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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2006
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    Colorado- Yee Haw!
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    3,209

    Default only children and parents of onlies

    I asked this a few off topics ago but am looking for thoughts on raising/ being an only child! (Since I got great responses last time- but posted near the end of the off topic day.) I have a toddler that is most likely going to be an only.

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
    Posts
    8,701

    Default

    I am an only child but had a pretty bad childhood. My husband is an only child and had a perfect childhood. It shapes us in many ways, but it in no way has made either one of us unhappy. We both had close friendships with other kids growing up, and are fiercely independent but both "sharers".

    I have friends with only children, they are the only kids I can stand to be around!!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2004
    Location
    Sunny Sonoma, CA
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    1,292

    Default

    I can't remember if I replied last time, but my son was an only child. He never seemed to mind when he was little and thanked me when he was around 13 because he realized how much more he was able to have after watching his friends with siblings.

    He did have a dog "brother" that he used to fight with LOL.

    He's now a college graduate and looking at the Air Force.
    Founding Member of "I Kept 'Off Topic Day!' Open"



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2007
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    so. chester co.
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    156

    Default

    My daughter is an only (she's 8). She used to ask for a sibling, but that ain't happenin' since I left her father when she was 4. The only thing that is hard for her is that we live on a farm so she doesn't have neighbors to play with. She is very polite and kind and a pleasure to be with....most of the time. As long as boundries are set I don't see any problems with only having 1 child, especially with finances being tight for so many people.
    She just told me she is happy being an only because "I don't have to share my stuff, and I don't have a younger bro or sis bugging me all the time".
    She actually is quite good at sharing with her friends, so I find this very amusing .



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2008
    Posts
    805

    Default

    I'm an only child (also a student of social psychology). It's very important to talk to your child about feelings, to help him develop empathy for and sensitivity towards others. With a sibling, if the kid is being a pain in the neck, the sibling won't (usually) put up with it and will often forcefully communicate that the behavior is not okay, that he does NOT want to play, etc. That's why siblings sometimes bonk each other on the head, yell at each other, etc. Parents tend to be much more patient and tolerant, and so sometimes only children are slower to "catch on" to the social norms of their peers. You can help make that learning process easier for your son by talking about, for example, how other people might feel when he does XYZ.

    Nothing wrong with being an only child, but it is a different experience. Some things are harder (harder on the kids if parents have issues, harder to learn how to be socially appropriate, harder to have no siblings to give advice), but some things are easier (easier to learn how to interact with adults, more face time and direct learning from parents, more financial resources, more responsibility and independence, etc.).

    Only child, one of 9 siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings, adopted siblings... I've known happy and well-adjusted people from all types of families. (Also, crazies from all types of families!)



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2000
    Location
    Full time in Delhi, NY!
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    6,398

    Default

    My eldest brother's boy was an only and given all the things it's possible to give an only when you don't have to split your finances between multiples. My bro made enough to support any number of kids, but my SIL has said if she'd known what parenthood really entailed, she'd never have had ONE. My nephew was a bright, polite, athletic kid who finished college got a great job and promptly married a girl who's 1 of 6 and now has 3 kids of his own, and 4 is possible. He says, I always wanted a sibling because the 3 of us didn't seem like a family. Bright boy because really bro & his wife have only ever needed each other to be complete.

    My youngest brother and his wife only had one child, a boy, because they were in the military and they thought that financially they could only raise one child with the benefits they'd both experienced. I think they were very happy with that arrangement and certainly their son is a wonderful young man. Their only dread occurred when son followed in Dad's military career. Believe me we all sweat bullets while he was on tours overseas in harms way. He is now married and baby no 1 is almost here. I believe baby will be an only, but there is a lot of extended family and I don't think Baby will suffer from a lack of friends or socialization.

    Now obviously I'm one of a bunch. My brothers are all 10 years or more older than me, so I had the best of both worlds; I have siblings, but really was raised as an only (and only girl) because my brothers were already in college. The reason I'm happiest I'm not an only is because after my mom died a few years after my dad, I was so glad to know I was not alone. I was in my 30s, unmarried, not in a relationship. It was SO comforting to know my brothers and my SILs were there for me.
    ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
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    "Life is merrier with a terrier!"



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
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    6,193

    Default

    I am the parent of an only child, and as I type this, there are 10 teenagers eating hot dogs and hamburgers. I am fortunate that we have a house large enough for all these kids to come and hang out (and my DH and I are always home to keep an eye on them).

