Large families

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  1. profile image56
    Justamamaposted 12 years ago

    Anyone here have a "large family"?

    What is considered large?

    I have ten.

    1. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Anything more than 4 children is a large family.   In such families, children do not often receive individualized attention from their parents.  In large families, children are raised to be part of a cog.   In large families, children are not raise to value their individuality and to have a sense of self.

      Children in large families raise themselves as the parents are unable to raise them.   Correction:  in large families, parents delegate the raising of their children to the oldest or older siblings.   Older siblings often spend their childhoods and adolescence raising their younger siblings thus they miss out on normal childhood activities. 

      Children in large families are often the most impoverished or are near poverty.  They often have little or no medical care.  Besides poor health care, children in large families do not eat nutritious and fresh foods such as meats, fruits, and other vegetables as those foods are too costly for the average large family.    Because monies are tight in large families, children must often do without and are content with the mere rudiments.   Parents of large families often are just concerned with mere survival and ekeing out a living.   This translates into children from large families not participating in cultural and intellectual activities such as travel, dancing/music lessons, and other related activities. 

      Children in large families have no concept of privacy.   Their space is limited.  The culture of the large family is a very complex one.   Children in large families learn to have a poverty consciousness i.e. they expect little from life and are content to live at the bare minimum and not to strive for more.

      1. Shanna11 profile image74
        Shanna11posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Wow.... I grew up in a family of five kids, and NONE of that is true for me or any of the other large families I know. At all.

        We live comfortably, got individualized attention from our parents, ate well, did not raise each other, etc.

        Perhaps you mean in third world countries? Your whole post was a bunch of generalizations that aren't necessarily true worldwide.

        1. profile image56
          Justamamaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Must be.  Some people are just ignorant.

    2. itakins profile image69
      itakinsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Welcome to Hubs-I too have 10.You will detect the ignorance and rudeness smile Best ignored.

      1. profile image56
        Justamamaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks:) I love having ten! So much fun!

    3. profile image60
      win-winresourcesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hello Justamama-

      Everything is perspective.  It was just me and my older  sister.  But she ran roughshod over me.  So, in my case, 2 was one too many.

      By the way, now, many years later and me at 6'2", 230 and her at 5'4" 130, we are pretty good friends. Not sure if its the size or the years...


      1. profile image56
        Justamamaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Too funny. smile

  2. twinstimes2 profile image82
    twinstimes2posted 12 years ago

    I am the youngest of 9. I just have 5 kids. I love large families and would never change a thing!

    1. profile image56
      Justamamaposted 12 years agoin reply to this


  3. profile image56
    Justamamaposted 12 years ago

    None of this is true.  My children are in competitive sports ( dance, football, baseball, basketball and wrestling).  They play instruments. They are honor roll students.  We have medical care and my children routinely see their doctor for well visits and are rarely sick.  We spend about $500 a week on food.

    1. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Your family is the exception.  The average child in large families often do not participate in such activities as the emphasis of the family is mere survival.   The average child in a large family is often working after school even at young ages to supplement their family's income.  Most large families ( I am talking about the United States) is often in the low socioeconomic strata of society. 

      The financial situation in large families are often very precarious to say the least.   Monies are stretched to the limit- children often make do with the most minimal of material comforts, if any.   If you doubt me, please read some books on the large family i.e. Child Poverty in Large Families discusses the subject in detail. Children in large families only have the very bare necessities in food, clothing, and shelter and little else.  The average large family often receives outside subsidies either through governmental aid and/or charities.   For example, when I was growing up, most children in large families who received clothing through donations and from charities.   To rieterate, if it was not for the inhouse doctor at my elementary school, they would NEVER receive any type of medical care!

      As a result of growing up in want and lack, the average child in a large family have a poverty consciousness.  This means that they are satisfied with very little or nothing.  They are content with the ways things are and they do not wish to better themselves materially.   I have discovered that many people from large families are quite envious of people who are more materially affluent than they are.   The average person from a large family is quite happy living a life of scarcity.

