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Can an only child grow up and be independent?

I have one child who will be 6 in March and I feel that she is very clingy. I've heard things about kids who were the only child and I'm concerned that she is lonely. I've stated before that we've lived a pretty isolated life and I'm trying my best to fix the situation, but my situation is really different from a lot of other moms and I'm basically housebound. I'm not disabled or anything like that, but my circumstances live me very incompacitated, therefore, my daughter and I have never really had the chance to meet new people and socialize. I feel terrible as a parent because she hasn't the chance to be around kids her own age and she gravitates towards adults because that is who she is used to being around.

I recently moved to another state to start over, but the situation has only gotten worse because the public transportation is poor and I really don't have a way to get around. I never had the chance to learn how to drive and in my old city I took the bus. Iam looking for ways to teach my child how to be a "big" girl and entertain herself sometimes, but she's not getting it. How can I get her to understand that she has to do things on her own without following me and her dad around constantly. Some people feel that I should have more kids so that she can have a sibling, but I would rather adopt when my situation improves. Can someone please give me some friendly advice as to how I can help out my child? I just don't want us to be isolated anymore. Thanks so much.


Asked by browneyes27 at 2:11 PM on Jan. 23, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (13)
  • She'll learn to be independent. DS will be 6 in March and he's an only child. A lot of our problem was that we'd always do stuff for him get dressed, etc. With just one kid, we were able to do things for him, and frankly sometimes it was just easier. I had to learn to take a step back and let him do/try things for himself. He's always had neighbor kids around, though, and gone with me to my nanny job so he's had a lot of exposure to other kids.
    I'd definitely get her in some sort of class. Is there a YMCA near you? You could apply for financial assistance there, my neighbor got her Y membership for free, and members get a big discount on classes. We aren't members so we paid $70 for ds's swimming class, whereas the member price was just $7. They also have all kinds of sports, art, music classes, etc.

    Answer by JonesMama at 11:22 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • I am an only child and I am very independent!!! So much so that I have to remember to let my DH do things for me. It's normal for kids to be clingy. Have a friend from school over to your house. Or if a parent wants to have a play date with you and your DD ask if they can pick you up. Meet somewhere within walking distance for you. Get her toys or set up oppertunities for her to play by herself. Tell her that you need some "mommy alone time" and give her some options of things to do. (not TV or video games) Start out with small chunks of time. Even if all you do is read a chapter in a book or take a relzxing bath. Do this with your DH as well. She will start to be able to do things on her own. Also check CM for local parents that you can meet up with. hope that helps

    Answer by whitefamily at 2:21 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • Having another child will in no way help her. I have a 7 year old DD that is clingy and gravitates towards adults and she has a 6 yo sister! I was an only child and played by myself well and also made friends easily at the park and at school. I love that I am an only child.

    Answer by ashisamom at 2:33 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • My son is almost 17 and he is very smart and intelligent!!! He has alot of friends but there was a period when all the kids were alot older and it was him and me and DAd. We had family time and did special things that costed little or no money. He is classified as a genious from teachers. He knew alot about computers when he was only 6!!!! He was asked if he ever felt bad about being an only child and my son told me that it never bothers him and he knows that he gets alot more time with us as well as alot more love then people he has seen with siblings We still do family times a few times every week and we have been doing that since he was a newborn!!! Your family will be fine. Having more kids is not the answer. Today he knows everything there is to know about computers!!! We r very proud of him.

    Answer by dancer at 12:36 AM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • Does she go to school? Can you get her involved in any town activities or sports (in the spring) and get out with her as much as possible? Yes, she can gow up to be independent. It is something that will have to sort itself out over time.

    Answer by elizabr at 2:15 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • Yes, she started going to school when she was 4. I do want to get her into the Girl Scouts program and I contacted them, but I never got a return call, so I'll try them again. I'm concerned about not having the transportation to get her to the activities.

    Comment by browneyes27 (original poster) at 2:18 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • I know alot of kids that r only child. She is young,kids r clingy. It is normal. R there any kids that live close by? Some kids like being by themselves,it is normal. Is she shy. Maybe she is content with being a helper to mom and dad. Kids this age,mom and dad r the best. Don't worry,it is all normal for her age.

    Answer by dancer at 2:25 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • I would love to go for walks with her, but we live off a major highway. This was the only area that I could afford to move to, and although it is a decent area, the highway gets in the way of me walking like I want to. I know that there are some recreational centers for families, but it's just a matter of getting there, as well as paying for the programs. My child's dad stays with us too and his job was supposed to transfer his position, but they didn't and now we're screwed. He has no problem with taking me places, but we can't go out much because we don't really have the money for gas. I just want to find a way out so that I can be independent like I used to, but first I have to find a way out of my own situation.

    Comment by browneyes27 (original poster) at 2:27 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • I agree with you ashiamom that having another child might not help the situation. Even if I did they would be about 7 years apart so how does that help, right? I constantly reach out for help, but I find that I'm not getting the help that I need. It's assumed that most people in poverty don't want to do better, but that's not true for everyone. I just can't get ahead with a 6th grade education, no driving skills, and other obstacles that are holding me back. I try, damn I try, and I thought that if I moved out of town that my situation would get better, not so much. I chose the wrong city for sure.

    Comment by browneyes27 (original poster) at 2:39 PM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • my daughter is 5 and an only child, shes very independent but Ive ben lucky to have a extended family and freinds around me. Have u neighbours, mayb u cud arrange a playdate with some moms at her school.

    Answer by DawnLauren at 3:12 PM on Jan. 23, 2011