The Only One

The_Only_OneHe’s surrounded. There are plenty of other children with whom he could play. Instead, he’s slouched in a chair, frustration written on his face and disappointment filling his heart. Yes, he’s surrounded by children. But, they’re all girls!

When you’re born with three older sisters, a boy’s life can be a little trying at times. If he went to public school (or even private) fulfilling his desire for male friendship would be a little easier. But, when you homeschool, hanging with the guys takes a little more effort.

Do any of your children feel this way? Perhaps you have an only daughter, blessed with a household of brothers. Maybe you, too, have a son blessed with a houseful of sisters. How do we help our children build friendships with those of the same gender while remaining home for the bulk of their day?

Be Understanding – Don’t dismiss your child’s issue as unimportant or something they’ll ‘get over’. Take their concerns seriously and let them know you care.

Be Open to Conversation – Be willing to hear your child out. Ask them about activities they might be interested in, ways to help them seek out friendships, and concerns they might have. Let them speak, and do your best to listen.

Be Willing to Meet the Need – It might take a little work on your part, but it’s well worth the effort. Help your child find friendships and opportunities to be social. Be willing to taxi them around on occasion and play host(ess) to a houseful of little people.

Be Proactive – No sense in waiting for the kids to start looking for friends, start taking action yourself. Talk to other parents with children around the same age, and start setting up play dates and activities together.

Be Involved – Make a point of spending one-on-one time with your child. Encourage your husband to spend as much time with your son as possible. Plan tea dates with your little girl. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend with your child, just that you spend quality time involved in their lives.

Our son is blessed with having three older sisters. Half the time the kid rules the roost. He only needs to mention needing something and his sisters rush off to get it. He gets frustrated and three girls come to assist and advise. They’re great about playing with him, listening to him, comforting him, and humoring him.

However, this mama also understands her little man needs the companionship of other fellas. So, he spends quality time with Pop constantly. We make a point of setting up play dates with other little guys. We’re involved in our church PSP where we’re blessed to have several little boys for him to socialize with. As he gets older, he’ll get involved in other activities which will meet this need as well.

Having an ‘odd man out’ doesn’t have to mean crazy schedules to ensure our little guy is properly socialized. Nor does it mean we shell out tons of cash to have him involved in every activity under the sun. It does require two actively involved parents with a heart to meet their child’s needs.

And, three loving sisters who are willing to play Minecraft. 😉

🔔Time to Chime In: Do you have an ‘odd man out’? How are you helping them build those much-needed friendships?

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18 thoughts on “The Only One

  1. We never had an issue but I guess it’s because hey have a bit of an age gap. So my daughter grew up wanting to play what my son played and when he didn’t wanted to play any longer she put on her fairy costume and played Barbie…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post. I am the baby in my family and the only girl. I have two older brothers, one is 7.5 years older and the other is 3.5 years older. I remember when I was younger I wanted to do everything that they did. I tried to wrestle with them, even though they said I would get hurt, which I often did. My oldest brother played house and Barbies with me daily whereas the middle child never wanted to play with me because “She’s a girl and I don’t play with girls.” Different from your son, I went to public school so it was a little easier to make “girl friends.” I am leaning more towards homeschooling my future children, as I don’t have any right now, and I know that people worry that my children would never have any friends and will be awkward. Well, there are community activities AND church AND my circle of friends and family. My children won’t be alone.

    Anyway, sorry that this is such a long comment but, again, I really enjoyed this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Never, ever, worry about long comments. We love when our online friends share with us!

      Homeschooling IS incredible and offers many opportunities for being social. We’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to encourage our kids and keep them actively involved.

      Like

      • I have read more about homeschooling and I want to do it but my husband’s family is pretty against it and I don’t really have any family who has homeschooled before but it’s always good to have online support 🙂 I will definitely be staying up with your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are very kind. Prayerfully the Lord will use what you find here to encourage your decision to homeschool.

        We completely understand your dilemma; a lot of families new to homeschooling have gone through similar circumstances. We’ll be praying the Lord softens your husband’s heart and those of your family. May He give you wisdom in these decisions.

        Like

    • Replying to lower comment 😉
      My husband was against homeschooling because he was afraid the kids would get behind their age-peers. Then he met some kids who were homeschooled, and swapped to being afraid they’d be too far ahead of their peers. As we met more and more homeschoolers, he was sold. I started teaching our kids before they’d have had to be registered for public school, so he was able to see that it worked very well.

      My mother-in-law is against homeschooling. At holidays, the other grandkids were always asked what they were doing in school, but grandma never asked my kids. In fact, one time she got up and left the room when other relatives asked my children what they’ve been learning about. Now three of mine (and all of the other grandkids) have graduated and are getting 4.0 gpa’s in college. Fortunately we live far enough away that we don’t see g’ma very often. It would be harder if we were closer.

      Talking to relatives sometimes helps. Our homeschooling our children is not a reflection on the educational choices that they made. Some people think that if their kids do things differently than they did, it is criticism of the way they parented. A little reassurance can help. Obviously I think my MIL did a decent job of raising her kids or I wouldn’t have married one of them. I had a talk with SIL (who is more receptive to listening that MIL) and presented some of the facts that support how well homeschooling works. I asked her to please talk with her mother and explain that our homeschooling was not a reflection on her, but was what was working best for our children. I don’t think MIL changed her mind, but she is no longer openly hostile.

      Here’s a link with information you might find helpful: https://hsadventures.wordpress.com/faq/

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for your comment. I am so grateful to hear from people who have been in a similar situation. My MIL isn’t too keen on homeschool and SIL is 100% against it. Thankfully I have a cousin that lives in the same city as me and my best friends also, who are wanting to homeschool their children so I am not alone. Thank you for sharing your story with me!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great post. I have a friend who has an ‘only’ who is involved in the 4H exchange student program. Every year they host a foreign 4Her for the summer. They get all the trials and joys of living with a brother and then they leave to go home!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My son is the eldest of five, and the only boy. He has sisters who are twins and only 9 months older than him. In two weeks we will have three 13 years olds. He adored his life until hormones struck (about 11) and suddenly he realised he had no brothers and few male friends (before then it hadn’t really bothered him because he and his sisters got on so well). We too made a great effort to have daddy spend more time with him, as well encouraging his hobbies. He is thirteen now, fourteen in January and loves life with a passion again. It is wonderful to see. He has his own friends as well as four sisters who absolutely adore him. He is also realising that there are certain benefits to having two sisters the same age as him 😉 Life is good for him right now, and as his parent, I am so relieved!

    Liked by 1 person

    • When my son was a little younger it bothered him more. Right now he seems fairly content with being the only boy (although he does hate sleeping by himself and constantly asks to sleep in his sisters’ room at night).

      The main concern is that all our play groups and friends seem to have girls as well. So, if he doesn’t already get enough of girls at home, he also is surrounded by them when out with friends.

      This year has been the best so far; we’ve had several new families join the homeschool group with boys of a similar age. Hopefully they’ll form strong bonds and they’ll be more playdates in the future.

      Like

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