Raising an Emotionally Happy Single Child - a blog post by mommyshravmusings

How to raise an Emotionally Happy Single Child?

I got so used to this question of when I will give my son a brother or sister. In fact, after the pandemic, most people started blaming me, saying my child is lonely and he doesn’t have any company. As though having a single child is a big crime.

Although the social pressure to have multiple kids is still present, the latest research shows the increasing trend of limiting to a single child across various countries in different families. But still, society tries to stereotype single children as spoilt or lonely, though it’s continuously debunked.

It wasn’t my choice to have a single child, but I still am happy with having this extraordinary child who can double up as my buddy if required and vice-versa. Single-child parenting comes up with its own unique set of challenges and rewards when compared to parenting multiple children. Here are a few challenges and rewards of having a single child for people still contemplating.

Related Read: Why is Emotional Intelligence Required for Kids?

Raising an Emotionally Happy Single Child - a blog post by Mommyshravmusings

Challenges and Rewards of Having an Only Child.

With the ever-growing inflation, starting a family and adequately educating children is becoming difficult. Hence, most families opt to have a single kid rather than multiple children. It will help them to nurture their kid’s studies and dreams as per the child’s interests.

Single kid, double the love of parents.

The parents can provide undivided love and attention to their only child. This will allow them some time to concentrate on their careers and passions. That way, the parents can achieve economic balance and nurture their children’s aspirations and dreams without compromise.

Less stress and good health

Considering the rise in the age of attaining parenthood, the stress on the mother would reduce considerably in terms of providing for the needs of the infant, baby, and toddler. This would allow her the free time to recuperate from postpartum depression or anxiety, if any. Otherwise, it will give her more time to concentrate on her physical and mental health.

Deeper connection and bonding

Having an only child helps the parents bond with their child without any external disturbances. The child will enjoy the parents’ full attention and develop self-esteem at a tender age.

Can become lonely at times

The child might start feeling lonely at times and start asking for siblings. Hence, it takes more effort from the parent’s side to provide more social interactions and arrange for more playdates. Also, the parents have to double up as buddies when required.

Raising an Emotionally Healthy Single Child - a blog post by Mommyshravmusings

Missing elder role models

As children tend to learn a lot from their elder siblings during their growing up years, the parents must also act as the elder role models if required for the younger children.

An only child, an entitled child

Another major myth that’s prevalent in society is that all single children are entitled children, and they don’t know how to share or care for others. But it’s not true, as the parents will have to make extra efforts so that the children can share their emotions and feelings with others and are not left out.

Even though there are a lot of challenges in raising an only child, it’s gratifying to see how the child blooms into an adult, provided the parents have provided the right environment. A single child can also turn into a well-adjusted, mature adult. And here is my take on how to raise a happy child, even if they are single.

How do you raise an emotionally strong single child?

Once you have decided to have an only child, then it’s time for you to start wearing multiple hats to fill up the perceived void in your child’s life. Even though that perceived void is from society’s eyes, not yours. Here are a few tips from my experience regarding raising an emotionally strong single child.

1) Start Early and encourage more interactions.

As we all know, a man is a social animal, so as soon as your child starts going to the park, start arranging for playdates. In the initial few days/weeks, the children would play alone but in the same room. Slowly, they would begin to interact with each other. This way, they will start making friends at a tender age itself.

2) Siblings and their bonding.

When my child asked for a sibling, I told him that the world is full of siblings for him, and he can pick up and choose those friends who can also be siblings by heart for him. At the same time, others who already have siblings can’t have that choice. These words excited him; now he has a few friends he will treat as his family. He can share an insider joke or giggle about silly things with those friends. As parents of single children, we must lead by example, show how the child can get along in a group, and make a few close buddies.

Related Read: Fun Questions to ask kids so that they can talk

3) Foster Independence.

As an only child, the child starts relying too much on and can become dependent on the parents for every small thing. Instead, it’s the responsibility of the parents to begin fostering independence at a young age so that the child will know how to keep himself occupied and complete his chores with minimal help.

Raising an Emotionally Healthy Single Child - a blog post by Mommyshravmusings

4) Set up clear boundaries.

As the child tends to spend more time in the adult’s company, he starts thinking more like an adult and wants to have a say in everything. It is the responsibility of adults to set clear boundaries as to what extent the child can be involved in the family decisions. Some of the family decisions have to be taken only by parents and not by children.

5) Resist the urge to Interfere.

As a single-child parent, you want everything to be perfect for your child. This syndrome of yours leads to perfectionism in your child. So, parents have to resist the urge to overdo or improve every little bit for the sake of perfection. Also, teach the child to learn from mistakes and improve them for the next time.

6) Be realistic, and the children are not your Mini-you

Have realistic expectations about your child. Since they are your only child, don’t try to live all your dreams through them. Let them live their dreams; you are just a facilitator in their growth cycle. That will lift the parental pressure on the child, and he can start living their life.

7) Don’t over-pamper your child.

Just because they are your single child doesn’t mean the child is entitled to all your gifts, and you must indulge him continuously. Overindulging leads to entitlement, and that’s not good for your child as they don’t know the happiness of hard work. Allow them to have few disappointments, and let them work towards their gifts and other goodies.

8) Have your own life

Some parents try to lead a life centered around their children only. They will not have any other aspirations or motivations in life apart from their child. This will lead to excessive parental pressure on your child, as the child always thinks about your expectations. Instead, having your own life and making the child a part of it will lead to a happy coexistence for both of you.

Related Read: Do you know about Parental Pressure on your child?

Parting Thoughts:

To conclude, I would always say that parenting is never easy, whether it’s a single child or multiple children. For a single child, the parents need to buckle up a little more and lead by example as the child tries to learn more by observation rather than lectures. Hence, we need to be more emotionally resilient and more open to communication so that we can build a healthy bond with our children. Like how tiny raindrops would make up the ocean, the little things we do and the little actions we take to ensure our emotional health would make our child more emotionally resilient.

QQTD: Huddle up with your child and ask what quality time means to him and how the child wants to spend quality time with his parents.

Suhasini, IP, is the Author of the book “Practical Tips for Kids Mental Health.” As a certified kids and parents life coach, she helps/guides you toward a happy family life for your kids. She firmly believes that “Emotionally Happy Kids of today are the Mentally Strong and Happy Citizens of tomorrow.” Let’s make the world a happy and beautiful place for our kids to thrive.


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