Being in social isolation is tough for kids and especially for single kids. While this is nothing to worry about, parents must ensure their kids don’t get stressed by providing a structure at home. Here is what you need to know.
With the global pandemic setting in, kids have nowhere to go and are stuck at home. Are you as the parents of an only child worried that your little one won’t have the necessary company to interact and play with during this time? Raising an only child may be a little complex as you have to act as both their caretakers and their sibling/ companion to keep them from feeling lonely and alone.
So here are a few tips to follow as a parent of a single child:
1. Bring Up Happy Human Beings
According to Dr. Kevin Leman, author of 'The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are (Revell)’, an only child can be very logical, scholarly, and straight-thinking. This in turn could make them overly serious and they may fail to see the humour in things. It is hence very important to avoid being a strict disciplinarian and instead encourage healthy conversations and laughter for a humorous and healthy atmosphere at home.
2. Teach Them To Socialise
Another aspect to consider is that only children don’t experience the rough-and-tumble of sibling relationships. But the so-called ‘sibling rivalry’ is actually good, says Meri Wallace, author of the book Birth Order Blues, as it helps kids in the later years of their life. It helps them get along with peers on a daily basis, she explains. To inculcate the necessary values that kids will need in order to socialise, it is necessary for parents to demonstrate how to share things, be kind/
compassionate/understanding. This can be achieved through the concept of reward and consequences. For instance, rewarding your child each time they manage to show healthy values and then dealing with necessary consequences when they refuse to do the same.
3. Guide Them To Be Self-Reliant
Generally, single children are overly dependent on their parents for almost everything; from their moral support to their entertainment. To make them self-reliant, it is a great idea to assign them household chores as this will give them a sense of responsibility and purpose.
Susan Newman, Ph.D. is a social psychologist and author of the book Parenting an Only Child: The Joys and Challenges of Raising Your One and Only. “Encourage only children to be independent and foster their ability to entertain themselves,” she advises, rather than filling all your time with one-on-one play. Although it may be difficult to resist the urge to interfere in every little thing your child does, it’s always a great idea to take a step back and give them appropriate space.
4. Do Not Over-Indulge In Your Kids
Lastly, it is advised to not overindulge your single child- as they will tend to grow up with the mindset ‘what I want, I will get’. Setting limits will have them grow up with a more realistic approach towards things and people alike. There is obviously no ‘correct’ way to parent, as it all depends on personal preference. All that matters is that you develop a special bond between yourself and your kid, whilst doing your best to help them grow both emotionally and mentally.