      Children from large families are lucky if they finish their secondary education because they are needed to contribute to the family income.  Forget about college if a child is from a large family as college is not within the purview of children from large families.  Children from large families usually go to work after they finish high school.  This means that they will be relegated to low paying dead end jobs.   I have now presented my premise regarding the culture of the large family.

      1. Shanna11 profile image74
        Shanna11posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        You just posted basically the exact same thing as before, and none of it is true still. There are many large families that do just fine and you're choosing to ignore them and pretend that large families are this awful thing, when they're not. I know more small, impoverished families than I do large ones.

        1. gmwilliams profile image84
          gmwilliamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          To Shanna11:  I understand your premise on the subject.  However, there is more poverty in large families than there is in small families.   Small families are usually more affluent than large families.  As people become more economically affluent, they have small families because they want to give their children a high standard of living.   Parents of small families believe in planning and strategizing for their children financially, emotionally, and psychologically.  From my observation, parents of large families believe in the dictum, whatever happens, happens without thought of how they affect their children.  It seems to me that parents who have a large family put their wants before that of their children!  However, I like this discussion and repartee, Shanna.  All of us always learn something from each other-or should!  This is America and everyone is entitled to his/her opinion!  This is still a democracy......for now, at least!

          1. Shanna11 profile image74
            Shanna11posted 12 years agoin reply to this

            See I thought a lot like that too- having grown up in a large family I was endlessly frustrated by my siblings at times and vowed never to have more than three kids (to avoid the dreaded minivan). However, the older I've gotten, the more I appreciated all my siblings and realized I wanted a big family as well.

            Large families provide constant socialization-- shy kids tend to be from smaller families and more outgoing kids from large families where they learned to stick up for themselves and had more social interaction. In that same vein of thought they also have built in protectors should things go awry (and they always do when you're a little kid). You also have more options when it comes to finding a playmate or someone to wreak havoc with.

            There's nothing like everyone gathering around the dinner table and playing a large game of Uno or reminiscing about stories from your childhood. I love all my siblings and I'm good friends with all of them. I can't imagine how quiet and lonely things would be if I only had one or two of them.

            I do want my children to be able to do what they want without economic limitations, but that doesn't mean I'm going to scale back on the amount of kids I'll have- I'll just wait a little longer until I'm more financially stable before having kids. My parents waited a little bit before having kids and they still went through a couple tighter times, but what young couples don't? It's part of bonding and growing together.

            Most kids in large families recognize how expensive they can be-- I did well in school and worked after school and I now have several thousand dollars worth of savings that I've worked for, and I'm on scholarship. There's other factors that influence the amount of children people have and their level of poverty-- large children aren't necessarily the cause of poverty. Cultural trends, levels of education of previous generations, social patterns, etc.

            1. gmwilliams profile image84
              gmwilliamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              I know many children from large families who are shy.  My mother is very shy in front of strangers and so is one of my aunts.   I know many children from small families, in fact only children, who are bold and very talkative e.g. my former supervisor, an only children, however, she can strike up a conversation with anyone.   She also has a ton of friends.   A girl who I attended elementary school with, another only child, is also very bold and talkative.  She is highly confident and does not have a shy bone in her body.  Also, I have cousins from a large family who are very shy and timorous. 

              Also Betty White, an only child, is known to be gregarious and bold. Vanessa Williams is from a small family and possessed leadership ability and gregariousness from early childhood.  Ms. Williams was constantly active in school plays and was popular among her peers.   Kiernan Shipka, another only child, is known for being outgoing with many friends.  Conversely, the late Charles Bronson, one of fourteen children, was shy among strangers and was an introvert.   You are giving pat answers.   Whether a person is from a small or large family has nothing to do with being shy or outgoing.   There is such a thing as extroversion and introversion which are individual traits.  The most popular girl in my high school came from a family of two children while another student who was extremely introvert and shy, so in fact that another girl, an only child, constantly bossed her around like a puppet, was one of seven children.   

