An only child!


What you don’t have, you don’t miss.

Hello Everyone! I’m wanting to explore the ‘only child’ situation today. The idea came to me through a remark by someone. So allow me to enlighten you. As a second generation only child. I guess I’m qualified.  I mean, my mother was an only child, and so am I.

Why not an only child?

I’ve learnt that there are about 47% only children in USA. I’m sure that isn’t the case in Pakistan. Here, an only child is never planned, so usually, it is a medical situation.

Anyhow, we aren’t concerned with how it happened. We are sharing tips on how to manage this scenario.  Also, we can include those rare couples who really want an only child.

The sour grapes approach first:

Too many siblings can also be a drain and a strain for a child. It can shatter your own nerves, your pocket  and your sanity sometimes! (I’ve known siblings actually trying to bump off their own brother, or even sister – for property of course – so it is nothing to be so joyful about.) History is full of it, starting from our mutual dad, Adam and his two sons!

In my case:

  • I met very few only children in my life. There was one in my class once, (I’ve changed many schools,) she wasn’t very happy, and was lonely. So, I found out that the saying that ‘An only child is a lonely child’ maybe true for some cases.
  • In my parents’ case, there was the Rhesus factor due to which every other child born would have died. My parents decided not to have another child due to the fact that my mother had complicated deliveries. So, my father didn’t want my mother to go through so much complications again. It was the same for my grandmother. So, my grandfather didn’t want her to go through it again.  Thank God, they both had loving husbands.
  • So, it maybe any reason, but one ends up as an only child. 

Tips for parents of only children:

  • Do not spoil your child. (As my parents would say, ‘with one child there is no margin of error!’ So, they brought me up with strict rules, and lots of love. They didn’t spoil me at all.
  • Give a lot of time, attention and company.
  • Do not be too protective with them. Know that they will have to fend for themselves during their life. Remember, they won’t have any siblings to help them out.
  • Just give normal treatment: Why treat a child as if she or he is an exception? Just treat them normally, and they will grow up normal too.
  • Encourage solitary play: this child needs to be able to be happy with one’s own company.  It isn’t always possible that you have to have someone to give you company or entertain you. I’ve known only children to be more self-sufficient.
  • Develop hobbies: Reading habits, hobbies, and keep busy in healthy activities.
  • Special warning: Do not give too much attention, the world doesn’t do that. So, why make the child the center of everything all the time? Otherwise, the child won’t be able to cope in normal situations.
  • Encourage independence: Let this child be self-sufficient, independent and encourage him or her to go on her own, or do things being in-charge of it all. So, do not help out, he will learn from his own mistakes within your own sight.
  • Encourage friends: specially inviting them over, and meeting their families and siblings whenever you can.
  • Problem solving: Let them deal with issues themselves. Don’t offer to help, try to let them get out of it themselves. This will give them confidence. Keep a watchful eye, but let them figure things out themselves. Do, help out if it is very serious. Do, give advice when asked.
  • Never be protective: Know that he will have to fend for himself for the rest of his life. You won’t be around always. He better learn it now. Prepare them for a time without yourself, while you are with them.
  • Don’t facilitate: Never do any ‘sifarish’ for them.
  • Strict pocket money : Build money spending and saving habits.

Tips for you, if you are an only child:

  • Just remember one thing, it is Allah who actually takes care of you. If He didn’t give you a sibling, He will surely give you several substitutes as per requirement. So, don’t worry. Remember, He didn’t give you, because He knew you won’t need them.
  • Be confident, do whatever you like to do.
  • Your time on your own is a God send. Most prominent personalities were only children. You get more time to clarify your own thoughts.  You also get lesser interfering bodies in your life. Believe me!
  • You are closer to the love of your parents, who have the purest love for you.

Yes, you will stay blessed, anyway. So, keep that smile!  🙂

PS: Just say a big ‘Alhamdolillah!’ in every situation. 🙂


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