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my daughter said she's too expensive for siblings


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So my daughter had her first day of Classical Conversations today. Apparently, when I was not in the room someone asked her if she has brothers and sisters and she replied "No, Mommy says I'm too expensive."

 

This sounds kind of funny but when I really thought about what she said it made me feel sad for her. She always asks for a brother or sister and we comfort her by saying "there's good things about being an only child too- like you can do more activities that we wouldn't be able to afford if we had more children." Other bonuses includes on demand snuggles from mom and dad, her own room, etc. You know, you try to come up with the positives so they will feel better about the situation. But I never meant to make her feel like she was too expensive- it almost seems like she thinks it's her fault. What do I say to her about this now? She's five and a half- what should she even know about things? So far I've just said God decides how big a family will be, and a family is a family no matter how many people are in it. But we've always said that- how do I make it clear that it's not her fault?

 

Any ideas?

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She always asks for a brother or sister and we comfort her by saying "there's good things about being an only child too- like you can do more activities that we wouldn't be able to afford if we had more children." Other bonuses includes on demand snuggles from mom and dad' date=' her own room, etc. You know, you try to come up with the positives so they will feel better about the situation. [/quote']

 

I come from a large family, and always wished my parents had stopped at two (me being the secondborn and all LOL). Our ethnic culture actually accepts and encourages extended family living arrangments, and I was always trying to farm out my younger siblings to various aunts and uncles. When that failed, I spent a few years living with an aunt who hadn't had her own children yet. Growing up, it was common for any number of us to live with extended family and for cousins to live with us.

 

I don't remember my parents ever trying to "sell" me on their decision about our family size, kwim? It just was what it was, sort of like the disgusting asparagus on my plate was dinner -- and that's all there was to it! There was limited discussion in which they were always honest about the positives and negatives of our family size, but mostly they just expected us to sort of accept it for what it was. As with anything else, there were pros and cons and we were allowed to explore both. Pretty much I was the only one who needed to explore; my siblings have always felt much less limited by our family size, and never had much need to revisit the subject as often as I did (and still do!)

 

Instead of playing up the only child opportunities, perhaps a heart to heart about what she thinks a sibling would be like or even what life with a sibling would be like. Just letting her share her feelings and own her thoughts, rather than reflectively dismissing them. I don't mean that you intentionally dismiss them, because I can see your heart and intentions come from a place of love, but maybe all she needs is some validation that her dream or desire for a sibling isn't wrong or bad. Again -- not that you've said it is, but that's how she might be internalizing your conversations about the pros and bonuses of your small family.

 

Only you know if she is matter-of-factly repeating what she's presumed she has heard OR if she is really feeling at fault for her lack of siblings; if it's the former, I agree with the poster who said don't over-analyze it. She may be playing up to an audience (my five year old certainly does!) and you can light-heartedly reassure her that she's not too expensive, and money has nothing to do with family size. You've already covered that in your family, God's hand has everything to do with family size. Revisit that :)

 

However if it's the latter, trying to protect her from feeling some sadness about her lack of siblings won't make those feelings go away -- it'll compound and she could eventually wonder why she isn't more grateful for the "bonuses" and opportunities someone of her family-size is afforded.

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