Are you an only child, or do you have an only child?

Bree - posted on 02/17/2011 ( 217 moms have responded )

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I have a 16 month old daughter, and it's very possible that she will be an only child. I have a sister, so don't know what being an only child is like and I want to do my best to provide my daughter with what she needs socially (and otherwise) since she won't have a sibling. If you are an only child, or have an only child (and know that you don't plan to have another), can you give me some suggestions for what to consider or to provide my daughter given the fact that she won't have a built-in playmate or a sibling to lean on?

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Laurie - posted on 02/22/2011

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Only children do just fine! I have an only child who is getting ready to graduate from college and he is not spoiled, self-centered or any other stereotype you read. Don't buy into that hype or let anyone who has no experience try to tell you what will happen to your child. Even kids with siblings grow up to hate them and never play with them so you don't have another child to provide a playmate. Every only child I know has a better vocabulary and is really more "giving" and willing to share. The last is because they don't have constantly fight for their share of toys etc.
I did not provide any extra playmates before my son started school. he did not attend daycare or preschool and did just fine when he started school. While I spent time intereacting with him before he started school i did not entertain him. As a result he learned to entertain himself. Once he was in school he made friends easily. We also had pets and that helped.
I used to worry that he would be 'alone" when we died. But after losing my parents and my husband losing his parents over the years I realized how much my husband and I depended on each other and how little we depended on our sibling. In fact, there were more problems at those times BECAUSE of the siblings.
Just don't over compensate for not having a sibling for her. They really don't miss what they don't have. If you were to ask my son now he would tell you that he is happy to be an only.

[deleted account]

My son is 14. He is an only child. I was the 2nd oldest of 6 so this was very much a concious choice. My son was in daycare, and then public school and was socialized well there. By the time he was 8 we chose to cyber school from home. We have joined a lot of organizations in our area for field trips, outings and the like. We go to the park - we have even borrowed one of his friend's dogs so we could take the dog to the dog park! lol Sooo much fun! A dog makes it so easy to make new friends. We live close to Hershey and do Hershey Park all summer. It is amazing how even a shy kid like my son can make friends at the wave pool. lol Having siblings isn't the only way to make friends or be socialized. I wouldn't worry so much. There are benefits to having only one child. Outings will costs less, so you can do more of them! You can give them your full attention and that really does help their self esteem. If you have a partner, they will also learn to be patient and that the world revolves around more than them. Even if you don't, like myself, I have 2 hrs a day that he knows is ME time. (I started that when he was about 4) In an effort not to 'spoil' my child he works for his money (chores!) and if he wants something he usually buys it for himself. I explained that I was teaching him to be responsible, value the work that goes into getting money, and best of all to love himself and give gifts of love to himself because we can't always count on someone else to give us what we need. He also has a program we do where if he does 20 chores over and above what is required he gets to pick a charity and we donate $20 that month to it. He knows what it means to help others in need. We started that about 1st grade. (5 or 6?) He really loves it when we go to the store and buy $20 worth of pet food/toys and take it to the shelter. I think that is his favorite, but we also do the soup kitchens too. And he loves seeing the gratitude on their faces. So worry not! As long as you are creative and not afraid to ask for help or suggestions, you and your daughter will be just fine!

[deleted account]

I am an only child and this is just an opinion but here goes.

First you must do what is right for you and what takes care of you best. If having more than one child is a challenge for you to consider, whatever the reason, then you must follow your internal guidance. It would never be best for your child if you do anything that creates undue stress for yourself.

That said there are two other points on the matter that I would like to weigh in.
As a child I did often wish I had a sibling and occassionally as an adult I have fantasized what it might be like to have an ally that I am inextricably bound to.
On the other hand I know more people than I can easily count who resent or even detest their siblings including my own children and my parents. So I can't believe honestly that you as a parent can seriously determine any outcome either way.

Back to my original point, take care of yourself best you can and do what is best for you and your family will benefit because you did.

Sarah - posted on 02/22/2011

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I highly recommend reading the book Maybe One. My son will be a single child and I found this book very helpful and reassuring!

