Parents are often more instrumental in a child's development than a sibling is/siblings are. Children who interact with their parents on a constant basis often have more advanced vocabularies and other adult mannerisms than children who only interact with each other in the family. There was a sociological study done by R.B. Zajonc which indicated that the less parental interaction in the family, the more intellectually immature a child will be. This is because children only know so much and often do not have as much knowledge as an adult. Children develop the fastest intellectually and otherwise when they have constant parental interaction and participation. This probably explains the difference between children in a small family vs children in large family environments. What are YOUR thoughts about this?
I believe that children who are interacting with adults are more mature, have a larger vocabulary at an earlier age and usually are able to handle themselves better in public because they know that the adults don't usually throw a tantrum to get attention.
My daughter and I had constant one on one interaction when she was growing up and I never had any behavioral issues with her, she had manners, was polite, patient and able to be in crowds of adults and act accordingly.
JustCrafty: I could not have agreed with you more. Let us discuss this issue more. I portend also that children who have an intense interaction with adults do develop faster than children who mainly interact with other children. There used to be an totally illogical premise that in order for children to develop rapidly, they must be around other children. That is totally beyond belief.
Other children are not capable of teaching a child anything as they are children themselves. Children who mainly interact with adults are more mature and develop faster. That explains why children from small families have more advanced vocabularies and are advanced intellectually. Adults have levels of knowledge which other children, even older siblings, do not have! I further believe that parents are the main determinants in a child's development and are more instrumental in that regard that siblings are.
JustCrafty, you are so correct! I interacted with my parents on a constant basis as an only child. In comparison with the children in multichild, especially large families, I could easily interact with adults, have an advanced vocabulary, and had no behavioral problems. The children from multichild families were generally ill behaved, childish, and were not advanced intelliectually because all they had to interact with were other children. It definitely pays to come from a small flamily!
Be careful how you generalize the small family versus large family benefits. I have seen ill-behaved children from both small and large families. Parental interaction and the quality of it are definitely a determining factor, however, when it comes to the behavior of children. Children who are taught proper behavior from their parents generally have it, whereas, those who have not been taught do not, no matter what the size of the family.
I was always very active with my daughter and always thought that I had adopted four daughter's because her four friends were always wanting to come to my house during high school because they said that they couldn't talk to their parents because they thought they weren't mature enough.
I know that by the time my daughter was in high school she was very mature, street smart and knew what she wanted and how to get it. I think this was good for her having friends that believed she was mature because she would often reflect on the knowledge she had acquired from me and passed it along to them.
These ladies have all been out of school for many years, but still call me mom and they are very mature, respectful, young ladies in the work world now.
It's like playing tennis with someone at your beginner level vs. playing with someone more advanced. Which is going to make you a better player?
I think it's important for children to have BOTH experiences, however.
If you have an only child who is never around other kids and only around adults, they may develop a great vocabulary.
But they are likely to be sorely lacking in problem-solving skills, empathy and sharing that come from having to work things out one-on-one with siblings.
I did very well with my parents. I never missed not having siblings growing up. My parents taught me everything I wanted to know. The premise that a child needs a sibling and/or siblings to help them become more interactive is totally a moot one. I know only children who are quite empathetic and social adventurous while I know children with siblings who are quite insular, withdrawn(my middle and youngest aunts) and were quite unempathetic towards others. I believe that being an only child in fact makes one more empathetic towards others and to reach out to them. People who grew up with siblings, especially in large to very large families, tend to be be clannish and inward and highly suspicious and distrustful of strangers. Some of the most unempathetic people I have encountered came from large families while some of the most generous and loving people I have met were onlies like myself.
A final note: I believe that children develop faster with parents than with siblings. The old notion that one must have siblings in order to develop is now totally outmoded and passe. Studies have shown the deleterious effects of siblingship upon children such as verbal and physical abuse. There is also intense competition between/among siblings to curry parental favor. Also there is the issue of familial favoritism and unfavoritism which include the golden child treatment and the scapegoated child. Also there can be quite an unequal parity regarding birth order, especially in larger families where the oldest children are often treated liked indentured servants, the middle child being all but forgotten and often ignored, and the youngest having the sweetest deal around. Siblingship actually does more harm regarding a child's development than good. Parents are the ones most instrumental in a child's development as they have the most experience to impart these lessons. Siblings are only other children with only a little bit more experience and/or the same experience as the child himself/herself. Thank you, MM, for contributing!
Depends on how capable parents are both as parents and as individuals. Most parents so care and so love their children, but it does not mean they are necessarily satisfactory instructors. Many parents may not really know what is or how to show their love, but base on money, while many others may give wrong instruction, after all life is trifle. But in general, children grow up under ever-present of their parents can be better than those who lack careness from parents, at least on the respect of confidence.
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