Only Child? How Dare You!

I have only one child. As soon as he turned one year old, I started getting questions about the arrival of our second baby. Now that my son is six years old, many out there advise me on the importance of having another child. Most of the talks make me feel as if I’m subjecting my only child to endless torture by not having another kid. And even if I have another one now, according to them, it’s too late because the age gap between them will be large, which is harmful.

First of all, I never understand why people bother themselves with things ranging from someone else’s relationship status to their child bearing age, from the number of children they have to what kind of a parent they are and so on. But that’s how it is. People will find time to badger us with these silly questions. I usually brush it off with a smile.

But when someone says that it’s not fair to my child that he doesn’t have siblings then I don’t accept it. It’s up to the parents to decide whether to have one or four kids. Then again, I know the kind of questions I will be faced with if I had four kids.

The way I see it is pretty simple. It’s none of anyone else’s business to bother me with these questions. And hence I will never bother to answer these questions either. The reasons people cite as to why I should be having one more kid never caught my fancy. Here are few of those reasons, and my thoughts about them:

1. An only child will always be lonely – Because kids can’t talk to their parents? Because they will be closer to their siblings and open up about everything? Because they can’t stop comparing their single status with other kids with siblings?

2. An only child will never learn to share – Since parents with just one kid never teach him the importance of sharing? Because an only child never comes in contact with other kids and will never know about sharing?

3. An only child will be gloomy and stubborn – Because parents don’t know how to take care of their kid? Because that’s how all kids with no siblings are? Because with siblings it is always a breeze?

4. An only child will be selfish – Again, are parents of one child a failure in teaching them the importance of selflessness? Because the narrative of selfishness and single child somehow gets along well? Because kids with siblings will never know what selfishness is?

5. An only child will have difficulty in making friends – Yeah, right. Only if you have siblings you will learn how to interact with others and make friends?

These are only few of the reasons I have heard advocating having more than one child. I can very well say that none of them is true with my son. We have moved from country to country and our only child is perfectly capable of making new friends and finds it much easier than me and my husband, both of us who grew up with siblings. He even keeps a share of his chocolates for his friends at school. On the other hand, I remember fighting with my sister to get the maximum share of chocolates.

I believe that all kids are unique. Some of us are introverts, some of us are much more social, but all of us are different and that has nothing to do with the number of siblings we have. Of course, how we are bringing up our kids matters the most. The relation shared between a parent and a child is an important one and is cherished by both the parent and child, no matter how many kids are in the house. Giving them our care and time affects their behavior and outlook to a great extent. Let’s focus on raising good children whether they are single or not.

If a parent decides to have only one child whatever be the reason, please don’t bother them with these questions and a lecture on the importance of having more than one baby. That just shows that even though you grew up with siblings, you failed to develop the needed common sense and compassion for others.

Vinitha says – I am an ex-Software engineer turned into a Stay-At-Home-Mom with a love for words. I secretly wish to be called a writer. You can read my affair with words at Void Thoughtsand Reflections…

  • Kala Ravi

    Absolutely right and well-said Vinitha! Having one or many or no children is entirely upto the couple! But like you said, people consider it their duty to point out these issues as a matter of goodwill! I also agree that some kids require company of siblings, while others may be perfectly content just with the parents….it varies from child to child. So long as the child is imbued with the right values and the family is content, no one else should have reason to complain or interfere!

  • Such decisions are always for parents to take and nobody else. Whoever says one should have two children, first, it’s none of their business, second, they’ve had their chance and I’m sure they must have had two kids, so then they should be happy about it.. why push others with what they think is right for the children. Doesn’t it makes more sense Vinitha?


  • Pooja Sharma Rao

    I am an only child and now mom of a single child by choice, in India especially single kids are not treated kindly more so if the child is a girl,like me or mine.
    People need to understand personal space.

  • I don’t think only child grow any different an children with siblings. They might have few difference in habits but that’s all. It’s completely up to the parents how many they want. Why others are so bothered is beyond my comprehension!!

    Destiny’s Child

  • Vishal Bheeroo

    It’s plain stupid to compare a single child with those having siblings. For sure it doesn’t affect growth and it depends on upbringing. People certainly don’t much to do except preaching and meddling. I am the only child and haven’t been doing bad:)