Don't Push Too Hard
Set realistic expectations. Since many onlies are verbally precocious and high achievers at an early age, it's sometimes hard to know what behavior is age-appropriate for them. It's also difficult to know when you're pushing too hard and when you're not pushing enough. By the age of 7 or 8, only children are like little adults. In their opinion, kids their own age are immature. Slow down, and make sure your only child has a childhood.
Don't ask for perfection. For most only children, perfectionism seems to go with the territory. Only children want so much to please their parents, and because they peer with adults, they take on adult standards, says Carl E. Pickhardt, PhD, author of Keys to Parenting an Only Child. While it's fine to want the best for your child, it's important not to make your goals and anxieties his.
Since onlies often receive parental approval for their many successes (or even their attempts), parents need to explain that their love is not conditioned on the child's performance.