Kimberly - posted on 02/22/2011

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I am an only child, and I have an only child.
My daughter is 18 months, and for me, I have no desire to have another child because I want to offer her he best of myself and my resources. (No judgement ladies - I think it's great if you want and are able to have more. It's just not right for me). I do have to make an effort to make play dates for her (we have a lot of friends and a cousin nearby all born within a few months of each other) and I can tell you that out of all of the children she plays with, she is the best sharer, least selfish, very giving, loving, super creative and a really sweet person.
Only children get a bad rap for being spoiled. The most spoiled, entitled person I know has a sibling close in age. So I think it's less about the # of siblings and more about how the child is parented and taught to respect other people. Kids go to school early enough and they will socialize there. I feel like the space that I had to myself helped foster my creativity, and I also am a great sharer, am super independent and not spoiled in the slightest, despite being lavished with attention from my parents. They taught me, and I will teach my daughter, to have a regard for other people and gave me the BEST gift you can give a child - to feel lucky and thankful for everything that you have, which has more to do with raising a spoiled child than number of siblings, by far.
As a number of people mentioned, there are also classes, etc. that will put your child in social situations.
Relax and enjoy your daughter! ;)

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Donna - posted on 02/28/2011

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I am an only child and had 3 children. I have read the posts where people stated that they didn't think they missed out on anything and for the most part I agree. I also agree that the most important thing is to make sure she has the opportunity to be around other children her age so she gets the benefit of interaction and with learning to share, play with others, etc. The one thing I do think I missed out on was what it feels like to have siblings. Other than that one issue I don't think I missed out on anything. One thing I did hate was everyone's assumption that just because you were an only child you were automatically spoiled. I was not spoiled with anything other than love. I wasn't given everything or anything I wanted, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was loved.

Nete - posted on 02/28/2011

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Most annoying thing about being an only child is that everyone assumes that you must be spoiled rotten... sometimes fare from the case .... try not to over compensate by withholding things from your child just because your worried he-she will be spoiled or ... due to what other people say.... (my dad would.. no joke ... pick out broken old bikes from dumpsters and recycle them for me, because God forbid I was spoiled only child on a new bike ..) now having to pedal on the neighbors kids trash... was kind of taking it a bit to fare ...so just be mindful ... if you can afford it then get your child, what you would give a kid with siblings ..( I'm not knocking hand me downs...don't get me wrong, don't know what I do with out those ..its the principal of that they were trying to everything in their power to make sure spoiled was none existing)

Lisa - posted on 02/28/2011

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Yes. I am an only child. If you read the studies done on only children, they are leaders and grow up to be very successful, because they are never compared to anyone else. They also tend to be more mature because they are around older people. Last, but not least, they are very close to their parents. I always felt that I missed out on not having siblings, but then I met many people who were not close to their siblings, and envied that I was an only child. My husband and I chose to have 2 children, and when they were younger, they were close, Right now, they aren't. I have 2 cousins with only children. Growing up I always had lots of friends, went to camp and learned to get along with everyone. My friends are like my family.

Jenni - posted on 02/28/2011

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well...I haven't answered too many posts on this site, but this is one I couldn't pass up....I am the only child of two only children, raising an only child! Growing up as an only, I always said "I will NEVER have an only child....but this is not always our decision, and I feel blessed to have the one beautiful daughter that I have. Here is what I can offer, and remember, all I know is the life of an only. Most onlies end up spending a lot of time around adults, this can be a wonderful benefit in many ways as it breeds confidence and the ability to spend time with adults without needing to be "entertained". Most of us who are parents of onlies are very aware of the need for social interaction and go the extra mile to socialize our kids in various settings, so really onlies can have the best of both worlds.My daughter started Preschool at 2 1/2 and has loved every minute of school, she had overnights with her Grandparents very early on, and tried to encourage opportunities for her to be "on her own". It can be challenging at times, when you really wish that your child had a sibling to play with, (particularly, when you're trying to get something done around the house! :) I remember as a child, my parents always nurtured my creativity, with all sorts of arts and crafts and creative materials for me to play with, and as I got older I could spend hours entertaining myself if necesary, but really had wonderful creative time spent with my parents as well. That is one of the things that I've tried to do with my daughter early on...is to encourage her to express her creativity. We never went anywhere without a bag of crayons, paper, clay, or some sort of creative outlet. To this day, (my daughter is 9) She has a box of "stuff" in the car that she can pull out and work on...she "designs" party dresses and gowns, creates her own mazes...carries Sudoku books, word finds, etc. We also had her involved in dance, drama and other activities early on where she had the opportunity to use that confidence and to socialize on a regular basis with kids of all ages.

