How many parents feel it challenging raising a child? As soon as there is arrival news, the worries start along with joy. So many questions pop up, how will I manage? Who will help me? How will I manage spending time with child? Will I make justice? And so on. Imagine if this is news of second child, many just feel impossible to manage two. They always have dilemma – Single child or two children? To solve it, then many parents search for help. Many parents feel they are not able to give time to child. What can be the best help while raising a child, a happy child? – Answer is another child. Yes! Raising children together is much easier than single child. Hence we have answer to the question – single child or two children? Let us what is the answer..
Gel Them First:
First thing as a parent one has to do is allow them to gel together well. This is the initial bonding that needs to be created. Otherwise they will end up fighting continuously. Also one needs to avoid competition amongst them. Also avoid comparing them with each other. This also becomes hindrance for their togetherness. If at all you want to compare, compare with that child’s previous performance. Once they are mixed up well then next things fall in place.
A child can give best company to another child. Off course no need to say, without getting tired and bored. If we think of spending whole day with children, I doubt if anybody will be there who can have any energy remaining in the evening. In fact the energy level will go down gradually. Even grandparents get tired, though they enjoy spending time with children. But a child with another child, they can continue spending time with each other throughout a day. They match the enthusiasm and energy levels with each other. Hence they turn out to be best company to each other. Even if they are having intermediate quarrels.
Spending time with other children, teaches children how to behave with other child, how to be in a group/team. They learn many things, e.g. sharing, following, team play, even quarrels and fights, and off course loving and relating while being together. If there is age difference, then they also learn obeying and respecting people through this. Some exposure to hierarchical system is also given to the children through this children group.
Teach Only One Child:
If there are two kids, then what parents have to do is do the job correctly once for the first child, and then just monitor. Teach what you have to teach to the elder child. Second child is mostly going to follow the elder one, at least, up to certain age. Discipline, eating habits, study, organizing things, obeying, and what not, teach to the elder child. Younger child will see elder one following, and will try to imitate. There is also a chance that elder one teaches this entire thing to the younger child.
Children tend to take care of each other, definitely when they are together for very long time. Hence during outings, going to garden, on the play grounds and even at home, children will take care of each other. Especially elder child will take care of younger one. Elder child will get the sense of responsibility quickly. They will also keep an eye on each other.
They Are Informers:
Informer may not be the exact word, but they will provide parents information about each other. If one of the children is doing something wrong, in parent’s absence, it may not be immediate, but other child will reveal this in one or other situation. Hence parents can feel bit relieved. It may come sometimes in the form of complaint, but parents will have to be very intelligent in handling such situations.
If they are of almost same age, then once they are bored with their own toys, it is possible they will exchange the toys and continue playing.
Partner Each Other:
Many games, toys require minimum two players, if there are two children; they can continue playing such games without requiring time from parents. It does not mean parents don’t need to spend time with them, but if parents are busy on a day, children will continue playing. They will feel parent’s absence less.
Enjoyable Outdoor Activities:
Playing in garden, swimming, sports etc. become more enjoyable to children when they are playing with other child, than an elderly person. Competitor having thinking ability of same level makes these events more enjoyable. During travel, if it is going to be a long journey, and there are two children instead of one, there is a chance they will get less bored.
I have seen other children behaving well when they know there is someone to help or watch a child. It is not creation of groups, but instead of one, if there are two, then there is going to be support.
Having own sibling may not be possible in many cases, but parents can arrange two children spending time more together, all above benefits can be reaped. Parents may have to take strict care that they don’t compare children with each other.
In India, there are families, especially in rural parts, which are still joint families. In such houses, there are 3-4 children of same age; they just grow together without requiring any micro intervention from parents. Even parents have acknowledged that growing two or more children together is easier than only one child. It would be challenging in urbanized society, where grown up people don’t interact too much, then forget about children spending more time together. But to summarize, it is very much beneficial to children when they grow in pairs/groups and they require less of parent’s time.