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on March 18, 2016
It's kind of hard to find books to help when bringing up an only child, and this one is fantastic. I used it when my child was growing up, and recently bought it for my brother and his new child.
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on January 7, 2014
I found a lot of the information fairly obvious and not that helpful. For me personally, it did not seem to provide much insight on how to raise my only child differently than how I am currently raising her.
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on August 10, 2010
What I loved about this book is that it also talked about how the 1st child of several is an only child until the 1st sibling comes along. The books makes a lot of sense and I found it to be amazingly helpful. I highly suggest this book.
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on March 22, 2010
I wanted a book to give me some idea of what it might be like to raise an only child without being bias. This book does exactly that. It address potential challenges and resolutions.
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on August 30, 2010
It is all about the psychology of an Only Child. Although, I don't know if I'd call it a guide. It is an interesting read for the research. I enjoyed it for the thoroughness. Just be aware that it doesn't always only fit an only child. I'm number 6 out of 8 and I have some of these qualities and faults. A parent can treat one of 2 or one of 8 as an only. It all depends and it is all interesting to look at from all angles.
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on September 29, 2009
I'm an only child and have an only child. This book made me realize that my personality had a lot to due with being raised an only child. I would recommend this to anyone who has an only child or was an only child.
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on October 5, 2010
I really wanted to like this book. The author has experience counselling only children and therefore, puts forward clearly and concisely what he believes to be the shaping effects as a result of only child parenting. I know he did not say that these shaping affects were exclusive to only children, but I think he writes as if they are or at least much more pronounced in only children.

I realize that I am biased because I am a parent of an only child (I am the youngest of three children). However, I think he brings a bias of being a father of four despite all of his counselling experience. I think it is clear what he thinks of only children as the negative tone comes across with the words he chooses to explain his positions. For example, on page 22 he writes that "unrelenting" focus of parental attention causes only children to feel "oppressively" self aware. As I kept reading this book and coming across more words/negative tones like these, I kept thinking "wow, he really does not like only children". Also, more times than not he cites comments from only children about their negative experiences of being an only child. I really kept telling myself not to be defensive and kept looking for the useful points because I do believe their are some unique challenges to raising an only child and being an only child. I am open to hearing about them. However, when he kept using words like "unrelenting" and "oppressive", I felt like the book was not overall objective enough for me.

On many points, I also found myself thinking that some of these shaping effects and behaviors are just as pronounced in children with siblings as a result of how they are parented (as a result of poor parenting). For example, often times I find my child has less toys than his friends with siblings.

He talks about how onlies tend to become an integral part of the marriage or at least think they are (I won't go into detail why he says this). He suggests that parents of onlies make a point of having conversations without the child, go on dates and make sure you have some personal time as individual adults too so the child understands that the marriage exists outside of him/her. These all great suggestions. However, I find it odd that this is put forward as something that is particularly important for parents of only children. I observe parents of multiple children alot and notice how much they hardly interact as couples because they are in divide and conquer mode looking after multiple kids. My husband and I have alot more opportunities to talk when we are with our son given we only have one to look after and can do it together throughout the day rather than the physical separation that often occurs between parents when they are in divide and conquer mode.

I definitely think there are some helpful points to consider in this book. But, as I am reading it, I have to really tell myself that it will be ok and my son won't turn out as bad as all of the points he makes and examples he provides. I am doing more than hoping here but working hard to be a good parent.
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on September 5, 2015
I personally am an only child, and am raising an only:). But I figured there's probably a lot about me that is too ingrained to see objectively in terms of helping my daughter grow into a happy, successful adult. So yes, I read a book all about things I should already know. But let me tell you, this book was incredibly at heing me understand the deeper reasons for a lot my 'adult only' traits. Dr Pickhardt seriously nails it. I am SO glad I took the time to read it. As a parent, but also just for myself. I defiinitely understand myself better. Any parent of an only should read this. Especially if you are not an only, and don't have personal experience to draw upon.
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on March 7, 2008
As the father of two, I found The Future of Your Only Child stunning - if too late for me. As Pickhardt notes early in the book, the first child is an only child for a time. And the consequences of this fact are not trivial. Had I possessed his book before my eldest had a sibling, would I have been a better father? Almost certainly. I would have become aware of things that I in fact ignored. For example, the fact that a parent can become too closely tied to a child, become too much the child's friend and confidant, for the child's own welfare. Would I also have become aware of how difficult it was for me to do otherwise? I think so, and I would probably have entered therapy much sooner. Although Pickardt doesn't really talk about how parental neuroses impact on the context parents create for children, this is implicit. When he suggests to parents that a particular set of behaviors might impact more healthily than another, the other set lies barely in the shadows. It is up to the reader to choose to perceive and deal with them. Pickhardt is confident than most parents will do so. I think he's probably right.
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