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          Is It OK To Have An Only Child?

          October 22, 2003

          Some couples feel pressure from friends or family to have more than one child. Is it selfish to have an only child and not provide him/her with a sibling? Is it harmful to that child to not experience the bond or support that comes with having a brother or sister? Dr. Phil weighs in:

        • If you don’t want another child, ask yourself if it’s because you fear you will shortchange the love you have for your current child. If so, realize you don’t divide the amount of love you have by the number of children you have. You draw your love for them from different accounts, and you never run out.
        • Remember that this is your decision. Other people don’t get a vote. Weigh their opinion if you know the motive is good, but make your own decision and be at peace with it.
        • Be aware that it is possible to focus on one child so much that he/she can get a very narrow perspective and think the world revolves around him/her. But that can happen if you have more than one child as well, and you need to guard against it.
        • Understand that an only child can have more problems with peer relationships and have a difficult time working with children his/her own age. You may want to make sure your child has an opportunity to participate in team sports, group activities, and is in social situations like daycare, or Bible study camp before starting school. This will help with the socialization process.
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