By Carl E. Pickhardt
An informative examine the mutual advantages, the drawbacks, and a few of the demanding situations ordinary in only-child events. the writer outlines parent-child relationships at various levels of formative years and adolescent progress. He describes universal styles in an purely kid's peer relationships and the matter of an only-child's tendency towards self-centeredness.
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Additional resources for Keys to Parenting the Only Child (Barron's Parenting Keys)
This sense of belonging is esteem building when it gives the child a sense of adult status, and it is problematic when the boy or girl forgets that he or she is still a child. One challenge for parents is to provide the child with enough social and play experience with age-mates so that he or she doesn't pass up normal childhood development with peers for the company of adults. " No, the boy or girl doesn't. Parents are the adults. He or she is the child. < previous page page_25 next page > < previous page page_26 next page > Page 26 9 Risks from Feeling Part of the Marriage: Becoming Caught in the Middle The security from feeling firmly placed in the middle of a loving parental marriage can turn to anxiety when parents do not get along.
One risk for the only child is overstepping boundaries of responsibility that have been given. Being a partner is not the same as being an equal partner. Sometimes the single parent needs to clarify the limits of decision making to which the only child is entitled. "Just because I want you to understand and help me think about where our money goes, that doesn't mean you get to choose the way we spend. " The only child needs to understand that input doesn't guarantee outcome, that influence doesn't mean control, that responsibility doesn't mean authority, that adults are not bound by many of the rules a child must live by, and that being a "partner" in the family doesn't entitle him or her to an equal say.
Literally and symbolically, this constant flow of attention gives evi- < previous page page_30 next page > < previous page page_31 next page > Page 31 dence to the child of her or his importance in the parents' eyes, creating three powerful outcomes for the child: 1. From this continuing statement of worth from parents, the only child gathers a continuing sense of self-worth. 2. From the close notice parents give, the only child becomes closely noticing of himself or herself. 3. From the approving audience that parents happily provide, the only child learns to put himself or herself forward to be noticed, at least at home.
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