It seems that people who have one child are treated with curiosity and a touch of suspicion. Even I almost typed “only one child” instead of “one child”, as if one couldn’t possibly be enough *apologises and ducks for cover*
Here are some sentences you should avoid uttering around people who have one child (almost wrote “only” again, arrgh!)
Sooo… when are you having a second?
It’s really not polite to ask this, whether the only child in question has barely popped out of the womb, or is 35 years old.
Also, please don’t imply that my family is somehow incomplete.
You guys must have it easy.
Parenting is not a competition, and no two experiences are exactly the same no matter how many children someone has.
How would you like it if someone with one more child than you have scoffed at how easy you have it?
The poor thing must be so lonely without siblings!
The poor thing has parents, cousins and friends. So she’s fine, thank you very much.
And anyway, siblings can be overrated. Just ask Abel, Hamlet’s dad, and anyone from a VC Andrews’ novel.
You’re so selfish to just have the one.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If you have one child or none, you’re selfish. If you have too many (which, depending on who you speak to, can also include one child), then you’re wrecking the environment.
By the way, how do you know for sure that I only wanted one child? Perhaps I wanted more but for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. Maybe I’m not telling you the real reason I ‘only’ have one child because it hurts too much.
Which brings us to…
Why do you have only one child?
Some people can’t fathom the idea that someone would choose to have one child, instead assuming that there are fertility problems, marital disagreements or financial issues behind the decision.
Oh, well that explains why they’re so shy/spoilt/etc.
It’s strange to automatically assume that being an only child is associated so strongly with certain behavioural traits. It’s not like I say to you, “Oh, so you have one older brother, two younger sisters and a cat. No wonder you’re such a rude poo poo head.”
They’ll be all alone when you get sick and die.
Mmm, cheerful! OK, yes, my kid will probably be responsible for changing all my nappies and making my funeral arrangements. But they’ll also get all the inheritance which can pay for a top-notch nappy changer and a kick-ass funeral. So there.
Feeling more enlightened already? Like this article below and then read our tips for things to avoid saying to parents with lots of children.