One thing I can tell you that I am doing differently from my parents? I learned the hard way that "onlies" tend to not have the same "thick skin" that those with a sibling can have...kids with siblings learn tough love early...even though they love you, a brother or sister can say some really hurtful things...and a child with a sibling eventually learns, that wow,that comment hurt, or that was a mean thing to say, but are better able to shake it off and move on....having said that...an only doesn't have that experience, and kids can be mean, and can be hurtful...and if you don't prepare your only that someone can say a really mean thing, and yet still really like you...it can lead to a lot of pain and heartache! Your daughter is still very young, so it's not an issue, but as she grows, especially if she is of an emotional or dramatic make up...(seems like it comes with the territory with girls!) help her to understand that these things happen and help her to learn to not be a doormat, but not dissolve into an emotional mess when someone says something mean. (that was me!) Also be prepared for an only who may not like being an only. I was one of those...I HATED being an only...and made every point to tell my parents (who couldn't have any more children) that that was all I wanted...I mean every birthday, Christmas...etc...all I would ask for,,,with real tears... was a brother or sister....and would remind them of how much I HATED being an only. (thus the reason, I said I would never have an only) But God has a sense of humor and chose to give me an only child. My daughter, on the other hand, says she doesn't mind it at all...she realizes that she probably has more oportunities than her friends have to do certain things or have some special things that her friends with many siblings may not enjoy...would she like to have a brother or sister? if you asked her, she'd say...you bet!...but she's old enough now to understand that's not always possible. All in all, she has loads of friends, and a busier social calendar than I do...and we share really special times together...Even though I thought I NEVER wanted an only....I now feel BLESSED to have an only!

Christina - posted on 02/28/2011

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I am an only child and it took me 7 years to get a cousin and it was a boy and 13 years to get another girl in the family (I was the 1st grandchild on both my mom and dads side of the family) and so at family events I mainly stuck with the adults since I was the only child for a long time. I did have friends and would play at their house or my house but I always wished that I had a brother or sister. My best friends always came from big families and I probably hung around those houses more than mine just because I liked the people all over the place. I had 1 friend who had 6 older brothers and sisters, another one had 2 half sisters, a half brother and step brother and step sister and another one had 2 sisters 1 step brother and a half brother and half sister so I'm not saying have 5 kids or anything but maybe 1 more I know I would have like it. I have 3 kids but thats another story lol

Cherry - posted on 02/28/2011

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I had an only child, a boy. At 2 I enrolled him in a Mother's
day Out program once a week. If your not comfortable at first you can always stop in from time to time between errands and check up on her to assure yourself that she's OK. at least the first month or two. I also sent my son to Montessori school at 3 yrs and he met several friends there. you may cry alot at first, leaving her there but it gets better. Having a good friend is the best. Encourage friendships and always interview parents in a roundabout way. Get to know them too. As she grows up she will make her own friends. You have to look out for them and that they are making the right kind of friends. try to get to know them in the beginning, after a few weeks it's almost impossible to split them up. Be involved and love her alot.

Alison - posted on 02/28/2011

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My husband and I are 50 something parents of a 1 1/2 year old baby boy...adopted. It's looking like we will not have the time or the money to go through another adoption, so our little boy will most likely be an only child. This has concerned me because both my husband and I grew up with siblings. We have been taking our little boy to a playgroup, three times a week given free by our Homeowners association and have seen him blossom with respect to socializing with others. Being older parents and living in a remote area, we worried about this. All our friends have children and grandchildren now...not one close friend has a baby our age. But I think joining these little playgroups, or daycare or even a Sunday School nursery time each week is important. Just getting out there and making friends with other mothers of kids in the same age group is a HUGE deal. Even if you don't have much in common with the parents (if there is an age gap), it's all about what is beneficial for the kids.

Tatia - posted on 02/28/2011

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I am an only child. I really didn't like it much growing up because we moved a lot. I am very social and had a lot of friends, just wished for more stability in one school or space. It is especially tough now, as both my parents died at young ages and I don't have any siblings or many cousins to communicate with. I have a great husband and family now, just thought you should know it's tougher for me now that I'm older.

