Defending the Decision to Raise an Only Child

Photography by Carlo Mendoza

Photography by Carlo Mendoza

Like many parents of only children, Laura Poce often finds herself having to explain her and her husband’s decision to stop having kids after their son Zachary was born.

“Why not give Zachary a little brother or sister?”

“Do you want him to grow up alone?”

“How will he adjust when around other kids?”

Poce has heard it all, and more, and wrote about her experiences defending her decision to raise an only child for Canadian Family. To read Poce’s article, click here.

Many of our readers have also had to deal with unsolicited parenting advice. Have you? Read what some of our readers have had to say, and feel free to leave a comment on your own experiences below:

“At first I would try to explain my choices, but that never worked. Sometimes they just felt they had kids before me, therefore they were right and I was wrong. Now I have learned to smile, say thank you and move on. I only ask for advice when I really need it from moms I really trust.”  – Connie Del Basso, mom of Danila, 1, Melbourne, Ontario.

“First, I try to understand if they are being judgmental or sincerely helpful. That makes a big difference. If they are trying to be helpful, I try to take their advice to heart because, let’s be honest, much of your parenting techniques involve intuition, trial and error. It’s a different story, however, if the tone is judgmental. I will defend my position, thank them for their advice and carry on. There are also those people in the middle who defy a parent’s position even after you have said ‘No’ for various reasons—the perfect stranger who invites your child to pet her dog with a promise that he doesn’t bite; the aunt who says ‘come on Mom, let them stay up late just once.’ These acts send a message that says ‘don’t listen to your parent, we have something more fun this way.” – Sue Hutton, mom of Jenna, 10, and Alyssa, 7, Sherwood Park, Alberta.

“When someone offers advice or opinions I usually thank them and let them know that what we are doing is working for us. At the end of the day, that’s what really maters; that my husband and I have done our research, spoken with our support group (GP and friends,) and have come to our own educated conclusions.” – Kendra Michael, mom of six-month-old Julian, Toronto.

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