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Postby kaitlynangelica » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:35 pm

Original Title: Mummies/Daddies of one child only.

Dear Mummies and Daddies,

I rarely start a new post but have been wanting to post this for a long time. Only managed to find time today. I know most parents here have 2 or more children. But life doesn't go the way we want all the time and as it stands now, its looks like we will only end up having one. Dd is turning 6 this year and any hope of having number 2 is getting thinner and thinner due to our age. I am 36 this year and dh is 38. This subject has been at the back of me and dh's minds but we don't want to place all our focus on it and get all depressed. Instead, we would like to be thankful for whatever we have and focus on solutions instead.

Would like to know what are the problems that parents in the same boat face and how do you go about solving it? The problems that me and dh face are

1) Pressure from relatives especially at festive seasons. Queries come in on how come we only have one kid.
2) Feelings of inferiority on why we couldn't 'complete' the family and have no 2?
3) Child constantly asking for sibling.
4) Child very clingey because there is no one else to entertain her.
5) Child less socially apt as she has no one else to interact with.
6) Child rather selfish as she has no one else to share with.

This seems to affect dd as well as she gets upset whenever she hears of her friends who have new siblings in the family.

Ironically, me and dh started off not wanting to have any kids at all. How perspective changes.

Any inputs are appreciated. Apologies if this sounds like a silly thread.

kaitlynangelica
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Postby thebusybee » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:59 pm

Hi kaitlynangelica,

Not a silly topic at all.

1) All relatives are the same, endless questions.......

Before dating : Why no bf/gf yet?

When dating : When are you 2 getting married?

After married :When are you having a child?

Then : When are you planning for the 2nd child?

Then 3rd? 4th? :whut:

I have only one 2yo son. I'm 38,DH 7yrs older. Whenever people ask, I'll jokingly say 'Cannot conceive leh'

I'm hoping for 2 more, but happy with 1 if that's the god's intention. The fact is it took me 2 yrs to have my son after a miscarriage, so i treasure what I have now and prepared to meet the fate of only one! I consider myself very lucky to be blessed with a child, compared to others trying very hard to conceive. I know the feelings of watching people around you getting pregnant so easily.

2) We spread our loves to nephews (2-6yrs old), DS grow up like the 3rd child as the 2 nephews are at our place very often.

3) If he ask for sibling later, I think I'll teach him to treat his cousins like one. He's already a fan of his 4YO cousin now.

4) My DS super clingy to me, even though he's got dad, grandparents, maid and cousins at home. I enjoy it now coz he definitely will detach from me in years to come. (I foresee him not going out with me at age 12?)

5) Encourage your child to play with her friends, voice your concern to her teachers might help. I send DS to childcare at 18mth, to get him socialize with other kids.

6) It's in the kids' nature to be 'selfish' as they are protecting their turfs to what i see. I've been teaching my son to share toys with his 4 mth older cousin but he fights with him every day and getting on my nerves! So not true she'll become less selfish if there's a sibling.

Maybe some other parents with kids the same age as yours can share? I'd like to learn to pre-ampt any 'problems' later.

:D

thebusybee
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Postby kaitlynangelica » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:26 pm

Hi thebusybee,

thanks for your long reply and encouragement! Let's pray for one another to have some baby dust! :D
In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned I had two miscarriages last year. I never imagined that will happen to me because I conceived my daughter easily.........pregnancy was really smooth too. But after I had my dd,I underwent a lot of stresses which is why we didnt try for a 2nd child earlier. Among the many things,

1) Job stress
2) dh job was unstable
3)marriage was very rocky
4) relationship with in-laws was really bad
5) Child kept on falling sick

Well, I made some career changes in the hope that I would be able to conceive. And then i found I had hyper-thyroid. Although that was subsequently cured, I ended with the two miscarriages.

My brother only has two kids (adopted) so our family is really small. She doesn't have many cousins to play with.

Am doing what you are doing too.........sending her off to enrichments to let her socialise more.

Some pp have been telling me that as an only child, our children will grow up feeing pressured because later on she will have to take care of us. Well, dh and I are doing all we can to ensure that we are self-sufficient financially so that she won't have that problem.

I have also told dd that we will try our best, can only pray but there may be no sibling for her to manage her expectations.[/quote][quote][/quote]
Last edited by kaitlynangelica on Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

kaitlynangelica
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Postby carin004 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:29 pm

Hi,

I have only one 8 yo gal. I am 36 and DH 38. I grew up in a big family (there are 5 of us), so naturally I wanted to have more than 1 kid. But DH think otherwise.

Whenever relatives ask, I will tell them "soon" and soon they give up asking.

2)At first I still try to persuade DH to change his mind and gave him 2 years to reconsider.... Since I thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy, I do not mind having another BB. In the end, due to work stress and not able to get helpers, we finally decided to stop at one, and never regretted it.

3) Every time DD ask for siblings, I tell her that she has many cousins whom we meet every weekend. And she eventually accepted it.

4) When DD was younger, she was very clingy... as she is bigger, she is less clingy. In fact she enjoys doing things with me. Sometimes she is bored playing on her own, she will ask me to let her do some household chores like folding clothes, vacuum or even mop the floor. She even know how to cook instant noodles for me (once) when I am back late from work and hadn't had dinner yet (using induction cooker, no fire).

