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SKs being only children

Anon2009's picture

I know that a lot of you here have skids who are the "only children." Heck, I was an only child until my mom married my stepdad. I'm older than my stepsibs, but it was still a huge adjustment for me.

I think that this situation becomes a lot more complex in a step/blended family (as do a lot of other things!). For instance, Dad and Mom divorce and only have 1 child (SS or SD). Then Dad remarries someone who does have children or someone who doesn't have kids but wants them in the future. Mom might remarry, but decides she doesn't want any more kids for whatever reason.

This is where things get complicated. Dad and SM have a baby, and SS or SD has to go from getting all the attention at BM's house to having to share it with the baby. There will be times when the baby gets more attention. As a result, SS or SD feels hurt and doesn't want to come over.

Tom and Gisele come to mind because Gisele is expecting, but Tom's son lives with his mom (Bridget) and visits Tom and Gisele. I think it's important that they let him know he's an important part of their family. But I wonder what the adjustment will be like for him, and for his mom.

In addition, BM and stepdad are telling SS or SD that they don't have to be nice to the baby and are letting SS or SD act like brats and get away with everything just to irritate the Dad and SM. BM and stepdad are also mean to/say mean things about the new child.

Now, I'm not suggesting that BM and stepdad have more kids (especially if they don't want to) but for the sake of SS or SD, encourage them to develop a relationship with their siblings, share with, and be nice to them. Be nice to your kids' siblings, and don't say mean things about them. You don't have to like or care about the new child, but this is your child's sibling. Be an adult and act civilized. Encourage your child to talk to their Dad about their feelings instead of encouraging them to be mean to the new child.

Also, for those of you who had skids that were only kids but went on to have kids of your own, how did you help them adjust?


AlexandraL's picture

I think maybe it could help having another child. In a way I think it would make things more like a real family if I had a child with my BF. I am not planning on having any kids, even if we can somehow make things work. I don't want one anymore with him, but back when I did and things were good, we talked about it his first reaction was, "I don't think it would be a good thing for D. I'm afraid she wouldn't handle it well."

I think part of the prob with my situation is that my SD's stuff has been overprioritized (see above) over everyone else in the family we were trying to establish. She's not the center of the family anymore, she's was part of a family. She's really overprotected and so that even though there are other kids involved now, she essentially has still retained only child status in a blended family situation! That dynamic, plus an overprotective, crazy ex wife who has to put her two cents in all the time, makes it impossible for us to live as a family...

melis070179's picture

This was never an issue for us. When my ex and I split, my BS6 was 2 yrs old and an only child. Four months later I met my now DH and he's been in our lives everyday since. Last year, we had a baby. My son was very excited and loves being a big brother. There was no jealousy. When my DH divorced BM, SS wasnt an only child. She had gotten pregnant with and had another man's baby when SS was 2 years old. He never acted jealous when DH & I had our baby. He's only met him twice though. My ex has a serious GF now and they apparently plan on getting married next year and eventually having a baby, which he has mentioned to our son. My son's response? "Can you have a girl because my mommy had a boy already so now I need a sister". I will say though that my BS6 is very close with my dad, his grandpa, and does get a little jealous when grandpa plays with BS1. We have to remind him that he's BS1's grandpa too!

"I child proofed my whole house, but they STILL get in!"

vgill's picture

I don't think, if it can be helped, that it is a good idea to just have one child. Siblings are the greatest gift you can give your child, they are each others best friends(wether they know it or not)and they teach each other lessons like sharing and learning to comprimise, and many other valuable lessons. Mostly they will be each others best support!!

Most Evil's picture

I was thinking about this and it occurred to me, that there are so many only step children because their parent's relationship wasn't healthy enough to last long enough to create more children and siblings. Its not that they created the perfect child the first time so stopped, like BM says? So the very fact they are an only child may point to the marriage not being sustainable.

I really wish my SD18 had even one sibling, as I think that would eliminate a lot of the unrealistic expectations she has of the world and relationships, such as needing to be the center of attention all the time.
"What luck for rulers that men do not think."
Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

BMJen's picture

Most Evil, I agree with you as well about your theory.

But just because the Skids have a sibiling doesn't necessarily make them better. SD 21 has SD 15, 21 hates 15. She argues with her all the time. 21 is the most spoiled, self centered person I've ever met in my life.

She came to see her dad 1 day out of 14 of him being in the hospital, and stayed for all of 30 mins. But she's the apple of his eye! Go figure.

Storm76's picture

I've always thought that being an only child gives more change of being spoiled, and probably even more so if the parents then split up as you're adding in guilt parenting to the mix. I also agree that it could be a sympton of the relationship not being great to start with (I know my OH stayed with BM because of their son, but he didn't want to have another one with her).

It's something I've talked about with OH for the future (though we may need to hurry as I'm nearly 34) and one thing I'm sure of is that I would want 2 children, because there's always someone else around to play with (I'm one of 4 kids and loved being part of a big family). I do worry though about how SS10 & BM will take it if & when I have a child - but forewarned is forearmed as they say!