It seems as though our society has placed a negative association with being
an only child. Many people consider these children to be at some sort of disadvantage.
Research on this subject is mixed on this type of family situation. Therefore, I will cover
a range of areas concerning only children. I have learned a new term associated with being
an only child. The term is "onlies", referring to the child as being the only child in the
family. First, I will look at how trends and ideas about family size have changed.
Second, I will discuss why more parents are choosing to have only one child and
what they can gain from making this decision. Third I will look at the myths that
surround being an only child. Then I will focus on the differences of only children
and children who have siblings, and then I will close. With this in mind let's turn
our attention toward the changing size of the family unit.
Although there were exceptions, in most cases if a couple had an only child,
something had intervened to prevent them from adding to their family. Was there
something wrong with the child, something wrong in the marriage, or something wrong
with the mother or father. In the past there were many reasons why people felt the need
to have more than one child. Some of this reasons were: isolation, fear of the spread of
disease, the polio scare. Today children are immunized against most childhood diseases
and antibiotics are available for less serious illnesses. High mortality rates were also a
factor in previous decades. Today we are not faced with the threat that took many young
lives, such as smallpox and influenza. Not to long ago people had children for economic
gain. They used the extra bodies to harvest the crops and milk the cows. Today there is
no economic advantage to having a larger family.
More parents are choosing to have only one child due to changing family patterns
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