Alexandra - posted on 02/28/2011

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yes, i would suggest a lot of playgroups and activities outside of the house.

Leila - posted on 02/28/2011

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I also have one child. I cannot have another for medical reasons. He is 8. I think that the main thing would be socialization skills. Definatly enroll in preschool. And were pretty lucky that we have kids on our block that are the same age so he plays with other kids every day. I sometimes worry about ' only child syndrome" but I also think that's it's okay to spoil a little!! I would just recommend a lot of playdates with a little one her age. If you don't know anyone, check online or ask local preschools, a lot of communities have mothers clubs and such so that you can meet other mothers with kids. There's nothing wrong with an only child IMO, but some people might say that the child may get spoiled with all your attention. I think thats BS, sorry. Have one child, and raise him/her well. My son is very well adjusted, socially, does well in school cause I have time to devote to his schoolwork, plays sports and is a great kid.

Rita - posted on 02/28/2011

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I am an only child and I have a son. Growing up I loved being an only child, I feel it truly suited my personality. I took Art Museum lessons, Piano lessons, had my parents focus whenever I needed it, and plenty of school friends. Do not think of an only child as being deprived. That's just stupid. The only time I ever wished for a sibling was after I became an adult, and that was just for someone to share the load of caring for my aging parents.
My son is also an only child. He has the type of personality that would thrive on having at least one sibling but I do not believe that he is in anyway deprived because he does not have a sibling. It is just the situation at hand and we make the best of everything we have.

Knel - posted on 02/28/2011

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Hello, I'm an only child, 47 yrs. old, and have 2 kids. I suggest that you give your daughter a pet of her own when she's ready to have one. That would help her to learn how to share, love, and care for others.

Rebecca - posted on 02/28/2011

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do activities with your daughter. Get out and go places. I am an only child and my mom played with me and encouraged me to use my imagination/play on my own as well.
My son was an only child for 5 years and he and I played together as well as me encouraging him to play on his own. We also did a lot of things together - cook, shop, play, clean, etc.

Anissa - posted on 02/28/2011

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I have a daughter that is 3 yrs old.....and I do believe that she WILL be an only child. :-) I don't think I can go back to the diapers and the midnight breastfeedings and the "whatever else" that comes with having a baby. I sure want NOTHING to do with those labor pains....LOL I love motherhood, but I don't think I want to go back in time.........i think ;-)

Nisreen - posted on 02/28/2011

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I have an only child his 7yrs. old. He wants all my time energy drian, has hard time @ school cuz, he doesn't get the attention like home I wish I could do things different although I can't touch the pass. can do things different now. Like get a life, I'm not only a MOM. I love my gift soooooooooo much .

Kenya - posted on 02/28/2011

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I am an only child and I have an 18-month old who is also an only child. He has a 16-year old half brother that lives out of state. I would suggest you get her into daycare to socialize with other kids her age. Also, make sure she has friends in the neighborhood. I don't think it will be a problem as long as you start exposing her to toddlers now.

Paula - posted on 02/28/2011

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We, thankfully, have family near by and a neice just a year older than our daughter. At four, my girl is also a student at a local Co-Op preschool. I really believe that this has helped A LOT!!! Not only is she with other kids a few hours a day but, once or twice a week, I'm with other Moms. This school is my life line, a great "circle" for advise and encouragement.

Michelle - posted on 02/28/2011

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i have a son 7 with no hope of any siblings, he is more than happy with his autonomous role, he has never really wanted another sibling and if he has mentioned it it has been fleeting.

Dana - posted on 02/28/2011

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I have 1 son he will be 13 march 16th he seems to be just fine socially.He went to preschool when he was 3 for social developement sharing comes easy to him he has a great imagination and plays well with others.I come from a big family and was worried toobut they dont know any different it is all good!

Vicki - posted on 02/28/2011

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I have one daughter, who is almost 13. She was in a in home daycare with 5 other children. They were close enough, it was like she had siblings. In addition to the daycare, we arranged for a lot of play dates at our house and at other children's houses. When she was old enough, we put her in dance and later in sports when she expressed an interest. She is pretty well rounded. Although occasionally, she still would like to have had siblings, she realizes she doesn't have to share us with anyone else. I hope this helps.

