A collection of anecdotes and musings on the lot of the only child. Syndicated columnist Sifford (his column originates in...

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THE ONLY CHILD: Being One, Loving One, Understanding One, Raising One

A collection of anecdotes and musings on the lot of the only child. Syndicated columnist Sifford (his column originates in the Philadelphia Inquirer) is an only child himself; here, he wants ""to strip away the stereotypes and examine objectively the only child. . .in a light that has been seen too seldom, as a person with unique strengths who is able to overcome the disadvantages and build on the assets inherent in growing up in the spotlight."" Sifford points out that ""some only children may not identify with all"" of his experiences--and readers who do have siblings may indeed find that they can identify with some of Sifford's experiences. In fact, the experience of being an ""only"" is not always a common thread in these recollections, as Sifford wades right into a hefty agenda: ""This is a book that will leave only children feeling good about themselves. . .and hopefully it will help guide them to change the parts of themselves that they and others don't like."" He looks at such areas as ""The Demon Perfectionism""; ""Battling the Obsessive-Compulsive Dragon""; work; parenting; and ""Marrying the Only Child."" Sifford's findings--""We tend to be highly motivated, hard-working, comfortable with solitude, punctual, creative""--are supported mainly by anecdotal evidence; he incorrectly reports that ""there has been very little scientific research into the only child."" And some of his conclusions are downright objectionable: ""If we're lucky, we have been well loved by our parents in a wholehearted way that was not diluted because our parents had to share it, and their energy, with other children."" Parents of more than one child will find such a concept of dilution laughable. Sifford claims that references in his column to only children invariably bring heavy reader response. His fans may also enjoy this work.

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1988