The Only-Child Debate

I am extremely blessed to have this job as Content Editor of ParentLife. It is a great benefit to my parenting. Every day I get to read and research about how to be a better parent. (But trust me … that doesn’t mean I know what I’m doing all the time!)

Every now and then there is an article our team works on that hits closer to home than others for me. Jennifer Holt’s "Dispelling the Myths: Raising an Only Child" in the September 2009 issue is definitely one of those articles. Jennifer discusses and dispels four assumptions people generally have about only children (such as — Only children are bossy and spoiled).

79a_JackClimbing.jpgMy husband and I currently are in the midst of the only-child debate. We have one little boy, 14-month-old Jack. We’ve always talked about wanting to have two children, but the end of my pregnancy and Jack’s delivery involved several complications that could recur with another pregnancy. All of this makes us wonder if we are willing to take the risk of having another baby. So when we come across parents that have raised only children, we have lots of questions for them. Is it hard to entertain an only child to keep him from getting bored? Will he be spoiled rotten and therefore grow up being self-centered? Will it be hard to teach him how to interact with other children?

Of course, the answer to these questions is different for every family and every child. There are many factors that influence the way a child grows up — the temperament/personality of the child, the parenting style of the parents, and many other factors that cannot be controlled or predicted. That is why the most important thing we must do is to pray and seek God’s will for our family, whether that means have an only child or going on to have a house full of children. 

What about you? Are you raising an only child? If so, what are some of the unexpected benefits and disadvantages you have faced? Tell us about them and be sure not to miss Jennifer’s September 09 article!