We all have those lolos and lolas with an overwhelming number of siblings, but times are changing. With deteriorating economies, couples have to tighten their budgets and cultivate modest lifestyles. For some, that could mean having one child instead of the brood they’ve planned.
Lexi Welanetz, Psy.D., co-founder of the Family Resource Counseling Center and only child herself, shares with SmartParenting her views and tips on raising an only child.
1. Not so bad after all
Being an only child isn’t a dismal experience. In fact, that might even be good news for the child. “The household is typically less chaotic, meaning there’s also more attention available for that child. The child grows up thinking, ‘Well, why can’t I have it my way?’ which is typically how I spend 75 percent of my day,” shares Dr. Lexi with a laugh.
2. Balancing the equation
Given more attention in this attention deficit world could, in the right measure, result in more confident, assertive children who believe in their capability to make things happen. “It’s nice to have that focus to be able to put it to one child. At the same time, it’s important that that child recognizes that they’re not the center of the universe,” says Dr. Lexi.
3. We’re all in this together
Dr. Lexi encourages parents to expose their kids to social situations where they can learn to play well with others. Activities of this nature can include sports activities, where they learn how to deal with competition, taking turns and work well in a group, or simply becoming friends with the other children in the community.
There’s no need to worry about the right age group to expose your child to. Socializing with older age groups allows for more diversity. “I was comfortable talking with adults and always have been. It does help you to mature in some ways.” She says, drawing from her personal experience.
Click here to read more tips on raising an only child.