The fondest memories of my childhood are the times spent with my siblings. But as a child I always wanted and dreamt of being the single child of my parents where in I will get all the attention of my parents and also all the love which will be undivided. I always knew that I will have a single child and that I will shower him with all the love, affection and time.
No matter how much tired I am, I make it a point to be there at least once a week for my son’s tennis classes and he loves the attention that I give him. But it is the people around you who make a few comments knowingly or unknowingly and they make you think. Like the other day one of my friends passed a comment by saying, “Don’t you think that you are depriving your child of a company just because you cannot devote time for two kids?”
There are women who are choosing a career over a second child. Some people also think that they can give more attention and have a solid financial backing for themselves as well as the children if they have one kid instead of two. “I don’t think twice when my child wants to go for a hobby class because I know that bringing up a child is important. I have enough money to send him for any course that he want to do in the future or even if he wants to go for a foreign education,” says Rinjula Ray, a freelance writer.
People are also marrying late or having a child late because they don’t want their child to compromise on the comfort and that the child should have a smooth life. So there is nothing to feel guilty since no family is perfect be it a family of five or just three. Feeling guilty is a wasted emotion, instead you should feel happy about the fact that you are able to devote more time on one child and that you can concentrate more on his studies and other activities. A psychologist friend of mine, Dr. Ramya Swamy once told me, “There is nothing for you to feel guilty. It is a conscious decision that you have taken and everybody is correct from their own point of view. But you should not give any right to anybody for that matter other than your husband to impose their views on you. Sometimes people make such remarks out of insecurity too because they cannot devote the time or indulge their children, the way you can do for your son."
Research has proved the undivided attention of parents and more financial resources for better education leads ‘onlies’(the term used for single kids) to excel brilliantly in life. Dr. Ramya Swamy adds, “Because they have a lot of motivation and even attention at home, these children turn out to be better achievers, have higher intelligence and are more confident human beings.” As parents you should be happy that there is no sibling rivalry which you are a referee all the time. There is no differentiation in the finances when it comes to the elder child getting the better share of the cake and younger one is just left with a few morsels.
But there are certain things that parents of single kids should keep in mind. Do not over-indulge your kids too much. Don’t bubble wrap your child and at the same time give him enough attention, but don’t be too vigilant. Don’t do everything for your child. Let him learn it on his own and be there to guide him. Ensure that your child is not a loner and has plenty of play mates.
I being a mother of a single child, I ensure that my child is in the company of friends and I try and go for family get together once or twice a year so that he can meet his cousins and have a good time with them.