Tuesday, 1 February 2011

In defence of the only...

Only the Lonely
Only children are spoilt, socially inept, lonely and odd, right? Some children are spoilt, some are socially inept, some are lonely and some (take it from me, I’m a teacher) are certainly odd, but I don’t think this has anything to do with being an ‘only’. I’m sure some onlies fit into these categories, but some of the sibling-rich do too.

I grew up as an only child (technically, I wasn’t an only child til I was two when my brother died - so maybe I don’t count?!) and I had an amazing experience of childhood. I suppose I was ‘spoilt’ - I travelled with my parents, ate in proper restaurants (not just Little Chef roadside pitstops, or Wimpys while out shopping - although I secretly pined for these culinary delights!), and had the saxophone I wanted. But I wasn’t spoilt, I knew my manners, knew I was lucky, and I never expected anything. I wasn’t once lonely as I always had friends around me (who by the way I could choose, unlike siblings). I don’t think I am socially inept, and could always make believe with other kids as well as being able to chat with adults. I admit, I am probably odd, but that has nothing to do with being an only.

So I am writing this in defence of my decision to make CK a little odd, inept, spoilt, lonely only. This post is addressed to everyone who has been saying (just a tad smugly) to me for the last year “I said that, and then I went on to have another 3 children!”. No, when I say I don’t want anymore, I really mean it. I don’t want the 9 months of morning sickness, the 9 months of indigestion, the 9 months of feeling blue. I don’t want anymore stretch marks to compliment the ones I already have. I don’t want my body to be any more deformed that it already is. And I don’t want to share my time or my heart.

I have the confidence that I can make CK a rounded, happy, normal individual without providing another child, without her having someone to squabble with, without her having to share the toy/book/remote control.
And if she turns out a little odd, that is fine too - she will fit in with the rest of the human race!


Get Over It!!

Only Children are just children without siblings, it’s no big deal, get over it!

Families these days come in all shapes and sizes and their dynamics are always changing. Children can be surrounded by ‘siblings’ one day and find themselves ‘only children’ the next, sometimes swiftly joined by a bunch of new ‘siblings’, … with some of these being part time ‘siblings’. Life these days is complicated and children have to learn to live with all sorts of relationships.

I did not set out to have just one child but after our son died, we started to discover the advantages to having just one little girl to introduce to the world. We had the time, the space, and our limited budget could stretch to all sorts of things like museum visits and books, but mostly we had the time. Time to think about how to handle our daughters’ up-bringing; time to answer her questions, time to explain things to her, time to listen to her questions, time to fetch and carry her playmates to our house and her to theirs, time to educate her, time to pay attention to her development as a socially adept little person, and time to talk to her about the birds and the bees when the perfect moment came.

If this is what you call spoiling a child then I say bring it on! In my book the only way you can ‘spoil’ a child is to bring it up to be bad mannered, uncaring, rude, anti-social and selfish, and the best way to do that, is to bring it up with no guide lines or rules which will lead to a complete lack of self discipline and a false perception of their importance in the world.

Let’s face it ‘there’s nowt so queer as folk’, we’re all different thank goodness, because we are all a product of our individual up-bringing, and that’s what makes the world such a wonderfully diverse place full of such wonderfully diverse people.

Granny Bloggings

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