Siblings

Kimberly - posted on 08/19/2009 ( 27 moms have responded )

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I really want another baby and my bf does not. What are your views? How important do you think siblings are? Do you think a child suffers with/without? How many are too many?

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[deleted account]

I have to say that for those who blatently say that kids NEED siblings, you're off-base. I am raising an only child by choice. We are lucky to have our one child as I never want to experience any more pregnancy losses and infertilty treatments than I have gone through already.



Having siblings does not guarantee that they like each other, respect each other, or contribute to the family in a positive way. My husband & his brother despise each other. My siblings and I were not close at all as kids, and are somewhat better now as adults. I see friends with multiple kids who kill each other all the time! My son is extremely well rounded, sees his cousins several times a week (one is just 6 months older), is in full day Pre-k with kids, partiicpates in sports, and playdates frequently. He is far from the INSULTING quote below:



(Quoting Michelle Mitchell) YOU personally offended me with your pointless opinion of "Bit selfish, aragont, not very good social skills, total disregard for other peoples opininons to name a few. Not saying that all only children are like that because there not but some of the most annoying, self centred people in my life grew up as only children." Yes, you described ANY child that may or may not have siblings. Blanket statement merely based on an observation of the handful of only children you know. One of my most arrogrant, selfish, poor social skills student is one of 4 kids and is nothing like his siblings that I had in previous years. So you're going to stand by your statement and spew crap that only children can't function in society? My best friend is so self-centered and life revolves aroudn her-she has 2 siblings. I can name lots of self-centered people with siblings.



What makes a larger family full of siblings any less significant than a happy and content family of three? Having siblings is NOT the most important aspect of a family dynamic. How about having loving parents? Financial stability & security. Education. Basic needs being met. Show me emperical evidence and documented data that proves that kids NEED siblings.



Signed,

Mother of an only child

~Jennifer - posted on 08/21/2009

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ok here goes.....



I am an only child. Did I ever feel like I missed out on something? No.

I grew up with my mother - mom and me against the world.....and I loved it.



I never acted out because I didn't have her full attention. I never experienced 'sibling rivalry'. I learned to be honest and responsible at an early age. It's impossible to do something wrong, something against the rules of the home, when there's no one else to blame it on. I learned quickly that when I was asked "what did you do?" that I had to tell the truth. There were no spankings, no harsh punishments, no time outs, because I couldn't 'lie' and say 'my brother did it'. I screwed up, I owned up.

I never had to vie for my mother's attention. We went a lot of places together; we went on a lot of 'fun runs' (as my mom used to call them), because we could afford to go - just the two of us.

I've never spoken the words "Mom loves me more than you"

I've never "beat up my little brother"

I've never been jealous that "she got this and I didn't"

I've never been told "Get out of my room"

I've never been asked "why can't you be more like your sister?"



It's not whether or not a person grows up with or without siblings. It's how the parent(s) care for and love the one, or the many children that make the difference in a family, no matter what number is placed after "family of _____"

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Kimberly - posted on 08/22/2009

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Thanks, I was just wondering what others thought about this. In no way am I going to pressure him and I don't feel like I absolutely have to have another one. I would definately love to but at the same time I need to be 100% sure that we can give them both the lives that we want them to have, which is why he is afraid of having another. Even though I would like another I am truly blessed to have my amazing little man:) I would rather him have a mommy and daddy that are together than seperated because they can't agree. I would never break up my family to fill my want of another child. Thank you for your input it helped to shed some light on all sides:)

[deleted account]

I think the decision to have another child has to be something that is mutually agreed upon by you and your partner. Maybe he just isn't ready yet. Maybe you two could discuss it and come to a compromise....like say, ok no more babies for now, but by the time your son or daughter is X years old, let's start talking about trying for another. Then go from there. Some people are just more comfortable having one. I think you should also count your blessings. Some people want children and can't have any....so even if you and your partner never see eye to eye on this, even if you never get to have any other children, the one you already have is a blessing that many women would do just about anything to have. Good luck :)

[deleted account]

Quoting Esther:

 As for socialization etc. - I think I may have to make a bit more of an effort in terms of arranging play dates and encouraging friendships, but I'm up to the task.


I have to agree 100% Esther.  As a parent of an only child, I make it my mission to be certain that Matthew is constantly involved with playdates & socializing with peers.  I also live in a kid-friendly neighborhood where he plays with all age groups of kids.  Whether Matt has a sibling or not, he is being RAISED around kids so that he learns to play, share, take turns, etc.  He is also like any 4 1/2 year old that tantrums and whines.  Yet at the same time he certainly has good manners and knows how to behave in social settings.  If Matt had a sibling, I would be doing the same to that child.  I suppose the only thing he is spoiled by is an overwhelming smothering of love and 100% attention from Mommy & Daddy.

