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How to handle an only child?

Q: My 5 years old daughter is constantly demanding that we should have one more child as she gets bored at home alone. My wife has undergone a family planning operation last year and we thought that we will have only one child. But now our daughter has become insistent on this and my mother-in-law keeps telling her to tell her parents (us) to get another child to play with. Please let us know how to tackle this. Undoing the family planning operation is not 100% successful too. Since our child is the only child, will this adversely affect her later in life and now in studies.

A:Children do like the company of others of their age and there is always a fascination about the arrival of a new baby. But this does not mean that you should try and reverse a family planning surgery. You could arrange with other young parents in the area, for the young children to form playgroups and meet regularly. You could invite her class fellows from the Nursery School to join in for games and music on a Saturday afternoon. Adopting a child is also an option, though it must be taken carefully, after thinking about all the factors. You must talk to your little girl, gently and tenderly and explain that we cannot have everything we want but it is possible to be happy with what we have. This must be done sensitively and gradually. I think the elders in your family must also be kept fully informed about your decisions, so that they do not suggest the impossible to the young child. Try and get the child involved in extra-curricular class for painting, dancing or music. When she is with others a lot, she may be satisfied socially and actually be relieved to be alone with her parents.


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