You’ve Got to Have Friends

All kids have special friends, but only kids often form attachments to other children that are deeper, more lasting and complex than most childrens’ friendships with one another. Friends often take the place of siblings for only kids. Some only children make friends in nursery school that last forever. One only child met her best(…)

Fight the Good Fight

What kind of parents would allow themselves to be treated like their child’s sister or brother? The parents of only children. There are times when kids need to fight…with someone. You just happen to be the only ones around. In a household with more than one child , the kids would be going at it(…)

In Search of the Perfect Preschool

You are the proud, devoted parent of the most wonderful creature on earth, and it seems like only yesterday that your life was totally altered by the birth of your child. Although no one ever gave you a book of instructions, you have managed to find the answers to countless questions from “cloth or disposable?”(…)

Your Child’s Financial Future

Statistically speaking, you are very likely to be around long enough to rear your child to adulthood. Still, life sometimes takes unexpected turns. So you are right to want to make plans for your child in case you are not able to see him through. You can make two important determinations by executing a written(…)

How Not to Raise a Spoiled Only Child

When we talk with only children and ask what they like least about being an only child, one universal response is that they simply hate being called spoiled. But the truth is that sometimes they are, and whose fault is that? But don’t be too hard on yourself. Kids are not only cute but clever(…)

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,(…)

Sleep-Away Camp

Camping Out Sleep-away camp is a great idea. At first. Your only child had friends who went last summer and had such an awesome time they convinced your kid that he would love the great outdoors too. For months you and your offspring devoured glossy camp brochures. You fantasized about riding horses, canoeing, rafting, swimming,(…)