One of the biggest decision married couples face is how many children to add to their family. Some may choose one or two kids, while others may want four or more children.
There are pros and cons to both, but according to a study on happiness in family life, those who are in larger families are happier. " … members of large families say they are more satisfied with their lives than others and that they think they have stronger personal relationships than most people."
Having a large family can be chaotic at times, financially difficult and sometimes overwhelming, but there are some really great benefits to having a full house.
Kids learn how to build relationships.
With several children in the home, siblings always have someone to play (or fight) with on a regular basis. They learn how to get along, bounce back after a disagreement, work together and learn how to share.
These are life skills! How often do we have to do school projects alongside people we don't always get along with? How many times have you been annoyed or frustrated with a coworker? Learning to get along with a variety of personalities, or at least how to be nice in the face of less than desirable circumstances, will help your children be successful in life. It's real world experience from a very young age.
Families learn how to work hard and work together.
In a home with only a couple of children, parents can more easily do all the housework alone. In large families, however, teamwork becomes necessary. Mom or Dad can't do it all alone. Each child has to pitch in to keep the house and family running. Chores get assigned, and everyone works together to get things accomplished.
Knowing how to do simple things like sweeping, vacuuming, washing dishes and cleaning bathrooms are necessary — especially when children move out on their own. I remember watching a reality show once where the main character, who was in her late teens or early twenties, had no idea how to use a broom! So, her mother just did it for her. Kids need to learn how to clean, organize and take care of their own belongings.
The different personalities and skills complement each other and add diversity to family life.
Large families have the advantage of utilizing each family member's strengths in daily life. Kids come with their own personalities and skills. Some are quiet, some loud; some are kind and caring, some bold and independent; some may love music or sports; some kids are culinary gurus, while some may have inventive ideas. Pulling from everyone's skills can make family life more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Utilize this diversity in family problem solving, planning trips or trying to generate ideas. Each unique person will have something new and different to contribute. Not only will each person feel needed and wanted, but they will also each develop a strong sense of self. Each personality can be fun to get to know and love.
Families support each other.
It's nice to know that someone always has your back. Even though kids will fight with each other, they are ready and willing to defend a sibling against bullies or comfort each other after a hard day. Families stick together. They rely on and support one another. It's a perfectly designed support system full of close bonds and love.
Of course, all these great factors need to be cultivated by the parents. Children need guidance and direction to help them learn. Parents will have to correct wrongs and teach children how to treat one another. Families are the best place to learn how to get along in the world, but also to be a safe and loving place to land when life gets hard.
Wendy Jessen’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org