Esther - posted on 08/22/2009

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I should also add that my husband and I both have a younger brother and neither one of us has a close relationship with them. Siblings are not a guarantee for happiness either. In our case (as horrible as that may sound) they were a burden more than a blessing.

JL - posted on 08/22/2009

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I do think that having siblings does have one great advantage....You can always blame the things you do on them..HAHA!

Esther - posted on 08/22/2009

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I have one child and I plan to leave it at that. I feel like I have won the lottery with him and I could not ask for anything more. I feel that in order for us to be able to provide for him in the way that I want, we cannot afford any more children. And when I say provide I do not mean only financially, but also emotionally. I have a full-time job so my time with Lucas is limited. I make sure that it is quality time though. But I think, for me, that would be hard to do with 2 (let alone more) children. Working less with another mouth to feed is just not doable. Also, I'm 36 now. Before Lucas I had a miscarriage. I was worried sick the whole 40 weeks of my pregnancy with Lucas. I think if I were to be pregnant again over 35, I would be even more terrified of something going wrong. As irrational as it may be, I don't feel like pushing my luck. I've been blessed once with this incredible child. That's more than some people get. I'm more than satisfied. As for socialization etc. - I think I may have to make a bit more of an effort in terms of arranging play dates and encouraging friendships, but I'm up to the task. Right now Lucas is in daycare (has been since 12 weeks) so he's plenty used to having other kids around and he's a highly social child (he's the only one in his class to this day who knows all the other kids by name, and he has known them by name since before he was even a year old). The other day a little girl in his class was crying and he walked over and said "Stop Piper - shhhh!" to try to soothe her. So I'm not particularly concerned about him becoming this self absorbed egotistical maniac.

?? - posted on 08/21/2009

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Devon and I have opposite ideas on siblings and being an only child. I have 2 half sisters, 1 brother, and 2 sisters. He is an only child. I would love Gabriel to have a sibling or two or 8127381237891 if possible but it sure is not necessary. I don't think a child having or not having siblings has any more baring on how that child will grow up than say... whether they go to public school or private school, whether they attend daycare or have a babysitter, whether they have a stay at home mom or a work away from home mom.



Every child will be different depending on every experience in their life and their upbringing.



Mary Elizabeth, I hope you don't mind me using you as an example and I apologize if you are offended and I will remove this part of my post if you would like me too.



Mary Elizabeth said that she grew up in a very racist family and yet, she is the first person to say racism is unacceptable. Just because 1 child is a part of something DOES NOT mean they will turn out one way or another way. I think Mary is a wonderful example of becoming an adult that is not how the 'statistics' would have pinned her with her family.



Siblings or not, it will only have a bad impression on a childs upbringing if you allow it too. And if either the man or woman thinks that they are not ready for another child, giving that baby a sibling is not going to do that relationship or that family any good at all.

Sara - posted on 08/21/2009

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I don't think it's a necessity, but as my mom put it once "Your siblings are the only ones who truly know where you come from, they know your history". I would like to have another, if it doesn't happen, I won't die...but I want my Rowan to have at least 1 or 2 siblings to be around after me and my husband kick the bucket. Again, there's nothing wrong with having only one child...it's your personal choice!

Jeannette - posted on 08/21/2009

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I agree with Tracy...it should be a decision you both agree on, and he may just not be ready yet. I mean, if your child is still really young and still requires a lot of hands on parenting, not to mention diapers...he may be thinking it'd be too much. However, in a few years, he may forget how much work these years are.

I think a family has a choice as to how many kids they can have. If you want 20 kids, and you can support them, have fun!

Tracy - posted on 08/21/2009

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How many children you have is a personal choice but if your bf is not ready for another I think it would be wrong to pressure him into another if he is not ready yet. Its up to the parents to make sure they raise their child right. Some people can still raise selfish spoilt children whether their is one or more.

JL - posted on 08/21/2009

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The way a child acts as far as manners and behavior goes has nothing AT ALL to do with whether they are an only child or not. It has everything to do with the way they are being raised. So if an only child or a child with siblings is a straight up spoiled rude little brat..Thank the parents for doing such a Craptasitic job at raising that kid.



I waited four years before a had my second kid and during the four years when my oldest was an only child she was and still is a well mannered child...which had everything to do with my parenting skills not the amount of kids I had in my household.



It is up to the family how many kids they want. If they want to have only one child then RIGHT ON and if they want more then one then RIGHT ON. As long as the kids are being loved and taken care of properly then that is all that should matter.

