I’ve struggled with this issue and like to end 2011 with a ‘preliminary’ conclusion. So, as I always do, I research. And based on recent studies, there is no evidence supporting that the only child will fare worse than children with siblings, in fact fare better in areas of achievement and intelligence. Here’s my pros and cons list.
Since, we’re already on the topic of social development; this research shows that eczema child has more behavioural problems (23% vs 5%), shows signs of fearfulness to strangers (40% vs 10%), more dependent on parents (50% vs 10%) and have sleep difficulty (this, we all know, see this post). 25% of eczema children aged 2-13 years old, 39% aged 14-17 years old and 28% aged above 18 years old are teased or bulled due to eczema. Issues usually arise if the eczema is severe, such as bandages are required or the rash looks quite bad that other children avoid the eczema child. The good news is that behaviour issues are temporary, usually cease when the eczema got better. Moms of eczema children, although much more stressed, are more empathic to their children which help to reduce behavioural issues.
And yes, back to my preliminary conclusion – I think I will have only one child, Marcie. I’m not crazy about kids, and the only reason I’d have another child is for fear of Marcie being lonely and orphaned. I’ll make more effort to foster friendships for her and be happy that we can look forward to a close relationship, early retirement and better quality of life (phew! no struggling with incessant scratching for 2nd child)