Are only children missing out?

Baby boomers are called baby boomers because our arrival really was a boom. In the post war era, the birth rate across developed countries rose rapidly and most of us were lucky to end up with a myriad of siblings. Whether we’ve enjoyed their company or not, growing up with siblings helps to make a childhood special and gives you your first ever friends. However recent trends in the families of our own children are seeing single child families become more popular, and some people are labelling that as selfish by the parents. So join our discussion today and tell us, do you think only children are missing out?

There’s a wide range of reasons that only children families are becoming more popular. Firstly, as workplace equality has become more common, women are more powerful than ever in their careers and what once was their role to bear children has become to have a successful career. This new focus and direction has seen many women delay having children in favour of a career first. Across the UK, over the last 20 years there has been a 300 per cent increase in women having children after 40 and 149 per cent increase for men having children after 40. This naturally shortens the time available to couples to successfully have second children.

Just this week Sonia Kruger, the beautiful 49-year-old who recently gave birth to Maggie, said on national television that she wouldn’t be having any more children.

There are also an increasing number of parents who are seeking the “only child lifestyle”. And let’s face it; in the long run it is cheaper, easier and simpler to have one child and to some, it’s the ideal “perfect” lifestyle.

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But the sad thing is that while people choose to make these decisions and plan their lives around only having one child, there are so many who physically cannot have any, let alone one. And those parents who never get the chance to have another, purely due to the way their bodies are made face a heartbreaking reality.

For some people, the idea of an only child family is perfect. However research has found some interesting correlations between being an only child and behaviour.

Some researchers believe that only children have more difficulty having positive interactions with other people, as it is a behaviour that isn’t accustomed to them. They’re also raised with a self-centred personality that can make forming relationships with others difficult.

But it’s more than just that. Some of our best memories are with our siblings. Family holidays, occasions, getting up to mischief, celebrating our own achievements, celebrating their achievements are all such an integral part of growing up and developing as individuals for people.

Our brothers and sisters have made us who we are and as our first ever friends they’ve become such an integral part of who we are. So is it the best option to, when possible, make decisions to never let your child be alone?

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A few weeks ago a young relative gave birth to her first child after two miscarriages. It was a traumatic process for her but she couldn’t be happier with her little man. At the christening she was asked whether or not she’d try for another. She smiled and said, that they would try for another. It wasn’t for them, it wasn’t for her as her pregnancy had been a difficult one, but it was for their little boy – so he could grow up always with a friend.

So there are arguments on both sides of the story – there’s no right and there’s no wrong, but there is the question of whether or not it is fair on the child.

Tell us today, do you have any only children grandchildren? Do you feel that only children miss out on something special? Share your thoughts in the comments below…