By: Lexi Muir <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Running from one event to the other: gymnastics practice to piano lessons to dance class, junior Amy Denner is hardly ever home. When she is home, however, Denner does not have the chance to socialize or hang out with her other siblings. Her reason? She doesn’t have any.
“Being an only child is all I have ever known,” Denner said. “I really can not imagine my life as anything different.”
Kimberly Lenzo, Child Development teacher and mother of one, said that only children are usually busier in the summers. She said that whether this be by default or on purpose, it’s what is best for the child. “During the summer, children are at home more often and for longer periods of time,” Lenzo said.
“Because of the extended periods at home, there is more opportunity for them to get into trouble. As a result, many parents will try to get them into camps for the summer. I know I was thrilled when my son got the chance to volunteer at a camp this summer.” She also said that the only thing she cautions parents of only children about is over-planning.
“I’ve always kept my son very busy, but one thing I would caution is over-planning,” Lenzo said. “By over-planning, (parents) tend to isolate them more.”Kurt Denner, Amy’s father, said that Amy’s busy schedule comes mostly from habit.
“We always had her involved in many things growing up,” Mr. Denner said. “It may be a disadvantage for only children because (parents) tend to overload them, but Amy was never forced into doing anything.”
Denner said that her summers have never seemed lonely or boring with the lack of a sibling because she always spent a lot of time with her friends. This also applies to family vacations.
“As I was growing up, my parents always arranged for me to be at a friend’s house,” Denner said. “And for family vacations I usually brought a friend.”
Lenzo said that she also allowed her son to bring friends on spring break with them this past year. Another common misconception about only children is that their parents are a lot more protective and overbearing, especially throughout the summer.
Denner said that she has not noticed any difference from her parents to those of her friends, while Mr. Denner said that they may be a little more protective because they have become so close to their daughter. He also said that having an only child allows the parents to have more trust in their children.
“As she has grown we have a gained a stronger level of trust. Having one child, you know them so well. If you have eight kids you are going have a harder time knowing them,” Mr. Denner said.
“We have a high level of trust with her. That probably shows up in the summer.”
As for wanting another sibling, Denner said that she has never wished for one, and doesn’t see herself doing so in the future.
“(Being an only child) is all I’ve ever known,” Denner said. “I’ve been alone for so long now, it would be weird if it were any different.”