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One-Child Families.

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Dermot Report 10 Apr 2013 09:09

We often hear of the ups & downs of large families, not least the recent sad demise of 6 children in that dreadful house fire. The baby boom was a regular topic of conversation during & after the 1960s.

But, apparently, Britain is becoming a nation of one-child families. Having more than three children has certainly fallen out of fashion. We cannot compare to the Chinese restricted birth rate. Not too long ago, lone children were pitied as lonely & occasionally spoiled. Mind you, some lone children say they were happy enough during their upbringing & gained from their solo childhood.

I suppose cost is often a deciding factor.


KittytheLearnerCook Report 10 Apr 2013 09:20

I am one of the lucky ones in that we could afford for me to be a stay at home Mum in the 1970/80 when we had our 4 girls.

Today our daughters have to go back to work to keep the roof over their heads, thay are missing out on the milestone moments, which I think is very sad :-(



DazedConfused Report 10 Apr 2013 10:18

I am an only child and my mum had to work, albeit part-time. No child benefit, private housing rent etc., I was born in 1953. My parents never had much money and when a child if it had not been for my grandparents who readily helped out with buying shoes etc. I do not know how my parents would have managed. With no siblings, no handmedowns!!!

I was certainly not spoiled, many of my friends from bigger families had things such as clothes and toys that I never saw.

All that said, I would not say I had a bad childhood, I did not know any different.

And now I am older my only problem came about when each parent died as I had to deal with everything for both of them, no one to share the job of arranging funerals or clearing out the home, both tasks which would have been easier if I had had help.

My dad was great he let me do anything I wanted ie he allowed me freedom to be a child. My mum on the other hand wanted to keep me in all the time and as a result there were many arguments. All stemming from the fact that mum had no other children to think about, so always thought the worse was going to happen!!!

We all laughed and cried together, and were close. So for me it was fine. <3


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 10 Apr 2013 10:34

Like PP, I was an only child with a stay-at-home mum. She wasn’t able to have any more, and I did regret it. I probably had more opportunities than many of my cohort because the available spare money didn’t have to be shared. For instance, some of my friends couldn’t go on residential school trips as their parents who have to pay the same for their siblings.

Now-a-days, budget aside, many couple in their 20’s have been part of Blair’s ’50% of school children should go to university’ generation. They often don’t find their life-partners until their mid to late 20s, and are still trying to establish a career and financial security. Consequently they don’t start trying for a baby until their 30’s. It takes a couple of years to find out why it isn’t happening, by which time the body clock is ticking.


Sharron Report 10 Apr 2013 12:11

Won't rehash my childhood.You all know about that but I am an only child with no children and I feel that the space where my children might have been is nothing as compared to the bottomless,yawning chasm where my siblings should have been.


AnnCardiff Report 10 Apr 2013 12:30

that is so sad Sharron

I, on the other hand was an only child until the age of seven, when my sister was born. Life had been happy and tranquil up until then but my sister was exactly the opposite to me - I always did as I was told, looked after my books and dolls, and did well at school

My sister was a destructive naughty child who not only destroyed my prized possessions but her own - my life as I knew it was over, and although we became closer after I got married and left home, she has now estranged herself from me for nearly seven years now - I now wish we had never become close in the first place and I think my parents would be very sad - it was her choice to cut ties and I have now come to terms with it and am happy

So, having siblings is not necessarily a good thing


DazedConfused Report 10 Apr 2013 14:23

Oh Sharon, how very sad that you feel that way.

Like you I too have no children, through choice not nature.

I have had a good life and would not really change anything in it. Just wish mum and dad were still around at times. And I do feel that I am lucky to feel the complete opposite way to you.

I do have friends who have been close since school, in fact 1 since we were 4/5. So although no siblings, my life has been enhanced by some truly wonderful friends.

And remember you can choose your friends but you cannot choose your family.



AnnCardiff Report 10 Apr 2013 14:25

I'm very fortunate in that I have lovely loyal friends of very long standing and they are well aware that my sister is very much in the wrong, but it's water under the bridge now - I have made two attempts at some kind of reconciliation to no avail

~~ Jules in Wiltshire~~

~~ Jules in Wiltshire~~ Report 10 Apr 2013 14:28

My daughter is an only child...She 20yrs old now....Just couldn't afford any more children.....

Jules x


AnnCardiff Report 10 Apr 2013 14:29

my son is an only child - lost three so threw the towel in


LilyL Report 10 Apr 2013 14:42

I too was /am an only child. My mother was widowed just before I was born (war baby) and remarried when I was four. Unfortunately she wasn't able to have any more children, I think the 'problem' these days could be remedied, but in the 1950's couldn't! I was very lucky in that I had a fantastic stepfather and a very happy childhood. Both my parents died long ago and I do sometimes feel that I would have loved to have had a sister that I could have got on with. I have got three cousins two of whom live in Australia and the youngest in England, but they' re all between eight and twenty(!) years younger than me so they're not part of my life. However, I do feel that afteer a slightly dodgy start I was very lucky, as it could all have been very different, and for that I am grateful.

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond

Purple **^*Sparkly*^** Diamond Report 11 Apr 2013 07:20

I was the eldest of three children, the only girl, and my parents having had a stillborn son before my arrival, were very protective of me and also wanted me to help with household chores and looking after my younger brothers, so I didn't feel I had much freedom as a child. I was very shy and nervous (hard to believe I know lol) My brothers had a lot more freedom to play out and have friends round to the house which I wasn't allowed as we' would disturb my small brothers'

I only had one son, having sadly lost my first child, a girl, three days after her premature birth. Due to my son's father changing his mind about settling down and me being in my mid thirties when my son was born, I didn't have any more children but I really wish I had been in a position to have more children. I think my son regrets not having any siblings as we aren't a big family, he only has one cousin from one of my brothers, the other one and his partner didn't have children, and most of my cousins were around 20 years older than I am so their children are lots older than my son, around 20 years again.

On his Dad's side my son has a half brother but as they live abroad they don't see each other much and aren't close. There are three female cousins in Essex from his Dad's side who are friendly but busy people so again not that close.

Luckily my son has some great pals, one of whom he has known since Nursery school, they are as close as some brothers so that's a consolation to me, knowing he has supportive friends around him of both sexes.

My o.h.'s son and d.i.l. have just had their second baby as they didn't want their daughter to grow up an only child but unless they have a mistake later on I think this will be the total of their family now. One of each so can't pass clothes down from the little girl of 2 and a half to the new baby boy lol



GinN Report 11 Apr 2013 11:13

I'm an only child, and have only had one child myself. My parents wanted more children, but Mam had too many "womens problems. I didn't mind being an only child, had plenty of friends, and was pretty good at amusing myself.
I didn't want any more children, but daughter didn't fare so well as an only child. I suppose I was a bit selfish, as she craved a sibling, and wasn't so good at amusing herself. She could't wait to have children of her own, and was pregnant by 17, leaving her plans for university to be a mother.
I often wonder if things would have been different if I'd had more kids.


Mayfield Report 11 Apr 2013 13:17

Both my wife and myself are only children and don’t feel we missed out at all, we made our own entertainment and enjoyed our childhood, many of those who had siblings seemed to bicker all the time.

We just had twins (well would you chance it again after the first set!) luckily they always have been best of friends, I guess it depends on luck as to whether you get on with siblings or not.

Obviously in my own case after my parents achieved perfection with their first child why would they worry with any more? :-D

Mayfield ;-)