Categorized | Parenting, Parenting Tips

Tips For Raising An Only Child

There are unique rewards and challenges to parenting an only child. To help you better parent your only child, here are some tips for raising an only child that you might find helpful.

Set Limitations

One of the most important tips for raising an only child is to set limitations. An only child has a tendency to be quite bossy and may even imitate your actions. Thus, you have to establish appropriate boundaries early on. Explain these boundaries clearly – how you expect your toddler to behave, what will and will not be tolerated as well as the consequences for bad behaviour. Setting clear expectations right from the start is important. They help your toddler feel secure and understand his limits.

Teach Your Toddler How To Be Independent

Being an only child can make your little one dependent on you and your husband which can lead to problems later in life. To teach your toddler to be independent, give your toddler responsibilities. Ask him to do age-appropriate household chores such as making his own bed, organizing his toys and setting the dinner table. Have him dress himself. Let your toddler do his homework. If he has trouble answering a math problem, do not just give him the answer. Instead, help him figure out the answer. Most importantly, allow your only child to make some mistakes.

Do Not Overindulge

It is very easy for parents with an only child to fall into this trap. Overindulging can make your toddler very demanding and he can grow up a “spoiled brat”. Teach your toddler to wait for his turn. Do not go overboard buying him so many toys and other items. If he throws a fit because he does not get what he wants, ignore it. Do not feel guilty. This will make your toddler realize that you will not submit to his every whim.

Maximize Social Interaction

Social development is very imperative in raising an only child. Remember, an only child does not have a sibling to play with which can make it difficult for the toddler to get along with others. Provide opportunities where your little one can mingle with children his age. Organize play dates with other moms. Consider putting your toddler in a daycare. Take him to the playground or park where he can spend more time mingling with people. Enroll him in a sports clinic, summer camp or a dance workshop. Invite your neighbour’s kids over and hold a movie and pizza party. These activities not only helps your only child build friendships with others but also teaches him to share, listen, wait for his turn, be empathetic and patient.

Teach Your Toddler To Entertain Himself

While social interaction is important in raising an only child, your toddler also needs to learn how to keep himself occupied. You do not have to entertain your toddler 24/7. Give your toddler a few toys, some books, art and crafts supplies, papers and coloring materials. Join him for a while. Talk to your toddler then once he is busy, back off a bit but do not leave the area. Just move a few feet away. Include few minutes of solo playtime in your toddler’s daily routine.

Relax and Enjoy

Studies show that only children can become too serious that they fail to see humor in things. To avoid this, do not be too focused in disciplining your little one that you forget to enjoy. Let loose. Smile and laugh openly with your toddler. Be silly. Play a lot of games together. Plan a day trip to the zoo or around the city. Cuddle and shower him with kisses.

Raising an only child does not have to be challenging. Just love your precious one unconditionally, set rules and expose your only child to different things, people and environment. By doing so, you can help your toddler grow into a happy, well-rounded, independent and friendly individual.

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