November 28, 2012,
S.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA on November 26, 2012
Only Children Lonely?
My son is 3.5 and my husband and I are wrestling with the idea of having #2. We'd like #2 ... in theory. But the reality is scary for various reasons I won't go into. My question is this - do only children grow up wierd? lol. or sad? or lonely? what about when teh parents die? they'll be all alone....
what do you think?
I.G. answers from Seattle on November 26, 2012
My DD is an only and she does get lonely. Not sad really, but lonely.
Another child is not going to happen for us, but I do worry about her being all by herself when she is an adult. She is not growing up with any of her cousins (they live too far away), so it will be up to her to create a family of friends for herself - or strengthen her relationships with her cousins...
I don't think she will grow up "weird", but her challenges will be different than those faced by kids with sibs. There are a lot of pros and cons for both only kids and sibs... I don't think there is a one size fits all answer.
6 moms found this helpful
M.P. answers from Minneapolis on November 26, 2012
lonely yes, weird no. I am 1 of 4. My husband 1 of 2. I have 3 kids. My best friend is a single child, had a single child with no husband. Her daughter is completely fine. Mine, well thats another story. Dont worry about it, an only child grows up fine.
3 moms found this helpful
J.G. answers from Chicago on November 27, 2012
Yes, all of my daughter's alone friends are lonely. Their parents race them from activity to activity to keep to keep them busy, because otherwise all they do is harass mommy.
With that said, this isn't a reason to have another child.
2 moms found this helpful
H.W. answers from Portland on November 26, 2012
When someone says something about only children being this or that, I always remind them that I know just as many selfish, annoying or anything-else-strange from multiple-sibling families as I do "only kids with problems".
It's not the number of children, it's the parenting. It's the opportunities the parents offer, the amount of time the parent is willing to spend with the child, and if the parent spoils the child (because of guilt, because they're the apple of mommy and daddy's eye, because they don't want to actually engage--- endless reasons). Parents who have larger families and aren't tuned into their kids run just as much risk of having children who grow into adults with emotional problems as a single child with disconnected parents does.
My son is an only. We didn't have only one to spite him. :) We knew, honestly, how much we had to give: of our energy, our selves, our finances. If we wanted more kids, I'd have to go back to work. We try to live what we value. He gets a LOT of us. He gets great time with friends and peers (not just at school) and he gets a lot of love and special one on one time with us. He doesn't have a brother or sister to play with-- that's true-- and he also doesn't have the sibling bickering, sharing space, sharing the parents' affection and all the other insecurities that go with having multiple children. He knows how to share because it's been taught from an early age. Because we model what we want to see from him.
As for 'what about the parents dying? they'll be all alone..." -- well, we are raising our son to be a loving person, capable of forging relationships in this world all on his own. Being a person who has really had to start over in some aspects of my life, I'll say this: we choose to love, to seek others-- or not. As long as I am doing my best to create a stable and loving home for our son, I cannot also be responsible for his choices he makes when he's an adult. Even in a perfect world, even if I do every single thing right as a parent, I cannot control this. This is where we, as parents, have to let go and realize that our children are indeed their own persons. We lay the foundation for their future, true, but they must choose to build on that foundation in good ways-- we can't do it for them.
26 moms found this helpful
B.K. answers from Chicago on November 26, 2012
I was an only child. I am not weird. I'm not sad, nor was I when I was young. I had lots of friends and still do, so I've never been lonely. I have two kids, a few nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, ex-inlaws that I still love, and a great significant other. My parents died in 2004 and 2006 and I'm still here along with everybody else.... not alone at all.
On the plus side, when my parents were sick and then passed away, I didn't have to argue with anybody or fight over things. It was all mine. A good friend of mine got into a fistfight with her sister when her mother died. Siblings aren't always all that great.
Your son will be fine with or without siblings. Do what feels right for you and don't worry about it.
14 moms found this helpful
S.W. answers from Minneapolis on November 26, 2012
I was one of four and I was often lonely. Having siblings is not a remedy for possible loneliness. My 10 year-old is not lonely, certainly not weird, and not sad any more than any child is.
And when we die, how we die, and what happens to our children after we die is not something we can control. That's just an aspect of life we have to accept.
12 moms found this helpful
T.F. answers from Dallas on November 26, 2012
It's a bunch of BS. It is what you make it.
Our daughter ( only by choice) will be 18 next month. She's never lacked friends, drive or ambition. Her environment is motivation, self driven and personal responsibility. She's a black belt ( 7 yrs of dedication) accomplished violinist (5 yrs hard work), cheerleading ( 5 yrs) current Varsity captain. College of her choice thanks to her drive, excellent grades ( AP courses) and parents who believe its our responsibility to get her out of college debt free.
You can't guarantee that siblings will get along.
Our daughter is set up financially so that when we age and pass she has no burden because we've been responsible for ourselves through retirement and so on.
We love our family as we are, no loneliness. Good grief we have functions every night with a senior on high school, cheering, high school sports. Same when she was younger... We've always had a full schedule and thrive on making positive changes for ourselves.
Is she spoiled? Many would say yes. She says " I am we'll taken care of". She's appreciative, she works with our family business and babysits every weekend.
It is what you make it. If you were to ask her if she felt like she missed out on a sibling... She'd say no way.
Our house is full of teens and has been for years. They love coming here to get away from siblings, etc and be in a safe place to enjoy being a teen. My house has never lacked children being in it and I love that but having an only who is not lonely is perfect for our family.
10 moms found this helpful
☆.A. answers from Pittsburgh on November 26, 2012
There are LOTS of reasons to have a second child.
Believing your first child will be lonely, or weird, or sad aren't any of them.
We know one is right for us. And, by the way, our household PACKED with kids every week. For some reason (go figure) other kids feel welcome, and comfortable here. Lots of times "the gang" is getting away from THEIR sibs! Lol.
My kid has TONS of friends, so being an only hasn't impacted his social interactions any.
CAN an "only" be weird? Or sad? Or lonely?
But not because they have no sibs.
10 moms found this helpful
B.C. answers from Norfolk on November 26, 2012
My husband is an only child.
He loves it.
Our son is an only child and he's a a popular kid.
We can't go out anywhere without kids saying 'Hi' to him all over town.
I have a younger sister and we are not compatible.
We fought until we moved away from home and we still don't get along 50 year later.
It was torture growing up with her.
Kids grow up, get married and have families of their own.
They are not attached to their parents all the time their whole lives.
10 moms found this helpful
P.G. answers from Dallas on November 26, 2012
Do not have a child for your child. If you want a 2nd for you, then go for it. My 5 year old son is an only and seems pretty happy. I have a younger sister and we were never close and never got along. Every child and every family is different.
ADD: my mother has 3 brothers. Her parents have both passed, her mother last year. I think only 1 of them is talking to her because of how she behaved over the years. So siblings don't guarantee relationship.
ADD2: I'm weird, but I'm not an only ;)
9 moms found this helpful
M.F. answers from Portland on November 26, 2012
Not wanting your kid to be alone is a terrible reason to have another child.
Doesn't s/he have cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents?
Friends in school to play with and have sleep overs with so they are not lonely?
If you want a second kid for some reason, then go for it, but to be considering it just to keep the one you have company seems dumb to me.
We have a only child and she is sociable, happy, cheerful, friendly, well adjusted, and has lots of friends and family.
I have a brother and we haven't talked in years, can't stand each other. I have met his kids one time. My husband has 2 siblings and is only close with one of them.
Siblings are NOT necessarily friends...
9 moms found this helpful