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Parenting an only child into adulthood

(8 Posts)
retainertrainer Fri 11-Nov-16 13:37:38

DS is 7 so a long way off yet. I've been very conscious of parenting him to ensure he's not lonely or spoilt or any of those other silly stereotypes but as he gets into adulthood I think I'll still have to bare in mind his only child status.

I'm thinking of not focussing too much attention/pressure on him,giving him space to grow and mature.

Not allowing any guilt to be put on him at Christmas or other special occasions. If he's got other people to see or places to be I want him to feel free to be away from us.

As we get into our retirement years I don't want him to feel soley responsible for us. I'm not sure how to achieve this though!

I can't think of anything else really. Just quietly backing off a little,letting him spread his wings. You'd do that no matter how many children you have though.

BackforGood Fri 11-Nov-16 16:44:32

You'd do that no matter how many children you have though

I think this is true. Well, for me - I know not everyone feels the same.
Does he have cousins ? Wider family ? I think I'd try to ensure he grows up close to them.
I also think it's important that you keep a life for yourselves - that everything doesn't resolve around you being his parents, but that you also have your own hobbies, interests, and friends.

timelytess Fri 11-Nov-16 16:47:50

He'll have friends and a life and it won't be a problem. Encourage him to follow his interests and all will be well.

Bluntness100 Fri 11-Nov-16 16:52:49

I've never given this a second thought, I don't understand, why would he feel guilt at Xmas or guilt be put on him? By whom? And why for goodness sake?

You simply treat your child as a loved and included part of uour family. Th fact it's an only child is totally and utterly irrelevant. He will have or should have plenty of friends. I really genuinely don't see the concern here.

And I say that as the mother of a happy well adjusted, smart as a button daughter currently at university.

BusterTheBulldog Fri 11-Nov-16 16:57:32

The Christmas guilt is a great one op! I would say if possible try to surround yourself with friends / other family so they are not the 'main event' at these things.

I speak as an only child (and I had a great childhood and NEVER felt I missed out in anything. Friends who had siblings lives always seemed worse tbh). However as an adult I do feel the pressure a bit. My parents don't socialise so if I don't go on Christmas Day it's just another day. In fairness they do not put any pressure on me but I feel the guilt still.

I am also married to another only, and his parents put A LOT of pressure on him for Christmas etc. Not good.

NicknameUsed Fri 11-Nov-16 17:24:09

"Not allowing any guilt to be put on him at Christmas or other special occasions. If he's got other people to see or places to be I want him to feel free to be away from us."

I totally agree with this. DD is an only child. We live miles away from family, and quite often Christmas and New Year are quite lonely for her because all her friends have to spend these occasions with their families. Her boyfriend wasn't allowed to spend new year with her last year and was collected from our house at 7.30. They then spent all evening messaging each other.

retainertrainer Fri 11-Nov-16 19:21:58

Bluntness-I get Christmas guilt laid on me from my mum even though she has my dad and my brother for company. If we don't spend time on Christmas Day or Boxing Day all together then she lays on a guilt trip. Same from DH's side,even though he's one of 4! So I'll be making it perfectly clear to DS that if he is not tied to us at Christmas or any other time of year.

Wellhellothere1 Sat 12-Nov-16 08:39:59

Hi OP. I'm very mindful of this too as I think with one child it's very easy to do everything for them and to be overprotective. My DS is only 6 but I try for example to get him to help with tasks around the house-making his bed, setting the table, simple meal preparation, taking the bins out etc. Things I'm sure I would do if I had more than one!
Your question reminds me of a very good article I read some time ago on bringing up only children. Hope the link works

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