Raising An Only Child

With an increasing number of urban parents refraining from second-time pregnancy, here’s your guide to raising a responsible and happy single child

Whether it is the rising monetary concerns, late first-time pregnancy, career-oriented couples or the anxiety of going through labour pain all over again, a single-child family is slowly becoming a norm in most urban homes.

Single kid, double the love

Having a single child means you can give undivided time and love to your kid. At the same time, raising a single kid becomes more economical as parents do not need to compromise on their aspirations for their child and can still provide the best of everything.

Also, mothers who don’t have much patience and threshold of endurance can handle things and crisis better with one child as the level of frustration can be moderated.

Raising confident ones

In many cases, when a child has a sibling, he/she may suffer from the negative impact of sibling rivalry, leading to insecurity or competition. But with a single child, there are higher chances of the kid turning out to be confident and self-sufficient. This in turn, results in them being better achievers and extroverts with adequate social skills, quite suited for this age’s cut-throat competitive world. “These days, parents are not willing to settle for mediocrity.

No sibling, no sharing

With all the love showered upon a single child, he/she might be very possessive about his/her belongings as well as relationships. Due to the undivided attention that a single child gets, there is a high possibility that he/she might take more time to learn fundamental aspects of sharing and giving. Parents have to take extra efforts to spend more time with the child, as the child usually has no one to share his feelings with and express his emotions with till he or she learns to do that with friends later.

It can get lonely sometimes

One of the main reasons parents opt for a second kid is to ensure that their child doesn’t get lonely and has someone to support and care for him/her throughout their life. However, those with single children are finding alternative ways to ensure that their kids enjoy the same amount of interaction as they would have with their siblings.

Things parents must remember

- Encourage more interactions within the family and outside, by inviting other children, so that the child can enhance his/her social skills.

- Though he/she is your only child, don’t spoil them by giving in to all their demands. Set your expectations and ensure that your child understands the consequences of irresponsible actions.

- Allow your child to express his/her feelings about others having a sibling and the fact that they don’t.

- Once your child is of a suitable age, provide an explanation about your choice of having only one child, and assure that it is in his/her best interests.

- From the time they turn two, teach your child concepts of sharing and giving through stories, gameplay etc.

- Spend as much time as you can with your kid to make sure that he/she is not lonely.

- Bring home a pet if your child feels very lonely as pets provide companionship and often fill in the role of a virtual sibling.

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