Parenting an Only Child: The Joys and Challenges of Raising Your One and Only Paperback – 1 Aug 2001
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Looks at the advantages and disadvantages of the single-child family, and offers tips on raising an "only.".
From the Inside Flap
Is it possible to raise a contented only child? Can we be happy with only one child? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes.
In recent years, the number of couples choosing to have one child has risen sharply. Whether it's by choice or fate, having a single child presents unique considerations, opportunities, and advantages. Social psychologist Susan Newman, who has been studying single-child families since the 1980s, shatters the myths of the lonely, spoiled only child, and provides in-depth coverage of the critical issues including:
- Making the right family size decision for you
- Withstanding the pressure to have another
- Maintaining a balance of power in a three-member household
- Single-parenting the only child
- Setting boundaries with a child who is used to having your undivided attention
- Fostering high achievement, creativity, and independence in only children
- The effects of having parents, instead of siblings, as role models
- Confronting age-old only-child stereotypes
- Building family networks and other support systems for the future
Presenting fascinating findings and family stories, Dr. Newman shares her knowledge and gives down-to-earth advice, making this the most accessible, up-to-date handbook of its kind. For couples who are already raising an only child, or for those who are exploring the option, Parenting an Only Child offers encouraging clarity and singular insight. Now with a new resource section.
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I've read about 2/3 of it and I'm finding it hard going. The section that I've read is self-congratulatory tosh 'Aren't we all so clever for deciding to have one'...and 'having two or more children means you'll have to end the love affair you have with your first' and 'it's not possible to love your other children like you love your first' and 'having two or more children means you won't have time to do the things you like doing...'.
Not everyone chooses to have one child and if you, like me, did not want to make this choice and are heartbroken every time your only child asks, 'When am I going to be a big sister/brother?' you will probably find this book difficult too.
What this author seems to have missed is that some people want to have more than one child because they loved being pregnant, they love being mums and dads and want to do it again. Not everyone has another child just to provide a sibling for the first like the adage 'an heir and a spare'.
I think I'll probably cherry pick the relevant chapters from now on. And then bin the book when I'm done. All those statistics are too much of a reminder of what I've lost and missed out on.
It's not rocket science, then!