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Tips for raising an only childThe single child family is the fastest growing family unit in many countries today. The advantages of being an only child include:
- Parents can give their time, attention and resources to one child rather than divide them among several children
- Children tend to grow up more independent
Here are some tips for parents raising an only child.
- Start socialising from an early age - without siblings, it is difficult for a child to know how to act around other people their age. It is important for them to be exposed to other children as well as a variety of social settings and so that they have a chance to interact with others their age.
- Lower your expectations - often, an only child has to deal with a tremendous amount of pressure to succeed so don't ask for perfection.
- Have other things to focus on your attention on at times - children with siblings don't usually get their parents full attention all of the time, it is usually spread among the other siblings. Only children have more focus and attention on them so sometimes it is good to give them their space and let them develop and grow some wings. Giving your child all of your attention is extremely tempting but they should not get used to being the centre of attention as this can be damaging for them when they go out into the real world.
- Separate yourself sometimes- only children develop a very close relationship with their parents and this can unwillingly foster dependence. Give your child some chores that they can do independently and encourage them to take part in activities that you do not need to be involved in all the time.
- Don't overindulge your child - make your child wait for what they want. Buying them everything that they want as soon as they ask for it will set up expectations for instant gratification.
- Teach your child how to share - teaching how to share with other children is important because it is not something that they are used to doing in the house. This is why play dates and activities with other children are important from an early age.