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Old 06-01-2009, 09:46 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
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My son is an only child and sometimes I feel bad about it. There is only one other boy in the neighborhood so he gets really lonely ecspecially cuz after work I'm so tired I don't want to play either. So I think it would be better if he had a brother or sister.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Texas
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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.
I think it does depend a lot on the personality of the child, as hothulamaiui said. I grew up as an "only" and didn't like it. Even now, I would like a sister or brother. My son was an "only" (not by my choice) and never seemed to mind it. He was also very, very outgoing and social. I tended to be somewhat shy. Who knows? I don't recommend having an only especially, but I do think a parent's choice, particularly if one spouse feels strongly about it, needs to weigh into the equation as well. If a parent feels they can only parent one child well, I think that's something to be considered. As was stated, though, sometimes people do change their minds. When you don't have kids yet, sometimes it's hard to project what your actually feelings will be later regarding having more.

I don't know whether to add this or not, but my "only" child was killed in a car accident at age 16. I'm not willing to say it hurts less to lose a child if you have more than one, but I will say that if something does happen to your only, you will be totally childless and I do think that's harder in the long run (with no possibility of grandchildren, the knowledge you will likely be alone in your old age etc. and just simply the pain of no longer being a parent at all.) That said, most people do NOT lose their children, but it is something to be aware of.

Last edited by kaykay; 06-01-2009 at 10:35 AM..
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:18 AM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,201,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaykay View Post
I think it does depend a lot on the personality of the child, as hothulamaiui said. I grew up as an "only" and didn't like it. Even now, I would like a sister or brother. My son was an "only" (not by my choice) and never seemed to mind it. He was also very, very outgoing and social. I tended to be somewhat shy. Who knows? I don't recommend having an only especially, but I do think a parent's choice, particularly if one spouse feels strongly about it, needs to weigh into the equation as well. If a parent feels they can only parent one child well, I think that's something to be considered. As was stated, though, sometimes people do change their minds. When you don't have kids yet, sometimes it's hard to project what your actually feeling will be later regarding having more.

I don't know whether to add this or not, but my "only" child was killed in a car accident at age 16. I'm not willing to say it hurts less to lose a child if you have more than one, but I will say that if something does happen to your only, you will be totally childless and I do think that's harder. That said, most people do NOT lose their children, but it is something to be aware of.
First off I just want to say, I'm sorry for your loss. May Peace be with you.

I have known several people who lost their only child in some sort of way as well as those who have lost one child out of several. The pain will always be there when parents lose a child no matter how many kids they have, but it does seem that the pain lasts much longer and is much harder when they lose an only child.

I have 5 children and out of those 5 I only have one son. He's going into the Marine Corp in less than a week and it scares me to no end, at the thought that I could lose my only son. I can only imagine how great my fear would be if he was my only child. I'm keeping my prayers up that I may never have to experience that pain and my prayers for those who have.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Denver area
21,134 posts, read 22,102,729 times
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I don't think she meant to infer that it would hurt less. I would think that having other kids would give you the strength and reason to pull through the pain. You must pull through because your other kids need you. Just a thought.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
I don't think she meant to infer that it would hurt less. I would think that having other kids would give you the strength and reason to pull through the pain. You must pull through because your other kids need you. Just a thought.
I didn't think she was infering that it would hurt less. The pain is there no matter what. It does seem though when parents have more than one child and they lose one, it helps give them strength to pull through the pain because the other kid/s needs them.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Oregon
1,532 posts, read 2,289,385 times
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I was pretty much raised as an only child. My parents had 7 kids between them from previous marriages, but they were all older and lived across the country from us. I was the "change of life surprise"!

I hated being an only child! I am sure I probably got some luxuries that kids with brothers or sisters didn't, but at the time, I didn't care!

I now have 2 kids (boy & girl). Naturally they fight like cats and dogs, but I also know that they would be bored out of their minds if they didn't have each other! I also kind of like the fact that having both genders helps them to appreciate their differences and maybe even learn things that they otherwise may not have ever thought of. Even though, again, my kids would say they would rather have a sister (for daughter) or a brother (for son), but you know how that goes!
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:24 PM
 
467 posts, read 844,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaykay View Post
I think it does depend a lot on the personality of the child, as hothulamaiui said. I grew up as an "only" and didn't like it. Even now, I would like a sister or brother. My son was an "only" (not by my choice) and never seemed to mind it. He was also very, very outgoing and social. I tended to be somewhat shy. Who knows? I don't recommend having an only especially, but I do think a parent's choice, particularly if one spouse feels strongly about it, needs to weigh into the equation as well. If a parent feels they can only parent one child well, I think that's something to be considered. As was stated, though, sometimes people do change their minds. When you don't have kids yet, sometimes it's hard to project what your actually feelings will be later regarding having more.

