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Welcome to "Generation I"

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More and more people are holding off on having more than one child due to the financial crisis.

Our Moms and the Recession survey found that, in this economy, many moms are making the decision to forego having another child. In fact, 27% of moms ages 25-34 want to have more children but have decided not to, in light of the current economic situation.

Will today's youngest generation become a generation of only children?

girl holding sign its all about me

We asked psychologist Dr. Chrystal Evans, an only child herself, for her perspective on "Generation I."

"I have had several friends who planned to have more than one child, but now they just can't afford it," says Dr. Evans. "The reality is that now parents have to think differently about money. There was a time when you just had to worry about saving for college. Now, parents have to make plans for how they are going to afford preschool and nursery school. There was a time when most people were comfortable sending their kids to public school, and private school was a luxury, not a necessity. But in many neighborhoods these days, public school is not even a consideration. When that comes into play, suddenly having more than one kid starts to feel extravagant."

"When I was 5 or 6, I told my mom, 'I'm an only child and a lonely child,'" Evans remembers. "Raising an only child definitely comes with its own set of unique challenges."

Here are Dr. Chrystal Evans' tips for raising only children:

• Find playdates and age-appropriate activities that get them out around other kids. (A lot of only children spend a lot of time with their parents and parents' friends. This can help them develop more independent and mature personalities, which is a positive. But it can also make kids more introverted because they don't develop age-appropriate social skills.)

• Because they don't get as much social interaction, always talk and communicate with your child, not talking AT them, but WITH them. This can make only children more verbal.

• Discourage "me, me, me" attitudes by introducing kids to charity. Give back in whatever way is comfortable for your family.

Is the economy discouraging you from having more than one child? Tell us about it!

How are you surviving the recession? Share your strategies with other moms in the Recession Survivors group.

See Also:

Recession Survival Guide: Your Marriage
Recession Survival Guide: Your Kids
Recession Survival Guide: Your Quality of Life
Recession Survival Guide: If Your Husband Lost His Job

next: Celebs Workin' It Out!
10 comments so far | Post a comment now
Toni May 15, 2009, 11:11 AM

This is my situation. I have not given up the idea of having another kid, but it is defintley being delayed. It breaks my heart to think that my son may not have a brother or sister. I cannot even fathom that idea.

AM  May 15, 2009, 12:10 PM

These are good tips for families with more than one kid too… and I love the tip about teaching kids to give to charity.

b May 15, 2009, 1:41 PM

Postponing children until you can afford to give them the kind of lifestyle you want them to have is ridiculous. Plenty of people have children when they can’t really afford to give them every luxury right from the womb. And I’m not talking about welfare/crack mom’s either. I’m talking about educated, good-hearted, hard working people who know that the giving the best life possible to future children is not synonymous with giving our children every earthly possession they could want and (key idea here) everything we could want for them. I’m pretty sure most of our grand and great grandparents are glad that they were born, and they just made things work. And I’d venture to say that they are better people for it. I understand and will the be the first to admit that the decision to have children is very personal and should be made carefully and responsibly. But, I think if you want more kids, then have more kids. Not having kids just because it’s a bad economy is like saying you’re not having kids because it’s winter. Things change-they always change. I have seen it time and time again—if it’s something that you really want, then you’ll find a way to make it work. You’ll sacrifice and stretch and things will work out; be it a child, a boat, a dream house, etc. The principle is the same. You work hard for what you want, and you love it more for the work it was.

Jimmy May 15, 2009, 5:06 PM

Weren’t there some 4 million babies born in the US, last year?

If anything, America is experiencing a baby boom and at a time when medical benefits are being reduced, considerably. I would argue that a couple w/o nearby relatives or grandparents around, should limit their no of children.

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