[LMB] Single children (Was China)

quietann quietann at gmail.com
Sat Sep 8 07:22:33 BST 2007

Here's another idea to just throw out there... One consequence of small
family size is that the parents focus *all* their wishes and desires onto
their few children, rather than knowing that different kids will have
different strengths. So being a child in a very small family can be a
pressure cooker.  My father experienced this as an only child; his mother
especially wanted her boy to be socially competent and good at school and a
good dancer and a good athlete and a talented musician and popular and and
and.  He was good at school and played the flute and piccolo quite well, but
he was also shy and clumsy and nerdy, and not at all prepared to be a social
climber.  It put enormous pressure on him, and some of the coping mechanisms
he used were not good.  He always felt like if he'd just had a sister or
two, and maybe a brother, he might have grown up to be less anxious.

I will admit that my parents did something that is fairly horrifying by
today's standards. I am their only biological child, and was showing signs
of becoming bratty and spoiled, although I was in general a good kid, so
they adopted my brother when I was 4, so I'd learn that I could not be the
center of the universe all the time.  My brother is a wonderful person, but
the family dynamic this all created was not healthy, and not helped by my
being diagnosed with a serious chronic illness when I was 11, and it took us
many years to develop a good relationship rather than just resenting each

quietann at gmail.com

aka "The Accidental Jewess"

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