              What you have failed to realize, you do not have to grow up in a conglomerate of children to gain social skills.   Only children have social skills by participating in a myriad of activities.  In fact, onlies and children from small families reach out and make friends while children from large families tend to be more insular and stay among themselves.  For example, my mother, one of ten children, seldom had any friends, she either stayed to herself and socialized among her sisters!  How sad- but it is common knowledge that children from large families have LESS friends than children from small families.  In essence, children from small families are more popular because they can invite friends over to their house without being interrupted.  Friends are usually loathe to visit the homes of children who come from large families because they would be constantly interrupted by siblings!   Furthermore, there is NO privacy among children in large families.  Who wants the constant badgering and interruption? 

              Also because children from large families have no space and privacy, they want to get away from home as much as possible.  I remember in high school, an associate who was one of 20(yes, 20) children called and asked me where I was, I answered I was at home.  She snidely remarked that I was ALWAYS at home.  She was out somewhere!  I was home because being from a small family, I had my own room and space while she did not!  She always was OUT in order to escape from a crowded home! Egad!

              It was the children from large families who were always visiting my house because they needed space and room to breathe!  How sad it is to grow up crowded with no breathing room!  How sad indeed!  Thank God I am from a small family.  I had undivided time to myself.  If I wanted companionship, I had my parents and my friends.  I was free to indulge in solitary activities such as reading, writing, and sketching.   There was no constant noise in my house- peace and quiet is how I like it!  Give me the small family life anytime! Amen to that!  I would not have it any other way! In fact, most of my friends come from small families.  People from large families are totally alien to me- they have a different culture, mindset, and approach to life!

              I also want to add that because I come from a small family that I am universalistic in my approach to life.  No one is a stranger to me and I accept people from varied backgrounds.  In fact, being from a small family makes me want to meet people and make friends, often considering them to be family.  That is the beauty of it- for me, family does not mean just blood relations.  Family is people who truly care and cherish one another regardless whether they are blood related or not!  That is what coming from a small family does. It make you reach out to people. 

              Again, I have discovered that it is the people from large families who are quite narrow minded and insular.  People coming from large families are often clannish and mistrustful of outsiders.  They have a group mentality.   From my observation, children from large families are totally inclusive regarding themselves and exclusive to outsiders. 

              They prefer to socialize only among themselves- it is emotional incest! Very eery indeed!   To reiterate, people from large families do not have any friends and/or associates outside the family!  Observe a large family and you will find no outside friends, just family!  People in large family have a conformist mentality and anything outside the family viewpoint and consensus is simply not tolerated!  I never met a person from a large family who was open minded and universalistic but quite the opposite, they are often very insular and parochial in their outlook towards life.  I have yet to encounter a liberal and open minded person from a large family- no, it is not going to happen!

  4. Eric Newland profile image59
    Eric Newlandposted 12 years ago

    My perspective on large families is similar to my perspective on stay-at-home mothers. More or less, "Wow, more power to you, but I have no idea how you do it."

    Could be jealousy more than anything. My wife and I don't currently have the option of having a lot of children or living on one income even if we wanted to. There's no way we could afford either.

  5. profile image53
    Gigideanposted 12 years ago

    I am the youngest of 8 children. Growing up was definitely a struggle for my parents, keeping us all fed and clothed and both my parents worked.  However I strongly disagree with the person who stated we did not get individualized attention.  Quite the opposite.  I could not disagree more.  Not only are we all still extremely close, but we all had our own relationships with our parents.  We each bonded on different things but obviously as a close family we all also bond over similar things.  We all played sports, a few of us (me included) played instruments, we all did well in school.  Several of us had childhood illnesses but we were never not treated or cared for, again quite the opposite.  When one of us was sick, the rest of us pitched in to help out.  We are close and care about each other and would do anything for one another.  Coming from a large family has been a blessing in that I have never wanted for companionship growing up, I have 7 siblings I can count on, no matter what.  And no, (because I am sure this will come up), it is not because I am the youngest that I am biased or that I got more attention, if you spoke with any one of my siblings you would hear the same thing.  We are close.  Just because there are a lot of us does not mean we were ignored or somehow grouped into a hive mentality.  I wouldn't trade my family for the world.

