Some couples are only able to have one child. Whichever is the case for you, you have quite an important job on your hands. As a parent, it is your responsibility to raise a child that is not stricken with Only Child Syndrome. Some psychologists believe these children tend to grow up selfish, anti-social, and bossy. While this is not true in all cases, it is important to recognize that it is quite different raising only one child, rather than multiple children. Read on to learn how you can make sure you are doing everything you can to raise a social able, caring, and compassionate child in today’s world.
Tip #1-Enroll them in activities
Put your only child in as many programs as you can, as early as you can. The sooner you start socializing your child around other children, the better off they will be. They will learn how to share, wait, engage in age appropriate discussions, and even gain social cues from others their own age. Often times, only children tend to hang around their parents and are reluctant to get involved in activities with others their own age. So, sign your little one up for anything and everything they are interested right off the bat!
Tip #2-Try Day Care
There is nothing wrong with having a private sitter or nanny. In fact, your child is sure to thrive because they are getting so much attention from their caregiver. But, by enrolling them in daycare at least once or twice a week (even for only a few hours), they learn to adjust to new environments, play with others their own age, and respond to interactions with other adults.
Tip #3-Set Boundaries
Many only children grow up having their parents’ constant attention. While being attentive and nurturing is a must and is amazing; there is such a thing as being over involved in your child’s life. As a parent, be sure to step back and set boundaries in your home. You child should not always control the television remote, dictate what is for dinner, or get a “present” every time you visit the store. It’s easy for parents to get carried away with giving their only child everything that they want. So, set boundaries so your child knows what you say goes; and not the other way around.
Tip #4-Get a Pet
Since your child will not grow up tending to a sibling, consider purchasing a pet. They will learn how to be responsible, and that they have to share your time with something else that needs your care. Your only child is bound to get bored from time to time, and a pet will keep them on their toes and give them a play buddy when you are busy.
Tip #5-Read a Lot
Children learn about life lessons by listening to stories that they can relate to. Help them understand what it means to be an only child and help them accept it. There are some awesome, age appropriate books that you can consider reading to them. Some of the best that I’ve come across are:
There are also a number of parenting books that will help you and your partner raise a responsible, respectful, and caring only child.
Check out Parenting an Only Child, by Susan Newman.
It will help you cope and understand with the pros and cons of having just one kiddo, and will also suggest effectively. It will help you cope and understand with the pros and cons of having just one kid, and will also suggest effective ways you can parent.
Sometimes, I think that having just one child is more challenging than having many. You have a big responsibility on your hands, and my tips and reading suggestions will help you raise a wonderful, only child!