Having Only One Child

www.amazon.co.ukLauren Sandler, author of One and Only.
The freedom of having an only child, and the joy of being one.
Issues: What are only children really like? Debunking stereotypes and myths about “onlies”; the benefits to children, relationships, and society of having–and being–an only child.

Having One Child: A Personal Choice

Dear Mr. Dad: People keep asking my husband and me when we’re going to have more children. The truth is we have one son and don’t plan to have any more. How should I handle these constant annoying inquires?

A: Questions about kids, particularly when meeting new people, are pretty standard, right up with “what do you do for a living?” Most folks don’t mean any harm—it’s kind of like the way we ask each other, “how’re you doing?” never really expecting to have an actual discussion about bunions or back pain.

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Too Much of a Good Thing?

Dear Mr. Dad: It seems like every time I turn on the TV, there are the Duggars, with their 19 children, and Octomom with 14. How many kids are too many? What’s your take on it?

A: That’s a tough (and arbitrary) question, and the answer depends on whom you ask. The Duggars, for example, have made it clear that they’d like to have more kids, so in their opinion, 19 isn’t enough. I have a feeling that Octomom isn’t through either, and that the stars of the new show “9 by Design” are just getting warmed up. Fortunately, we can all rest easy now that John and Kate stopped at eight. On the other hand, a lot of people, including Bill McKibben, author of “Maybe One,” believe that one is the ethically and environmentally responsible number. Most of us, though, fall somewhere in between (the average number of children per household with kids is about two—and the prospect of an entire handful (or three) is frightening.
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