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Only Child

On 28 Nov 2012 at 11:48am Depressed Mum wrote:
I have an only child (age 8). I chose to only have 1 child for a variety of reasons and am now wondering if I did the right thing. He is a lovely and intelligent boy, but I feel a little sad he will not experience having a brother or sister. He is also the only child in our immediate family. I'm in my early 40's now.
Any other mums out there in the same situation?
On 28 Nov 2012 at 11:52am Jonny wrote:
Do you have a husband/partner?
On 28 Nov 2012 at 12:56pm Deelite wrote:
There are advantages for a single child. He'll benefit from your undivided attention (and undivided wealth) and a stronger (possibly deeper) relationship with you. He'll also not suffer from the interminable bullying, bitching and fighting so common between siblings.
If you are worried about his relationship with peers, it sounds like he might have cousins (and blood is often thicker than water) so encourage family friendships and bonds. Welcome his friends around too and get out and about with him and others.

Single kids don't usually 'miss' brothers and sisters and get on very well by themselves. Be careful not to let your guilt tarnish his upbringing (a depressed mother won't benefit him, and neither will being spoilt).

Make sure he marries a woman from a large, close family! :-)
On 28 Nov 2012 at 1:12pm Depressed Mum wrote:
Yes I have a husband and he is very close to our child. No cousins I'm afraid.
On 28 Nov 2012 at 2:23pm Jacky wrote:
Oh sweetheart, you sound so terribly sad. Try not to mythologise what siblings would have been like for your son and instead focus on the fact that he is here and enjoy him.
I have 3 children whom I love very much but often they fight and often I think how much happier they would be if they were only children! I think it's a case of the grass always being greener on the other side.
My husband has 2 siblings and they get on really well. I have 1 sibling and we are estranged. So as an adult, I have no contact with him.
There are pros and cons to everything in life and I feel you're getting a bit stuck in focusing on the cons to being an only child. I know some fabulous only children who have grown up to be fabulous- and happy!- only adults.
Be kind to yourself. You sound like a very caring mother and your son is lucky to have you!
Best of luck.
On 28 Nov 2012 at 3:11pm Pixxiecat wrote:
Hi, I am the mother of an only child. for the first eight years I was a single Mum. I encouraged my son to socialise because I was painfully shy as a young child. My son has grown up to be a successful popular, sociable, adult. Thinking about it though, he did have an imaginary pet horse....
On 28 Nov 2012 at 3:49pm Depressed Mum wrote:
Thanks for replying. I really should look on the bright side of things rather than the negativity. I am also hopelessly shy which does not help,
Actually there are several kids in his class who are only children...I also worry about something happening to him and I would be left without a future.
On 28 Nov 2012 at 3:49pm k.p wrote:
may god be with you bless you
On 28 Nov 2012 at 4:08pm london exile wrote:
If your husbands not interested then i'll happily have a child with you, depending on what you look like of course.
On 28 Nov 2012 at 4:25pm Last of 5 wrote:
Take it from me - brothers and sisters can be vile, just like any other human being.
Make sure he joins clubs and stuff so that he learns how to socialise. I'd say the same for you too. If you join a class you will meet other people but have something in common to talk about -small is greatly reduced and even if you don't make friends you'll learn something new.
On 28 Nov 2012 at 5:23pm Proud Dad wrote:
Depressed mum please ignore London Exile who's clearly misread the tone required and is an insensitive git. The very fact that you're thinking about your sons needs and sharing your concerns shows that he's in excellent hands with you as his loving mum and he's very fortunate. "Try not to worry" is invariably useless advice, but do take pride in yourself and your family! He's gonna be fine.
On 28 Nov 2012 at 5:23pm Last of 5 wrote:
That was meant to say 'small talk'
On 28 Nov 2012 at 8:28pm Feline wrote:
Depressed Mum, I am an only child and have never for a moment missed not having siblings, even though the relationship with my parents was far from great. Stop worrying!
On 29 Nov 2012 at 7:51am Teacher wrote:
Depressed mum! The very fact that you started this thread is a good sign that you are on the right road. Too many people keep their problems and anxieties to themselves and consequently never get their problems resolved. Some of the answers you have received make sense so take these on board and good luck for the future. I am certain you and your son will have a great life, be positive.
On 29 Nov 2012 at 8:27am Pete wrote:
Depressed Mum, you're doing OK. I was one of six and it was a right bugger getting fed in the mornings, had to fight for every scrap (sic).
On 29 Nov 2012 at 10:13am Only Me wrote:
