The Case for the Only Child

case_for_only_childFamily life in America has changed drastically over the last few decades. With forty being the new twenty for women starting a family, it indicates they are no longer prepared to risk their biological clock ticking away while waiting for Mr. Right to come along! While we have all been brainwashed at some point into believing the ideal family has two children, the trend toward one-child families throughout the world is unmistakable. 

When social psychologist Susan Newman first published Parenting the Only Child with Random House twenty years ago she was clearly ahead of her time. Here we are now in this new decade where the single child is the fastest growing family unit due to either the rise in the cost of living, the necessity of two-family incomes, older first-time parents, or all three. These and other statistics are discussed and explored in Susan's latest book, The Case for the Only Child (HCI Books – $14.95).

While people think they know how many children they want, they are rocked into reality by costs, infertility problems, job constraints, or being told they are selfish if they don't have a second child. As more women and men, by choice or circumstance, keep their families small, the pressures and questions remain:

• What's really wrong with having one child?
• Is one enough for you? For your partner?
• What constitutes a complete, happy family?
• Will your only child be lonely, spoiled, bossy, or selfish?

The pervasiveness of only-child folklore masquerading as fact implored Dr. Newman to set the record straight about what research really says about having and being an only child while offering the latest findings about the long-term effects of being raised as a singleton.

Being the one to open the dialogue about only children, Dr. Newman was fascinated by the response from both sides of the debate. In The Case for the Only Child, she discusses the pros and cons of a larger family and walks parents (and future parents) through the long list of facts:

• 41% of newborns are born to women over 35
• Five times more people adopt one child as adopt two
• Over 70 percent of women with children work
• It costs approximately $286,000, not including college, to raise a child today

Susan_Newman_Phd
Author Susan Newman, PhD
And asks the questions:

• Why the increase in one-child families? (Starting families later; the stress of needing to work; infertility; divorce; more single parents; step families, and more.)

• Can we afford another child? Physically? Emotionally? Financially?

• How do children affect women's employment? The Motherhood Penalty is 5 percent per child...larger in some fields.

• The unspoken truth about siblings—does your child need one?

• How will the only child fare in the future—without parents and siblings to lean on?

• What will the 21st Century family look like?

The time is right to discuss a new definition of family and the emerging type of nuclear family—one that consists of a solo child, what Dr. Newman calls and is fast becoming The New Traditional Family. The Case for the Only Child guides parents with one child and parents-to-be through the process of determining what they want so they can feel confident and happy with their decision—whatever it may be.

About The Author:

Susan Newman, Ph.D., social psychologist and parenting expert has written 15 books in the family relationship field. She has appeared on 20/20, GMA, The Today Show, and many other television news and radio shows discussing family life and parenting. She is the parent to four stepchildren, the mother of one son, and has a sibling with whom she has an excellent relationship. In other words, her approach to this topic is objective and grounded in decades of research. She lives in New Jersey. You can visit Dr. Newman's website: www.susannewmanphd.com.

Last modified onTuesday, 19 March 2013 15:52

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