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Question
Posted by: Carol | 2008/01/25

Only child

Our first born will be three in May. I will be 37 this year and yesterday the gynae said I must maybe decide if I want another child. My husband has pretty much made up his mind that he wants only one. Is it selfish of us to want this (mainly because of financial reasons) and what psychological effect is there on an only child and how do they cope without siblings?

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Our expert says:
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Its not in the least selfish, Carol --- for the sake of the children, I wish far more parents would think carefully about whether they can truly aford, financially, emotionally, and in their ability to provide due caring, any children. An only child experiences absolutely no form of damage or loss whatsoever ( and they will meet and enjoy the companionship of other children at school, and perhaps with the children of your friends and family, too ) In fact a good bit of research shows that only children tend to turn out rather well, both emotionally and intellectually. COntinue to give your child all the loving he / she needs and don't worry about deciding not to have another child.

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Our users say:
Posted by: only child | 2008/01/25

I am an only child of older parents. I have always missed having siblings and now as I am getting older I miss having family around. I envy big families....

Reply to only child
Posted by: Britty | 2008/01/25

Both CS and Nia are right in their two very different opinions. No decision you make is going to be completely right and carefree and you have to honestly see both the negative and positive of any decision you may make. But you make the best decision you can for both you and your child. For what its worth I am the daughter of immigrants and I am not close to my brother and sister. I didn't have children and initially though I would be lonely in my old age but I have wonderful inlaws and friends and I know I will never be alone. Good luck with your decision.

Reply to Britty
Posted by: Nia | 2008/01/25

Carol - I am one of 5 kids. It is amazing to be part of a big family. I have brothers and sister who truly loves me and supports me - and me them. Also, when my parents get old, we will be 5 children able to take care of them and support them if need be.

My mom was an only child. She grew up lonely and even today miss having brothers and sisters and a family. Friends are not the same as siblings! My grandma is old and my mother has to carry the responsibility for her (emotionally and financially) all by herself. And when she dies - my mom will not have anything from her past left - except our 5 children.

To me - my brothers and sisters mean more than having an extra tv in the house or my dad driving an opel instead of a BMW. If you can afford to have another kid and still live reasonably well, I think you should go for it. If you can't, well then obviously you should not consider having another one.

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