Though it is common in our society to see a couple with three and four kids, few might opt to have just one because of various reasons. Having more than one child can be an obstacle while you pursue to develop your career. Or certain underlying medical complications may prevent one from having more than one child. Whatever the reason, before taking the final decision, it is advisable to view the positives and negatives of having a single child.
• Undivided attention and care: There is no doubt that an only child gets the full attention and care of both parents. Right from bringing up the child to their studies and extracurricular activities, the parents can provide the best for their only child. Whatever the child demands, the parents are ready to accommodate him/her at that instance. As a result of this, the child has a greater attachment to parents which is more likely to continue in the future as well.
• Better financial position: Since the parents have only one child to support and do not have to share it amongst siblings, the end of the day savings will be more. Thus, they can spend more on the child. Whether it is toys or books or games, the parents can satisfy all the whims and fancies of the child. If the parents have a huge property, they do not have to worry about dividing the same amongst siblings.
• No sibling rivalry: One of the biggest challenges faced by parents with two or more kids is sibling rivalry. From academics to sports to the relationship this rivalry spans across a wide spectrum. Since single child parents do not have anyone to compare their child with, there is no question of sibling rivalry and the resultant problems. The child does not have to compete with anyone to gain the parent’s attention.
• Peaceful atmosphere: Having a single child will create a more or less peaceful atmosphere inside the house as there is no one to fight and shout at the kid. Once grown, the kid will be busy with his/her activities thus creating a calm atmosphere indoors.
• More freedom: Once the child grows up, the parents will have better freedom to do the things they want. They do not have to worry about diapers and feeding bottles again and can get back to their normal life very fast.
• Spoilt child: Since a single child gets the undivided attention of both parents, there is a greater chance for the child to become spoilt. Parents fulfill all the whims and fancies of the child because of which the child take everything for granted. He/she will not be able to accept “No” for an answer which can be detrimental in the long run. They can turn out to be selfish and self-centered which can affect their overall personality.
• Lack of self-confidence: All the needs and wants of a single child is taken care of by parents because of which he lacks self-confidence. He might not be able to face the challenges of the real world and will be unable to face failures in life. He will be over protective and might require the parents support to take each decision in life.
• Loneliness: Loneliness is the biggest challenge faced by a single child. Since he does not have a sibling to play and share his feelings with, the child might withdraw into a cocoon. He will find it difficult to mingle with others and consequently retreat into a world of his own.
• Huge responsibility: A single child has a greater responsibility towards his/her parents especially when the parents get old. They might have to support them physically and financially which can be an overwhelming task.
Before taking a decision to have a single child, you should ask the following questions
¬ Does your spouse approve of the decision to have a single child?
¬ Will you be mentally happy in the future if you have only one child?
¬ Will you be able to fill in the emotional vacuum created as a result of your decision?
If the answer to all the above is yes, then you can go forth with your decision to have a single child.
Whether you want to have one, two or three children is a purely personal decision. But always remember that you have an individual responsibility towards each child. Until and unless you feel that you will be able to fulfill your responsibility, do not go for the decision to have more children. Never get pressurized by the opinion and suggestion of others. After all, the life is yours. One wrong decision can change the course of your life.