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Old 12-31-2005, 08:59 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Location: Upper Michigan
It's interesting this thread should be revived after we just visited all of hubby's family that we've not seen in years. Almost all his cousins have kids and one even had 3 kids only 5 4 years apart. The one cousin started having kids when she was 17. He has one cousin yet that's simply more ambitious career wise and unattached so consquently hasn't gotten to the having kids stage yet.

I was asked this question quite a few times while at the family gathering. This time my response was that we were done having kids. Eyebrows were raised and often "done" was echoed. At which I replied, "I got fixed". The response after that was much better than it has been from ANYONE before. They did not try to convince me to have another kid since they'd be wasting their breath. They simply turned their attention to what our plans were for our daughter. They had no argument and they were able to simply show an interest in our daughter's wellbeing. I think that may have been the misdirected intention of the other comments previously. I'm glad I got fixed for many reasons.

On comment I've seen here or heard often is a concern with regards to a single child learning to be selfish. Our daughter has not had the chance to be selfish. She constantly has other kids in her home who play with many of her toys. We've given her the right to keep her room and any of the toys in her room to herself. The kids are not allowed in her room without HER permission. YET she still lets most of the come in her room. She does not let the toddler come in but her reasoning is that she has small toys that the little girl would choke on. I have keep a careful eye on my daughter because she OFTEN will try to GIVE AWAY toys. She's offered many things to other kids. Her reasoning usually is that she doesn't play with them anymore or often. As long as the toy does not have sentimental value to me or is not very expensive then I allow the gifting. I think this will help her learn to be a sharing giving person.
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Old 12-31-2005, 09:17 AM   #42 (permalink)
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I don't want any more kids...happy with one. I'm not the best of fathers...cars and computers take up a lot of my time, and I don't take the time I know I should to be with my daughter. I don't like kids in general, although, when ours is being good, which is most of the time, she's a lot of fun. I know she loves me, and I love her, too, of course. The wife and I are agreed...no more.
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Old 12-31-2005, 01:28 PM   #43 (permalink)
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We've got 2 and that's all we want. My sister's daughter is just 2 days older than my youngest, and she lives only 45 minutes away, so that's like another sister for my kids. We're just too tired to go through the infant stages again (we're just coming out of it with our 4 month old, who is teething )
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Old 12-31-2005, 11:41 PM   #44 (permalink)
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They're probably just trying to make conversation, and they latch onto that because people are much worse at conversing than they think they are, and the vast majority tend to latch onto the most obvious things to talk about, which can have a way of encroaching onto what you or I might consider our private lives.

As far as problems with 'only children', I think that's more a problem with over-attended-to children, over-spoiled children, and over-isolated children. Parents just have tendancies to create this situations moreso with an only child than with multiple children.
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Old 02-22-2006, 10:33 AM   #45 (permalink)
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I am an only child and I think I'm pretty balanced. That said, with the kind of childhood I had, I wish there had been a brother/sister present for mutual support. Aslo I think that I missed out on learning about things from siblings like many people tell me they have. Of course not all siblings get on. I don't think I'm particularly selfish or stubborn, but I am firm when I'm sure of something - though I'm always ready to listen to others' opinions and take them into account. I have always been grateful for what I have and I know the value of what I have. I think in the end it has to do with personality and the values taught to you by your parents. I am not a very social person but I do alright. I'd like to think that if my parents had socialized me more with, at least, other kids, I'd be better in that area.

So if I had kids, I think I'd like more than one. But that's just me. I think at the end of the day, what's important is how you're brought up and what your personality is, more than if you had a sibling or not.
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Our hearts are incommunicable still.
In what we show ourselves we are ignored.
The abyss from soul to soul cannot be bridged
By any skill of thought or trick of seeming.
Unto our very selves we are abridged
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:41 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medusa99
Another coworker butted into the convo saying she would never have only one child because they are all selfish, snotty, and don't know how to behave around others.
Well...I'm an only child, and...well...uh...yeah...

Seriously. Don't let people like this anoy you. It's, frankly, none of their business. It's not like you're abusing the one that you have.
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Old 02-22-2006, 03:04 PM   #47 (permalink)
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As long as you keep your child "in check" everything will be fine. I would be perfectly happy with one child, but I'm not keeping two out of the question. Whether or not it's a stereotype, whether or not it's fair, mean, ignorant, whatever, the fact is, a portion of "only childs" are brats. There are tons of brats that are siblings as well, but it's a different type of "brat."

The only-child "brat" is the one that goes monkey shit when they have to share something. The type of person who has no respect for others and simply doesn't notice when they are being inconsiderate of others in the same room. You gotta nip that right in the bud. Don't put your only kid on a pedestal.

The best example: "but it's MINE!!!!!!" when referring to having to share something. Jesus, chill out, share. It's not that big of a deal. I realize a lot of people with brothers and sisters can have problems similar to this, but it seems to be more rampant with only-childs. Coming from a larger family with 4 kids, I have a twin brother, and 2 sisters. You better believe I realize I'm not special and sharing is what you are supposed to do. Yes, it's fine if you have a slice of my pie.

