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Old 05-31-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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I don't have any children, but my husband and I have been discussing it. He say that if we have children, he would prefer to only have 1.

We each have one sibling, so neither of knows what it's like to grow up as an only child. We both get along with our siblings.

Do any of you have opinions or experiences (bad and good) with having only 1 child?
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:48 AM
 
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I grew up for the first 13 years of my life as an only child. I personally can say I didn't like it to much as I had no at home playmate to play with. Sometimes it got pretty lonely and I learned how to play several card games for one like solitaire because most other games required at least two to play. My mom was pretty busy and didn't always have time to play games like hide-n-seek or chinese checkers.

I know quite a few only children some don't mind it and some do. But I have found that the ones who don't mind being an only child are a bit on the spoiled side. The ones who don't like being an only child are either very reclusive or they are overly friendly (i.e. clingy). I was a little on the overly friendly side. Not saying that all only children are these ways, just most of the ones I have met or know.

My thoughts are, friends come and go, but family is forever and it's nice to have a sibling who you can grow up with and have a constant friendship with. I know it's not always the case in that everyone is close to their sibling/s and have stronger and closer relationships with friends. But for the most part siblings do have a pretty tight bond.

If you do decide to have more than one child I recommend a 2-3 year gap in between. That seems to be a pretty good age difference for us anyways. The age gap could be a little further apart if you have a boy first and a girl second. But no-one is guaranteed what sex their children will be.
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
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None of the following are compelling reasons for having more than one child but these are my opinions on the advantages of having more than one~

A sibling is someone to play with when mommy and daddy are too tired or too busy to play. Siblings often help or teach each other.

A sibling is someone to share confidences with, things you might not be comfortable sharing with a parent as you grow up.

Parent tend to pin a lot of hopes and dreams on their kids, I think personally if I'd only had one child I might have unwittingly put a lot of pressure on him/her to fulfill those dreams. Having two kids is easier in that respect. Just as an example, my DD does not plan on ever having children. I find that a little disappointing, but since DS wants a family someday I not devastated by her decision.

Last, when the kids are adults and the parents pass away the kids usually still have a sibling that they have a shared history with, someone who remembers "back when." When my dad passed away it was comforting to be able to share my grief with my siblings.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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I raised my son as an only child, although he has an older brother (relinquished for adoption at birth) and he recently had a half-sister (his dad and stepmom's new daughter).
But his primary experience is of being an only child, and I wouldn't recommend it. I think he would've done better with a close-in-age sibling. Just my gut feeling.
His social skills lagged when he was young. He had no friends, and didn't really know how to make any. I think a sibling would've helped.
And I surely would've done better as a parent- been less smothering and hysterical- if I hadn't put all my eggs in one basket.
If there had been more kids, so I could've spread the worry around a little, so to speak. Instead, he bore the entire burden of it.
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:16 PM
 
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My oldest and youngest are 17 years apart. There is no way I would ever suggest a child grow up as an only. For years, both asked why we don't adopt. It's very difficult for an only. Not only does it set them up for being lonely and missing that sibling connection through their early years, it robs them of that connection into adulthood. There's nobody else who shares their growing up years and experiences, and nobody else to rely on to understand beyond anything.
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
A sibling is someone to share confidences with, things you might not be comfortable sharing with a parent as you grow up.

Parent tend to pin a lot of hopes and dreams on their kids, I think personally if I'd only had one child I might have unwittingly put a lot of pressure on him/her to fulfill those dreams. Having two kids is easier in that respect. Just as an example, my DD does not plan on ever having children. I find that a little disappointing, but since DS wants a family someday I not devastated by her decision.
I'm not sure what you're DD's situation is, but people do change their minds as they get older (I didn't want kids for the first part of my 20's, but now I'm not sure.)

Thanks for the opinions so far! I've been thinking about how my brother and I interacted over the years. Yes, there were definitely bad times, but I do think the good outweights the bad. I know people who feel the opposite (bad outweighs the good), but those do seem to be extreme situations.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
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My MIL is in her 80's and still complains about being an only child.

My dd birth was a very traumatic experience so I used to tell everyone that she was going to be an only child. And then one day I was at some friends house. There was a mess on the floor and he called their son and say pick it up. My first thought was "what happened to I didn't do it was sis or bro". That is half the fun of growing up. After that I did some soul searching and overcame my fears of another traumatic birth and I had my son.

My dd is very bossy and always wants things her way, having a little brother that ignores her is doing her a lot of good. But she also loves him and is constantly celebrating his accomplishments.
She was also well on her way to being spoiled by us. Not anymore.

If circumstances permit it I recommend you give your firstborn the gift of a sibling.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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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.
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Old 05-31-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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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.
My daughter is independent, smart and happy, but hates being an only. There is nothing shy about her, but she has always wished she had a sibling for someone to share life experience with.
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Old 05-31-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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I regret having an only and my teenager would tell you he doesn't like it either. I would never recommend it.
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