Emotional Wellbeing

Loyalty Anxiety

What happens to love for my parents when I fall in love? In an only child family, the child experiences undivided love. Having no other children, parental love is undivided, entirely devoted to the single child, who is usually totally devoted in return. Because of this exclusive love, the attachment between parents and child becomes(…)

Independence Anxiety

By Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D. Will I be okay without my parents? The twin pillars of independence from parents are: The capacity to live apart from parents yet still feel connected by love to parents. The ability to become well connected to oneself and others. (This capacity was partly dealt with in the first installment of(…)

Rejection Anxiety

What difference will my becoming different make to my parents? To appreciate the power of this question, consider three shaping forces in the only child’s growth: similarity to parents, individuality as a child, and differentiation as an adolescent. 1. Similarity to Parents In a family with multiple children, inevitable human differences between siblings tend to(…)

Disagreement Anxiety

By Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D. Because parents and only children are so tightly bonded and mean so much to each other, separation can cause fears on both sides of the relationship. Typically, when parents think about separation, the anxiety that comes to mind has to do with learning to tolerate distance and absence from each other,(…)

Separation Anxiety

By Carl Pickhardt Ph.D. Because parents and only children are so tightly bonded and mean so much to each other, separation can cause fears on both sides of the relationship. Typically, when parents think about separation, the anxiety that comes to mind has to do with learning to tolerate distance and absence from each other,(…)

Departure Anxiety

By Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D. How does one deal with the decline and death of parents? Frequently only children don’t feel lonely until they have to deal with their parents’ declining health, disabling disease, and death. As this earthly separation approaches or occurs, the only child can fear the experience of being left alone without the(…)