Why Having Just One Child Is OK

Children give life to a home. Without a child, a home may look like a garden without flowers. And it is said, the more, the merrier. But there are many parents out there who might not agree to this. While there are many who prefer at least one sibling for their child, there are others who feel just one child can complete their world. Different people have different reasons when they decide to have one child. The dynamics of modern-day living is the biggest determinant why couples these days opt for one child. If your mind is in conflict, and you aren’t too sure how to convince yourself in favor of or against the decision then read on. 

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Swati with her daughter Poorvi (age 8 years)

Is one enough? Why having just one child is okay:

It can actually be good news. Having two children only sounds sweet. There are so many factors that comes along the way. Here are some:

Benefits of having only one child:

1. Finance

With the cost of living going up it can be quite a task for parents to raise more than one child. Many parents feel if the resources that they have are limited, then they would prefer to give it all to one child for the best upbringing possible. Having more than one child can divide their resources and none of the children will benefit optimally.

2. A practical choice

Most of the families living in urban India are nuclear families. Most parents are working. There is no one to take care of the little one when both the parents are away, except for a nanny or the next best option is to opt for a daycare. Just having one child is easier and practical to handle. After a child is born the mother has to quit working or take a sabbatical. She might prefer investing just 2-3 years after a child is born till he starts going to school and then getting back to her work life. Having another child can disrupt this for a longer period of time, which the mother might not be willing to sacrifice.

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3. Health issues

With miscarriages on the rise and an increase in problems in conceiving, many couples prefer just one child. This is to avoid the medical paraphernalia and the heartbreak and trauma of miscarriages. Though there are several other means to conceive a child today, again it involves a lot of money. Therefore it is feasible for such couples to think of just one child.

4. Late marriage

With more and more young people putting their careers before getting married, the age for having a child is also being pushed further as a consequence. In such a scenario, definitely it is a single child that works for the parents.

5. We are happy this way

Many couples feel complete with a single child. They do not feel the need to add one more child to a complete family. The educated class today also doesn’t differentiate between a boy and a girl child. So if the first child is a girl, they are not pressured to go for another child in the hopes of a son. The educated lot today also feels the importance of family planning as they think they are responsible to curb the population growth in India. 

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6. Raising an independent child

Many parents do not want their child to be dependent on anyone, be it socially, emotionally, or physically. They want their child to be so strong and independent emotionally that the child never feels the need for a sibling either during childhood or as an adult. Some parents feel that by not having a second child, they protect their only child from later sibling rivalries and thus make them safe from any emotional trauma later in life.

7. The first child doesn’t want a sibling

In many cases, it can be the child who is not ready to share the home with another sibling. And if parents are also comfortable with a single child then again it is ok to have just one child. The reasons for being ok with having one child can differ from parents to parents. The choice for opting for just one child is very subjective. So it doesn’t really matter, really!

“I felt complete” – How ‘only children” are on the rise.

by Tasneem Dhinojwala

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