Photo Credit: Irina Murza
Are you the parent of a single child? Was it by choice or by circumstance? If you’re anything like me you’ll know there are many doubts and anxieties along the way. But also lots of joy, and moments of feeling that peace, that yes, you made the right decision, (if it was a decision), and yes your family size is perfect, just the way it is.
There is so much implicit negativity in our culture about ‘only’ children, about how they’re lonely or selfish, don’t know how to share, or interact with other children, because they are deprived of siblings.
I thought I’d write this post to share just how much Hand in Hand Parenting has helped me feel at peace with being the parent of a single child.
- Your child’s kindness, and generosity is not dependent on the number of siblings they have. Children are born naturally good. They want to get on well with others and when they feel good, they are able to be their natural, kind selves.
Upset feelings are what gets in the way of that, and Hand in Hand Parenting gives you listening tools to help children process their feelings, through laughter, play and knowing how to handle tantrums. Listening is the key, to seeing your child’s natural goodness shining through.
I’ve written before about how Hand in Hand Parenting can help with feelings of entitlement, and raising kind children (will leave links in the comments).
- Connection is what prevents loneliness, not siblings.
Lets face it kids love to play with other kids. No matter how much adults get down on the floor and spend time doing child orientated activities, that will never go away, and they need time interacting with other children. No adult can replace that.
However children get lonely from time to time, whether they have siblings or not. What children need as well as other children around them, is someone that really sees them, someone who really notices their feelings and when their behaviour goes off-track because they aren’t feeling good. Children need 1-1 time with adults too, who can really listen to their needs and follow their lead.
- You can build a village for your child
Having an single child can have it’s difficult moments, probably like having 2 or 3 children has it’s own unique challenges. And one of the hardest things for me, as been my own anxieties about giving my daughter time with other children. I often feel like it’s not the size of our families that are the problem but that we don’t live in close communities supporting each other, like we might have done in previous generations.
One of the tools that has helped me a lot with this, is ‘listening time,’ (one of the Hand in Hand tools where we talk and listen to how parenting is going). Listening time, has helped me find the strength and courage to make new friends, after multiple overseas moves, and build community wherever I go. The principles of listening are something I’ve taken into my own life, to overcome my own loneliness and find connections. Because yes, parenting gets lonely sometimes for us adults too, but Hand in Hand Parenting is here to support you.
For more info about Hand in Hand Parenting resources check out my book Tears Heal: How to listen to our children.
You can also learn more about Listening Partnerships with Hand in Hand Parenting’s Building A Listening Partnership online course.