Read your post with interest, I am an only child and I have to say have never felt disadvantaged by not having any siblings. You do end up having a level of self sufficiency in that you are happy in the company of other people but also happy with your own company, even now I am happy to spend time on my own and am content on my own. Friends and family are very important and I was lucky that I had great parents and it sounds like your child has great parents too. I am often asked if I wished that I had brothers and sisters and always end up answering that I really don't know as I don't know what is like to have siblings so cannot yearn for something I know nothing about. I would say don't worry about it, just get on with being a happy and loving little family and all will be well.
On 29 Nov 2012 at 11:51am Depressed Mum wrote:
Thank you so much to everyone taking the time to post positive replies. You have made a difference. I must make an effort to look at the positives in life.
On 29 Nov 2012 at 5:23pm Barquentine wrote:
I have two sons now grown. When they were little they made friends with many boys and girls who were only children. I am in contact with many of them still and they certainly have not suffered because they were only children. It is more important that they have a loving parent or parents. You sounds like a very nice person so please don't worry.
On 29 Nov 2012 at 8:46pm Lucky you wrote:
Enjoy it, love him, cherish him. I can't have kids so one is better than none. Stop worrying and start living
On 29 Nov 2012 at 9:17pm Jonny wrote:
There's some great stuff in here people, DP, you'll be ok and so will your boy. For a start, he's got a Daddy too, and that makes him a lucky chap as boys need their Dads as much as their Mums. the best of British luck to you and here's my advice, for what it's worth.
Make the best of what you already have and if you're lucky, the best will come back to you.
On 30 Nov 2012 at 11:08am oneisone wrote:
I have an only child. It's important that he has a good social life from an early age, not only for the positive fun etc but also to see how you can have an argument with someone and then be friends again afterwards etc, which without siblings you may not see so much. You need to make sure he's not bored and that you have a good harmonious family life. (I was an only child, so I know). Also my child has a pet who is also a great companion when we're on our own at home. As your bond is stronger if you only have one child, they can sense if you're down or worried, so it's important to have a strong positive attitude to life which will rub off on him.
On 30 Nov 2012 at 11:45am Independent Thinker wrote:
So glad you're finding the responses helpful. I just wanted to support the point that your son only grows up once, and like all of us, has no way to compare his life with what might have been. My family moved constantly when I was young so I never had the same friends for more than a year or two at most. Settled now, I watch my own children growing up with the same group of friends they've known since they were born. A completely different life. Better, worse, who knows? Just different. If my parents hadn't moved so much I wouldn't be who I am now, would never have met my wife, my children wouldn't exist. Everything would be different. Doesn't bear thinking about. There really is no point in having regrets about paths not followed, better to just focus on living the life you have, and trying to make the most of the opportunities in front of you.
On 30 Nov 2012 at 7:56pm Kettle wrote:
I wish I'd realised years ago that the thing is to value what you have, not always hanker after what you don't have.
On 30 Nov 2012 at 10:35pm Deelite wrote:
On 2 Dec 2012 at 7:33am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
This got me thinking about all my friends' children. The two that are the nicest, most mature, most responsible, most considerate and most charming are the two that are only children.
Far from being selfish or ill-at-ease socially, they are both generous and the sort of young adults that you could happily take anywhere and introduce to anyone. They both did well at school and have interesting careers that they are committed to. Unlike many other people of their age (mid-20's) that I know, they have never been in trouble with the police, are not regularly paralytically drunk, don't drive like complete cretins and haven't had/caused unplanned pregnancies. They have both travelled extensively and are intelligent and well-informed. I am very proud to have one of them as my stepson.
If this small and totally unscientific sample is anything to go by, I'd say you're getting your child off to the best possible start by not inflicting bothers and sisters on him!
On 2 Dec 2012 at 1:34pm Depressed Mum wrote:
THANK YOU ANNETTE and all.....by the way your typo "bothers" instead of "brothers" made me chuckle!
I have had a problem with depression since I was a child and sometimes it gets the better of me. I will indeed take everyone's advice/comments onboard. Thanks.

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