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Why Women From Small Families Have Greater Self-Assurance and Self-Esteem Than Women From Large Families!

Updated on September 8, 2013
gmwilliams profile image

Grace studied the family. Small families have myriad advantages & benefits that large families simply.....DON'T have.

Women from small families are raised to value themselves and their individuality. They were also raised to be highly self-actualized individuals who respect themselves and demand respect from others.
Women from small families are raised to value themselves and their individuality. They were also raised to be highly self-actualized individuals who respect themselves and demand respect from others.


Sociologists, social scientists, and psychologists repeatedly substantiate that people raised in small families have a greater sense of individualizatioin and self than people raised in large families. In small families, parents usually have more economic, emotional, intellectual, and psychological resources to devote to each child than their counterparts in large families. In large families, such resources are stretched to the limit.

Children in the small family environment are treated as individuals and creative entities in their own right. On the contrary, children in large families are treated as cogs in a group. The group mentality is quite prevalent in the large family environment. Children in small families are seen, interacted with, and noticed by their parents.

There is an intense relationship between parents and children in the small family environment. This result in such children having a high degree of confidence. In addition to that, the parental love and respect that they receive causes them to believe that they are indeed special.

Parents in the large family environment do not raise their children. They often assign that duty to the oldest and/or older siblings in the family. Oldest siblings in large families are often the surrogate parent to their younger siblings. There is phenomena for this- it is called the parentified child. Parentified children are commonplace in the large family environment.

As a result of raising younger siblings, oldest children in large families have no childhood and/or adolescence. Parents in large families seldom interact with their children. If they do, the children are on a schedule as to when to interact with their parents. The relationship between parent and child in the large family is next to nonexistent. Children in large families interact the most with their siblings, not their parents. Parents of large families are not loving but are distant and uninvolved.

Children in large families oftentimes suffer from benign neglect. In addition to that, they are also overlooked. They are taught that their individuality is nothing and that they are part of the group dynamic. They are raised to have a pack mentality, not a sense of individualism. They are inculcated with the premise that the concept of self is evil and an abomination. As a result of this familial environment, children in large families often have a fair to very poor sense of self. Many children in large families believe that they are either of little or no significance.

How does that translate into daughters raised in the two family environments? Well, women in small families are oftentimes raised by highly educated, affluent, liberal, nontraditionally spiritual/universalistic, nonreligious, and progressive parents. Such parents are modernistic in outlook and philosophy. They believe in nontraditional roles for women. They are simply free to be whoever they want to be!

These parents are usually prochoice and believe in contraception. Mothers of small families are very proactive in terms of family planning. Women raised in small families usually have both parents working. Those raised in small families are not inundated with atavistically old-fashioned gender roles.

Women raised in small families are encouraged to express themselves freely and to have their own opinions. More often or not, they have democratic parents who respect the rights of their daughters. They are raised as men would be raised in more traditional families. They are taught that career and education are of paramount importance and that gender is a total nonissue which has no influence on achievement.

Daughters from small families usually have more freedom than daughters raised in large families. They are forced into gender based household chores and have the freedom to pursue their own individual interests. They can capitalize on their hobbies, interests, and talents.

Women raised in the small family environment have the time to participate in extracurricular activities. This helps them to develop into well rounded persons. They were taught to value their uniqueness and individual essence. They also were told to stand up for themselves and never to take a subordinate role to any man!

Women raised in small families are taught to look out for themselves and not to be a martyr. They are told to be proactive in their lives. They a re admonished not to take any abuse from anyone and not to be a doormat. This explains why women from small families will not tolerate any type of abuse and will abruptly leave any dysfunctional relationship. Furthermore, because of the high level of education they are more likely to receive, they have more of a likelihood of obtaining high level, high paying, and high powered careers. These components make them less likely to settle for any type of relationship.

A high renowned Oscar winning actress, an only child, is known for her extremely tough and no nonsense attitude! She was involved in a long term relationship with a lesser known actor. She eventually left him because he proved that he was not as successful as she was. She wanted something more out of the relationship and has moved on, pure and simple.

Another highly renowned triple threat celebrity, the oldest of two children, left both husbands because of their infidelities. She is currently raising her children alone and is highly content regarding her single status. She is more successful that she ever was and is definitely going ........well, STRONGER! Women raised in small families are indeed highly confident in their beings. They know how to demand respect in their relationships.

Women from small families are quite comfortable in asking and demanding what they want! They do not permit anyone to take advantage of them in life, relationships, and in the work place. They refuse to be put upon by anyone. They know about the fine art of saying no without any feelings of guilt whatsoever.

In addition to that, women from small families are extremely and dangerously ambitious and have the self-confidence to advance to the pinnacle of their careers. They also refuse to be the whipping person, the step stool, and/or the scapegoat for any superior and/or supervisor. They adamantly and definitely WILL NOT do the work of an inept superior, supervisor, and/or co-worker. Since they are extremely self-sufficient, they believe that others should be likewise and that each tub should sit on its own bottom!

