Single child families come into being for many reasons. Some couples decide to have only one child, given the significant costs of schooling, extra curricular activities and other expenses. With grand parents and extended families living in far—off cities, young couples also feel lack of family support and prefer to keep the size of their own family, small. If both the parents are working, then they find that the time they have for the child is limited, and do not want to divide it between two or more children.
There may be medical reasons why a couple may not be able to have another child, and they may have decided not to adopt. Whatever be the reason for the situation, it is important to be aware of all the aspects of a single child family. Understanding these aspects will help parents mitigate the negative fall—outs, and be reassured of the positive ones.
How being the ‘only child’ benefits the child
As the sole focus of parental attention and approval, only children are usually raised to feel positive, says psychologist Carl E. Pickhardt, author of ‘The Future of Your Only Child.’ They often want to achieve highly for their own sake and also to live up to their parents’ high expectations. Furthermore, in the absence of siblings, they are likely to spend more time with adults, which may sharpen their social and verbal skills at an earlier age.