Parents with only one kid: please let your kids know that they aren't special. Teach them to share, teach them to respect others, teach them they aren't the center of the universe

same goes for kids who aren't only-childs as well.
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Old 02-23-2006, 05:00 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Well, I'm an only child and as of now we plan for my 12 yr old daughter to be an only child. The selfish part is probably somewhat true, I never had to share my stuff with a sibling as a kid, nor does my daughter. When I was young the neighborhood we lived in had a bunch of kids that I played with so that and school taught me how to not only be social, but also how to share. That's not to say that I had my moments, I liked having stuff done the way I wanted, and would get pissy at times when it didn't. My wife would say that I'm still like that at times (and I am), but is it cause I'm an only child? Maybe..

We had a good idea that my daughter would be an only child early on, so we were sure to place her in social situations and enrolled her in camps and sports. That in combination with school made her more outgoing, although I see a lot of her mannerisms mirror me at an early age. It's not uncommon for her to have a friend spend the night or vice versa, and she get tired of having the friend there, or want to come home. She has a lot of friends and is rather popular (as popular as a 6th grader can be) and is understanding of her friends feelings. Even today, I shy away from large social situations, I prefer more intimate gatherings with 2-3 other people, and I get to a point where I've had enough and want to leave..

We both have need for alone time, that bothered my wife for a long time, but now we see my daughter retreating to her room to sit and read for a couple of hours a week. Is it selfish for us to want to be left alone? Not sure, but I need it in order to keep me sane..

We use to get the "when are you going to have more kids" question, but as our daughter got around 10 people stopped asking. I guess they either figured it out, or were afraid to ask in case there were "medical" reasons why we couldn't..

Last edited by Catdaddy33; 02-23-2006 at 05:02 AM..
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:10 PM   #49 (permalink)
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You have no kids, random people diss you for choosing childlessness (They don't even know if it's a choice, grr!).

You have one kid, random people pester you to have another.

You have more than one kid, and there will be random people who talk smack about overpopulation, of just "Gees, aren't you *done* yet?"

Just can't please rude, thoughtless folks, I guess.

I've chosen to have no kids, and I do think it's COMPLETELY rude for folks to inquire about it. How would they feel if I burst into tears because of the pain of infertility? Or of the child that died? There are tons of people who carry about these kind of burdens, and folks who stick their noses where they don't belong shouldn't be surprised if it gets bit.

I used to get harrassed a lot about it, I don't know why. Total strangers would pester me, I kid you not! It's a huge decision with many deeply emotional ramifications, and it's no one's business to inquire/criticise another's choice, just for the sake of making conversation. Ustwo, that's why it's considered rude.
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Old 02-23-2006, 03:18 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sultana
You have no kids, random people diss you for choosing childlessness (They don't even know if it's a choice, grr!).
Oh boy, that reminds me of a time I stuck my foot in my mouth...I impertinently asked my 11th-grade creative writing teacher why she and her husband lived alone in this big house in this very nice neighborhood, why they didn't have kids. She totally didn't have to answer my question, but she did anyways--and I will forever admire her for doing so. She honestly replied that they had tried even after marrying late, hoping that they could have at least one. But even after fertility treatments, it just wasn't happening. They thought about adoption, but her husband is Japanese from Hawaii--and his family has very distinct ideas about adoption, I guess, and any child they took into their home would always be considered an outsider by his traditionalist parents. So they just didn't have kids at all...and then she looked evenly at all of us, and said, "Now, you guys are my kids. Everyone who comes through my classroom is my kid."

She is, and will always be, at the top of my list of favorite teachers. She is also one of the strongest women I know. But boy, was I embarassed.

I should note that three years later she wrote me a most glowing recommendation...so at least I know she never felt badly for it
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:01 AM   #51 (permalink)
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My husband and I planned on having a large family from the start. I was very close to my younger sister (5yrs younger), but always felt we didn't have enough in common growing up. He was very distant from his brother, being almost a decade older, and they still have trouble communicating. After much painstaking research and discussion taking in consideration our own personal experiences we decided that we wanted to have our kids 3yrs apart. Oh, we wanted a LARGE family, too - 4-6 kids. Needless to say, it didn't go exactly as planned. As we were to find out, nothing ever does go _exactly_ the way you plan it. Come to find out it's not as easy for me to have children as I'd thought. We did have one every three years, but it took nine pregnancies to achieve. I can't have more. We still wanted a big family, however, and decided to adopt. On the road to adoption we discovered all of these kids out there who need loving homes and a safe place to be while their own homes fall apart. So we got into foster care. Living with us right now are our own, 9yrs, 6yrs, and 3yrs, and a 10mos old baby girl whom we will _most likely_ have the chance to adopt in another five-ten months. We've had her since she was 3mos old. This weekend we had a brother (4) and sister(3) whom we adored and would love to have kept. We also kept a sibling set, brother 6&7, whom we were not unhappy to see go. I think it all depends on the family dynamics - what works for YOU. You can't let others make your decisions for you, or let their decisions affect you. We certainly don't preach at other people about how they should live their lives. What works for us certainly doesn't have to work for everyone. You can treat it kind of the same way I treat race issues when they come up (of course, not all of our children are going to end up looking like us - you'd be surprised at the hatred and evilness that brings out in some people!) smile, nod, and move on. You love your daughter and you know her better than anyone else in the world can. And you KNOW that she's going to be a wonderful person, and that this is the family dynamic that is right for YOU. So thank them for their well meaning advice and then ignore it.
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