For my next couple of blogs I thought I would share my opinion rather than information. My first unsolicited opinion is that – if possible- children should have at least one sibling. Although research refute the stereotypes that only children become selfish and socially awkward adults, I think they miss out on so much.
I have been working with families for decades and have become quite opinionated on many issues, including this one. I have seen the positive difference siblings can make in children’s development- that can’t be replicated by play dates and preschool.
Siblings provide children with lifelong playmates, rivals, co-conspirators, role models, defenders, friends, and more. Children are forced to compromise, negotiate, be flexible, and most importantly, learn that they are not the center of the universe. All essential social skills for later relationships practiced in the safety of home.
I know many wonderful only children and understand another child may not be an option or right for many families. But when asked my opinion, I do think more than one is ideal (just like two parent families are) with at least three years between them! Seeing my three teens support each other (mostly) makes me so glad that they have each other and will long after their dad and I are gone.