Only Child Syndrome

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When most couples today are thinking about kids, they wonder how many they should have. Some people want big families and others would rather have smaller ones. Then there are others that have no clue. They may worry about ‘the only child syndrome”, there are some people that believe it’s true.

The question is ‘what is the only child syndrome? It’s a myth that dates back all the way to the late 1800s. When G. Stanley Hall said being an only child was “a disease all in itself.” Susan Newman, a social psychologist at Rutgers University and the author of the book “Parenting an Only Child” says the myth has been continued because, “People articulate that only children are spoiled, they’re aggressive, they’re bossy, they’re lonely, they’re maladjusted and the list goes on and on and on.” (Only-Child Syndrome or Advantage) But there is no science to prove that the stereotype is true. Newman has said, “There has been hundreds and hundreds of research studies that show that only children are no different from their peers.” (OCSA)

Even though most parents fear that their child will have “the only child syndrome”, there are many positive aspects of having an only child. Children are expensive. According to the department of Labor, for families that make roughly $60,000 a year, each child costs more than $250,000 by the time he or she reaches 18, and that doesn’t include the cost of college (What’s Better: One Child or Siblings?). Children cost their parents roughly $50,000 in just food by the time their 18. ”Twenty percent of the family population is one child,” Susan Newman said. “In the major metropolitan cities, like New York and Los Angeles, that number is thirty percent. People are having children later, which leaves less time for having the second child. Housing is expensive. The divorce rate hovers at fifty percent. Often both parents are working, and child care is a factor.” (WB:OCS)

By being in an only child family, the child can develop better verbal...
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