One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-02-21 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 53 user ratings

"I am not a mother (yet), but I am a speech pathologist at a pediatric clinic. Parents are constantly coming to me for advice, so I read as many parenting book sas I can. Sandler's advice was very helpful and as a speech pathologist, I loved that she backed up her research with studies and interviews from around the world. Although her good advice is aimed at single child homes, but I also use the advice in Sandler's book to encourage parents on the importance of spending one on one time with each of their children as well. Sandler's advice is good, helpful, and easy for parents to follow. I will recommend this book to the parents of children I treat in therapy." said.

"Confronting the stereotypes of only children-- spoiled, entitled, lonely-- with cold, hard facts (and plenty of them), dispelling the worst notions. Though having children--any number of them-- is a completely personal experience, it's always good to go about it in a thoughtful, rational, and smarts-based manner. This book examines the idea that one child is enough, and does so with the help of scientists, psychologists, environmentalists, and so forth. It might be an unpopular choice, but it's one that has deeply felt benefits: on the child, on his or her parents, on the economy, on the planet.

Only children: successful, smart, adjusted, intense, and worth it.
" said.

"As an only child who has lost a sibling, I really wanted this book. I thought that the facts she brought up were ones I have always known existed but hadn't done the research Sandler has done to back it all up. Reading it felt more like a memoir then a book of facts about only children even though the end she says it isn't a memoir. So much of her personal experience and baggage is woven into the book that it is hard to distinguish her experiences. The biggest downside to this is that she expresses the same bias which she seems to have experienced. Although I agree with her about that there should be more tolerance and support for families of onlies (especially people who only want one), she is extraordinarily nasty about families with many children. I am glad I was able to read her and I hope that more people research this topic more in depth " said.

"This is an information packed, insightful, Mommy guilt assuaging book. I finished this book feeling far more reassured about a singleton's life outcome. This book is helpful to anyone considering family dynamics and demographic trends. Lauren Sandler imbues enough personal details to maintain interest, but doesn't overburden the reader with gory details. She also doesn't have the whiny, overprotective mother tone. Her style is a breath of fresh air.

My personal message from this book is that American parents cocoon and overprotect their children (I'm guilty). We worry about the details and not the big parenting picture. With siblings or without siblings, it is important to raise a child that knows about the really real world. Lauren says singletons have a greater opportunity for success, I hope this rings true for our daughter.
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"A pretty quick read on the joys of having an only child. Sandler looks at stereotypes of onlies, reasons why people have only one child in the U.S. and other countries, the benefits of having only one child, but also the pressures that exist to have more than one.

The author is an only child too, so what I'd like to point out to her is that the stereotypes of only children: selfish, attention-seeking, lonely, feeling like an outsider also exist in families of many children. She does a good job of citing the pros for having only one and hopefully those pros are conveyed to only children. She looks at a lot of research that debunks the stereotypes of onlies and which points out the positive characteristics of only children.

I recommend this book, but also Bill McKibben's Maybe One: A Case for Smaller Families, which Sandler refers to at the end of her book.

" said.

"I liked this book. I found the ideas and information to be very interesting. To me, the book wasn't just about only children. It was also about being able to make personal decisions for one's family, such as how many kids to have, without feeling pressure from society or culture to make a certain choice.
That being said, there was a lot of data to dispel stereotypes that exist for only children and their parents -- although I have to say I don't ever remember having to deal with the stereotypes the book mentioned (because it is called "One and Only.."), so I think the stereotypes are felt more by the parents.

Overall I enjoyed it and I only had a couple of issues with it. There were quite a few sections that were really heavy on statistics and studies, but you've gotta have the research to back up claims! And I wish that Sandler had included a more formal/traditional works cited or bibliography section. She lists sources that had the most influence, but like I said the book is full of information and I'd just like the whole list.

I would recommend it, but I will say if non-fiction isn't your thing, this probably won't be your thing...lots of info and non-fiction-ness.
" said.

"This is a (surprisingly) controversial topic, so the fact that some readers disagree vehemently with her position -- and she does openly take sides rather than pretending objectivity -- doesn't automatically make it poorly written. However, I would have been more comfortable with an angle of "only children are no better/worse off than anyone else" rather than the blatant "Only children end up rather superior and their parents are much happier." Maybe because I'm not an only child myself.

However, I do have an only child and technically it's not to late to change my mind, so I did pick this up looking mostly for reassurance. And ammunition against the relatives etc who flat out tell us to our faces it's selfish child-abuse to stop at one. And this book certainly provides that. Any angle you want -- social, emotional, financial, time-management, career balance, marital health, the environment, religion -- there's a chapter and studies are quoted. So whether to buy the book or just read it once from the library depends in whether you just want general validation or feel the need to be armed with facts and figures that you can refer back to when confronted.
" said.

"I enjoyed this book, though chapters 7 and 8 felt disconnected with the macro-level approach. I suppose I was really hoping for the justification I need in having an only child (especially being an only child myself). Of course, the book fell short of that as that is a ridiculously lofty goal--especially for someone else to provide FOR me. ;)

I definitely recommend this not only for only children and/or parents of only children, but for anyone. The horrible, mean, degrading things people say to me have cut me to my core and I would love for others to shatter their negative "beliefs" about families of 3.

I also think this book is missing some important points, at least from my perspective. The term "choice" needs to be more broadly defined. Sure, it was my "choice" to have only one child, but it was not strictly economic, nor was it anti-religious or selfish or freeing (as I feel like this book may come across as suggesting). For me, it had a lot to do with (physical) postpartum complications and a husband who was at war for 3 years following our daughter's birth. It had a lot to do with perusing a career that I feel contributes to motherhood--not at odds with it. It has to do with nurturing a marriage and respecting the opinions of my husband on the most important decision we can make as parents.

But, ultimately, I hope that people outside of the only child world read this to understand we are still onlies and the parents of "only" one child. We have the same triumphs and challenges as anyone else. I loved the point that, though we are the same, we do tend to experience life with more intensity. I also like that this book isn't a ploy to get people to have only one child, but rather an argument that families are not one size fits all, and that it's time to stop stereotyping only children or looking down on their parents, as there is no basis for such. We don't fit into a categorical box any more than anyone else.
" said.

April 2018 New Book:

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