Celebrating National Only Child Day as a One and Done Parent

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

National Only Child Day is April 12th. Tag us on Instagram @onlyyoupodcast or use hashtag #onlyyouday to celebrate your single child family and help spread awareness.

Most of us have heard of National Siblings Day, we have seen the nostalgic social media posts of freckle faced children, beaming on a sunny day, or adult siblings enjoying a family outing as their familial bond has grown into a close friendship in adulthood. We have read the sweet captions, with phrases like “family over everything,” or “my siblings are my best friends”. What many of us have not heard much about, however, lands just two days after that holiday: April 12th is National Only Child Day.


So why aren’t one and done parents and only children celebrating this holiday or sharing stories about singleton life? It is most likely due to the fact that the choice to have one child is often criticized, and negative stereotypes befall both the parent and the child. The parent can be labeled selfish, lacking in priorities, or overly career focused. Only children are often typecast as spoiled, social outcasts, or destined to spend their childhoods isolated and lonely.


Contrary to popular belief, having one can be an incredibly positive thing. As parents we get more time with our child, soaking up every moment as they grow without dividing our time or resources with other children. Parents of only children are able to return to their previous hobbies and interests, as well as their careers, sooner and are often able to achieve a somewhat peaceful work/life balance earlier in their child’s life. Kids without siblings have their parents’ full attention, there is no deciding on whose baseball game to attend, inadvertently playing favorites on birthdays, or living in the shadow of their brother or sister. As children, research has shown that singletons develop verbal skills earlier and wind up being more flexible and creative thinkers.


However many times research has discredited the harmful connotations, and even proven the positive attributes of growing up without siblings, the stereotypes remain deeply ingrained in our society. Any parent can relate to the moment, usually before your first child is six months old, when a stranger or acquaintance asks, “so, when will you be having your next one?”. The idea that you would stop at one typically isn’t even considered, and if you were to answer that it wasn’t in your plans, the reaction may not be one of support.

 

"Any parent can relate to the moment, usually before your first child is six months old, when a stranger or acquaintance asks, “so, when will you be having your next one?”."

 

In our podcast “Only You: A One and Done Podcast,” we ask listeners to write in about their experiences being an only child or being parents of an only child. A lot of parents have written in defense of their choice, others are still on the fence and looking for an outlet for their indecision. Our mission is to normalize whatever the parents decide and empower them to have the family size that feels right to them.


How To Celebrate National Only Child Day


This year, help combat the stereotypes and celebrate all the wonderful triangle families on National Only Child Day.

  • Use hashtag #onlyyouday and tag us on Instagram @onlyyoupodcast to help spread awareness about National Only Child Day

  • If you're a parent, post on social media about your family and talk openly about how proud you are to have an only child

  • If you grew up without siblings, post on social media about your family and talk openly about what it was like to grow up as an only child

  • Treat your child to a special meal or small token of your appreciation for who they are and how much they mean to you

  • Shout out your favorite single child family

  • If you grew up without siblings, tell your close friends how much you appreciate the bond you share with them

  • Raise awareness about only children and the harmful and undeserved stereotypes

  • Recognize parents who have struggled with infertility, physical or mental health challenges, or other reasons that have led them to have one child



How to Support Parents Who Are One and Done


One of the most common messages we get on our show is that parents who have one child feel a tremendous amount of guilt. Some of them did not make the choice to only have one, and it was not how they pictured their family would look. Others realized after having their first baby that the challenges that went along with being a new parent were too much, and they couldn’t foresee themselves going through it again. There are many people out there for whom family planning is a very sensitive subject, and the best thing you can do to support them is to listen.


Whatever you do, never tell the parent of an only child “you’ll change your mind,” or “you’ll regret it.” Everyone deserves the opportunity to create the family that is right for them, and your input on the situation is not helpful unless it is explicitly asked for. Parents of only children deal with a lot of stigma and can feel apprehensive to share their story in fear of being judged. Support them, validate them, and normalize the fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having, or being, an only child.

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