5) We send my DD to childcare at 18mths, cos we are afraid that she will lose out on interacting with other kids. And its a wise decision made as she is extremely sociable, even with strangers (or maybe its her nature to be sociable)

6) We have been teaching our DD to share, even with her cousins. We will ask her to share with us her fav food or toy. In fact whenever she has something nice to eat, she will save at least 1 of it for her daddy who is not back from work. In fact I observed that DD is more willing to share compared to her cousins who have siblings.

A few years ago, a friend whose only son (16 yo) once told her that he hoped he had sibling whom he can talk to (esp when both parents are not at home). That set me rethink our decision. In the end, we are still with only 1 kid.

carin004
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Re: Mummies/Daddies of one child only.

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:39 pm

Hi, here's my 2 cents worth...it is a mindset change you need to have first.

1) Pressure from relatives especially at festive seasons. Queries come in on how come we only have one kid.
I do not feel the pressure because having more children does not mean less pressure too. People will continue to query other things, like how come your kids not doing this and that. So treat these as small talk topics, people have limited topics for conversation. If you think this way, it will not affect you. Personally I don't only get this at festive seasons, I get it ALMOST every day! :lol: Because every time they see my kid, they cannot help asking me why I do not have more. I am still very delighted to answer this question gazillion times because it is our happy choice that we decide to stay at 1 and the simple reason is, conceiving, carrying the pregnancy are all the easy stuff, the challenge is how to bring them up WELL in a much more complex world today. Most people will back off after that cos they don't have a good answer either.. :politebleah: This is not to say that we do not love to have kids, we do but the world has changed dramatically.

2) Feelings of inferiority on why we couldn't 'complete' the family and have no 2?
If it is by choice, there is no inferiority feelings. My definition of a 'complete' family is a HAPPY one, not in numbers.

3) Child constantly asking for sibling.
Children also go through phases, at one stage, they demand, then they request and slowly they accept that this is probably the best arrangement ever!! :lol:

4) Child very clingey because there is no one else to entertain her.
Again a phase, instead of having it as perennial clingey, turn it into a strong bonding. Once they go to primary school, with a busload of friends, the clingeyness should diminish but the strong bond remains.

5) Child less socially apt as she has no one else to interact with.
Undoubtedly, parents have to spend more effort to create such interaction opportunities and hopefully this will be further improved when in school. My child is sociable and well-accepted in school. In fact, she has a few friends who want to share her as their best friend. I told her all are friends, no need best friend to go exclusive.

6) Child rather selfish as she has no one else to share with.
Even though only child is more prone to this, but I have noticed those with siblings can also behave like this and even more fiercely. So it boils down to parental guidance to correct the behaviour. We should encourage our child to also SHARE with us. Sharing is not limited to age group, i.e. only with her peers.

This seems to affect dd as well as she gets upset whenever she hears of her friends who have new siblings in the family.
Hmmm.....you first need to determine why she is upset by probing to the root. At the root, then you can guide her why she is no less than her friends. If you ask me, this may just be a comparison issue more than a lonely issue. If a child feels secured about many things, this should not affect them unduly.

Lastly, just to add another consideration. Having children is a major responsibility. If I am getting older and hence a shorter time for my younger kid, I think it is irresponsible of me to bring this kid to the world and to have little time with parents and leave to fend for herself/himself under some care-giver just by satisfying the above conditions you have raised. We also have to spare a thought for the unborn child who is also our child.

I hope by reading this, you feel lighter and happier with your choice. But if you still want baby-dust... :pray: :pray: :pray:
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Postby daisyt » Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:51 am

Hi hi kaitlynangelica, thanks for starting this topic. I have one girl, now 13 yo. I guess being a single child, she matures faster in thinking compare to her other friends of same age with siblings. Mature in thinking, there are pros and cons. Pros - they are very sensible, responsible, think a lot. Cons - sensitive and hence we cannot handle her like normal kid of same age. I have friends with kids around this age with siblings and they are telling me, their kids are "childish" in thinking. Nothing wrong being sensitive or childish, because every child grows up in different enviroment and culture.

1) Pressure from relatives especially at festive seasons. Queries come in on how come we only have one kid.
- I just tell them, one is enough and full stop.

2) Feelings of inferiority on why we couldn't 'complete' the family and have no 2?
- Why feel inferior ? Instead you have to start thinking how to cope with your personal life when the kid grow older. Slowly when she starts to get drifted away due to heavy school work, start dating, start a family ... you would feel a little lost. :D

3) Child constantly asking for sibling.
- I faced the same problem too when she was small. But at about age of 10, she no longer ask for sibling, instead, she appreciates the peaceful and quiet moment she is having. She appreciate the luxury of having many things she wants because as long as its reasonable, we would try to give her the best.

