More Children, Happy Home??????

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MORE CHILDREN= A MORE STRESSFUL AND OFTEN CHAOTIC HOME ENVIRONMENT

This hub is in direct response to a request by a sister hubber. The premise that more children in the household makes for a happy home is totally unrealistic. One realistic tv show about large famlies is THE WALTONS. in this show, the reality of large family life is delineated quite clearly- the poverty, fighting for parental attention, and doing without the simple necessities of life. This is the reality of large family life.

Having a lot of children does not make for a happy home. In fat, it does quite the opposite. In large to very large families, parents are often physically, emotionally, and psychologically stressed to the point of no return. In addition to suffering physical, emotional, and psychological stress, parents of large to very large families also suffer financial stress as to being unable to adequately, if that, for their large number of children.

This often translates in to one or more children in large to very large families having to quit their education and work to support their family. Oftentimes, parents of large to very large families cannot adequately support the family unit so they must depend upon outside charities and/or more affluent relatives to support them. Take my mother's family of origin for instance. My mother grew up impoverished in a family of 10 children. My maternal grandparents could hardly afford to adequately support even 1 child, let alone 10.

Since my maternal grandparents were totally unsophisticated regarding contraceptive methods, they had child after child in quick succession. As the oldest of 10 children, my mother had to assume caretaking duties at a very early age. She related to me how my maternal grandmother was often impatient and short tempered with the children.

When she got older, she left home to attend boarding school where she had to work tirelessly to pay her tuition as her parents could not afford to do so. So the subsequent care of the younger siblings fell on my aunt, who was the 3rd child and 2nd oldest girl. My aunt related to a friend via telephone how overburdened and unappreciated she was. She was the unpaid family mascot and servant. She, too, left home as soon as she was able to do so.

My mother's family of origin was not a self-supporting unit. Her family, as other large to very large families, had to depend upon outside assistance for monies and the most basic necessities such as clothing. My more affluent maternal great aunt who was childfree supported my mother's family of origin. My maternal grandparents kept mindlessly reproducing children without any concern about the financial status and future of their children. Out of 10 children, only 3 became educated and affluent while the other 7 are socioeconomically struggling to this day!

There were only a minute percentage of tv shows in the olden days which inculcated the idea that the more children in the household, the better. Most tv shows presented the image of a husband, wife, and one to two children. Even then, the small family was the preferred ideal family because it represented affluence. Rare tv shows such as THE BRADY BUNCH and THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR ONE MORE presented the image of the " large, happy" family.

Psychological and sociological studies authenticated that people from large to very large families were in fact miserable growing up in their respective familial environments. In the large to very large families, there is a strong hierarchy with the oldest and/or older children bearing the brunt of the familial responsibilities thus giving up their childlhoods due to inordinate caretaking responsibilities. These responsibilities include the oldest/older children raising their younger siblings. If you want verification for this, watch tv shows such as THE DUGGARS where the older children are forcibly assigned to raise their younger siblings while the mother keeps on reproducing en masse!

Life in large to very large families is not definitely nirvana. Monies and the basic necessities of are stretched to the limit in the large family environment. Parents of large to very large families have to constantly think about how to provide food and other necessities for their respective families. Children in large to very large families oftentimes must make do and live at the mere existence level.

In my elementary and high school, it was the children from large to very large families who were the most socioeconomically deprived. They were considered to be disadvantaged by classmates and teachers alike. One of these children, a classmate who was 1 of 20 children, only wore clothes that were donated by outside charities. I invited her to my house and she ate my toy cardinal bird. She could be described as totally feral and uncultured. Another girl, who was 1 of 6 children, regularly shook down classmates for money because her parents could not socioeconomically support her nor her 5 siblings.

In the book, THE PECKING ORDER by Dalton Conley, a noted professor, children from large families are oftentimes the least successful socioeconomically throughout life because parental resources had to be streched emotionally and especially financially for the necessities, let alone for educational attainment. Childiren from large to very large families are the least likely to complete secondary education to continue with tertiary education. Parents of large to very large families usually force the older children to work because they can ill afford to send their children to high school and/or college. This means that the typical person from a large to very large family settle for low end, dead end, mediocre jobs with no chance of advancement.

Most right thinking people opt for small families because there is more financial resources allotted for each child. The saying that small families live better is so true. They certainly do and children from small families are more likely to receive more financial and healthh benefits than children from large families do.

In large to very large families, parents view their children as an obligatory burden. Children in large to very large families are just merely tolerated by their parents. Parents clearly do not enjoy their children as parents from small families do. I am an only child and I remember my mother telling me frequently that she enjoyed me. I never heard a mother of large to very large families stating that she enjoyed her children. In fact, children I knew from large to very large families stated that their mothers considered them as annoyances, trails, and in the way.

To summarize, having a lot of children oftentimes make for an extremely taxing home environment. Emotional, psychological, and financial resources are stretched to the limit in the lives of large to very large families. This does not make for a joyous life but an extremely precarious one where one is a half a step above poverty.

The small family is best for all involved- physically, emotionally, psychologically, and especially financially. There is less stress in small family life as there are more of the aforementioned resources allotted for each child. It is time to stop glorifying the large to very large family because such families are detrimental overall to parents and children alike in more ways than one.


© 2011 Grace Marguerite Williams

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