On Friday’s programme Lydia in Canada argued passionately that the answer to this question is yes. Robert in Washington, who has one childm strongly disagreed. I said I’d put a post up about this, and here it is. And Lydia’s just sent me a column she wrote a few years ago about this. If you’d like to see it, read on…
One child only, J.Lo? How selfish!
By Lydia Lovric
Jennifer Lopez may appear to have it all, but the curvy singer/dancer/act-ress/perpetual bride admits that something is missing.
She wants to be a mother.
Unfortunately, J.Lo also admits that she would be happy with just one child.
“One healthy baby would be enough for me,” the Latin beauty recently confessed to People magazine.
Forgive me while I hop back onto my soap box, but it’s hard to ignore such a blatantly selfish statement.
Kids are not accessories. Having a baby shouldn’t be like toting around the latest Gucci handbag. It’s all fine and good that Ms. Lopez would be perfectly content to have just one baby, but is that really in the best interests of the child?
Let me be perfectly blunt. Parents who are physically able to have more than one child and have the financial means to support more than one child are nothing short of selfish if they decide to stop after Baby No. 1.
What about the child’s right to have a sibling? To experience the unique bond associated with having a brother or sister, especially after mom and dad pass away?
What about society’s right to have as few only children as possible, because we know how socially awkward only children can be.
Of all my friends and acquaintances who fit into the “only child” category, only one can be called “normal.” I say this for two reasons. One, it’s the truth. Two, these friends and acquaintances will each assume that he or she is the normal one and hopefully not give me too hard a time about this article.
But the average bloke knows exactly what I’m talking about. Only children are often considered to be spoiled brats who don’t know how to get along with others.
Science, incidentally, backs me up on this (although I don’t need a study to prove the obvious).
A U.S. study of more than 20,000 youngsters (a sizable group, to say the least) found that only children are less able to form and maintain friendships compared with kids who have siblings. Only children are also less equipped to comfort and help other kids and less sensitive to other people’s feelings.
The findings, released last year, were actually based on student evaluations made by teachers (who better than a teacher to gauge how students behave and interact with others on a day-to-day basis?).
True, having a sibling is not without its share of troubles. But siblings who fight also learn to resolve their differences, which is why they are better able to get along with people in general. Siblings learn to share and be respectful of others at a very early age. They also realize that they are not the centre of the universe, unlike many only children.
J.Lo, of course, is free to have as many kids as she would like, but isn’t it a shame that so many parents today make the conscious decision to only have one child?
It robs your child of a brother or sister. It robs their children of an aunt or uncle. And it robs your grandchildren of first cousins.
It’s the epitome of selfishness.