Such is definitely not the case for women from large families. They are usually raised by very atavistic, authoritarian, staunchly religious, moderately to little educated, and lower middle to impoverished socioeconomic class background. In addition to these components, their parents can be described as pro-life and parochial in outlook and philosophy.

Mothers of large families usually have emotional issues pertaining to having children such as baby hunger. That is in order to be fulfilled, one must be continuously reproducing children. They are extremely passive when it comes to family planning, often letting themselves become pregnant.

Daughters raised in large families are inculcated by their mothers to be subordinate to men and that they are nothing but second class citizens with no voice. They often observe their mothers being subordinate to their husbands, not having any career and/or job for that matter which makes them utterly powerless and nonentities.

Women from large families are taught to put themselves and their needs last or next to last. As you see in large families, the concept of self is an anathema. They are taught that they are insignificant and that thinking of oneself is akin to selfishness. Their status within their families were oftentimes persona non grata, doormats, wallflowers, and/or shrinking violets. They were strongly inculcated with the premise that they are to remain in the background, be quiet, and to be in a woman's place.

In large families, there is a strict demarcation of sexual roles. In the large family structure, it is the daughters who do all of the caregiving, housework, and cooking while the sons do next to nothing. The status of daughters in large families are analogous to that of serfs and slaves having no freedom, no hobbies, nor a social life as their main duties are performing cooking, caregiving, and housework for their families.

Women from large families are discouraged from obtaining college and/or postgraduate education unlike their counterparts from small families. The former are taught to be domesticated, barefoot, and pregnant. The concept of a tertiary education is considered to be an utter waste of time for them as their main duty to is get married and to have children. They usually receive the most rudimentary education possible.

Women from large families learn self-abnegation. Because they learned to put themselves last, they are more likely to be used and taken advantage of. Many women from large families will put up with a less than respectful relationship, some verging on abuse. They often attract undesirable and loser type men because they were taught to have little or no self-esteem as having a high concept of self is equated to a sin.

As a result of little or no parental attention, low self-esteem, and lack of higher education in the lives of women from large families, they are often susceptible to the first available men that come their way much to their regret. I know many women from large families who elect to be in very abusive relationships and/or in relationships with men who devalue them.

Women from large families are not taught to respect themselves and to ask for what they want. They were inculcated that their individual selves are insignificant and to ask for what they want is deemed "selfish" and "sinful." In the large family system, daughters are admonished to sublimate their individuality for the good of the group.

Because women in large families have a poor sense of self and want to be with someone(anyone), they would rather be in a dysfunctional relationship than to be alone. They do not have a high sense of self and independence that their counterparts from small families possess. Women from small families would rather be alone than to be in an abusive and/or dysfunctional relationship.

As a result of being taught the concepts of self-denial and self-abnegation, women from large families tend to be martyrs and doormats, allowing others to take advantage of them. These are the women who will do their co-workers' and supervisors' work without getting so much as thanks and/or the credit. They slavishly stay at the bottom of their careers and/or jobs although they are qualified to be promoted as they believe that they are unworthy and that it is "selfish " to be ambitious and to want something out of life!

Because of the early familial conditioning and environment, women from large families tend to permit their boyfriends, lovers, significant others, husbands, neighbors, and family members dump on them while they grin and take it! As they do not know how to be assetive, they just whine and complain to anyone who would listen. However, they remain passive and do not elect to change their situation.

As women in large families were often overlooked in their familial environment as well as were relegated to second class status, they feel that they do not deserve respect and in turn, they are treated disrespectfully. They are more likely to be abused more than their counterparts from small families. To say that they are the perpetual Cinderellas in life would be quite an understatement to say the least!

To summarize, women from small families possess more self-confidence and assurance than their counterparts from large families. The former often received more undivided attention from their parents. They were taught the importance of self-assertion and to ask for what they want.

In summation, women from small famllies have more self-confidence and assurance than women from large families. Women from small families received more undivided attention from their parents who taught them the importance of self assertion and to ask for what they want. They were told that they were special by their parents because of the individualized parental attention and interaction.

Au contraire, women from large families had uninvolved and/or unavailable parents. They were often either overlooked or were inordinately assigned the role of family servant and caregiver. They were considered to be beasts of burden and were taught to be part of the group. They were told that they were not special at all! From the early familial conditioning and environment, they have a poor or no sense of self which result in not feeling deserving of any type of respect at all!


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    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      @LR, of course. Girls in small families are raised to value themselves and to aspire to education and success. They are also taught that they are on an equal parity to men. Girls in large families, on the other hand, are raised to be wives and mothers. They are also in subordinate positions to the males in the family. They are also taught that they as individuals don't count for anything. They are raised to be anonymous and part of the group collective. Great observation, LR!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Don't forget, there's the former Bush daughters who come from a family of two only since they are twins. They are very individualistic like Chelsea Clinton despite their family being moderately conservative Republicans. And former First Lady Laura Bush is highly educated and was a career woman.


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