Quote: “Having one child makes you a parent, having two makes you a referee”. When I said this to my mom, she asks, having three makes you what? I think for a while and say, it makes the parents just audience, coz there is nothing one can do when all three siblings are going at each other.
This is a topic I have started discussing/debating with almost everyone since I became a mother. Here I have tried to consolidate a few points of view and also put forth mine.
First of all, it’s easy on the parents to have a single kid. You get to be parents and not a referee. It’s easy financially; you get to use all your resources on one. It’s easy on parents as one doesn’t have to revisit the baby phase of sleepless nights, lugging everything when you travel or move, constantly having a need to be physically present. You have one kid to focus on providing that undivided attention kids need, to bring in a positive emotional development and improving their thought process. Having one child could lead to good parenting.
But is it easy for the kid?
On some single kids it is. Single kids love the attention they get. They are used to being heard, that makes them confident. They end up making more friends as the parent feel guilty on not giving them a playmate, and so encourage them play with others. They end up carrying the hopes and dreams of parents, and invariably take up a good number of hobbies. But for all the love of parents and having innumerable friends, I have heard single kids say that they would have loved to have a sibling, even if they had ended up fighting.
Offcourse, the more popular choice is having two kids. There is a lot of advantage in having a sibling. Mostly the kids learn to share and learn to compromise for the love they have on one another. The kids don’t feel alone, always have playmates. They’ll take care of each other through life. They’ll always have a family even when their parents aren’t around. Many siblings become confidants and best friends. There’ll be an “us v/s them” when there are siblings.
Having two kids is a bit difficult for the parents but very good for kids. Will it be?
I don’t think so.
Having a child is a choice that parents make; to have another should be the first kid choice.
I have come to know a few people who weren’t asked this question when they were young and had a sibling thrust upon them. This is grave mistake many parents do. They bring in another baby into the house when the first child hasn’t even understood what it is like to share his/her parents love. This leads to deep unseated feeling of neglect in the first child. It’s not for the child to understand that there is a new person to share the limelight. It is the parent’s responsibility to make the first child comprehend it. How many of our parents have done that? How many of us with two kids have done that?
When the first child makes a choice, they are a good 4-5 years old. Old enough to know if they’d like to share their parent’s attention and love with someone else. They do. By that age, parents also have a chance to see their child’s behaviour amongst other babies and younger kids. They are independent enough to let you take care of another child. Also they’d be your helping hand with the child. You’ll end up inculcating a deep love and care without even trying.
My son asks me, every time we see a baby; shall we take the baby home? He’s very kind and loving towards other babies or younger kids. He shows a lot of brotherly care towards younger kids. When asked of hypothetical situation like: Mamma won’t be able to carry you as she would have to carry the baby. His answer is quick: My Father will carry me. What will he do when the baby is crying? He answers: I’ll share my toys and play with baby to make it laugh. When we are in bed, if I say that the baby would sleep right next to mommy? He’ll say its okay; I’ll sleep on the other side of the baby and keep it safe.
Having a generation difference between the kids is the key to their individual development. As there wouldn’t be a room for comparison amongst themselves, coz they would be at two different stages of their lives all through the growing years. Financially, you’ll also have a chance to allocate your resources one at a time. Moreover, mothers will have selective amnesia about the pain of child birth and tiredness of the first few months.
This is my take on this topic. What are your choices? How did you decide on them? What’s your take on having a sibling? Do share all your stories… I would love to hear them.