    I have talked with her about this, and she says she is happy being an only child, she spends time with her friends that have siblings and when she comes home, she is very happy to have her own space.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2009
    Location
    Rootown!
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    2,108

    Default

    I'm an only and have always been completely happy being an only. I had a lot of friends who lived in my neighborhood when I was growing up but I was also great with adults. To this day I am very good talking to those who are older than me and also great with friends. I am extremely close to my parents and though I don't live at home anymore we still go out to dinner about once a week and I talk to them daily.
    No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
    For Hope, For Strength, For Life-Delta Gamma
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2011
    Location
    In Washington with my little quackers
    Posts
    501

    Default

    Little CB has never wanted any siblings. A friend of mine visited last summer and lectured her on how, when she is older she will wish she had a sister, Little CB is 17 and very sure she likes her life the way it is. I do have a half sister I was raised with and we barely talk. Siblings are not a sure fire way to have friends.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2005
    Location
    SFBay
    Posts
    1,344

    Default

    Me! Honestly, I can't imagine having siblings at this point... and never really felt the absence of siblings growing up. Apparently people used to ask me if I had siblings and I would respond "no, but I have 3 cousins!" lol. But I did grow up super-close to my cousins, and that was important... to have family my age. And I was in preschool, which I think helped with early social stuff.

    And I know I probably wouldn't have been able to do the horse thing if my parents had 2 children to put through college... so I'm thankful in that respect.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    1,841

    Default

    I was *almost* an only. My mom said I was NOT the easiest kid to raise, oops! So, my brother is 8 years younger than I, and my sister is 10 years younger. We are not close at all, and weren't as kids. I resented them because Mom and Dad blamed the siblings when I begged for a horse. I was a pretty spoiled, selfish kid growing up, sadly. At least as an adult, I realize that and have changed for the better!

    My almost 9 year old son is an only, and there is a 99.9% chance he will stay that way. I have NO urge for another kid because mine fills my life in every single way. He is smart, social, funny, sweet, compassionate, kind, and just flat out amazing. He socializes better with adults than with other kids! I don't feel that there is ANY thing missing in him that having another kid would fulfill. He is the whole package! And plus, with him being almost 9 ... he is SO easy. I have NO desire to do it all over again with an infant ...



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2011
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    41

    Talking

    I am an only and so is my DH.

    We are also both military brats (he moved all over the USA and I moved all over Europe). My son passed away when quite young and I was unable to have children or adopt, so we are also childless. Our few cousins are either at another end of the world or have passed on. My parents are both passed on and his soon will be. Therefore, we are both alone insofar as "family" is concerned.

    As a kid I hated being an only child...every time we moved someplace new it was like I had radar and always was able to find that ONE kid in the new school I was attending who had a ton of brothers and sisters! I would then befriend them and "blend in" (what's one more when there are ten kids anyway?) I was definitely NOT a spoiled "only" at all (indeed my mother went rather overboard in the other direction) and have always been a "sharer" and though basically a shy personality, life circumstances helped me to learn to make friends...and keep them.

    My husband was better with the status of being an only, but also occasionally would wish for a brother or sister. But he had some serious illnesses when he was a kid and so being an only actually made that part easier for him. However, his parents were fairly social and he learned easily how to make friends and his Dad was very instrumental in the two of them doing "man things" together and with other guys, so my DH was able to easily gain pals. Later, when he was in college and much healthier, he was able to be much more socially active.

    Neither of us likes that basically we have no family at all. However, we have made a few good longeterm friends along the way who "are like family" and so that's cool, too. I've certainly learned (by observation) by this age that just because you do have "family" that everything is all hunky-dorey...not necessarily!! There are some folks I've known who would love to NOT have all that family!

    One thing I have seen over time that seems true of many "only kids" is that they tend to be able to interact with adults fairly early on, and many studies show that onlies (and "firsts) tend to be achievers and leaders.

    Like so many things I think "choosing" to have just one child is a very personal matter. If it happens via circumstances you just learn to adjust. And, each child's personality is different...some onlies are very gregarious and need no real help to "connect" out in the world, and others are more introverted or shy and need encouragement. If you and your DH are both truly satisfied with having one child I think it's GREAT! Your one child will certainly KNOW you feel good about it.

    (Note: If my son had lived he might have been an only and I would have been ok with that...on the other hand, the "plan" had been to have FOUR kids! SO, the other thing I've learned is that life is what happens while you are making other plans!!)



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2006
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    At the back of the line
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    4,016

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    I have a friend whos adopted so shes an only. She married late and only had 1. Her kid now has health problems so she may not live to grow up.

    I never wnated just one like I was. Im glad I was able to have a litter. Yeah theres stuff they cant do becuase we either cant get them there or we dont have $. But they arent starving or horseless!

    My aunt/uncle were humble and poor as church mice with 5 kids, all within about 10 years. When they got sick all 5 kids shared care round the clock for 3? years until they were both gone. No one else cared for them. Thats family.
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!
    Posts
    7,762

    Default

    Love being an only...but I never had any...don't like kids, don't want em....but thats a whole 'nother thread...lol
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2008
    Location
    Greeley, Colorado
    Posts
    4,011

    Default

    I am an only child who grew up in a wonderfully supportive (yet not smothering) home. While my parents helped me mature faster than those with siblings, they also forcing me to be social by attending public school and encouraging me to participate in extracurricular activities with my peers (riding for me!). The only time I found any sort of difficulty in the "real world" was in living in close quarters with another person (college dorm and studio apartment with BF). Growing up I always had a lot of "me" time and came to crave it. When I wasn't able to get it I would become cranky and irritable, but over time I've learned to live with other comfortably.

