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Should You Have Another Baby?

Modern Parent

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There’s an unwritten rule in our society that once your firstborn turns 2 years old, it’s time to make another one.

It’s expected. It’s normal.

So normal that when I say I’m ‘One and Done,’ it’s often met with intrusive questions and numerous reasons why I should change my mind.

But Your Child Needs a Sibling To Play With.

Despite decades of research debunking the myths of the spoilt, selfish only child, the stigma is very much alive.

This lingering opinion that only children are somehow flawed has been passed down through generations, originating from an inadequate and bias report by early Child Psychologist G. Stanley Hall over 100 years ago.

Yet today’s research shows that ‘onlies’ are more successful in life and have just as good social skills than children with siblings.

The ‘One-Child Policy’ in China provided significant data for studying single-child families and revealed that having siblings had no positive effect on cooperativeness and sociability.

So, it’s safe to say that having a second child to improve your firstborn’s social skills is not a worthwhile strategy.

Research has also shown that being ‘spoilt’ is less about the number or lack of siblings and more to do with parenting choices.

Parents who consistently submit to their child’s demands and support commercialism create spoilt children — siblings or no siblings.

The Only Child Has the Best of Everything.

Findings to a 20-year study reported ‘only children in two-parent homes exhibit higher intelligence and higher levels of achievement than children with one sibling.’

“Only children have the best of everything and in some ways, they are better off. Not sharing their parents’ time and resources helps to explain only children’s achievement motivation and verbal skills. They are more likely to continue to higher education and more driven to succeed.”
— Pete Stavinoha, Neuropsychologist at the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas

More Children = Less Happiness.

Overall, people are reported to be happier with children than without, which isn’t overly surprising.

However, having a second or third child doesn’t increase a parent’s level of happiness — instead, happiness decreases and so does marriage satisfaction.

When you consider the strain on finances (approximately $200 per week for an additional child), the increase in household chores, and reduced time spent alone together as a couple, you can see how stopping at one has its appeal!

Having 2.4 Children Is So Last Decade.

Despite the pressure on parents to produce more offspring, one-child families are becoming the norm.

Today, more and more families are settling for just one baby:

  • In Australia, single-child families have risen by 17.2% since 2010
  • In the UK, single-child families now make up half of all families in the country
  • Single-child families are the fastest-growing family unit in the United States
Which begs the question, when will we stop pressuring parents to have more children, and accept that a family of three is no less than a family of more?

Should You Have Another Baby?

At the end of the day, you’re creating another conscious human life force who you’ll need to care for and nurture for decades to come.

Not a decision that should be based on ‘what ifs’ and outdated stigmas.

If you choose to stop at one baby, know the research proves you won’t be depriving them of a better life with a sibling — instead, you’ll be part of a growing, global trend of happy, single-child families.

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