  6. SmartAndFun profile image95
    SmartAndFunposted 12 years ago

    gmwilliams, just because someone is from a large family does not mean they are living in poverty. The large families you've known are much, much different than the large family I grew up in, the large families I knew as a child and the large families I know today. Like Shanna11, we lived comfortably. I grew up in a large, middle-class home with plenty to eat, all the clothing we needed, our own bicycles, and plenty of our own "stuff." We did not rely on the schools for medical care or anything other than an education. Our parents made sure we did well in school and went to college, like they did. Growing up, there were plenty of families who had fewer kids and more material things, but we had all that we needed and more. We gave to local charities rather than take from them. I do know my parents learned how to stretch a dollar, though.

    We all had different interests and were encouraged and allowed to persue them. Over the years I took gymnastics, art lessons, played two musical instruments and was on a soccer team, and this was back in the 70s when kids did not have so many afterschool activities like they do now. Yes, I got a job at 16, but it was to put gas in our shared "kids car" and to shop for makeup and clothes with my friends at the mall.

    We were not rich, I just had responsible parents who loved kids and wanted a large family. They had as many as they could afford (5). Our parents gave us plenty of attention and we did not raise each other, other than a rare date night for my parents when the older kids would watch the younger ones for a couple of hours.

    In my experience then and today we were not the exception. There are many families in current town with lots of kids, and they do not fit gmwilliams' description, either. The area I live in draws large families in particular because there are plenty of larger, affordable homes with 4 and more bedrooms, and excellent public schools that prepare students well for college. Just because parents choose to have large families doesn't mean the kids live in poverty, are neglected, drop out of school, have no medical care and nothing to eat. There are plenty of middle-class parents with large families.

    1. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Your family is again the exception to the rule.   Studies show that the overwhelming majority of large families are either impoverished or near impoverishment.   I live in the city where the majority of large families live near the poverty level.  There are seldom any large families middle class and above.   People who are at the middle class level and beyond have small families because they want to have a better standard of living and raise their children that way.   It is the lower socioeconomic classes have large families which continues the poverty cycle.   

      I am being realistic here.  If you see people from large families- they are clearly NOT middle class. The family is struggling and ekeing out a living.   The children are wearing cast offs and eat powdered food.  THe people I knew who came from large families, including my parents, cousins, and school associates were impoverished and struggling.   My parents came from very large impoverished families(they eventually became middle class and had a small family), they related to me how they struggled and did mostly without.   My uncle(the only one in the family who had a large family) continued the cycle of poverty he grew up in.   His 8 children wore the clothes that I and other cousins donated, out of 8 children, only 1 attended college.   The rest settled for low wage, dead end jobs.   The school associates from large families depended upon outside assistance to keep their heads above water!  These were the same children who regularly shook down us more affluent children for lunch monies because their parents was unable to give them an allowance.   

      Let us be frank here, children from large families are the least educated because they are needed to work in order to supplement the family income.   Parents of large families are ekeing out a living and/or barely subsistent, they need as much months as they possibly can to contribute to the family income.   As a result, parents from large families often take their children out of school and tell them to go to work.   College?   Fuggedaboutit, children from large families are lucky if they complete secondary education and any form of tertiary education and above is completely out of the question.   Large families= poverty+ struggle+ little education.

