Stage parenting your only child

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Stage parenting your only child

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When I was researching my book on only children, I read a stack of biographies of writers and musicians and actors. It is really remarkable how many people are only children and who find success in those fields in part because of parental support. So that can be a really powerful thing. It also can be a dark power. If there are parents putting a lot of pressure on their kid, shining that light too bright, really working their own ambitions through their child. I think that can be dangerous. And I think it is really important to expose your child to a lot of different opportunities in the arts, in sports, intellectually, in play but then also really listen to your kid. So if your child wants to be a figure skater, then great. And if your child feels really great waking up for practice early in the morning and you can devote yourself to being there for it, that is terrific. But if you are someone who wishes that you had been a figure skater yourself and you are making sure that your daughter is in that car at 5 am every day going to the rink, you might want to think twice about it. Because I think that parents of only children can shine that light too bright.

View Lauren Sandler, MA's video on Stage parenting your only child...

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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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