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Lifestyle

April 3, 2014

Dear Abby: Readers weigh in on pros and cons of only children

(Continued)

Mitzi In Dayton

Dear Abby: Most only children I know are spoiled and used to getting their own way, largely because they haven’t had to share. My husband is from a large family, and they are all close, even with a 20-year age span.

We recently dealt with issues related to elderly parents, and trust me, I was so thankful to have the help of my siblings. I feel it is unfair to raise a child alone if you’re able to add to the family unit.

Grateful Mom

Dear Abby: I am a happy only child. I was raised by kind people. I have a positive self-image, was a self-reliant kid and am a confident, productive adult.

As a parent, I had a lot to learn. My husband, one of four siblings, reassured me that the quarreling and jealousy among our three was normal. They learned to fight and stick up for themselves — something I had to master later.

As a child, I wondered what it would be like to have a brother or sister, but my imaginary friends were good company. When my aging parents were ailing, it might have been nice to have a sibling to share that with, but my husband was ample support.

“Onlies” can be very peaceful people. Most of us prefer to cooperate rather than compete. As kids, we’re the center of the universe and responsible for everything. That sense of responsibility carries over into adulthood.

Anne In Illinois

Dear Abby: Have that second child if fate wills it. Your life will be richer for it. Your daughter will appreciate having a sibling, and you will wonder how you ever imagined life without him/her.

I was 6 when my sister was born. Yes, we went to different schools and had different friends. But we shared a bedroom as we matured and had many memorable times we still talk about today. There is no age barrier as time passes, and really, that gap closes earlier than you would think.

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