Only Child Myths


Take a walk with me down the halls of my son’s school. I want to introduce you to several children. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. LOL

Gabriel is mischievous and fun-loving. Always getting in trouble and adding grey hairs to his teachers head. He has lots of friends and does well at school. He’s rarely stressed and wonders why his name is always on the board (well, not enough to ask, mind you!).

Nicholas is silly with his friends and at home, but serious about school. He does all his assignments for the week on Monday even though they aren’t due until Friday. Tell him the rules so he can follow them. He is deathly afraid his name will show up on the board (but of course, it never will!). Plays football and soccer.

Ben is quiet and intelligent. He doesn’t like answering questions in class because he doesn’t like drawing attention to himself. He leaves all his assignments until Thursday because, well, they aren’t due until Friday!

Carter is the class clown. He loves the limelight and is always saying goofy things to make his friends laugh. He knows he is smart and leaves his assignments and studying until the last minute because, well, because he’s smart! He follows the rules at school but gives mom a run for her money at home. Swims and plays tennis.

What do all these boys have in common? Nothing, right? Actually, they are all 4th grade boys and they are all only children!!

This is another great video on the truths and myths surrounding only children from ABC News. Susan Newman, PhD a premier psychologist with strong view on only child parenting was interviewed for it, so it is a must-see. : )

Only Child Stereotype Perpetuated by a Psychologist? Seriously? Sadly, yes.

I try to keep up on the world of only children. I may not blog as much as I would like, but I am constantly learning and filing away tidbits for this blog. I read an article last night about the only child stereotype that really set me off:

Having Only One Child: Easier for Parents, But Also Better for the Child?

I am disappointed that an highly educated psychologist could write an article that is so stereotypical. He is, of course, entitled to his opinion. But his experience as a psychologist (by his own admission) is limited to children under 5. Of course there are only children that are unhappy. There are also children with siblings who are miserable. There are as many reasons as there are children. For him to write an article on Psychology Today where people are going to be looking for answers and information based on psychology and use so few facts makes me sad.  I only hope nobody makes a decision to bring another life into the world because he knows someone who didn’t let their kid be a kid.

Sigh…

It is finally here!  I was one of the people interviewed for The Case for the Only Child by Susan Newman, PhD.  You have to read it!! It was actually released on June 1, 2011.  I pre-ordered it and got it the first week.  I have been trying to finish it so I could give a full review of the book, but my schedule just isn’t allowing me to read it fast enough.

I do want to let everyone know that there is a FAB new book on only child parenting out – The Case for the Only Child.  The first few chapters are amazing.  I will be posting as I come across nuggets while reading.  In the meantime, I leave you with my favorite quote from the book so far, having just one child is the “place in between children and childlessness.”  There is another option!

Many of us have heard, “but they won’t have siblings.”  My answer is, “so.”

I have gone through the myths and sufficiently address why they are incorrect or invalid.  Giving a sibling to your child is NOT a good reason to have another child – I don’t care who you are!  The main “concern” is that only children lack social skills.  This is simply not the case based on research released by Ohio State University on August 16, 2010.  There are 3 articles I found that discuss the issue at length. I linked to all of them because the viewpoints are slightly different as are the comments at the end.

Growing Up Without Sibs Doesn’t Hurt Social Skills

What Difference do Siblings Make?

An Only Child is Not a More Lonely Teenager

Happy reading!

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