4) Child very clingey because there is no one else to entertain her.
- Just tell yourself, its family bonding, not clingey. Don't worry, when she grows older to pre-teens or teens, she will be less clingey. By then, you would start to worry why she is no longer clingey. :D

5) Child less socially apt as she has no one else to interact with.
- Maybe true when she is small but if you are able to train her well with lots of encouragement, single child can be very sociable too. But it would need time and more effort from the parent. My girl used to be very shy and not sociable when small but slowly, she changed after all these years of encouragement. From P5 onwards, we can see huge jump. She is very sociable now and highly adaption skill. Very different from small time.

6) Child rather selfish as she has no one else to share with.
- I do not agree. In fact, during the meet the teacher session when she was P5, the teacher was asking me how many siblings she had. I told the teacher, she was a single child and the teacher was very surprised. Because in class, she was not selfish, willing to teach and willing to share. Maybe true when they are small time, not willing to share toys but this is quite normal. It takes time to guide her through and I am sure you would see results when your child is in school.

Everyone has their own preference and reason on the number of kids they want. One or two or three, its not an issue. The most important is to teach them well, guide them through and grow up to be one with good character. So, don't worry too much lah ..... :D

daisyt
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Postby sunset_dae » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:14 am

I also had one child, everywhere u go, pple will start asking:" One only huh, not enough" the child will be lonely, and self centered when he grows up.. I quite agree this point as i came across a child with no siblings (my neighbour) , their house is so much quieter compared to those with siblings, u can hear the sound of laughter and screaming from far away.
My child also tend to be very clingey, esp on the wkend where he doesnt need to go to the childcare centre. If i on a show for him at hm, while i quickly sneak away to the kitchen to prepare his lunch, 5 min later, he will walk around the house and said: Mummy, where are you?
Or if i tell him to sit dw for a while while i go to the toilet, he will say: Mummy, i want follow you... :stupid: :stupid:
This is the reason why i want to have a 2nd child to accompany him..
Sometimes when i see him sitting down alone reading book quietly, i had a sense of guilt of not giving him one more sibling.. he seem to be so lonely....

sunset_dae
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Postby schellen » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:18 am

1) Pressure from relatives especially at festive seasons. Queries come in on how come we only have one kid.
DH and I are very thick-skinned. Eventually, they gave up and started "stalking" my unmarried sister and cousins instead. :wink:

2) Feelings of inferiority on why we couldn't 'complete' the family and have no 2?
No such feelings at all. A family is complete when it feels complete and such feelings are not determined by numbers only.

3) Child constantly asking for sibling.
DD used to ask but when she reached about 5-6yo, she kinda stopped. I don't think it's becos she gave up but more like she realised that she isn't alone with so many friends and young aunties/uncles.

4) Child very clingy because there is no one else to entertain her.
DD was only clingy to me or DH when she was very young. This was only a phase as she eventually will go off with our relatives to stay/sleep overnight willingly. Now, she regularly spends the weekends and holidays with my PILs. And when her favourite grand-aunt visits Singapore, she "abandons" us. :wink:

5) Child less socially apt as she has no one else to interact with.
I believe that this is just a myth/stereotypical view. Yes, when DD was born, she was the first grandchild and remained that way for a few years. However, I enrolled her in playgroups and when I went back to work, I put her in full-day childcare. She just transferred her socialising-with-adults skills to her peers. Now, she has friends from childcare, After School Care and pri sch.

6) Child rather selfish as she has no one else to share with.
This is another stereotype. How will children know how to share if they are not nurtured to be generous? Parents/adults set good role models and instill this trait in the children. Of course, this doesn't mean that DD shares willingly and takes the initiative all the time; even DH and I aren't that altruistic. Her willingness to share has brought her many friends and she will tell me about people she meets whom she dislikes because they are selfish. She can even point out what they should do instead based on her own experiences. So you see, sharing is a nurtured trait; it just comes more easily for some but is not impossible for others.

schellen
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Postby daisyt » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:38 am

thebusybee wrote:4) My DS super clingy to me, even though he's got dad, grandparents, maid and cousins at home. I enjoy it now coz he definitely will detach from me in years to come. (I foresee him not going out with me at age 12?)
:D


Now at 13yo, my DD still go out with us every weekend. We have more or less same interest and same type of character. Hence the places we go are places we all enjoy. We allow her to go out with friends on special ocassion.

daisyt
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Postby sashimi » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:10 pm

kaitlynangelica, you may find that DD may not ask for it much more once she goes to P1 next year. That seems to be a significant turning point, socially, in our experience with our DD.

I have long told myself that, [I should have a 2nd child so that the 1st child is not lonely] is an invalid reason for having a 2nd child. You should have another for the sake of the 2nd child, not because you need to satisfy the whims of the 1st. (Even if it is in fact, not an insignificant whim), or the whims of relatives.

The reasons you cited for not having a 2nd one are pretty much the same as mine - job problems, in-laws (and parents) not "conducive" to childcare, child kept falling sick.

SO... the solution is to resolve as many probs as you can. So I got a stable job, and I figured out how to boost my family's resistance to illness, etc.

You might want to consider it. It's not impossible.

Truth be told, I was also afraid of having a 2nd one cos I'm sexist. I'm mortally afraid of having a son. Prefer girls, absolutely.

And this is not a silly thread!

sashimi
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