I was criticized by most friends and well wishers for my decision to have a single child. The myth that the only child will be selfish, spoiled and lonely is no longer true as the percentage of single child is on the rise. Blame it on the recession or the decreased fertility rate, the onlies are on the rise. The TIME magazine published a recent article on only child, which represents many interesting facts.
Most parents chose to have a second child as they love the first child more and have another one. Most quote that the second child will support the first one. The experience of growing up with siblings and sharing cannot be known in single child families. The onlies rely more on friends and cousins for a similar experience. Also, they may not experience the sibling rivalry too. 🙂
Further, the responsibility of taking care of oldage parents can be shared in multiple child families. While the onlies can depend on spouse and friends for taking care of parents. The more kids in the family means more happiness and more support, but it also implies more responsibilities. 🙂
Nuclear families and career-oriented women have limited themselves for a single child. The capability of a couple to take care of more children changes from one to another. Some can handle and manage more while some cannot. I think marriage is not only for raising children, but for mutual happiness.
According to a recent study, 46% married couples chose to have two as the ideal limit. China has a single child policy due to economic and population problems. Though the law of single child has been relaxed and couples can have more children, most still prefer to have single child.
Why not only?
Some parents decide to give a long break between children while some may chose shorter breaks. Sometimes, if the gap is less between children, parents can miss the fun of watching the older child, who is still young, while taking care of the younger one.
While some only children have the burden of satisfying their parents expectations. Some only children suffer more attention and depend on parents. Some have more anger built in them and try to rebel.
While Granville Stanley Hall, the popular child psychologist, thinks that only child is a disease in itself. He describes only child as deficient on social side, petted, indulged, humored and spoiled. Alternately, Susan Newman, a social psychologist defines only child as the new traditional family.
Three-tons family is on the rise. Parents can form informal groups to entertain their only child and foster the growth. The future of any child, single or multiple, entirely depends on how they grow and the values they adopt. I think that a child’s success entirely depends on hard work and discipline in life.
Franklin Roosevelt, Cary Grant, John Updike, Condeleezza Rice, Lance Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Chelsea Clinton, Elvis Presley are some of the successful and popular only children. Now, I see some hope. 🙂