No!!! Get rid of any preconceptions about only children. If you know how to deal with them, your only child will not turn out selfish, spoiled, or determined to get everything without any intention to share.
- Don’t isolate your only child, but always surround them with children their age, like the neighbor’s kids, friends from school, and cousins. This is how you will help them live the equivalent of brotherly love; friends will make up for their lack of siblings.
- Don’t hesitate to send them to stay with cousins or friends for a whole day, or even sleep at their houses; this way, they can experience a family life full of siblings.
- Don’t rely solely on school to make up for their loneliness and need to communicate with others, but set aside some time for them and go out for a walk. Be ready to participate in activities with them; your child enjoys playing with their peers at day care and wants to prolong the fun at home.
- At ages 4 and 5, your only child will ask you why they don’t have a brother or sister like their cousins do. It’s up to you, here, to explain to them simply and honestly your reasons for not having another child. They want to know the truth, not necessarily because they need a companion but because they want to know the reason for the big differences between their family and their relatives’ and friends’ families.
- Teach them a sense of responsibility and the necessity of sharing what they have with others. Ask them, for example, to help you trim the hedges in the garden, set the table for dinner, put their toys in the toy box, and choose their friend’s birthday present themselves.
- Only children usually stand out at school; they get the highest marks because they’re the center of attention for their parents, who live for them. Your only child will want you to be happy and will try to please you by adopting your dreams instead of forming their own. Our advice is not to pressure them, or make them feel like you expect them to always excel because they’re your one hope in life. Let them live their childhood naturally, and don’t weigh them down with more than they can bear.