Nikki - posted on 02/28/2011

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Hi, I'm an only child and all I can say is that my parents took me with them and included me in almost everything, as a result I became very comfortalbe around adults and developed a great vocabulary, my mom and dad also brought by best friend with us on vacations and weekend trips and they were very good about playdates w/cousins or neighbors when I was very young! Because of this I never missed a sib...sure it would have been nice but then I prob wouldn't have been as close to my cousins! Gymboree is a great way to make friends for playdates, that's what I did with my daughter because she is like an only child in that her 4 step brothers are grown...there were no cousins her age and no neighbors soooo I took her to Gymboree, after meeting some great mom's and kids a group of us stopped paying for Gymboree and scheduled our own playdates - we all took turns hosting and even though my daughter is now 9 yrs. we are still in touch with those Gymboree friends:))) Hope this helps you!

Karen - posted on 02/28/2011

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My son just turned 7 and is an only child. He is lauded for his manners and humor, his helpfulness and caring. His creativity and depth. We took him to play classes once a week, sometimes more. We took him to the park and encourage him always to talk to other kids and ask them to play. Providing the only child with plenty of art supplies, books, building toys and workbooks - whatever they like - is essential for them to develop a sense of self. While I don't agree with spoiling a child rotten, I do believe that an only child requires a little more in their life because they need to lose themselves in their own little world so they don't latch on to their parent to their detriment. Show as much love as possible, but be prepared to seriously have to put your foot down. They tend to need more guidance and lines as to what is or is not acceptable. (ex. well, so and so did it why can't I?.) Someone made a statement about an only child being a snob as it was spoiled rotten...that has nothing to do with being an only child - I suspect that is just bad parenting. We have given our son everything he's wanted - but he has rules. If he doesn't follow the rules - well, bad things happen to "his stuff". Give your only child whatever she wants within reason - primarily love and attention - but make sure the consequences of bad behavior is known.

Camisha - posted on 02/28/2011

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How encouraging - as I am a mom of one with a very active three year old who loves to play! I want her to be well rounded as well, conscientious of those around her and happy! So far so good!

Charlotte - posted on 02/28/2011

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My little girl is going to be an only child and I think its a good idea to let them go to playdates and going for groups. This thread is helping me too, because Im enjoying just having 1 kid and iv had so many comments from people as if there hearing needs checking because they cant believe what im saying that I only want 1 child. Im understanding LOL its my body and so on, I dont like the idea to have a child I wouldnt love for my partner to have a boy and girl (it maybe selfish but having a baby is amazing and I cant do it to keep someone else happy), and my girl to have a silbing if that makes sense.

Kristy - posted on 02/28/2011

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I am 32 years old and an only child. I vowed from a very young age to never have only one child. I now have 2 adorable children of my own, and am planning for another.

You hear lots of stories about only children being spoiled and self-centered. I have often had people tell me with a surprised look on their face that I don't act like an only child and I certainly hope that is the case.

Even though I have many possessions, and have had many experiences that I wouldn't have if I had brothers and sisters, I would give it up just to have someone else in my family.

Everyone here is talking about young children being an only child, and I agree with many of the comments that other only children have made. Ensure your only child maintains regular contact with close friends of their age so they learn to share and respect. Great idea to take a friend on holidays with you. Encourage sleep overs with friends etc.

But my point is now about being an older only child. As my parents get older I start to think about what it will be like for me to be the only one of my family to deal with ageing parents. And to be the only one of my family left one day. Although kids with siblings may not always get on with each other, and may fight as young children and grow up to not always be the best of friends, you can pretty much always know that your siblings will be there when it matters most to have your family around.

If you are considering having an only child, please look to their future. Don't just think of them being an only-child, think of them as an only-adult.
And please whatever you do, don't make it a financial decision. Kids don't know if the bills are paid, or if they're eating whatever was on special that week for dinner. They remember growing up in a loving, happy, supportive and warm environment. And no matter if they fought or not, they will remember growing up alongside their brothers and sisters and will be able to share their stories together forever.

Ashleigh - posted on 02/28/2011

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I take my 2 yr old daughter, who is currently an only child, to gymnastics once a week. And during the spring and summer I take her to the park and the YMCA. It;s the best thing you can do for an only child at this age, really. Take them out to places where there's kids and let em run wild.

