What are the biggest ishoos as an 'only' gets older?(17 Posts)
We have a wonderful 2yo dd, trying to decide if it is to stay that way. What are the biggest ishoos that lay ahead?
I'm an only one and can honestly say childhood ishoos were really nothing to speak of, as I didn't know any different. I've always been very independent and see that as a positive life-skill.
It was very irritating/unconstructive when other parents/adults go "oooh, only child, I bet they're really spoilt". Erm, no and what would you want me to do about it, exactly?
Looking a very long way ahead, after they've left home and partnered up one issue is Christmas. I find it very hard to alternate/equalise with in-laws.
Now mum's on her own and elderly, it does rest rather heavily on the on the list of responsibilities, especially as we live a long way away, relatively speaking. It would be nice to feel supported by a sibling, but I'm not, so that's life.
I think the biggest one is getting the balance right between being involved in their life, and letting them have some space apart from you - I think that children who have siblings tend to get that without you having to think about it - they'll usually spend time together with minimal involvement from parents as they get older.
There is a risk that parents can be so involved in their only's life that they forget to give them opportunities for that, so it's something to keep an eye on - but it doesn't have to be a "problem" any more than getting time with children individually in a large family is, it's just something you maybe have to work at rather than take for granted.
You may be asked by your dd when you are going to have another
This peaks around age 4 in my experience
Warning - we did have another, and ds now complains that he wishes we hadn't
He is joking btw - at least I hope so
I am an only, and the only (excuse the pun) ishoo I have with my parents in relation to what AMumInScotland said is that sometimes the relationship I have with them is a little suffocating. I generally do nothing without speaking to my mum first, and I am very dependent on her (which dh just loves, as you can imagine). I think if there were more of us, she'd have been able to spread that around a bit. I am determined that dd (who hopefully won't be an only) will be much more of a free spirit than I am.
For me (I was an only child), I would say making sure they get lots of socialisation and opportunities to make friends - not just in school, but outside of school too.
I was quite shy as a child, lived in a remote area (parents always moaned about ferrying me around too so I rarely asked) then moved to a completely different remote area just before secondary school - complete social skill suicide.
It's taken a lot for me to get comfortable in a social situation. Yes, I agree that being independent is an awesome skill to have, and I'm grateful for that. Just make sure that peer isolation isn't the reason for that.
I am 45 and still getting this from dd who is five too, Ruby!
Our ds(14) is an only now (elder ds died 8 yrs ago).
I know he does sometimes wish he had brothers and sisters, especially when we see big families.
To counteract that, I've always been v. proactive in him having lots of friends round to the house, getting him to join clubs etc so that he doesn't actually spend much time alone at all.
He's naturally very sociable and I don't think he exactly lies awake at night wishing he was living in the Waltons family .
So far as spoiling is concerned, yes, it is quite easy to give him everything he wants but he doesn't actually ask for much so hopefully isn't a spoilt brat.
I think that once they are more self sustaining it can be easy to just haul them along to whatever the parents/carers are doing.
I certainly spent a lot of time doing stuff that my grandparents wanted to do and it was just so dull.
If you have more children I think that you automatically have to become more child centred. But is is unrealistic to expect a teenager to be thilled by bowling. All the time.
I'd echo what's been said about whether closeness can ever become too intense or suffocating. Only children find it harder to escape the parental radar!
Our daughter does spend more time in theatres and museums than other children here age, I guess. But I think that's a positive thing - because we only have to cater for her needs we can seek out child-friendly events and don't have to worry about whether they also cater for older or younger siblings.
I am an "older only" being 30....I can say that there were no issues growing up, I was fine and normal.
If people said 'oo, I bet you get spoilt" I would just respond 'yes, I do actally, it's fantastic" and they shut up.
I did worry what would happen when my parents get old and I am the "only" one looking after them, but my grandma has just gone through this, and she had my dad and uncle and my uncle did NOTHING so it was like Dad was an only anyway.
So, to conclude - issues are only there if you make them so.
Mumble I was in a similar situation.
Due to bereavement my 1st DS was an 'only' from 10 to 16yrs. He hated it because he, obviously, loved and missed his two brothers.
Just before he was 16 I found out I was pregnant (found out on my 40th birthday!!)
I sat him down and said 'You know how you hate being an only one? Well in July next year we are having another baby.' He jumped around the room screaming and smiling - then stopped and said 'Urgh mum you and dad still do it!!!!' 'Urgh'
I think, for what its worth, loads of socialising with other children and encourage independence as much as poss!
lol @ Shabsters son "urgh you still do it!"
I am an only and mum to an only dd (3). My relationship with my mother was rather claustrophobic and I always wanted more distance between us. I'm hoping to avoid that.
Also a feeling of lack of privacy and being over-observed. Everything is noticed - nothing is casual or lost.
On a bleak note, if things go wrong in the family, there are no witnesses - no-one to share the burden.
I am a 32 year old only and echo the suffocating relationship with my mum. I still call her every day (her need, not mine) if I miss a call she'll leave messages saying how worried she is and ask why I didn;t tell her I was going out
As much as my childhood was fab, I do agree with the always being in the spot light. If you mess up as a kid you have no siblings messing up more than you to take the heat off!
This is so interesting. Because I have a 16 year age gap between my two sons it is like having TWO 'only ones.' They have an OK relationship which I think will improve as they get older. If all 4 of my sons were still alive I would have 26 year old twin boys, a 24 year old and an 11 year old. How much, wonderful fun would that be
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