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If you are an only child, do you have any nerves about parenting siblings?

(20 Posts)
thesurgeonsmate Wed 01-Jun-11 11:41:04

To add context to this question ? I am not the sort of only child who always wished I had a sibling. I found three to be a perfectly natural and convenient size for a family, and was happy being an only. More context ? I have one baby thus far, giving serious thought to the next.

pipkin35 Wed 01-Jun-11 12:04:43

I'm an only. I have 2 kids, 16 month age gap. I find it fascinating, messy interesting and frustrating seeing the two of them together. Have lots of 'nerves' about all aspects of 'parenting' - siblings being just one ;)

Having a small gap meant we had no issues with DS being jealous or anything since DD coming along when he was 16 months was all he knew.
Obviously there are gonna always be pros and cons to 1 kid, or 2+ aswell as various age gaps.

OH has a brother, with the same age gap as our two kids and I love seeing our 2 and then thinking about OH and his brov having similar issues...

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 01-Jun-11 13:22:00

i'm an only and dc2 due in sept when ds will be 19m.

I didn't have siblings but i've met enough of them to know that they can have very varied and changing relationships. So i guess i feel that the sibling relationship isn't all about the parenting, but in large past about the individuals. Just as i'm not worried about parenting a boy...ds is who he is, he might be a "typical" boy, might not. I'll parent him as the person he is and hope to do the same for dc2...Don't know if that makes sense or is really what you're asking!

thesurgeonsmate Wed 01-Jun-11 13:56:18

Yes, that's a good thought, MoonFace, that you don't have to understand the whole gamut of sibling relationships to get stuck in have a good go at parenting your own two children.

Gonzo33 Wed 01-Jun-11 18:36:59

I'm an only, and have 2 children 9 years apart - plus a step son not far off my own eldests age. I quite like the fact that they have each other to fall back on.

My husband is one of four and generally they all get on like a house on fire.

ThisIsJustASagaNow Wed 01-Jun-11 18:52:35

I'm an only and have 3 dc two of whom are twins. I watch them in bemusement; the closeness despite the bickering, the making up, the friendship. It's all so noisy and chaotic and yet they have a relationship, closeness and comradship that I'll never know being an only.

I'm glad I had more than one - it's not an accident that I did although having the twins wasn't plannedgrin. I had thought maybe two...but they're all fantastic.

Their childhood is so much more fun and natural and spontaneous than mine was. Mine was sterile, quiet and quite lonleysad

I feel a bit on the outside edge looking in at my dc sometimes. I used to worry if/when they fell out; arguments at home when I was small were a Very Big Deal follwed by sometimes weeks of silences. I realise now it's actually quite normal and negotiating with siblings a wonderful confidence booster and differences of opinion are what makes the world go round.

I did knock myself out for years trying to treat each of them as only children and being scrupulously fair, even when they weren't bothered. I realise now that having siblings bring it's own rewards and it's ok (sometime not always) to take the long view and say you didn't get x,y,z on this occasion - you don't need it today, but you'll always have what you need when you need it.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 01-Jun-11 19:08:54

Thisisjustasaganow i think you are right re does not always mean doing the same thing for each child imo. Also i agree re negotiation etc. My emotional intelligence was crap as a kid, i've had to really work on it. I don't think that's all down to being an only. My parents were crap at it too, but i would have been given natural opportunites to develope it had i had siblings imo.

PeppaPigandGeorge Wed 01-Jun-11 20:52:34

Me and my husband are both only children and now have 2. I also never wished I had a sibling when I was growing up - quite happy with the three of us. I do love having two children though.

Interestingly, my dad (one of several) has said to me several times when I've been separating the fighting pair "...but you don't know what it's like to have a sibling" hmm

Yama Wed 01-Jun-11 20:59:10

Dh is an only and says he was happy being so. I am one of four. We have 2 dc. I have loved watching him witness the sibling relationship. He now gets what I was always harping on about.

thesurgeonsmate Wed 01-Jun-11 21:09:11

These reports sound most encouraging - I think you all have some of the experiences I might be apprehensive about, but describe it as "fascinating" at best, "bemusing" at worst. Not "catastrophic", "desparate" or "intolerable!"

easycomeeasygo Wed 01-Jun-11 23:11:17

Hi, I am an only child too, i have four children, the eldest is 16 and the youngest is 4, and at times i'll sit back and watch the four of them and think "how the hell did I do this" lol, i just cant believe that all those years ago it was just me, my mom and my dad, and now little old me has created this huge family, we're a very close family. My children argue but most of the time they get on, its normally my two older daughters (16 and 14) that have the arguments but starts off with the most silliest things like the one is sitting too close to the other one etc etc, bless them. I wouldnt have it any other way.

