“Call me a terrible mother,” writes Lauren Sandler. “I have an only child.”
Her new book One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child and the Joy of Being One debunks the myth that parents of only children are selfish, and that only children end up “beset by loneliness”.
Encouraging families with an only child to “stop worrying about it,” Sandler cites evidence against the long-held view that only children turn out to be “lonely misfits”.
The book features findings from the University of Texas showing that solitude strengthens a child’s character. Other research from the University of Pennsylvania finds that parents with one child tend to be happier.
The publication comes in the wake of recent figures from the UK’s Office of National Statistics, according to which nearly half of all families have only one child. The trend is likely to be in the majority within a decade.