      1. profile image0
        Marye Audetposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        IF  I can stop laughing...I...will....(choke)
        I have 8 children. Considered large by most. We homeschool. I am a food writer and cookbook author. I have a quite popular and successful food and recipe blog. I assure you we do not eat powdered food... My children have been raised on fresh, organic, and what most people would consider gourmet fare since they first had solid food at age 1 or so. They have eaten at some of the most elegant restaurants in north Texas... They are well spoken. my oldest daughter (30) is married with 3 children and is a photographer with quite a lot of talent. My next two sons are in the Air Force in complicated jobs... they both scored in the top 10% on their tests. My next son is 18 and is making a name for himself as an artist in the Dallas area - he has all ready done several invitation only art shows. no one is hungry. My children have experienced museums of all sorts, opera (my 18 year old can whistle the major general song from Pirates of Penzance), ballet, live theater, etc...etc... I spend specific time with each one of them alone each week. We spend time together as a family. We are not wealthy but we live in a 4300 sq ft historic home on 2 1/2 acres. Everyone has their own bed. We have a media room, a parlor, a studio, a huge kitchen, several bathrooms, and an office. We have floor to ceiling bookshelves, full to over flowing, lining the hall. My children are successful but best of all they know not to make generalities. You are being ridiculous. I know people with one child who are crappy parents. I know people who have grown up as one of two children in wealthy families who had everything and they had little attention and have many difficulties now. It does not take money to raise a well adjusted child... it takes maturity, responsibility, and love. How many heroes of history came from large families and still managed to become presidents, heads of corporations, war heroes, artists and authors? Quite a few...

        1. gmwilliams profile image84
          gmwilliamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          You are also the exception to the rule.  You and your family are highly affluent. Again, I was addressing the average large family.  Of course, there are large families who are middle class and/or more affluent; however, such families are the few and far in between! Thank you!  What I am discussing is the overwhelming majority of large families who struggle to stay above water and to make ends meet or meet half way. 

          I refuse to back down regarding this discussion.  The overwhelming majority of large families are either impoverished or near the poverty level.  They mostly have a hardscrabble life.  They are merely ekeing out a living and find it extremely difficult to adequately provide for their family.    Many of them often have to do without the basic things and survive on the bare minimum.   Quite a few of these families must often depend upon outside support just to stay afloat.   

          These children develop a tough edge early.  Because many of them are impoverished, they are quite content with receiving the crumbs so to speak.  They develop a poverty consciousness because that is all that they know.  They cannot conceive of aspiring to and living a more socioeconomically affluent life!  There are books which document that the highest incidences of poverty occur in large families.  These are the facts which simply cannot be disputed nor altered to suit one's opinions. Thank you.

          1. profile image0
            Marye Audetposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            big_smile i seriously doubt that anyone would call my family affluent. Until my divorce in 2009 we were a one income family living on less than 30k a year. Since then i have done some better - especially without the spending habits of the ex... however I don't think most people would consider my income in the affluent level and in fact, according to the US government I am pretty close +/- to poverty level. I am just damn good with money... as are most of the other large families I know - and there are several … lines.html

            I am so sorry you have been scarred for life by some situation in your past. Deal with your own issues and don't place them on someone else.

            1. gmwilliams profile image84
              gmwilliamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              I am sorry to hear about your divorce.  You are a very smart and talented woman who has immense skills.    Also you are quite a manager as well as a published author!   I have read your profile and you are quite a talented and prodigious person.   Your prodigiousness will take you quite far!

  7. SmartAndFun profile image95
    SmartAndFunposted 12 years ago

    gmwilliams, I can accept that statistically, the more children in a family, the more likely that family is struggling financially. I think what gets me riled up is how you make statements that are sweeping generalities. You write "parents of large families are ekeing out a living and/or barely subsistent" "children from large families are the least educated because they are needed to work in order to supplement the family income" and "above (tertiary) education is out of the question." You write this as if it applies to every large family. It does not. I took a quick look at some of your hubs, and you often use the same type of language in your articles.

    I get the points that you are making but I believe you need to word your statements more carefully to include the fact or at least the suggestion that they do not apply to every large family or every single single child from a large family.

    Please continue using phrases such as "in my observation," "statistically more likely," "tend to" etc. Not only is it more accurate and inoffensive, it gives you much more credibility.