annbenoli Thu 02-Jun-11 09:11:59

I am an only and now have three children (8, 5 and 2). The sibling relationships is so interesting and they argue like cat and dog at times but are so close and love each other so much. They are proud of each other when they do well and their relationship really brings a lump to my throat. When I was a child I did not long for a sibling it seemed normal to me to be an only. Now though I really feel that I did miss out and would love to have a sibling now. My DH is an only as well and he had to be persuaded to have more than one. This means sadly that our children have no aunties, uncles or cousins. This made me more determined not to have an only. Would love more if I had more energy and DH would agree!

Cattleprod Thu 02-Jun-11 09:23:06

I'm an only and currently preg with DC2. I wasn't bothered as a child - had loads of friends to play with and out of school activities. It only hits you when you're older and you realise that the burden of caring for elderly parents will rest on only your shoulders, your DCs will have less aunts, uncles and cousins and family gatherings will be a bit less rowdy!
I suppose the things I'm mildly concerned about are you get pot luck with the personalities of your children, so it's hard luck if they happen not to get on. Also the constant bickering, fighting, teasing and winding up that seems to happen in some multi-child families. I'll have to try and nip that in the bud to avoid the extra trips to A&E from siblings injuring each other!

Magicofthinkingbig Thu 02-Jun-11 21:18:51

Lovely to read this thread as we have dd but are ttc another but, as an only, I just cant imagine having two! And the idea of all the hustle and bustle and rough and tumble that goes with it is quite daunting. I was brought up in a calm, quiet household.

Really interested in what you said ThisIsJustaSagaNow as, altho you cant miss what youve never had, I think I might have been more emotionally robust had I had a sibling.

Slambang Thu 02-Jun-11 21:25:03

I'm an only with 2. I was worried that there would be some mysterious sibling thing that I wouldn't be equipped to handle but I LOVE having two. The best thing about having more than 1 is seeing their own secret magic relationship that exists without dh and me.

ScrotalPantomime Thu 02-Jun-11 21:32:58

I was a lonely only but I think that's more to do with my parents than the fact that there were no siblings. But it made me absolutely determined to have more than one.

DH has sisters but he was constantly abused by his mother, and the sisters weren't as much, so obviously things are tense between them.

So really witnessing a happy sibling relationship is new to both of us. They do fight a fair bit but mostly it is amazing smile it's the little things, like when DS clambers into DD's bed in the morning as he's so excited to see her, and the way DD shares her food with him. We often find ourselves staring at them thinking how did we get so lucky to have them smile

Flyonthewindscreen Thu 02-Jun-11 21:51:18

I was an "only" of older parents and hated it. My DF was also an only and my DM had siblings but they had no DC so I had no cousins. An only child that has an only is potentially not giving their DC much of an extended family unless the other parent has a large family. My background was definately a major reason for my chosing to have 2 DC fairly close together. I have never found it a problem to parent DC who are siblings except for annoying them by telling them they are lucky to have each other smile.

thesurgeonsmate Fri 03-Jun-11 16:00:43

Well, you all make it sound great fun, and are settling my nerves.

GrendelsMum Fri 03-Jun-11 21:55:57

I think if you're expecting a certain amount of noise and argument, it's probably great, but my mum was an only who (I think) tried to over-compensate, and found it really tough to deal with children who argued and fought the whole time. She'd imagined that sisters would be like her and her best friends at boarding school, and get on well the overwhelming majority of the time. My dad was one boy with 4 sisters, and took fights, hair pulling and hysterical teenage screaming in his stride. smile

cakeaddict Fri 03-Jun-11 22:38:41

I'm an only with 2 DS (almost 4 and 18mo). I was desperate that DS1 wouldn't be an only (partly because I was an only born to two onlies, so rather a lack of extended family around...), but I also worried about how I'd cope. As others have said, I love watching them together. They are so affectionate and have such a warm relationship that it really melts my heart to see them together. I am perhaps guilty of overemphasising how lucky they are to have each other - DS1 is very proud of saying, 'we're brothers'. Although of course they annoy one another a million times a day and I am learning (particularly as the younger one gets to be less of a 'baby') to leave them to it and only intervene when things gets particularly heated. DS is one of 3 and takes this all in his stride. I do know what you mean about liking the calm and quiet though, and for me 2 is ideal. I think 3 DC might tip the balance in the other direction!

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