Kimberly - posted on 08/21/2009

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Sorrry if you were offended by what was said. I wasn't trying to imply that only children are like that. I guess I should have been more specific in saying that the one that I knew was like that and just like everything else you can't judge and put everyone into a group. I hate being lumped into the "teen mom= bad mom group" so I know what you mean. My son does not have a lot of other children around to play with as for some reason my friends are lazy and never do anything with their kids and most of my family doesn't speak to me and are lazy as well. Which is why having a sibling for my son is important to me. I know it won't always be that like that and once he starts school he will make his own friends. But to me a sibling is important. We will only be having another one when we know that we will be able to financially support it and not always be broke. I enjoy taking my son on mini trips and to special places and want to make sure that if I have another once we can still do that. I was just asking to see others thoughts on the subject mabye shed some light on to my boyfriends point of view.

Sarah - posted on 08/21/2009

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I don't think a child NEEDS to have siblings.
Is it nice to have siblings....yes. Is it necessary to be happy, well rounded and socialised.....NO!
I have a sister, and i have two kids....but i really don't think having siblings is the be all and end all!
I think it's a bit mean to imply that an only child is lacking in some way to be honest.
:)

Katie - posted on 08/21/2009

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Yes, like Sharon I am the mother of an only child aged 8.....she is an extremely mannerly,polite,caring,happy,wholesome,compassionate and fun little child who EVERYONE who comes into contact with absolutely adores being around.... both adult and child. We have recently just moved house to an area with lots of kids around for her to play with and the doorbell never stops ringing with kids looking for her because she is such a lovely person. She shares all her toys kindly,says please and thank you all the time and has a general nice way about her that just shines through. My daughter is NOT lonely,spoiled,self-centered,is socially adapted, not selfish, not aragont,and she values everyone's opinions.....because I have raised her to be that way. Children need guidance in life whether an only child or a child from a family of 3 or 4 siblings......I don't really understand how someone could think having or not having siblings could be the cause for their behaviour,its ludacris and ignorant in my opinion. I can only comment on my daughter though,and how well rounded she is,I am very very lucky indeed and I wouldn't want it any other way. It is my choice to have an only child and I am very happy with my decision. She gets some wonderful opportunities as an only,lots and lots of love and plenty of security.......nothing less than she deserves. I certainly won't be apologising to anybody for my decision,critics who say "an only child is a lonely child" for example,I wouldn't be able to respond to that in a dignified way so therefore I won't......its just the height of ignorance. Sometimes 'traditional' has to move on,traditional mindsets too......its 2009,times have changed,family units are so different these days,and different can be a GOOD thing too! Financial constraints,economic downturns etc also another reason why perhaps one might choose to have an only,though not in my case....I'm just happy with one plain and simple. Though why I feel I have to explain or defend myself is rather odd actually!! We must agree to disagree on this one I think.......because I feel we will most probably never reach a compromise on this subject which is so close to my own personal circumstances.

Signed,
Mother of an only child.

Veronica - posted on 08/20/2009

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This is your call. We've come from large families. Me - im the second of five. My mom is from a family of ten, and my husband is from a family of 10. His parents each came from large families too - eleven and ten as well. So huge families dont scare us away. I don't think it matters how many children you have. Some are suited better than others for bigger or smaller families. Its all about what you want and are comfortable. And i wouldn't be quick to judge those who want just one, or want 20 kids. We are going to go until we know we are done - which we thought we were done at 5 - but we are still open for more if the good Lord blesses us. I dont look at finances. The Lord says: dont worry about food, clothing, housing - these things I will provide for you - worry about your soul. In the end, when we die - is $$ or things or possessions going to get us into heaven (or whatever your afterlife is)??What we do here on earth, our love, and forgiveness - is what truly matters.



Make your own decision. Do what makes you happy.

ME - posted on 08/20/2009

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I am one of 5, and two of my three sisters are my closest friends on the planet. I felt like I needed to attempt to give that to my son as well...We are having one more. My hubby and I will stop with 2, and be grateful for those (as I was not supposed to be able to have children without help, and haven't needed it)...but that is because of our financial situation and not because I wouldn't love to have a larger family. My hubby is an only child, and I think he feels pretty lonely sometimes...he was shocked at what a "big family holiday" looks and feels like, and his dad is his best friend...not that there is anything wrong with that or with him...but after getting to know my family, he agreed that Miles needed a sibling to grow up with and have around in later life!

