Raising an Only Child

Separate Yourself

Foster your child's independence. Since only children develop such a close relationship with their parents, some become too reliant on them for moral support, homework help, and entertainment. Parents, too, can unknowingly reinforce this dependence.

A parent can counter the dependency by giving her child some responsibility, such as chores, explains Wallace. An only child needs to learn how to occupy himself and have fun -- the parent doesn't always have to be the entertainer.

Set clear boundaries. Only children often feel like one of the adults and believe they should have equal say and equal power, Wallace points out. And while many parents of onlies do give their child a say in some family matters, there are obviously many decisions that should be made by the parents alone.

Experts also emphasize the need for parents of onlies to enjoy some couple time. Getting to spend a lot of quality time with your child is one of the many advantages of having a single child, but it's essential to nurture your marriage. Remember that Mom and Dad have a right to their own life.

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