A Parents' Guide to Raising an Only-Childby Michael Meyerhoff
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Raising an "only-child" is a special experience shared by an increasing number of parents. Whereas biological conditions have always dictated that some couples would have just one child, various other, more conscious, factors have now entered the picture as well. First and foremost, difficult economic times have caused many mothers and fathers to limit their family size. After all, raising even one child in today's world can be quite expensive.
In addition, many mothers and fathers are waiting until later in life to begin their families, and many are unable or unwilling to take on rigors and responsibilities beyond those required for a single offspring. Furthermore, many mothers and fathers worry about the effects of over-population on the environment, deciding that one child is sufficient to continue their family line and satisfy their parental aspirations.
However, while raising an only-child is no longer such an unusual experience, it does remain a relatively stressful one. Having just one child still is not generally considered the norm, nor is it particularly looked upon with favor by society, and most mothers and fathers who make the decision to limit their family size sooner or later start wondering whether it was the right thing to do.
Unfortunately, many of their doubts are generated and perpetuated by long-standing myths and popular misconceptions about the only-child. The fact is that being an only-child does not automatically convey advantages or disadvantages of any kind, nor does it inevitably lead to the development of desirable or undesirable traits. Of course, certain situations and events have the potential to produce either beneficial or detrimental outcomes, but how well or how poorly the child does in the long term is primarily dependent upon the way the parents prepare for and handle these situations and events.
There are no set expectations concerning what circumstances might be encountered, and there are no rigid rules for raising an only-child. Every child is unique, and every family has its own distinct dynamics. On the other hand, child development professionals and experienced parents do have some relevant insights and suggestions. Armed with this information and advice, along with some solid knowledge regarding standard childrearing policies and practices, mothers and father can ensure that the experience of raising their only-child will be as enriching and enjoyable as possible for everyone involved.
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This "book" is 15 pages long. The information is nothing unique that you can't find on the internet or parenting magazines. I don't recommend it.