    1. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It is in the majority of cases.  There are even books which support this.  The larger the family, the more likelihood there will be impoverishment.  It is just simple mathematics.  You have 1 pie and cut it in ten pieces- the slices are very miniscule to say the least- there is less pie to go around.  Now, divide the pie into two pieces-the slices are larger! 

      Because the socioeconomic situation in large family are very precarious, children often have to curtail their education in order to help support the family.  I would staunchly stand by what I have previously stated.  The majority of large families are in the lower socioeconomic strata.  This translates into the average large family only have monies for just the bare ncessities and nothing else.  That is why children from large families often do have have monies to participate in varied cultural and intellectual activities such dancing/music lessons, attending plays, and related activities.   Children from large families often make do and frequently do without. 

      An example of this is Mark Wahlberg.  He came from a poor family of nine children.  He reported that his and several siblings had to sleep together in ONE room.  He further reported to indulging in some quite deleterious activities just to have extra monies.   Chris Rock, also from a large family, reported that his family's socioeconomic situation was so dire that they had to eat mustard sandwiches.   This is the situation of many large families.   They often live in poverty and do not receive the proper nourishment because such foods are out of their budgetary reach.   The average large family lives from hand to mouth while the average small family is definitely more socioeconomically prosperous.

      The average child from a large family just does not attend college and other forms of tertiary education.  To reiterate, they are lucky if they finished high school because monies are tight and they are needed to add to their family's income.   That is a fact of life in many large family households.  You may become incensed but what I have presented is the truth.  This is why educated and enlightened people have small families in order to provide their children with a high standard of living beyond just the rudiments and access to higher levels of education.  These are just the facts and you simply cannot disagree with them.  There is a saying that small families live better while large families have less of everything.  This is a truism which no one can dispute! Thank you kindly!

      1. SmartAndFun profile image95
        SmartAndFunposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        LOL, gm. I admitted that I'm seeing your point but it is evident you're not seeing mine. You've got to quit using the sweeping generalities. It's killing your credibility. Just as I would never dream of generalizing or stereotyping someone based on their race or gender, I do not generalize or stereotype groups of people based on their family size.

        I am proud of you though! You're doing much better by including "majority" and "most of." It's a good start, but you're not quite there yet.

        Just because statistics show a trend or a majority does not allow you to assign those attributes to every large family. Well, I guess you can do it but it doesn't make it correct or make you credible.

        You write "They cannot conceive of aspiring to and living a more socioeconomically affluent life!" How in the world can you claim to know what thousands upon thousands of children are capable of thinking, feeling and imaging? Surely some of them are dreaming of getting a good education and a secure profession. Longing for a better life can be a huge motivational factor for kids, and surely some of them will climb out of poverty by working and studying hard. Not everyone rolls over and gives up or follows their parents' path.

        I am not incensed at this point, just bewildered at how someone can have such a one-track mind. There are pros and cons to every family size, whether one chooses to be childless, have one child, two children or twenty-seven. I wish you could see that. I repeat: pros and cons in every situation.

        I noticed you started a thread about one-child families as soon as this one popped up. It appears that this is an extremely emotional topic for you and I'm wondering if there is some deep-seated reason for that.

        Reading your entries has been entertaining, but it seems that I'm talking to a brick wall. Alas, I'm over and out.

        1. gmwilliams profile image84
          gmwilliamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          The thread is about small families.  Small families are from 1 to 2 children.  It is good to discuss all size families.  I even have a thread on medium sized families if you wish to participate. One of my favorite topics is that of the family from childfree to large.  Just pick one and discuss.  I was a sociology major in college and spent lots of time studying the institution of the family.  Even though I came from a small family myself, both my parents were from large families.  In essence, my extended family contains at least 100 relatives which include aunts, uncles, and assorted cousins.  I also have associates and friends from varied family sizes.   So I have a cornocupia of experience regarding differing family lifesyles plus I do some extensive reading and research on the matter.  I am not doing empty chatter- that would be utterly and dismally futile to say the least.


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