Kimberly - posted on 08/20/2009

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I definately think having a sibling is important as well. I have 2 sisters and suffer from the middle child syndrome :) Even though we fought a lot when we were younger and still do it is nice to have them around. I knew one only child when I was younger and she was very selfish and spoiled rotten. I think it would be boring. I love my son but feel that he will soon be sick of constantly playing and doing things with mommy and daddy. I don't know how to explore and make up games like kids do.

I also think that parents can go overboard and have to many. I can't really say a number but when I hear about people having large amounts of children especially when they aren't in a position to support them it does turn me off. It makes me wonder how they find the time to show love to all those children individually.

Sharon - posted on 08/20/2009

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One isn't better than the other. Only children or children with siblings doesn't matter. There are pro's and con's.



I think the only way I would have INSISTED on siblings for my child (was almost an issue) was if my child would have been the last of the living family. No cousins or young aunts/uncles on either side.



When you're growing up (through your 20's and 30's) its nice to be able to share the little joys of life with family. Someone to invite over for holiday dinners.



If your child has those cousins etc. I don't think they "need" a sibling.



However if you feel you need a child to complete your family then you and your BF need to have a real talk.



I wasn't an only child, and my husband was one of six, we have 3 kids and only two of the 10 cousins are worth knowing.



I had only child friends. They weren't well socialised though. Raised and lived with only their parents, no cousins, no play dates, they were always a little "odd" lol but good kids anyways.

Crystal - posted on 08/20/2009

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Siblings are soooooooooo important in our families (I'm 1 of 4, Husband's 1 of 5). I grew up with my younger brother as my constant companion, partner in crime, and Best Friend, and even though we live a state away now, we are still always calling each other up.

We are planning on giving our daughter a younger sibling soon enough!

Dana - posted on 08/20/2009

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We would like to have another child. I don't want my son to feel alone in the world after we pass away. Even right now, he's only one and he loves when we get together with his cousins. He definitely needs a sibling imo. As for others, I think it would be beneficial for all children but, is it practical. That's up to the parents.

Michelle - posted on 08/20/2009

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I think siblings are a treasure, i have 2 brothers and i cant imagine ever being an only child (how boring life would of been) but you shouldnt have another baby if you dont want one just so ur child has a sibling. I know a few only children and well i can tell that they were. Bit selfish, aragont, not very good social skills, total disregard for other peoples opininons to name a few. Not saying that all only children are like that because there not but some of the most annoying, self centred people in my life grew up as only children. I think you can have to many. I think any more than 4 kids is too many, 2 or 3 is a good number although with 3 there is middle child syndrome and my 21 year old brother still suffers from that now, lol! Who knows what the right number is, i suppose you just keep going till you know thats enough.

Amie - posted on 08/19/2009

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I grew up in a big family. Each of my parents have 5 siblings (including themselves) and then they had the 4 of us. I have 4 kids now, go figure. LOL. Of my Aunts and Uncles the least any of them have is 2. Needless to say holidays are chaotic at the best of times, anarchy at the worst. haha. =)

Anyways,

I've never really put a lot of thought into whether siblings are important or not. I've always known I wanted a big family. There's nothing wrong with only having 1 child. It just wasn't for me.

None of my kids suffer from being in a houseful of children. They all get lots of attention and love. They all have time set aside with both me and my husband plus family time. It's not all roses and lollipops though, they do have their days where they don't get along. (Boy can they fight too. =S) It's definitely helped them with their social skills though and our younger ones are learning and hitting their milestones faster than our older ones did. That has a lot to do though with how many people are at home and helping them along. Not all younger siblings are like this either.

I don't want to put a number on how many is too many. I think our family might (small chance but it is there) have one more. If not that's fine. It all depends on people's situation I suppose. Though I will admit, when I hear stories like the Octomom and the new duodecaplets, it makes me shake my head.

Lindsay - posted on 08/19/2009

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I personally think it's great to have siblings but it's no one's choice but yours. I think more of when I'm old and gone, do I really want them to not have any family. I don't know any different though as I as the youngest of 3. I've always had siblings but being an only child seems so lonely IMO. I don't think there is such a thing as too many until you can no longer provide the needs of the child. My mom is from a family with 9 children and they are all still so close and it's so nice to be around a large family. My dad was one of 4. I have stopped at 2 but am so glad they have each other. =)

Lindsay - posted on 08/19/2009

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I personally think it's great to have siblings but it's no one's choice but yours. I think more of when I'm old and gone, do I really want them to not have any family. I don't know any different though as I as the youngest of 3. I've always had siblings but being an only child seems so lonely IMO. I don't think there is such a thing as too many until you can no longer provide the needs of the child. My mom is from a family with 9 children and they are all still so close and it's so nice to be around a large family. My dad was one of 4. I have stopped at 2 but am so glad they have each other. =)

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