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Parenting The Only Child

by Gumer Liston | March 26th, 2009 | Helpful Hints

childThe circumstances surrounding a child as he grows up has a big influence on the formation of his character. My son is an only child; I know that he is growing up differently from other children who have siblings. Missing out on having siblings has both good and bad effects on him, so my wife and I see to it that we manage to maximize the good effects and reduce to the smallest possible amount the bad effects. Being the sole recipient of his parents’ love can create in our child a sense of self-importance which will build his self confidence, that is why we show him always in many different ways that we love him. This is good for him.

It is a known fact that only children usually come out as very confident and socially secure individuals. This is because they get the chance to socialize around adults, and most of the time they are treated as adults.  Many only children  talk very early and may appear both verbally and socially advanced because the absence of other children forces them to imitate their parents.  My wife and I see these things in our son, and we know that his unusual social poise is giving him a head start in dealing with the adult social world.

But there is a downside to being the only child. An only child misses out on the things that should come naturally to children. These things are necessary to complete the process of emotional maturity. When a child misses out on companionship with siblings, sibling rivalry, conflict, and play at home, he can grow up not having a good enough degree of emotional maturity. Emotional maturity is born out of the hard experiences in life. If a child is not exposed to the push and shove of sibling life, chances are that he’ll be  lacking in emotional intelligence later.  It is here that the parents should strive to see to it that the necessary hard experiences in life will be filled. It is natural for parents of only children to be overprotective of their child’s feelings, but it should be avoided because this can hinder emotional growth. The more parents become protective of their only child, the more the child becomes vulnerable.

  1. Andrea says:

    I’ve really been enjoying this site. I was raised as an only child and I go back & forth about whether I liked it or not. There were pros and cons, but in the end I turned out fine 🙂

  2. chris says:

    your site is one of my regular visits. by the way, i have an award for you at http://www.mommyjourney.com/2009/03/im-smart-blogger.html

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