Monday, May 7, 2012

One is the loneliest number.....not really!

Three of the women's blogs I read, have sons around the same age as my son and are starting the adoption process again. They are so excited and I am excited for them.

We are not considering this because:

* infertility (and a divorce) delayed the process a lot for me and I am already 44 years old.
* we haven't won the lottery.
* when I was younger I wanted 12 kids...Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
* I like that I can devote all my energy (what little there is...) to Sam.
* the Dugger Family is doing way more then their share of conceiving.

Since Sam will be an only child, I've done a lot of reading on the subject of raising an only and birth order traits.

Some of the Myths about only children are that they:

* are aggressive and bossy. Sam is not aggressive, but he likes to run the show and tell people what to do. We are working on this.

* prefer being alone. Although he is good at entertaining himself and can play by himself well, he prefers to be with others. Sending him to the hallway, by himself is punishment.

* are spoiled, must have their own way and selfish. Every child at some point believes they are the center of the universe. All parents have to teach their children not to be. We are working very hard to teach Sam that he has a lot more then others ("Some kids don't have toys like you have."). We also work on sharing and taking turns.

* are dependent. In fact because only children don't have siblings to rely on, they become very self-reliant and independent children.

* mature too quickly. Only children copy adult behavior and develop good reasoning skills early on, which makes them better able to handle ups and downs while growing up

Sam and I have a lot of traits in common. Even though I am the last of eight children, I am five years younger then the next child, so I ended up with many traits like those of an only child.

The following is a list of some things that all parents, but especially parents of only children, have to watch out for:

* not pushing your agenda on them to be everything you were not.

* redoing everything the little one does, otherwise you are reinforcing perfectionist habits.

* allowing them to get away with poor behavior.

* showing your structured, high expectations only child how to deal with failure.

* teach your ambitious, energetic child to stop and smell the roses.

* expose them to uncertainty and develop problem-solving skills and assert their independence.

* undeveloped social skills.

* being so logical, scholarly, and straight-thinking that they become too serious and fail to see humor.

* being overprotective, overindulgent and overpraising.

* treating the child like an adult

Verbally Sam is very high, as most only children are, since adult language is the only thing they hear. Over the next couple years, while he is in pre-school, the big growth area for him will be in social skills. We have a lot of older children in our neighborhood, which he plays very well with, but kids his own age he tends to lack in the area of patience (Like mother, like son.).

The past weekend Sam and I were playing at the park and there were two other kids (the same age as Sam) there with their moms. It was interesting to see just how high, verbally, Sam is.

The kids were playing and the little girl was trying to get Sam to do something, but he couldn't understand her. He came over to me and said, "Mommy, I don't know what she want." I went back to the play structure with him and the little girl was with her mother going down the slide. The little girl came over to me and said, "I girl." I said, "Yes, you are a very pretty girl." Then she said it again and again. I realized that that was all she could say. The rest was just babble.

(A MOMENT WHERE, IN MY HEAD, I BEAM WITH PRIDE!) The mothers were also surprised by how good Sam's verbal skills were. They didn't say their children had any developmental delays, but I really don't know either. They did ask me where he went to daycare and if he had any other siblings etc.

Now if I could just get the boy, potty trained!


Rachel said...

Thanks Tracey - mine's likely to be a "lonely only" :) too. I think he'll be just fine. He has lots of friends and cousins. Thanks for sharing your reasons and myths - they'll be helpful when people ask me when are we going to start the adoption process again.

Rachel said...

Thanks for sharing Tracey - I'll be using some of your debunked myths when people are shocked that we're sticking to the one we have!