Mandy - posted on 02/28/2011

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I am an only child and I believe this has made me be a more out-going, friendly person, for example if we went to the beach I didn't have a brother and sister to play with so i went off and made friends to play with, i agree with everyone else keep ur child occupied and busy and socializing with other kids at parks, libraries etc. I have 2 children and they do play together very well and get on well but it isn't always like that with more than 1, I have a friend whose kids are constantly fighting and don't play with each other at all. As an only child i didn't believe i was missing out on anything and had a fantastic childhood that i wouldn't change, altho as an adult watching my kids play, in hindsight it would be nice to know the bond you have with a brother or sister

Melissa - posted on 02/28/2011

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I have an only child that is 5+1/2 yrs old. We are trying for another, although my daughter has lived as an only child for a long time and it is very different from having a sibling by the time they are 2.5 or so. The most important thing you can do for your child is to socialize her as much as possible. It's not true that only children are self-centered or don't share well. However, I do believe that it's important to get you child around other kids so they learn the same skills they'd learn if they were exposed to a sibling. We have loved having our daughter as an only child and she is incredibly happy-go-lucky. I attribute much of it to having taken her library storytimes, playdates, playgroups, a nurturing preschool, etc. Good luck!!

Cris - posted on 02/28/2011

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I am an only child, of an only child, who has an only child!!! Will not have any more. My daughter has the best of all the worlds - as a single mum who works full time she had a child minder (although nursery the same in many ways) - this gave her the whole 'sibling' experience and her childminder was very much a home from home. At school she interacts with others and also things like Brownies, Sategcoach etc. which means she interacts well with groups situations. As she was growing up we went out to parks and met with friends who had children etc. The nice thing about it though is she also has the time to be an individual and be on her own when at home. She sometimes curls up with me or plays alone in her bedroom when she wants 'me time'. I was worried she would be protective over my attention so made sure I inter acted with her friends and family friends' children so she saw that I could play/read with others and still be her mum!!! I think she has it all and best of all she doesn't have to compete for attention!! Cris x

Meghan - posted on 02/28/2011

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My daughter is 9 and is an only child. I was really worried about it when we found out we couldn't have any more children, but it has honestly worked out amazingly well. Just the other day she was saying to a friend that she loves being an only child because it means she gets all of our attention.

It has never been an issue was we have kept her in social situations all her life. Play groups when she was small, then pre-school (she learned a lot there on sharing and dealing with other kids). Now she's a very social, happy kid and when we go to family gatherings she jumps in with the cousins, but is happy to go home to our "quiet" house.

There are pros and cons to everything, but we love having one.

Karen - posted on 02/28/2011

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My son, who is now 20 was an only child until he was 12. He now has 3 step siblings (2 older and 1 younger). They do not live with us but are considered every bit a part of the family. I never spoiled him with material items because I couldn't afford to but he has gotten the latest expensive "toys" over the years for special occasions (christmas & birthday). He attended day care at age 3 which enabled him to adjust socially when he started school. I totally recommend that as it has several advantages. I do notice though as he gets older that he has developed a very tight knit circle of friends who he considers "family". He's got 3 or 4 "best friends" as apoosed to 1 or 2 like most kids growing up. He doesn't act spoiled or act out and only asked for a sibling maybe a handful of times over the years. He loves and respects his step brothers and sister but him and I have a very special bond because I was able to focus solely on him as he was growing up. As long as your daughter is loved she will be fine! other options for playmates can include playdates, library groups, anywhere that other children gather for socialization is a good place to start. I encouraged my son to cherish his time with his friends and at times would have 5 or 6 kids staying overnight at one time.

Melissa - posted on 02/28/2011

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I have one child who will be next month. He thrives socially!! I always allow him to hang out with his friends and family members his age and he is great all around. He a shareer and he's mannerable. I don't think that because they don't have a sibling they would lack anything however, I do feel that as parents we are the one's who give the stereotype that only are bratty or spoiled. In my case you would never know he was an only child. Just treat her regular!!!! Hope I helped!

Liz - posted on 02/28/2011

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my daughter is 8 and the only one we can have. Be prepared for you to intereact and be the sibling tpo play games, playgroups, childcare are great, they will get social skills from those places, your house will be the one whereyour childs friends want to come to get away from their siblings. Dont impulse buy "as you can afford extra with only one", this will avoid the spoilt only child syndrome. Ive noticed being the only one they grow up quicker and can interact with adults better. As long as you dont spoilt the only child you wont have a brat, you need firm rules and to be able to say no as with all chilrden. My daughter may be the only one but if she wants something she needs to earn pocket money to get it, we dont just buy her things.

