Looking for insights and parenting tips to help you raise an only child who is happy, confident and empathic? Read on…
There are a variety of reasons why parents may decide to stop after one child.
For example, the work of raising them was too much to consider having another. Or a second child might be too much financially. Maybe something might have happened during the delivery that prevents the mother from having another baby. Or maybe the mother is too old to have another child.
The last one was my situation. I’m a late in life mom to a wonderful son! I feel blessed. But also philosophical about how to raise a son who is an only child.
Whatever the case, raising an only child can pose some challenges in terms of raising a happy, healthy child. So I put together this guide with parenting tips for raising an only child so they grow up confident, happy and empathic to others.
I’m also the founder of the therapist recommended online course: The Anxiety Cure.
Read on to learn more about the best ways to raise an only child.
It’s important to get your child used to playing with children outside of the structured play environment of day care or school. They can get quality one-on-one time with other kids. As a result, your child can lead some important social skills- and it keeps them from just sitting in front of a TV or iPad.
While an only child may want to spend time with their parents, it’s also a good idea to give them a lot of time to play independently. By giving them space to do this, they can learn to do things on their own and enjoy their own company. When you do this, you are not only getting them confident in themselves at the current time but also in the future.
It can be tough for an only child to fit in sometimes. They don’t have any siblings to compare themselves to. As a result, they could wind up being more susceptible to peer pressure and following.
Encourage them to set off on their own individual path. Show that it’s good to be unique and not try to just fit into a crowd.
Want to have your child be able to spend hours out of the house? Encourage them to find things that they enjoy doing … and also socialize with kids their age while they are at it. It’s always good to find friends who share the same passions. It can help them build a core group that can last a long time – and it will make them feel like they fit in, which is a good feeling for only children.
Only children can have a reputation for being unwilling to compromise. partly because they have not had other siblings to interact with on a regular basis and learn the art of give and take. They may learn this to an extent when they talk with other children, but they also need to see it in their own home. Be willing to compromise with each other.
By setting a good example, they will see what it’s like to be in a healthy relationship when they get older too.
This can be a very tough one to not do. You want to do everything that you can to protect your only child, but you can’t cover them up in bubble wrap and send them out into the world like that. They have to learn how to do things themselves and not have you swooping in to fix things all the time.
If you do that, then you are possibly setting them up to expect you to come to the rescue all the time. This can be very problematic when they get older and get into their own relationships – their partner may become the one that they becom dependent on, which can create a lot of stress.
It may seem like only children are self-absorbed because they rarely have to think about the needs of others in their home. You can point them in the right direction by doing things like volunteering at certain places where your child might see how people who are less fortunate live. That can go a long way toward the child putting themselves in someone else’s shoes and learning how to help those who are struggling get back on their own feet.
At the very least, it can go a long way toward helping them take another perspective besides only seeing things their own way. If you show empathy towards others, it’s bound to rub off on your only child.
There’s a lot of media out there that can make it seem like being an only child is tough. It seems like every TV show is geared around at least one sibling so that they can have foils to bounce off of. But there are lots of positive things that are being written about being an only child.
Show those things to your child. Help them understand that they are capable of being a wonderful person even without any siblings. If they have a great support network of friends and other family members, then they can go on to enjoy their lives.
While a women’s sexual health can help determine whether they can have more than one child, it’s good to take care of yourself. That way, you can tilt the odds towards the decision to have an only child being yours and your partner alone.
Explore my groundbreaking and therapist recommended online course: The Anxiety Cure.