    All in all I think that my parents did a WONDERFUL job in raising me as an "only". I've met lots of other onlies with what I call "only child syndrome" where they are so used to being spoiled that they don't understand the word NO!
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 1999
    Location
    Virginia and North Carolina, Parrothead Clique!
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    4,948

    Default

    I'm an only, have fantastic parents and has a fantastic childhood, and would consider having another "only"... if I have a human kid at all!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    Fairfax, VA USA
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    5,757

    Default

    Am an only, HAVE an only.

    Yes, we can be a bit selfish about sharing our "stuff", and don't feel comfortable with lots of people underfoot, in our personal space. Both my daughter (now 16) and I are highly verbal, have large vocabularies, and were always comfortable talking with adults, since we grew up around them, and were never talked down to. (I don't talk down to any kids, including my students--and never "baby talked" to my daughter after she was able to communicate with words. I save that stuff for my horse! )

    We were actually talking this very thing over at dinner with my parents tonight; we observed that being an only often makes it difficult to relate to the ups and downs and teasing and general rough and tumble type of give and take that is characteristic of sibling relationships-- often onlies often take things a bit personally as a result. What would normally be "shrugged off" by those with siblings (because they got used to insulting and forgiving the insults of close family members, over and over again), is perceived differently by only children. We tend to have more of an "adult perspective", even as children--and can get our feathers ruffled by things that members of big families would go "Meh" at. OTOH, even as youngsters, there tends to be an adult perspective about things, and onlies don't think of themselves as "separate from adults", but instead as little versions of adults, since they are so often included into all adult activities. There is a certain sophistication in my daughter's thought processes not evident in other girls her age (and I can talk to her on adult terms, about sophisticated concepts--not true of most other girls her age), BUT she is also emotionally immature and often socially awkward. She tends to be *very* oversensitive (as was I at her age) to perceived insults, and has trouble reading people. (I suppose part of this is my fault; we have a tiny family, and I was SO not a "mom who set up play dates" ), so she was insufficiently socialized to others when she was younger. (Being that she is a slow to warm personality type and an introvert, this was probably just as well!)

    I think onlies can be very well-adjusted as adults, but sometimes it takes us a bit longer to figure out how to relate to people in the world, and to learn to be philosophical when people treat us badly, and grow a thicker skin (I am still working on that one, and trying to help my daugher with it!)

    One of my personal pet peeves is people who feel that "they MUST have another child, heaven forbid that their one child be a dreaded ONLY"!, and that "their family can't possibly be complete" with just one child. *sigh* Ugh. I have some friends who feel this way, but being a tactful sort (who often won't weigh in with my candid opinion, lest it offend someone and--OOPS!--cause them to be unhappy with me ), I hold my tongue. Like a good only child...
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    862

    Default

    I'm an only child and hated it growing up. Not only was I an only, but I grew up semi-rural (there were no other kids around to play with) and my parents were/are workaholics. So I was alone WAY too much.
    I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
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    Rixeyville, VA
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    IF Jr is an only child. Both DH and I grew up in families of 3 siblings. However we started late and having a first child at 40 was exhausting. We thought about another one, but it just wasn't in the cards.

    My biggest regret for IF Jr is that as we age, he will not have siblings to help him with some of the difficult decisions that have to be made. Of course he may have a spouse or friends, but I know really appreciated having siblings during my mother's declining years.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2004
    Location
    N. TX...just N.East of paradise...
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    2,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dakotawyatt View Post
    My almost 9 year old son is an only, and there is a 99.9% chance he will stay that way. I have NO urge for another kid because mine fills my life in every single way. He is smart, social, funny, sweet, compassionate, kind, and just flat out amazing. He socializes better with adults than with other kids! I don't feel that there is ANY thing missing in him that having another kid would fulfill. He is the whole package! And plus, with him being almost 9 ... he is SO easy. I have NO desire to do it all over again with an infant ...
    THIS! ^
    .........|

    That pretty much sums up my 6 year old son at this stage....I am NOT a kid person, so this experience has been tough on me. It IS much easier to deal with children if they are your own, I do know that now.

    Mine is definitely to be an only, and he really wants it that way. Has NEVER had a desire for a sibling, and is vehement about it. He has a cousin that's an only (he was a bit of a handful, but is also bipolar; my son is not), and cousins that are expecting cousin #6 later this year (yes, their mom wants to be the next Michelle Duggar )

    Onlies are easier, except when they have no one but YOU to play with....you'll hear "PPLAAAAAAAAAAAYYY with MEEEEEEE!" all day! What on earth am I in for this summer, my first school summer break......
    "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.



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