Dilemma Of Having A Single Child

Guest Blog Post by Nidhi Seth Khanna

There was a time when families were large, joint and inter-dependent. But today we have small, single unit independent families with both parents often working and with this the days of having multiple children are gone.
In our fast-changing society and urban-lifestyle bringing-up children has become a challenge. These days so much attention is paid to details that it has become virtually impossible to consider child-rearing as one of the chores. In earlier times though parents often didn’t know how their kids were growing up and moving on. Today the whole family revolves around the child, in fact the schedule of the house is determined by the needs of the child– school hours, hobby classes, study time, play time, sleeping time… so on…
Here comes the question of how many children can we manage given the constraints all couples face – time, money, emotions, stamina, etc. Definitely the answer would be ‘Less is More’ for most of us. Having a child in the family not only fulfills the parental needs of all couples but also makes a family what it is supposed to be –FAMILY! But isn’t one enough??
Many people profess that the first child is for the parents but the second child is for the first one. They emphasize that having a sibling changes the attitude of the child and also teaches various qualities like sharing, support, etc. A single child becomes self-centered and attention seeking. But how far is this true. How often do we actually go to our siblings for support when we grow up… don’t they become part of separate families later on. Infact friends form a better support group in today’s times. As far as qualities like sharing are concerned, children these days spend more time in schools with their classmates and there they learn a number of qualities. All children these days need to be treated as individuals and parents need to pay special attention to their specific needs so it doesn’t matter whether you have one or two or more children.
But the dilemma still persists—I don’t want to be wrong in taking a decision for my child today –I just want the Best for him.. I hope I’m thinking right….
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  1. Nice once..but in the reality siblings would be more supportive each other when they grow and they learn each other..

  2. Hi NJ and Anonymous,
    There's no thumb rule for a happy family life and so we all move on with our lives following the hit-and-try method. No one knows for sure what tomorrow holds for us, so go on and enjoy either ways hoping that whatever happens shall happen for the BEST…

  3. Interesting discussion ;)

    I sooo agree with you Nidhi…I join you in this dilemma too… I am a working mom of a 3.5 yr old and am happy to be so… want to give my Son my best… Time… facilities… education… everything… but as you say… the dilemma still persists…!!!

    Practical situations around us say "One is a happy bundle and is "hands full"…!!! On the other hand… my heart says…"Maybe another one would be a 'nice to have' companion for the first one as they grow"… the answer still remains "I donno"…!!

    Apart from spending quality time with our children… it is v important to make some "me time" and also some "spouse time" … else the flavour in life would reduce :) It would surely call for a lot of compromise on such things.

    Hence I guess the best thing to do is to just hope for the best and see wat happens when the right time comes.


  4. I have only one 4 year old daughter Keya and don't intend having another one, Am past 40 and cant take a health risk. But when I look at the friendship and bond my two sisters and I share i do feel she is missing out on something beautiful. SIblings are the only ones who grow up with you with a shared sense of history that is hard to replicate with friends.. So I am growing her up to be extra close to her cousins, my sisters' sons. They are her brothers for her.

  5. Hey Anonymous,
    I'm riding the same boat as you and you've spelt out exactly how I feel!! I guess the best thing for us to do is Wait-and-Watch and hope for the best to happen 'cause we as parents are trying to do the BEST we can, rest TIME WILL TELL!!

  6. Hi Smita,
    You're absolutely right in saying that Friends shall be Friends and can never replace Family. But I'd like to add that the bond which is shared by a set of sisters is the closest among any set of siblings. I might be wrong but as per my observation a brother-sister pair or a pair of two brothers somehow usually do not connect with each other as closely as two sisters, especially if the age gap between the two is large.. what do you say??

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