As we go through the different stages of life, we often do not notice how much the people around us affect our lives. We find joy during playtime with our friends at school, we find comfort from our peers during our teenage years, and our coworkers help us through our careers. It is clear how we rely on others as we go through life. But we do not notice it.
This is because humans are social creatures. Our interactions with other people influence our survival and development. This particular social interaction can happen anywhere. But one of the first few people we come in contact with is our very own family members. Our parents and siblings have a role to play in our socialization, as they are part of our immediate environment during our early years. There are values and social concepts that can be formed as we interact with our siblings.
But not every family is the same. Some parents choose to have only one child. This type of family arrangement has been growing in the U.S. Of course, children who have no siblings may have differences in socializing compared to those who have grown up with siblings. It has even gotten to a point where the term “only child syndrome” was coined. This is because children who had no siblings were often seen as spoiled, selfish, and lonely.
Though this notion of only children was later debunked, with results that showed no significant difference between children with siblings and children without siblings. The only stark difference is that only children had better relationships with their parents in later life.
The Advantage of Siblings
But of course, even as there are no differences between these two groups of children, having siblings still has its advantages. Having siblings can help your kids socialize better. Apart from that, they can also have meaningful relationships with their siblings in their adult life.
These are advantages that children with no siblings cannot experience. But even though these are not within their horizons, there are things that parents of only children can do to help their kids.
Your Role as Parents
There are other ways for your kids to primarily socialize besides family members. These are methods that parents can employ to help their kids be exposed to society and battle occasional waves of boredom and loneliness.
Sending Them to School
Being in school has become a societal function that is practiced by millions of children all over the globe. Though the reason for sending them to school is for them to be educated on certain topics, their learning goes way beyond the books that they read. Schools are where they can interact with other children that are their age. This where they can learn how to behave with other people and can practice their social skills.
Apart from that, schools can also be where they find people with whom they share interests. They can make friends and cherish meaningful relationships with these friends for potentially their entire life. For that reason, sending kids to school can be socially good for them.
If your child is a little younger, it may help to schedule them for playdates with other children. This can be a good cause for interaction for your kids who are yet to develop social skills. Parents can also supervise their kids and arrange activities for their children to do during these playdates. For this reason, it is recommended for children with no siblings.
Having pets can also help kids learn how to interact with other living creatures. It also has multiple health benefits that your kids can experience. Although pets are not necessarily a substitute for human interaction, they can teach your children about human values such as compassion, love, and care.
These values are often fostered and displayed with other humans, so these interactions with pets are not truly in vain. Pets can also teach them responsibility. But of course, they have to choose the correct pet for them to interact with.
Dogs are popular since they are interactive and affectionate. If you are concerned for your kid’s safety about owning a dog, you can always look for a puppy training service so that your puppy may learn how to interact with you and your child, too. There are other pets that your child can choose from, so you should consult them before giving them the responsibility of owning one.
We all want what’s best for our kids. They may have no siblings to bond and interact with, but they do have parents who are dedicated to helping them grow into good, well-rounded people. Make sure you are the parent that your child deserves.