Earlier today I was having a look around for some large family articles and posts. Now it doesn’t normally surprise me to read some things which disagree with large families. But occasionally you get the odd blog post or article which is, quite frankly, so unbelievable you wonder whether the writer was serious or had their tongue firmly stapled to their cheek when writing it.
You see, when Google throws up the title “Children of large families have less of everything” you can’t help but want to click on it. But you know it’s not going to be complimentary to large families. So brace yourself.
In a nutshell the writer claims that large families are prone to disciplinary problems with the children suffering malnutrition, a poor education, inadequate housing conditions and a lack of attention. That’s just the first main paragraph.
Sibling rivalry is mentioned. What about the support siblings offer each other? The help to accomplish a task you can’t do alone? The always having someone to play with, to talk to or, yes, even to disagree with. But to always have there with you no matter what? She didn’t mention that.
She mentions several studies which focus on this issue. She hasn’t linked to a single one. I’d like to see them, if I may.
She states that:
“Smaller families also have better housing facilities than large families. Having less children to allocate their expenses to, parents have the opportunity to save enough or provide beyond their children’s basic needs.”.
Now, not wanting to sound pedantic or anything but she may want to use the term “Having fewer children..” (correct use of the english language) instead of “Having less children…”, (which is incorrect use of the english language). Anyway…
She then goes on to say:
“Children of large families are provided with the basics, such as food and clothing but their parents seldom have the time to spend with them storytelling, to the mall or park, and other quality activities.”.
Yes, I have to agree here. My children had to wait until the Nintendo Wii had been out for more than two years before we bought them one.
I also agree with the fact that I don’t often take them to the mall. Or the shopping centre as we refer to it here in the UK. I can’t stand the places. Shopping gives me a headache and makes me stressed and why, oh why, would I want to drag my children around one when I myself don’t want to be there? So yes, they lose out on that quality time. I’d rather poke pins in my eyes. Bad mother of many I am for depriving them of that experience often.
Parks, we do. Picnics, days out, museums, library visits, trips and get togethers with friends.
Ooh and here’s something truly shocking. A revelation if you will. Stories can be read to several children at once. It really isn’t that hard to read to a few of them together instead of one at a time. A tough concept to grasp for some, I’m sure.
Ah, mother’s health. Well, yes I have had several miscarriages. And? I’m sorry, I can’t see how that’s affected any of the children. They weren’t aware of it. They know when I’ve trodden on a piece of lego though. I make a point of making my pain known then. But my miscarriages are nothing to do with my children or how they are raised. So why is that even in here?
Ok, now we’re onto the poor quality of education. My children are home educated. The main decision to do so was the lack of education they were receiving within a mainstream school. They are waaay ahead of their peers and are articulate, confident and have an array of skills. They know when to use “less” and “fewer”. I’m just saying.
Interestingly enough there’s a paragraph at the end where the writer refers to a study conducted by Rita Mataragnon who interviewed 1,600 women with “plenty of children”. Apparently 88.9% of these women wanted fewer children. Now I can honestly say that I have never, ever come across any woman who has told me she wishes that she didn’t have little Tommy or little Annie. I have never heard a mum say “Yes, he is beautiful isn’t he? I really wish he wasn’t here though”. I haven’t seen this study but will have a look around for it.
I’ve just picked up on a few points on this article. It’s too late in the day for me to go through it sentence by sentence but I don’t think there’s one single, solitary part which didn’t make me guffaw at the screen.
And now for something a little different…
If I hadn’t already come across this post before reading the glorious insight into the trials and tribulations of raising a bunch of demanding yet neglected offspring, I would have probably thrown my laptop out of the window (then ran after it very quickly to check it was ok).
I’m not being rude. It’s a great post!
Read it. It’ll make you smile again and bring your blood pressure back to normal.
Thank you, Patty, for sharing your story. God knew I needed to read that today!