Monday, June 13, 2011

The Case for the Only Child by Susan Newman, Ph.D (review #125)

The Case for the Only Child by Susan Newman, Ph D.
Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.
Genre: Parenting/Nonficiton
Format: Review Copy

This book came at the exact right time for me as a mother. I'm not always in to sitting down and reading a ton of parenting type books but I do browse heavily and scan chapters that interest me. I tend to get stuck in this section of any bookstore.
It's my mom sense kicking in. Am I doing everything right? Is he developing?
Am I feeding him okay? What do I do about _?
The list goes on and on.

Our son is 3 and the last six months we have decided to try for a second. When this book came up to review, however, I knew it would be the exact right fit. I still debate within myself about if it's okay that he might be an only child. Would he be lonely? Spoiled? Etc...

The author discusses all these fears and more in this simple, to the point read on the myths of the only child. She shares stories of her own and stories of others who have struggled over the question of "What is the "right" size for my family?"

She starts with the family trends and how they have changed in the last 20 years to the still present pressure from society to produce more children. Debunking some myths about how "singletons" grow up to be spoiled and socially awkward, she also discusses the financial impact of a larger family today and how it just isn't always the smartest decision to multiply.

I identified with the "Tick-Tock-Your Biological Clock" chapter that discussed the topic of individuals who have children later in life, mid thirties and up. There are those of us who are choosing to have children as older adults and there are others who have a child and try for a second but experience "secondary infertility", the inability (or struggle) to conceive a second child. This, I feel, is where we are at and her take interested me.

The book continues on with a focus on siblings and only children giving their take.
Overall, it was a book that hit home for me and would have a specific audience I think. Susan Newman obviously knew her stuff and her research comes through.

Rating: 4/6
Whether you are a parent of one child or thinking of starting a family, this book lends a lot of insight into the size of families. It may help you in determining how big you want your family to be. And if you are currently struggling with the 'Oh no, I need to give my child a sibling" dilemma, this book will help you calm some of that anxiety.
Ultimately, you create the family you have and make it what it is. That is what you have to remember. You can love your only child and give him or her everything they need. You are your family. Make it your own and love it!

Author Blog:

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be on this tour.

Thursday, June 9th: Life in Review

Monday, June 13th: Redheaded Book Child

Thursday, June 16th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Monday, June 20th: Life is Short. Read Fast

Tuesday, June 21st: I’m Booking It

Monday, June 27th: Helen’s Book Blog

Tuesday, June 28th: Girls Gone Reading

Thursday, June 30th: Stacy’s Books

Tuesday, July 5th: Overstuffed

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Fantastic review! This sounds like a very helpful book. Thanks for the introduction. I've heard the myths about only children and I've always wondered whether they are true. I think it can definitely be a smart decision considering today's times and college expenses.

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

As a teacher, I would find this really interesting. It sounds like it came along at a good time for you.

For what it's worth, all of the myths about only children are in my experience (of teaching, don't know about home life), just that, myths. Some only children don't know how to relate to other children but others are more outgoing and make closer friendship bonds than those with siblings. I hope your family turns out whatever way you want it to.

Lisa said...

My mom was an only child and threatened to drop off a baby on my doorstep if I didn't have another child on my own after my first. I think she led a lonely life growing up and took so much of the pressure of her parents' expectations on. But I really think that had she had younger parents, perhaps parents that hadn't already had a stillborn, things might have been different. I think an only child can have every bit the same kind of life as a child with siblings, in many cases better.

Anonymous said...

Don't you just love it when a book falls into your hands at precisely the right moment?! I'm so glad this book found you when it did, and that you took something useful away from it.

Thanks for being on the the tour!

Misha said...

Sounds like a useful book for parents.
From my experience, most of the assumptions about only children are untrue.

Elisabeth said...

Whatever you decide, be comfortable with it, regret is a hard thing to live with. Kids and college are expensive, but where there's a will there's a way.