Being socially proactive with an only child

Lauren Sadler, MA, Journalist, and Author, shares advice for parents on an only child on how to grow and develop your child's social skills
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Being socially proactive with an only child

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You definitely have to think about making sure that your kid is around other kids a lot. And this is part of what I think is so crazy is that we have a conversation about how you shouldn´t have only children but we never have a conversation about how you should raise them, which is so remarkable when you consider all the different things that we discuss in the world of parenting right now. One of the main things that is the most, most crucial for an only child is to have rich social relationships with peers, which means you need to have friends over to the house a lot. You need to bring your kid over to other kids´ houses. You need to get them in afterschool programs with other kids. The great equalizer for children´s happiness and social skills is school. Of course, that makes sense, right? Kids are around other kids all day. So you need to sort of extend that way of thinking about things into afterschool and into your weekends. That doesn´t mean that your weekend needs to be a 48 hour play date, but if you are going to take your kid to the museum and just have some family time one day, you need to make sure that your kid is going to hang out with a friend the next day. Maybe a friend who has siblings, maybe a friend who wants to have a sleepover. Ways that you really build in that rich time that makes friends into family, that´s something I have actually really enjoyed doing and it is something that took some intentionality to begin with because you are not used to living in kid world when you have your first child. But if you build that into how your family lives, you will have a great only child.

Lauren Sadler, MA, Journalist, and Author, shares advice for parents on an only child on how to grow and develop your child's social skills

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Lauren Sandler, MA

Journalist & Author

Lauren Sandler is the author of One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child and the Joy of Being One, and a journalist who writes on cultural politics and gender issues for publications like Time, The New York Times, and Slate. And she’s as an only child and the mother of one herself. 

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