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 with one another. In the one-child home, you can find yourself in a screaming match and suddenly realize that you are behaving exactly like your eleven-year-old. By the time you catch yourself, you feel like an idiot. The dean of a middle school (someone hardened by years of dealing with young adolescents) once explained that an adult should not engage in a quarrel with a child for more than 10 minutes. After that, she suggested that the mature adult find a creative way to shut things down. Great advice, unless the child refuses to give up and follows you through the house insisting that he is right and you are a stone-age relic who can’t possibly understand anything. You can always admit to being a relic when you see no other chance to escape. Try saying, “You are right, I don’t get it…BUT.” The “you are right” does wonders. For a second your child thinks you have finally seen the light. Then he is caught off guard with, “BUT...I don’t care if all of the other guys are going to be picked up at midnight, You’re going to be home by 9:00.“
In a battle of wills with an only child retain some perspective and remember—part of the fight is for the fight’s sake…a chance to release energy. Even if your child does consider you the least cool person on the planet, it is often the action, the rush of adrenaline that your child craves. If you can remember this in the thick of battle, you may even enjoy making yourself look ridiculous from time to time.
Cole Porter was an only child prodigy whose life was filled with both privilege and adversity. He had all the money necessary to launch a career, but he also had a mother who was so controlling it’s a wonder he was ever able to establish his own identity. Perhaps that is why Cole had difficulty(…)
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(…)
We went looking for one of the most influential only children of the 20th Century and decided that no one had done more to assure the survival of our country than Franklin Roosevelt. Without President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s contributions to the 20th Century, none of us might be here today. Our parents and grandparents might(…)
Cortes can be considered to represent the whole lot of conquistadors who can be considered responsible for wiping out whole civilizations. Cortes’ conquest of Mexico lead to the downfall of the Aztecs and the devastation of Mesoamerica. The story of Cortes’ arrival in the Aztec Empire and his dealings with Montezuma are almost legendary. Cortes(…)
This is the time of the year when parents of only children have to let go. Although we have written about this very emotional time in the only child household in the past, Amy Dickinson’s, Ask Amy syndicated advice column puts it in clear perspective. Dear Amy: My daughter recently left for college, and I am having a(…)
Frank Sinatra was an only child who often seemed fearless. He could be as abrasive as he was brilliant, and he wasn’t always happy. Because Frank was brought up in a neighborhood where his was the rare small family, being an only child was sometimes uncomfortable. But it defined Sinatra and gave him opportunities his(…)