Getting it right

(30 ratings)
While many parents who have just one child are happy and confident, some seek reassurance. Carolyn White has interviewed hundreds of only children and their parents. Based on this research and on her own experience she has valuable advice for parents of only children.

According to Carolyn, people with just one child can have a tendency to overprotect or overindulge. Scheduling too many activities, treating their child like an adult and seeking perfection are also common traits. 'Parents with more than one child also do these things but with an only child it's more intense,' she says.

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Her book, The Seven Common Sins of Parenting an Only Child, is a practical and positive guide to raising a happy and well-adjusted only child. Tips include:
  • Don't give your child everything; learn to say no.
  • Let your child solve some problems on her own, don't always be there to pick up the pieces.
  • Don't compare your family to other families, every family is different.
  • Make sure your home is child-friendly, with space for your child and her friends to have fun and make a mess.
  • Don't try to fill every minute of your child's life. Alone time allows children to develop their creativity.


Ann Richardson's website is at
Carolyn White's website is at
Read: The Seven Common Sins of Parenting an Only Child by Carolyn White, £11.99 from

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