Author Topic: They need to have a sibling  (Read 11874 times)

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learningtofly

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They need to have a sibling
« on: April 20, 2013, 11:41:16 PM »
Is there a polite way to respond to this? DD is an only child and this is by choice for many reasons.  People do ask if we're going to have another child, and most are polite when I tell them DD is an only child. But there is a subset who feel the need to announce "well we're going to have another child because I had a sibling and my daughter/son needs a sibling."

Um, great? I'm not against people having siblings if that's what they mean.  It's just not in the cards for DD. Do I bean dip? Some say it defiantly like they need to defend their multi-child decision versus my only child decision.  On the plus side this comes up less the older I get.

Nemesis

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2013, 11:57:18 PM »
Person: She needs to have a sibling
You: No she doesn't.
Person: Seriously. She'll be lonely.
You: what an interesting assumption.


Person: Well, *I* am going to have another child because my child needs a sibling
You: That's nice.


Person: I think it is selfish that you don't want to give your child a sibling.
You: What an interesting opinion.

Note: All responses must be said with the cold, dead voice, with absolutely no trace of emotion or defensiveness no matter how attacked you feel.

The trick is to be *very* coldly polite.

I did this to my uncle once. He went on and on about how my child needed a sibling and how I shouldn't wait to give her one. I did not think my fertility issues were up for discussion,so I waited until he was done and responded, "What a very interesting opinion" said in a most disinterested manner. He stammered and stopped. And never brought it up again.

EllenS

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2013, 12:36:46 AM »
I think there's a difference between the ones who say "we're going to have a sibling" versus, "your child needs a sibling".  I know what you mean about people being wierdly defensive over their parenting. 

I think if they are just talking about their choices and getting "defiant" as you describe, you can just congratulate them, like
"well, WE"RE going to have a sibling because my child needs one..."
"Hey, great! It sounds like you've really thought about that a lot."  And then beandip.  It's sort of declaring that there is no fight here.

For people who have the gall to tell you what you should do, I agree 100% with Nemesis.

Redsoil

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2013, 12:47:10 AM »
"Isn't it great how all our choices are so different.  I love that we have such diversity in our definition of families."

or

"I guess we all do what works for us.  Everyone is different."

Good luck with it, from one who chose the "no kids" option.  :)
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StarFaerie

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2013, 12:56:12 AM »
I only have one child and I usually turn it back on them with:

Me: Really? Have you met my brother?
Them: No
Me: Well if you had, you'd know why I believe that having a sibling is not always the best thing. Bean dip?

Danika

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 01:09:03 AM »
DH and I are both only children. I don't think a child *needs* a sibling. Sometimes, a sibling is a blessing and nice to have. In some toxic families, having a sibling who is the golden child while you're the scapegoat makes life more miserable than it would be if you were an only child.

If anyone said anything to me about the number of children I do or don't have or plan to have, I would say "I disagree" and I'd beandip. And if they continued, then I'd say "my family planning is not your business." They're rude and out of line to bring it up in the first place. The beandip would be my polite way of getting out of the discussion. But if they persist in trying to badger me into talking about something very personal which is none of their business, I wouldn't feel the need to beandip. I would be firm.

Marbles

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2013, 01:13:14 AM »
Well, my mom always said "I did it right the first time," but I don't think that's the best thing to say.

Since people often say this in front of only kids, it's good to not make being an only child sound like the second best option. "We're happy with our family." or "We like it this way".

Danika

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2013, 01:42:21 AM »
Well, my mom always said "I did it right the first time," but I don't think that's the best thing to say.

Since people often say this in front of only kids, it's good to not make being an only child sound like the second best option. "We're happy with our family." or "We like it this way".

That's a very good point, because people do often say this in front of the children!

CakeEater

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2013, 03:57:51 AM »
I'll go against the grain a bit and say that I think this just sounds like conversation. Friends with young children and I often talk about whether we're thinking of more kids and the reasons behind our various decisions. Unless it's said in a really condescending tone, I'd just assume it's information they're sharing and carry on with the conversation. Ask a question about their child and move off the topic if it makes you uncomfortable. I think sarcarsm or cold, flat answers wouldbe quite rude in these situations.

If by their tone, it's obvious that they're judging your decisions, a different response would be warranted, of course.

that_one_girl

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 08:49:15 AM »
no one NEEDS a sibling.   What they NEED is proper socialization and training at a young age how to deal with interpersonal conflicts. Many people seem to think that having a sibling is the easiest way to get these childhood experiences.  I can assure you this is NOT necessarily the case.

Cami

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2013, 10:00:36 AM »
My dd is an only child and we've heard it all. Many times. Many people unfortunately feel entitled to comment on parenting choices with which they don't approve and verbally consign you to hell for not conforming to their norms. They also have this bizarre omnipotent belief that you will actually get busy having another child as a result of their "wise" advice.

I learned to cut off these discussions at the first whiff of condemnation by telling them, "Yes, she's an only child and I'm not having any discussions about that non-negotiable reality."

People who were gearing themselves up to lecture us got ticked off and left us alone. I'm good with that.

Luckily, once I got past 40, the comments stopped.

SiotehCat

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2013, 10:09:23 AM »
My DS is an only child, but nobody has ever pushed me to have another. I have had people ask if I was planning on having another, but when I tell them that we will not be having anymore kids, they usually lay off. Some people ask me why, but they don't debate it with me.

If someone told me that my DS needed a sibling, I think I would laugh and probably try to say something like "What?!Why?" while I was laughing.



*inviteseller

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2013, 11:09:55 AM »
I have never understood the people who think a woman's uterus is up for discussion.  I was told I would never have children then surprise, I had my DD.  I was walking in the house with our newborn daughter, and my (now ex) MIL (who just had to be there) says well, there's nothing wrong with you so you can start having more  :o.  When people would tell me my DD would be spoiled, lonely, every horrible thing in the world that can happen, because she was an only child I would just give them a steady stare and say nothing.  When my SO and I found ourselves having a baby 11 years after my DD was born, people actually said "there is too big an age difference, they won't have a relationship, blahblahblah" in an attempt to convince me to try again for a sibling for younger DD.  I just ignore these twits.

Thipu1

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2013, 11:10:30 AM »
There's nothing wrong with being an only child.  I was one and grew up just fine, thank you.  Mr. Thipu has a sister but she's so much older that he was virtually an only child. 

Every family makes its own choices.  You've made yours and you're happy with it.  That's all that counts. 

mmswm

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Re: They need to have a sibling
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2013, 11:53:13 AM »
I have 3 kids, but I do understand a little bit about what your'e saying because I get judgmental comments about something else entirely regarding the fact that I even had children with my ex-husband (the bone disease two of the boys have is genetic).  I also think that once you've been attacked enough for your choices, it can become very difficult to separate normal conversational questions from those attacks.  I agree with the PP that advised to make sure that the people who ask these questions aren't just trying to make small talk and aren't actually judging you.  If, of course, they are actually judging you, then I totally agree with Nemesis's advise.
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