely to me - he enjoys his time with his friends and pre school classmates and he seems to like his quiet alone time as well - we all need a little of both some times!! Hope the situation improves...

Lori - posted on 08/08/2011

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My daughter is an only child as well, and we've also had periods where she is desperately lonely and wishes she had a sister. We found preschool helped, and also signed her up for several activities--swimming, gymnastics, and dance. We also found that playdates helped, and when she was still preschool age, we had some neighborhood kids that helped fill the void as well (but like you, then they had to go home and she was not pleased). Now that she's in school (going into second grade), she's still busy with activities, which helps enormously, and I'm starting to notice that she has more and more times when she's content to do things by herself (mostly arts and crafts). We also leveled with her and told her that we would not be able to give her a sister, but pointed out the many good friends she has, who are like sisters. She seems to have accepted this and is making peace with her "only-ness." We do still have challenges during the "lonely" times, but I can assure you that there is a light at the end of the rainbow.

Amberly - posted on 04/24/2011

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Maybe getting her a small kitten or puppy. While that does add more responsibilities for you, it will also teach her responsibilities. She can help you feed/clean/walk... the pet. That's what my mom did for me when I was younger, and my dog was my best friend. Good Luck.

[deleted account]

My 6 year old son is an only child as well, but far from being lonely. He was in a traditional day care setting until age 4 and then we switched to an amazing preschool. Although I work full time, he has adjusted to this schedule easily. But there were other preschool friends that were part-timers, 3 days a week. Even though my son was always enrolled in a sport/activity and library events, it was the day-to-day connections at preschool that made him grow and blossom. Even now that he is in Kindergarten, he WANTS to go back to the old preschool for their awesome summer camp program geared for school-aged kids.
Eh...every now and then he comments about not having a sibling. But I tell him that in life there are a lot of things you can, and cannot have. A sibling is one of those things you cannot have. Good luck!

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Jane - posted on 08/16/2011

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My father was an only and he always had a dog for company. He also had chickens to feed.

Nikole - posted on 08/16/2011

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My son is 5 and an only child...can't have more and adoption is not a preference. He has gone to preschool and he does sleep-overs with his cousins weekly. He truly looks forward to playing with other kids and I can appreciate the crying at separation because this has happened and it tears me up. But, when there is consistency in the play dates he knows it is not good bye forever so that helps. Also, I made a conscious decision to not ever let chores and other household stuff take me away from actively playing with him whether it be building a puzzle, reading, playing sports or just watching a movie. I will do dishes at midnight if it means spending quality time with him being active. I give him undivided attention and I also do not interrupt his play time when he is playing by himself because that is important time too! I think sometimes parents of only children forget that their only one needs some time by themselves playing and that is a good thing for both parent and child!

Valerie - posted on 04/24/2011

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i think it might be helpful to have more play dates away from home so that everybody leaves and goes home rather than her experiencing the loss at home...also let her go to their houses for play dates where she is sure to discover that things are different and there are some things that she can't wait to return home for...all the best

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