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Dear David Coleman: Will my son be disadvantaged by being an only child?

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Being an only child is neither an advantage or disadvantage

Being an only child is neither an advantage or disadvantage

Being an only child is neither an advantage or disadvantage

Q My son is turning four this Christmas and myself and my husband are considering having another child. In many ways we are a very content family, and having a new baby will potentially disrupt that! But I worry that my son will miss out by not having a sibling.

Do you know if he would be disadvantaged by being an only child?

David replies:  Research evidence suggests that being an only child is not better or worse than being in a larger family, but simply different,.

So the question of disadvantage is not necessarily the place to start.

The more important factors to consider in terms of a second pregnancy might be about your general sense of whether you want a bigger family. Having a baby to provide company for your older son seems less important than having a baby because you really want to love and care for another, additional, human being.

I think the decisions about having more than one child need to be based on your heart desire rather than your head. Nobody can predict how your family will progress with one, two or more children.

Whatever you choose has to just feel right for you and your husband. If you are content with your choice, then you will be in much stronger position to help your child (or children) to cope with the dynamic of your family.

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