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I have one child. She will be my only. She is now going on 13. It can be hard since as you say, they don't have a built in playmate. I have an older sister so I was in the same place you are. Make sure that you put her in classes like at this age, maybe toddler play or anything mommy and me classes. I did it for my daughter and she loved it. Surprisingly she is not the only child without a sibling at her school. There are quite a few parents that have only one child. Somehow my child seems to find more in common with them.

Putting your child in a class with other children will teach her that she does have to share and that she is not the only child at this age. Take it slow and when she gets older, make sure she knows that she can talk to you about anything! Communication is a must with all children.

Karin - posted on 02/28/2011

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I am an only child. But I have three kids (ages: 23, 21, and 10). I was also adopted by my grandparents. Making my mom and my aunt my sisters by law.

Susan - posted on 02/28/2011

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I was adopted when I was only 3 days old, and lived my life as an only child. When we had children (8) I told my husband that if I had brothers and sisters we would never have fought. He just laughed. About 4 years ago, I found my birth mom and found out that I am the oldest with 2 sisters, and one brother. I wish I had known earlier. I grew up with older parents and my aunt told me that my mother would never let me get dirty or be a child. I guess my suggestion to you, along with the other suggestions, is let your daughter be a tom boy if she so desires. Let her get dirty, it will wash off. LOL

Holly - posted on 02/28/2011

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Hubs was an only child until his parents adopted a cousins child when he was 18 and now his dad has children our children's ages.. his one thing was that he was LONELY, he was BORED and.. if something happened there was no one else to blame it on ROFL!!!!!! He tells folks that if you are going to only have one child make sure there is plenty to do and plenty of time to play with other kids :) (and get a dog so your daughter can blame *some* of the stuff on the dog!) :)

Megan - posted on 02/28/2011

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my son is 20 months old and we are planning on him being an only child. My son is very social with other kids and adults and does not care when mommy and daddy leave him with someone (grandma, or another family). About 2 weeks after my son was born I started taking him to church with me. We belong to a small church that is more like a family. Other people have held him for me during the service, one of the families with kids watches him ocasionally. He really enjoys going to church with us and loves his friends there. I am confident that the chioce I made to take my son to church with me asap was the best thing I could have done for him to help his social development.

Dordaneh - posted on 02/28/2011

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I was an only child and am suffering from it NOW not when I was a child... now that I need a sibling to go to in the times of heartache there is no one! this is why after 8 years I had another child wishing for my daughters to be friends for ever!

Shirley - posted on 02/28/2011

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I am an only child coming from a set of older parents. They gave me all the love I ever needed and that is the main thing. Give them all your love, but make sure to correct them when necessary. Teach them kindness, love, honesty, to share with others, and to respect all things. Another thing that I was taught was the value of things- - that money doesn't grow on trees. I was taught that I had to work for the things that I wanted and to save my money that I did get for something that I really wanted or needed, not just to go blow it on something useless. As far as friends, if your child acts friendly to others, she will have always have plenty of friends to grow up with, whetther it be neighborhood friends or school friends. Don't worry, everything will be fine.

Brenda - posted on 02/28/2011

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My daughter is an only child because I wasn't able to have any more children. She is now 12 years old and does very well socially. We had her involved in church at an early age, so she learned to play with other kids in the nursery and kids classes. I got her together for play dates with other kids (cousins, friends) regularly so that she would develop social skills and learn to get along with other kids. This has continued as she has grown up, and she has no problems at all adjusting to being with other kids in social settings and has made many friends. She also doesn't need to be around other kids all the time and is content reading or doing things quietly by herself, so she has a good balance. The key to allowing her to have a good social personality is to start her interacting with other kids at an early age so she learns to share and get along in a setting with other kids. This way it will be an easier transition for her rather than waiting til she's older and has already become used to being by herself. The relationships she has with her cousins and friends are wonderful and have given her the social activity she needs. Now she's in jr. high and is part of the youth group at church, which has about 35 kids, and she has had no trouble at all fitting in and making friends with them and has become quite close to a lot of them. These are friendships that will last as she continues to grow. Hope this helps!

