I'm about to say something that's guaranteed to piss some people off. Not that that hasn't happened before. Okay, here goes.
Parents who choose to have only one child are just being selfish.
Let me quickly put up a short disclaimer before everyone jumps down my throat. I understand some people are unable to have more than one kid due to medical or even financial circumstances. I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about the couple who choose to have one kid and then decide it's a lot of work and they like having their freedom, so they stop at one.
Yes, it's your life, so do what you want. But remember this: you're doing a huge disservice to your child by not giving them a sibling. A brother or sister is more than just a 24/7 live-in playdate. It's somebody to literally grow up with and experience going through childhood with. Someone else to share being your child, with all the ups, downs, and inside family jokes that includes.
When you were a kid and your parents came down on you for something or set the most totally unfair rules (9 p.m. bedtime?!?), who could you find comfort in? Yes, your brother or sister. Misery does love company after all.
But my issues with the "only child" go much more deeper than just what you're not giving your kid. It's what happens to these siblingless children. They get pretty obnoxious and selfish. Every single person I've ever met who was an only child had more of a selfish nature than others. I can't blame the kids, though. When you only have one kid, you're going to spoil them rotten and make them think they're the center of the entire universe.
These kids also don't seem to know how to play well with other kids. Yes, they can get along, but there's always something a bit off with them. They tend to relate to adults better than kids at times, which just causes some odd interactions on playdates.
When we had our first son, I was filled with so much love for this cute little guy that I couldn't fathom how I could love another child even close to as much. But somehow, having a second child actually grows your heart so you can indeed share an equal amount of love with them. My wife and I always say that the best thing we ever did for our first born was to give him a brother.
Sure my two boys fight like regular siblings now, but they are constantly playing together, sharing experiences, and completely cracking each other up all the time. A brother or sister just helps round out your childhood.
Of course, some people go the other extreme and pop out seven or eight kids. And that's a different problem altogether.
Do you think siblings make for a more fulfilling life?
Photo via Berit/Flickr