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Is Having an Only Child Bad?

Children Don't F*cking Need Siblings, So Stop Telling People They Do

It boggles my mind how forward some people are about another person's family planning. Whether it's at the playground, at school, or in the grocery store, people like to give very much unwanted advice. What starts off as polite conversation about how many kids I have suddenly becomes a condemnation on our choice to only have one. "But he needs a little brother or sister," they say earnestly. No, he doesn't. Please stop saying this, and f*ck off.

To tell me what my son needs is in essence telling me that I've somehow failed at raising him.

I get that it's contrived small talk and not intended to be hurtful, but that doesn't excuse people feeling the need to say it. To tell me what my son needs is in essence telling me that I've somehow failed at raising him. Here I thought I was doing a halfway decent job at giving him things he actually needs, like food, water, shelter, and love, but apparently none of that matters if they don't have a sibling to share it with.

Besides the fact that comments like this undermine the decision that my family has made for ourselves, they imply that we're doing some kind of permanent damage to our son because he'll be an only child. Despite the fact that the stereotypes surrounding only children (they're selfish, overprivileged, and odd) have been disproven time and time again, people still like to cling to this notion that siblings are the only way to raise healthy and well-functioning children.

There is no guarantee that siblings would get along at a young age, and at this point I'd be looking at a pretty sizable age gap between the two if I were to have another. Siblings can grow up to be wildly different and barely speak. Through other family members and and his growing list of friends, he is absorbing all the benefits of having a sibling while still benefiting from being an only child.

If I was talking to a new mom at the playground and she told me she had two children, imagine her shock and horror if I had decided to exclaim, "children really do better as only children." What if I told her that only children are more creative thinkers, more flexible problem solvers, and that she was making a big mistake by having more than one kid? It would be incredibly rude of me, and I might get a rightly deserved telling off. So why is it OK to tell mothers of only children that they're doing something wrong? Instead of making a sweeping judgement about other people's parenting decisions, how about we all just learn to nod, smile, and keep our mouths shut about things that are none of our business?

Image Source: Pexels/Joel Carter
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