Valerie - posted on 02/28/2011

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I have a daughter that is 16months old and don't want her to be an only child. All I can think about is what if something happens to her? I know that I can't replace her but if I don't have another child then I would be childless. That terrifies me. So does losing a child. Also if she marries an only child then her children won't have any cousins. Sounds like a lonely life to me. I also think even with the best intentions an only child becomes spoiled in so many ways. I think it would be sad if she has to take care of my husband and I all by herself in our later years. So many thoughts like these run through my head and it seems like we would be setting her up to be alone.

Heather - posted on 02/28/2011

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My husband and I are both only children. We had great lives. We both lived in area full of kids and we had so many cousins so we never felt left out. We always had people over and sleepovers. We have 2 kids and it is a little hard since there are no cousins. aunts, uncles, etc.

Veena - posted on 02/28/2011

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hi am an only child...ur concern is quite natural. I do feel out i hav lost of companionship that siblings get. Get her to some playgroup or arrange for her to meet her age group children. Thats what they enjoy most. She may have problems later on in sharing experiences...Make sure u r her friend at home, this will encourage her to open up to u.

And its so difficult to understand how siblings love each other , after i got married i found my husbands bonding with his siblings weird ...i cudnt relate how they love each other.

Probably u should train her to share and love other children like cousins or friends...

Sonya - posted on 02/28/2011

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Yes im the only child and I sometimes wish that my mom had another child. Now that she is gone ive not only had to bare the grief alone Im here all alone. No siblings to send the kids when I get a little feed up and most off all I dont have anyone that I can trust. So if you are thinking of not having anymore kids consider there lonelyness when your gone.....

Faye - posted on 02/28/2011

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We raised an only daughter,(not by choice but health circumstance). She had cousins that she was close to and played with on holidays at grandparents' homes. Yet, most importantly, she had friends i'n preschool- high school & i'n our neighborhoodas well as i'n Sunday school church friends. Our Kim never had a problem making friends i'n college and law school. Now that she has her career established, she's become the Mama of Triplets, 2 girls & 1 boy. They have built i'n playmates but love being 2 yr.olds i'n preschool with other children. Hopefully, I've answered some of your questions a out only children i'n a family. Our daughter loved entertaining herself on rainy days, liked reading, never seemed bored, took piano lessons from first grade thru jr. high, then loved band through high school & excelled academically i'n school. I think your only will be just fine if you stay involved as parents and always encourage her friends to come.0

Dixie - posted on 02/28/2011

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My son is an only child. The doctor told me not to give him everything, to treat him as if he weren't the only one. I always gave him lots of love, but not material things. He got a job at a car wash at 16. had to save, and pay for things he wanted, like a small motorcycle, and an electric guitar. When he graduated, he got a full time job. He has worked ever since. He is now married, and has three daughters. I do what I can for him, always help the girls, and we all have a great relationship he is 52 years old.. My husband on the other hand has a son by his first marriage. Has bought him a corvette, several motorcycles, more clothes than he can ever wear. He is now living with his girlfriend, we bought him a house, furniture, a new car. He is 26, has never had a job, his girlfriend doesn't work. He uses our credit card for whatever they need. Too bad he was never taught to work for what he wants. I love this boy, he is nice looking, but I feel sorry for him. Someday when his Nanna, and daddy are gone, he will be in for a rude awakening.

Shannon - posted on 02/28/2011

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I'm loving all the responses! I have a 4-year-old son and it took about 7 years for us to conceive him. I will be 43 this year and we are still actively trying to have one more so he will have a sibling. He has a cousin who is a month younger than he is, so he "almost" has a brother, but I know that's not quite the same. I'm trying to adjust to the fact that he very well be my only child. To help him out socially, he is in preschool for 3 hours 5 mornings a week. We also go to the park and to the McDonald's playground quite a bit. He and his cousin have started having sleepovers about twice a month.

Carissa Marie - posted on 02/28/2011

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I am an only child. For any child social interation is important. Consider using a daycare or pre-school for social interation with others her age. This will also help your daughter further her language understanding. Being an only child it will be much easier to take your daughter with you many places. This is wonderful. It teaches her how to interact with others by seeing your example.

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