“First children tend to be a choice parents make to fulfill their own lives and a second child tends to be a choice parents make to fulfill the life of their existing child.” – from book “One and Only” by Lauren Sandler.
Ever since I became pregnant with my baby, people have been advising me about how I should plan for another kid. I am getting free advice on how my son will end up becoming lonely, selfish blah blah. I even saw women advocating other women to have more children on some mummy forums. I am an only child and I am really happy that I don’t have a sibling. I got my parents’ undivided attention, still get their complete attention and love which people with siblings don’t always get (some do get).
My parents were able to give me everything that I ever asked for. If I asked my mom for one geometry box, she would get me four. If I asked my dad for a Rs. 100 dress, he would get me one that cost Rs.1000. This is the kind of environment where I was brought up. I have never heard the word “no” uttered in front of me. I owe it to the fact that my dad did not have to think about another child’s future before saying “yes” to me. There is nothing that my parents won’t do for me.
That was the reason why I decided I will be having an only child. I will make sure my kid gets everything that I got from my parents.
I already knew the advantages of being an only child, but then I stumbled upon this book. This is a great read and must be read by anyone who thinks their child needs a sibling and hence they should have multiple children. Children do not need siblings. Only children grow up to be better individuals. Only children like me, can stay at home alone without feeling bored or lonely. I have lived alone in an apartment for a year and I loved it! I can entertain myself, thanks to all the hobbies that I have and I owe these hobbies to lack of siblings.
I have added some quotes that I loved in this book below
Taken from book : “One and only” by Lauren Sandler
- We tend to succeed at significantly higher rates than people raised with siblings, whether it’s at school or in our professional endeavors.
- Solitary pursuits like reading train our focus and curiosity, and the verbally rich environment of life among adults accelerates our learning.
2. Only children are more social
- Generosity and sociability – Only children were more likely to be truthful. They show greater initiative, leadership abilities, and self-assuredness.
- Only children are especially hungry for connection, and thus are unusually attuned to the responsibility that comes with building lasting relationships.
3. Only children are NOT selfish
- Selfishness is natural between siblings, with competition sometimes exploding Lord-of-the-Flies style.
- Instead of operating in terms of that’s mine, as siblings tend to do, onlies learn from mothers and fathers how to develop mature and ethical behavior in relationships.
- Only children are actually more cooperative than siblings. Onlies score better in terms of their “personal adjustment.”
4. Only children are NOT lonely
- Only children are “more emotionally self-sufficient and better able to deal with aloneness than are persons with siblings, they should be better able to cope with any social isolation that comes with old age.
- One of the “gifts” of only childhood is being “a good companion for yourself.”
5. Only children do not lack a family
- Families with multiple kids often aren’t functional, because siblings are always being compared, the differences are always underscored, and often in a painful way.
- Only children, lacking siblings of their own, tend to build a chosen family.
6. Parents do NOT need more children for old age
- Eldercare tends to be mainly shouldered by one child. No matter how many siblings one might have, the nearest-residing daughter is most likely to do it all alone.
7. Only children are closer to their parents
- Single child family often functions excessively as an “individual, indivisible unit,” without the individuation necessary to foster one’s own selfhood.
- Siblings provide diversity and distraction in a family.
8. Only children get more attention from parents
- One of the resources related to achievement that becomes diluted with each subsequent birth is the number of words spoken to a child.
- Mothers interact with only children twice as much as last-born children.
- The more children we have, the more we speed up the earth’s destruction; the more time we spend parenting to the exclusion of all else, the more we close ourselves off to that reality.
I have seen siblings who are not even close to each other. E.g: one of my roommates used to speak to her sister once in 3 months and was not close to her at all. I have seen siblings who are jealous of each other and do not get along well. So just because someone has a sibling, it does not mean they will be friends forever.