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Old 05-31-2009, 10:04 PM
 
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I lived as an only til I was 8. My mom married a guy who had custody of his 5 year old son. I was overjoyed.

To take the question one step further: I have 4 kids - 10, 7, 6, and almost 2. Having the two middles so close together was really hard at first but they have a great relationship (and they are opposite gender). My 10 yr old seems a bit jealous of their relationship at times, but I think he is also relieved he can quietly read while they play with each other.

IDK what your reasons for having only one are, but if you do change your mind, might I suggest considering closely-spaced sibs? It is such a gift to watch my middle two interact.
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:07 PM
 
Location: in the sticks, SE Indiana
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I am an only child, and I don't think it was that bad. I grew up in a neighborhood where there were other kids to play with, I think that was a good thing. My dad was the 10th of 13 kids and I can't say his relationship with them was all that great. My mom was the youngest of 6, the next youngest was her sister who was 4 years older than her. My mom and her sister were not that close, their personalities were so different. I have many friends, who I keep in touch with. My parents are both gone and I have no children, so except for my husband, I have no immediate family. I do have cousins I keep in touch with. It used to bother me a great deal to have no immediate biological family members, but I look at what I DO have. I have a wonderful husband, great in-laws. terrific friends and some very nice cousins. I don't think being an only child is so terrible. I do think it is important to cultivate and keep good friendships.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:39 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
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I am seven years older than my sister. When I was little, my neighborhood didn't have any children my age. I went to preschool and first grade several miles away from our house, near my grandmother's house and where my parents worked. I didn't have any playmates and spent most of my non-school time with adult family members. This had good and bad effects. I learned to read at an early age and became a bookworm. This, and spending so much time with grown-ups instead of children, gave me a good vocabulary that helped me do well in school. I also loved to draw, make up stories and act out plays with my dolls and toys. I was lonely and turned to my own imagination for company.

When my mother told me I was going to have a sister, my immediate reaction was that I would finally have someone to play with. I didn't grasp yet that she would be a little baby and not able to play with me. And when she was small, she usually irritated me. I was not a maternal girl, and I didn't have much exposure to children outside of school (I was an only grandchild on my father's side, and although I had cousins on my mother's side, I saw them maybe once a year). She and I never had much in common. I was bossy, she was bratty. I resented how much my mother babied her, compared to how strictly I felt I was raised. And we were always in different stages of life. When I started liking boys, she was still a little girl. I got married when she was 15 and still in braces. Only after the last several years have we been able to relate to one another.

My husband and I wanted to have two children close in age. Our girls are 19 months apart, but the younger one is developmentally disabled, so that didn't work out so well! She and our five-year-old son play constantly.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hothulamaui View Post
my child grew up as an only and loved it. she was and is independent, smart still happy being an only as an adult. I think part of it might be personality of the child itself. someone shy may wish to have a sibling were as someone who isn't doesn't mind so much. there is no guarentee that siblings will get along and or make the other siblings life happier. again personality and family dynamic comes into play. I think a sibling is great as you so have someone to relate to and all the rest of the good that comes with siblings but with that being said nothing wrong with being an only child. only children get a lot more attention from their parents as there is only one of them. from a financial point of view one child to feed, dress, entertain and put through school is a huge difference. one or ten do your best to love any child you have.
This was pretty much my experience too.

My daughter went through the "I want a baby sister/brother" thing at ~5/6 years of age. Then she started doing sleepovers and playdates with friends who had siblings. She decided she liked her situation better.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:30 AM
 
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I was an only child until about 12, so in essence I was till I left home since my siblings were so much younger and I didn't need my parents attention as much anymore.

Being a solo child is lonely, but if you have good social skills at least you'll have friends around. It depends on the personality of the kid. I was okay being a loner (or I just got used to it) and could adapt to things easier. I made up make believe games and worlds and got all absorbed into my little playtime I'd make up.

Here's a suggestion: When you have the baby, get a puppy or kitten. So they can grow up together. That pet will end up being that child's best friend, as its a family member that isn't a parent that they can play around with and connect to.

Be warned some only child's can give the impression of being spoiled, even if they aren't.

Last edited by MrMom2; 06-01-2009 at 08:48 AM..
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
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Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
My thoughts exactly. My mother and aunt are going through this now with my grandmother. It is a lot of work, worry and decision making. I can't imagine how difficult it would be if my mom did not have her sister to help out......
I've heard many stories from people who have siblings in your situation, and many times parental care seems to fall on one person, anyway, as other siblings either live too far away or are downright selfish. Some even argue about what each thinks is best for the parent - can be lots of stress and arguments.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:48 AM
 
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Bottom line: Life is like a game of craps. You shoot for what you think is best and hope it turns out well for everybody involved.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
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I was an only child. One's individual personality plays a large part, whether having siblings or not. My parents placed an enormous amount of expectations on me - more than warranted.

Those with siblings have to understand that if one has not had siblings, one can only imagine what one might be missing, but you don't really know and since you've never had them, you can't miss them. You learn how to survive alone and to not mind being alone which I believe, lends a lot of strength to life situations.

I've always had close friends and one since I was 13. I don't feel I missed out, but I may have, but don't know.

Depending on the situation, siblings can be a blessing or they can be a headache, so there is no guarantee that having a sibling is always helpful except that you learn early in life to share affection which I had to learn as an adult.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:16 AM
 
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I may repeat other's experiences here. I was an only child for 12.5 years. By the time my sister was old enough to "play", I was 17 and completely in a different, teenage, place. Those kinds of age differences are no good. I love my sister, but we are always in different places in life.

Yes, I learned to read earlier, and daycare staff would sit me in front of younger kids to read them books. I was always "bright" learning-wise, since my family had teachers and I could have extra tutoring at home. However, I think being an only child put me at a disadvantage socially. I had friends, but couldn't keep them very well. I guess my parents created a nice little safe bubble for me where I could hide from the injustices of the world. I didn't need to develop the skills to stand up against adversity. As adult, I would listen to all the arguments about how friends could become your family, but could never really believe it. I still don't.

No wonder I decided to have more than one kid, and have them close in age. They are 19 months apart. Looking at their interactions that come to them so naturally, like breathing air, I can plainly see that this is what I was missing. They learn these little things like collaboration and empathy, just playing, without giving it a thought. Also, my daughter's personality is much like mine, she needs a lot of attention. I think I would have been exhausted finding ways to keep her interested had she been the only child. She spends much of her energies playing with her brother.

Last edited by nuala; 06-01-2009 at 09:25 AM..
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuala View Post
...No wonder I decided to have more than one kid, and have them close in age. They are 19 months apart. Looking at their interactions that come to them so naturally, like breathing air, I can plainly see that this is what I was missing. They learn these little things like collaboration and empathy, just playing, without giving it a thought. Also, my daughter's personality is much like mine, she needs a lot of attention. I think I would have been exhausted finding ways to keep her interested had she been the only child. She spends much of her energies playing with her brother.
If for no other reason.

Lessons learned with experience being the teacher.
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