One Child, Two child or None? Any safe bet here? PART 1

You go around looking for examples and you will find them in abundant in all sorts of permutations and combinations. With changing lifestyles, the influence of television and media, the omnipresent mobile phone and other gadgets and a social media platform coupled with a consumerist society, life has taken on an altogether different meaning. We have the world in our fist(courtesy Apple and the like) and everything  'instant'(courtesy Amazon and the like). A single child, children who have siblings or parents who decide not to have a child...we have a wide variety available for our understanding.

Let's not get mean by glorifying a particular family set up and disapproving, condemning another kind which doesn't look like ours. It's not your job to judge somebody's else's journey...unless you are paying for the tickets. With parenting and raising children, generalizations should be made cautiously and best- not to make them at all.

There is a popular advice to prospective parents which recommends limiting the size of the family to ensure quality upbringing-more parental affection, attention, and material resources per child which are said to enhance a child's intellectual development. What is the ideal size then?

The answer is debatable but the ingredients that go to raise a child well is well understood. Be it a single child or children with a sibling.
The wide generalizations associated with single child and children with siblings is something that needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. In and around one can find various combinations - effective and ineffective in both the scenarios.
Siblings relationships bring benefits but are not essential for a healthy development of a child. It might be a popular belief but only children are not spoiled. To an extent, they are more advantaged in having a higher self-esteem and achievement motivation, do better in school and attain higher levels of education. This can be attributed to the fact that single child is receiving all the attention and affection of both the parents.

One research aimed at exploring 16 character traits — including leadership, maturity, extroversion, social participation, popularity, generosity, cooperativeness, flexibility, emotional stability, contentment and found that only children scored just as well as children with siblings.

Research has also shown umpteen times that only children are, in fact, no more self-involved than anyone else. Brutal sibling rivalry isn't necessary to develop social skills. The experience only children have with peers and classmates can also do the job in making the child learn social skills.

Only children have as many friends as anyone else. Not to forget that they have the capability to cherish and nurture friendship with a beautiful sense of permanence and loyalty for they know how valuable such relationships are.
Researchers have also found out that parents who have just one child are able to devote more resources — time, money and attention — to their only child than parents who have to divide resources among more children. Therefore, a single child is brought up in richer verbal environments and share meals and other activities with adults.  The only children tend to be the focus of their parental gaze and experience more intensely emotional family lives. The love given to them is more concentrated and can be very enriching or suffocating.

Siblings influence development directly through the relationship with each other and indirectly through the impact of an additional child on parent’s behavior. The arrival of a newborn baby is difficult for a preschooler to handle but their resentment soon turns into a rich emotional relationship. Siblings play an important role in the development of children’s understanding of others’ minds, namely their understanding of emotions, thoughts, intentions and beliefs.

Sibling rivalry and conflict has been an important area of research. The way parents handle this rivalry goes a long way in teaching them constructive resolution strategies. If parents treat their children differently in aspects of love, warmth, responsiveness, control and discipline sibling relations are likely to be more conflictual and less friendly. Comparison between siblings is another brutal blow to the sibling bond.

First-born siblings engage in leadership, teaching, care giving, and helping roles, whereas second-born siblings are more likely to imitate, follow, be a learner, and elicit care and help.

During early childhood, siblings can act as sources of support during care taking situations when the mother is absent for a short time and in middle childhood siblings may provide support during stressful family experiences.

Second-born children have the benefit of learning from an older sibling, sometimes leading to precocious development for second-born in some areas.

There is continuity in the quality of sibling relations during the early years and from early to middle childhood to early adolescence, particularly for older siblings’ positive behavior and feelings towards the younger. However, large individual differences in the quality of sibling relations have been documented in many studies cited here, which may also be influenced by other factors such as children’s temperamental profiles, life circumstances and parental involvement.

Click on the link to read PART 2

Image courtesy-Pixabay


  1. This blog is really great. The information here will surely be of some help to me. Thanks!.

  2. Love this blog.. very well explained with interesting example. Definitely boost up my confidence on my decision. Thanks!!

  3. I love this blog.. well written and explained with interesting examples. It definitely boost up my confidence for the decision I made... Thanks!!


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