'Oh, what a shame if he's a lonely-only.' Positive stories about raising single children please...

(14 Posts)
awayatlast Fri 30-Aug-13 18:39:04

I did once post something in only children section but the traffic was really small, so I thought I'd repost here.

I have one DS who is 2.5. For various reasons we won't be having another, which makes me a lot sadder than I thought. Both for myself, but also for my son. I'm currently around a lot of friends with kids his age, and they are now trying for, or pregnant with, their second...

Anyway, after a few tactless comments such as the one in the header from a friend's mum, I thought I'd ask people to share with me positive stories about raising a single child.

My DS seems really sociable. He likes being around other kids and I do my absolute best to see others, have playdates or whatever you call them. He has cousins and although none of us are in the same city, I make efforts to see them too.

But he constantly wants us to play with him, doesn't really want to do much on his own - which is probably personality as much as anything else - and in these moments, I worry that I'll always have to be his playmate. And that he'll be lonely, with his nose pressed against the window seeing others have fun with siblings that he doesn't have.

I know I'm romanticising - I didn't have a great relationship with my siblings - but it's hard not to, especially at certain points in the month when hormones take over!

Thanks for reading this far!

Tee2072 Fri 30-Aug-13 18:42:07

My 4 year old was like that at 2. Now he tells me to go away do he can play on his own.

Having a sibling guarantees nothing.

awayatlast Fri 30-Aug-13 18:53:13

I know it guarantees nothing...

davidjrmum Fri 30-Aug-13 19:02:39

Our eldest was an only one until she was 12 (now 26) so grew up without a sibling to play with and didn't have any cousins until about then either. Being an only one never seemed an issue. She always made friends really easily, for example on camping holidays she was picking out potential playmates as we were driving into the camp! whereas our younger 2 are slower to make friends. She was always comfortable around the grown ups too so I don't think she missed out. I think being an only one for quite a long spell actually made her more confident and more sociable if anything. You do get asked to be the playmate more though. Our younger 2 are a little closer in age and it is definitely a bonus that they play together some days! The youngest (6) still doesn't like to play on his own though so if sister isn't around is constantly asking if I will play. Your son sounds very sociable and you are clearly doing the right things re giving him contact with other children etc. As Tee2072 says, there is no guarantee he would get on with a sibling anyway.

Tee2072 Fri 30-Aug-13 19:08:04

If you know there is no guarantee, then you need to stop worrying about what others think and say about it.

MumOfTheMoos Fri 30-Aug-13 19:10:24

I've got an 18 month old and he's likely to be an only but I just refuse to see it as likely to be bad - my sister (can't bring myself to refer to her as DSis, cos she's not) was. Nasty, manipulative bully who blighted my childhood - I don't see her now, thank god.

It could be that DS is losing out on a loving and close sibling relationship or it could be that I'm rescueing him from the sae childhood as I had.

DS seems to be able to play happily on his own but also loves the company of the other kids of and at his CMs.

My first boyfriend was an only and always had at least 1 close male friend and still does to this day (although the friends have changed) and I think that's more than most siblings have if we're honest about it.

awayatlast Fri 30-Aug-13 19:11:12

Thanks Davidjrmum....that's really helpful. Tee, it's not that black and white

Tee2072 Fri 30-Aug-13 19:16:29

Actually it is that black and white. I can't have any more children due to my health. It's no ones business why that is and it's not their place to say anything about it.

If people are saying things and upsetting you, either speak up or don't let it bother you.

chubbleigh Fri 30-Aug-13 19:20:00

My boy has turned out to be really good at making friend quite quickly such as walking up to a group of boys in the park and joining in. He has learned to do it through necessity, other mums are always saying what a lovely boy he is where as if he was playing with a sibling they wouldn't get to meet him. On occasion I have found him in the middle of picnic with 'new friends', no one has ever seemed to mind. So, a trait of his personality is being 'outgoing'. (1)

I really try to support his relationship with his cousins, they are very close and I think they have the sort of bond that will last a lifetime, I hope so, that is good for my sisters kids too who get the next best thing to a big brother for free. Another plus is that they never really get fed up with one another (2)

I try to support his friendships over and above, he doesn't have a bestie as such but more a circle, he is never short of somewhere to play or sleep over.

You might think he'd be bad a sharing but actually he is better than most kids with siblings who are sometimes obsessed with getting their fair share. (3)

He's gotten to like my undivided attention but one consequence of this is that he is also pretty good with adults, he can do grown up conversation pretty well. (4)

He gets the best of everything. (5)

I could go on but have to go, hope this helps. Stay positive about it always.

One more thing, its a big thing, having only one child is the most green/ecological thing a person can every do.

awayatlast Fri 30-Aug-13 19:37:23

Thanks Chubbleigh, that's a lovely post

GrimmaTheNome Fri 30-Aug-13 19:46:19

My one and only DD is 14 now. I was her playmate a lot when she was young ... treasure these years, they really won't last that long! But treasure also the inevitable day when he's off with his mates leaving you suddenly at a loose end grin.

I could have said many of the things chub has. DD has lots of friends, but also we're lucky she still enjoys doing things with us. In part because, being an only, we can do things which interest her (both in terms of time and money). So for instance she developed a passion for windsurfing, we end up learning too!

neontetra Fri 30-Aug-13 20:06:20

I think in many ways only children are lucky. They get to be the sole recipients of their parents' love, time, and, yes, money. Without exception all the only children I know as adult's are charming,.extremely confident in an intrinsic rather than braggish way, and have a close, loving relationship with their parents.
My dd will be an only, she's utterly charming and lovely, but a bit of a diva, so I think the situation suits her perfectly!

hc1helen Fri 30-Aug-13 20:51:20

Hi, my ds is 3 1/2 and is (and will be) our only child. I have/had the exact same concerns as you. Friends I made at baby group have already had number 2, are having no.2 or planning no.2.
My ds wants me to play all the time with him (or hubby or grandparents) if we are at home. He is quite shy and unconfident, however when he meets a child he clicks with it he s with his cousins (who sadly are not local) he doesn't look to us at all(apart from the odd checkup we are still there).
I also feel sometimes that how lovely it would be for him to have siblings but I Los know people that have never got n with theirs.
But as lots of people said there are many upsides too.
But I worry too, so you are not alone but I think as long as they have a balance if home, play dates, family, nursery they surely are not missing out on anything.
Makes me feel better to know I am not the only be with only child anxieties.

Three of my good friends are only children.
They all LOVED it, and wouldn't swap it for a sibling.

The close family unit, the full attention from their parents, the family finances not being so stretched, all have v close relationships with extended family, all are confident and good at making friends.

One has an only herself and def doesn't want more, the second has two as she does feel a bit of pressure/burden as she's so close to her parents that she wanted her own DC to be able to share the love & responsibility, and the third would like to have 1 or 2 DC.

I have heard of children having phases of asking for a sibling, but really, that's not a choice your child should make for you, and would prob be fleeting. Pets are apparently the answer!

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