Good grief. An entire how-to on not making your kid a spoiled tyrant. But did you note there wasn't any question about "is it legal?" or "what about socialization?" as there would be with homeschoolers. Homeschoolers, the stereotype goes, have around 18 children each, but we need to worry about their socialization. But the only child's socialization can be taken care of by inviting two friends over every Friday night for a sleepover. According to the story, anyway.
Homeschoolers, I guess, need to have about seven co-ops for everything so they see other children exist besides the other kids at the compound and even then? Welll, they're not being socialized with people of beliefs that are radically different from the parents', so it doesn't count. But publicly-educated children can somehow NEVER be exposed to the different worldview of Christianity, lest they start foaming at the mouth and writhing on the floor and we all have to start speaking Latin prayers. (That, or their parents might get offended and sue. Pick one.) Only Christian homeschoolers should make sure to get their kid indoctrinated by people with a "different" viewpoint.
I'm juuust not getting the mainstream media thing.
I could understand a stereotype being explored with some sort of reasonable attempt at objectivity, but this article interviewed people who let their only child be an equal decision-making partner who then wonders why teachers and coaches don't fully implement her suggestions. Woww.
I'm a little odd myself, though, and find myself wondering why the article seemed to brush off having an only as a mostly economic thing. Especially as the interviewed couples actually consider "going on vacation" and that sort of thing... I'm sure I could raise a kid or two for a year for the same amount of cash they're spending at the resort. Which is fine if that's what they want to do, but let's not fool ourselves. It isn't an economic thing. They just want to live the luxurious lifestyle and not have to go through diapers twice. How 'bout some honesty? I figure readers can be ok with honesty. I'm not too keen on changing diapers myself, what with having a 42-pound kid wearing them and all.
And the suggestion that the parents ignore their only child for two hours a day so he can explore activities and friendships on his own is just AWFUL. When Patrick was a baby, he went everywhere I did except the shower and he was an awesome little friend. He played with other children, too, in the apartment swimming pool. I went to mommy groups and met other parents with tiny kids. It was soo much fun. Right now, I am *very* isolated. I see people at church twice a week and say "hi." The few times I've come out about my struggles, I've been told that so and so knew someone with SEVEN children, so...
Oh, yeah. I'm sure it's the exact same thing, and they had the same struggles I do right now, nevermind that so and so raised her seven kids in the 1940's. *Whatever.* My point being that people are all different and when we explore social trends, we really need to be careful about balancing insight into the trend and respect for the fact that people who are living the "trend" are all different. I read this article thinking the people I know with only children are a much more balanced bunch and don't go out of their way apologizing for it or trying to somehow "make up for" the fact that their child is an only kid. It is what it is, and I'm not seeing why somehow having one child is weird, two is normal, three is pushing it, but four or more children is classified as breeding like an animal and why don't they quit doing that. Just saying. :)