Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Benefits Of A Large Family

Since we're on the subject of a large family, I thought it might be a great time to discuss it. We get questions about our family - if all the kids are from the same marriage, if we are Mormon, if we are crazy (yes, no and no - at least last time I checked :-) People wonder how we can afford "all those kids" and people wonder if we are "done yet" - I always feel like a turkey when someone asks me that!

But there is one big question that always goes unasked: "How do you give all those kids enough time and attention?" There is sometimes the unspoken observation that it would simply be impossible to do so.

I am here to tell you, it is not impossible! And in fact, I believe it is actually a huge benefit to children to be raised in a large family. As a mother, I become more organized with each additional child and more efficient with time management. My life becomes more streamlined and, although I give up more and more of my own personal/free time as we add a new child, my life becomes richer. Everyone's life does. There are so many benefits to being part of a large family, at one time I wrote out a sampling of my feelings on the subject. I have printed part of it below:


1. It is almost impossible to spoil children in a large family - in every sense of the word. The are less likely to be spoiled with material items or to be spoiled in the area of discipline.

2. Kids learn to share belongings, space and bedrooms. This will benefit them greatly when they get a college roommate and when they get married.

3. Children develop a strong sense of family, responsibility and self-esteem. There is always at least one sibling they will connect with and form the strongest of bonds. (These two will not necessarily be close in age.) Kids learn how to get along well with a variety of personalities. There is usually another person in the family with the same "struggles" whether it be learning to read or wetting the bed, so kids don't feel so "different". At the same time, there is always one area that each child excels in, giving him/her a sense of accomplishment and pride. (It is important for parents to foster this.)

4. Children learn early on that they are not the center of the universe. This is better to learn when you are five than when you are fifty.

5. Children learn how to be independent. They learn how to help themselves and to serve others.

6. Family gatherings and holidays are a blast in a large family! Traditions take on a whole new meaning.

7. When a child is disabled or has a medical condition arise, they are surrounded by a loving core of siblings who will be there with them - for life!

8. There is a greater sense of "oneness" and less of a sense of "you against me". There is always someone to listen to you, cuddle with, talk to, play with, laugh with, and understand.

9. Older children learn how to be good parents by watching their parents raise their younger siblings. The younger siblings learn good parenting skills when the older kids bring the grandchildren back to visit.

10. There are more trials and sorrows in a large family but the joys are increased ten-fold!

1 comment:

Christina said...

What a great list. We 'only' have four but we reap many of these benefits too. :-)