I don't know whether to add this or not, but my "only" child was killed in a car accident at age 16. I'm not willing to say it hurts less to lose a child if you have more than one, but I will say that if something does happen to your only, you will be totally childless and I do think that's harder in the long run (with no possibility of grandchildren, the knowledge you will likely be alone in your old age etc. and just simply the pain of no longer being a parent at all.) That said, most people do NOT lose their children, but it is something to be aware of.
Sorry for your loss, Kay.

I don't think having "spare" kids helps the loss. You lost a unique individual, a person that can't be replaced and is not part of some set. The other kids are also unique people and cannot replace the one that was lost. As parents we'd all feel that loss forever. Yes it is true that with your remaining kids the family line can continue on and you'd have grown children and grandchildren from those kids one day, but the fact is everything you stated still remains. THAT lost child's adulthood and children will never exist. So its ok to say. Plus you never stopped being a parent. Once a parent, always a parent. Even if your 80 years old and your kids all flew the coop years ago, your still a parent.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,668 posts, read 19,912,286 times
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Originally Posted by MrMom2 View Post
Sorry for your loss, Kay.

I don't think having "spare" kids helps the loss. You lost a unique individual, a person that can't be replaced and is not part of some set. The other kids are also unique people and cannot replace the one that was lost. As parents we'd all feel that loss forever. Yes it is true that with your remaining kids the family line can continue on and you'd have grown children and grandchildren from those kids one day, but the fact is everything you stated still remains. THAT lost child's adulthood and children will never exist. So its ok to say. Plus you never stopped being a parent. Once a parent, always a parent. Even if your 80 years old and your kids all flew the coop years ago, your still a parent.
Yes, and I don't want to belabor this thing and take it too far off topic. Please don't think I don't recognize that any child is an individual. Naturally, the pain of that loss will be felt just as acutely. And sometimes there are other issues to deal with such as how the siblings are faring with this loss and being able to deal with their needs when you are grieving so hard yourself. ( One mom who had also lost her son in a car accident but had either 4 or 5 remaining children told me that the death of the one had "ruined their entire family." ) So you just never know...

But my point to the OP is this, if you have an "only" and something happens to your "only" that's it as far as enjoying your children goes. When even your very close friends are sharing holidays with their grown chldren and grandchildren, you may be sharing the holiday alone. When your friends are enjoying and celebrating their children's graduations, weddings, etc., you will not be. These kind of issues don't go away. So it's something to think about. Although, again, I think in general, we should plan for the best, not the worst to happen. If a parent wants to only have one child, then I don't think fear of losing the one should have final veto power over the decision, but I 'm just sharing with you what has been for my husband and me, our greatest regret about having an "only."
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Fort Mill, SC
1,105 posts, read 4,095,922 times
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I think I understand what she was talking about. It isn't so much that the loss of that child is any more/or less when there is only one child, but that perhaps your focus can be on the surviving kids. Focus and purpose helps alot when you are grieving.

I just wanted to say that two of my very best friends are only childs, both in their 30s now and both of them said they had no issues whatsoever with being only children. We have talked about it because I only have onechild, who is seven. My husband died six years ago so unless I meet and marry someone in the next few years, he will be an only child at least through his teenage years.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:56 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, CA
124 posts, read 414,582 times
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I'm an only child, and while I certainly harassed my parents when I was a child about providing me a sibling, I certainly don't think that they did wrong by me by not doing so. Eventually, I got older and really started to understand the truth behind the phrase 'The grass is always greener...'

I don't remember being lonely, or particularly bored on my own. Sure there were times when I was, but as mentioned, so are kids with siblings. Heck, my own kids seem to complain more about being bored than I ever did, and on top of that they argue all the time because one wants to play with the other, who doesn't want to play with him. Arrrggh!

I learned to entertainment myself, and its a skill a lot of kids these days seem to be lacking in general. I do remember games were a pain though. If your parents didn't want to play and the neighborhood kids weren't around, you were screwed. It's probably where I got my lifelong love of Solitaire games.

In all fairness, I did have a close extended family and had cousin who was also an only child that I was very close with and spent a lot of time hanging out with in the evenings and on weekends. There were also a lot of kids in a wide range of ages not just in my neighborhood, but on my block. So for many years it was just a matter of going outside and within minutes I'd be able to track down a playmate without going more than a few houses down.

My personality is also suited to being an only child, I like peace and quite and I'm one of those types who find crowds and social demands to be draining, and I need "alone time" to recharge.

And you know, it's really easy for someone with no siblings to say "I wish I had a brother/sister". It's not as easy for someone with siblings to admit that wished they didn't. People would think you were a horrible person! So you're not going to get a whole lot of people responding with a "gee, I'm one of three, but I wish my two siblings had never been born 'cause I would have preferred to be an only child."

The truth of the matter is that while I may have been happier in some regards, I probably would have lost out in a lot of other ways which are harder to quantify. How much of what made me who I am would never have happened if there were other kids in the house. We didn't have a lot, but I'm grateful for all the things my parents allowed me to experience throughout my childhood and youth. There's no way to say if any of the defining moments in my life would have happened in the same way, or at all had younger children been an issue.
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