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The guilt factor

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Often people with just one child find that other people try to make them feel guilty. As Bo says, 'Damian and I have no problem with Rufus being an only child, it's other people who have a problem with it.'

It took Virginia four years to get pregnant and when James came along she felt blessed. A few years later the peer pressure started. 'People were constantly asking whether we wanted another child," she recalls. 'I went through a lot to have James and didn't see why I should have to justify or apologise for having only one.' Virginia was unable to have a sibling for James, which she admits she sometimes feels guilty about.

Author and counsellor Carolyn White, who has one daughter and runs a website for only children and parents of only children, says that parents should let go of any guilt and enjoy the child they have.

'Don't blame yourself for circumstances you can't change,' she says, 'and if you made the decision to have one child because it felt right for you, then it is right, so be proud of your decision.'

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'And remember, there's no guarantee that siblings will get on. Even those who are close as children often grow apart as they get older.'

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