According to statistics, the birth rate in recent years has not only not increased, but even significantly decreased. On the scale of a huge country, this is not so noticeable, but two (and even more so three and more) children appear in families less and less.
The COLADY editors asked the question: How many children should there be in a family? Psychologists give the answer.
How many children should there be in a family – the opinion of a psychologist, conflictologist Oleg Ivanov
There is no and cannot be an unambiguous answer to this question. First of all, it depends on the physiological ability of the couple to have children. If there are no problems with the reproductive function, then the desire and capabilities of the spouses remain.
Families with three or more children are quite common among believers: many children are blessed by traditional confessions. In addition, family planning depends a lot on the parents’ own childhood memories. Many couples dream of three or more children – thus, they embody their personal ideas of the “ideal family”. Or they become “childfree” at all – they deliberately refuse to bear children.
In any case, in my opinion, there should be as many children in the family as you want. There are no rules here. Everything is individual.
However, it should be said that in families with three or more children, the environment for the most children is more prosperous. First, parents learn to “share” responsibilities and care for all children equally, rather than focusing their love and care on one child. Secondly, having younger brothers and sisters helps to raise children to be more responsible, “heals” selfishness.
But before deciding on another child, you need to understand: can a family provide an adequate level of education and life for all children, without prejudice to the elders?
How to decide how many children to have in a family – a commentary by the candidate of psychological sciences, hypnologist Ekaterina Legostaeva
Counseling experience shows that family – for both men and women – is still associated with having at least one child. If the relationship is serious, if all the “tests” are passed, then the couple strives to have a child, often regardless of the health and age of the mother, her career, personal goals and objectives.
In this matter, the influence of the environment is great – friends and relatives. “You would have a baby“- this is perhaps the mildest form of reproductive pressure. “When are you?“- ask friends, proudly demonstrating the success of their child. Instagram is full of photos of families with children – all in the same clothes. “How cute!” “You are wonderful!” – from these comments, feelings of envy and questions about their usefulness flare up like dry powder from a spark.
People often approach family planning from two extremes.
Extreme # 1 – Here we are first an apartment, a car, a summer residence, travel, a career, and then four beautiful kids. And here it is not taken into account that a lot of energy and health will be spent on all these social achievements. And around forty, when all the markers of success are fulfilled, there is often a strong internal resistance, especially from a woman, because her arranged life, in the creation of which she invested so much energy, collapses at the very thought of a baby who will hang like a load in her arms like for at least three years.
This is often the cause of psychological infertility, failed IVF and especially postpartum depression. And referrals of doctors and social advertising: they say, in the West, after forty, everyone gives birth – a dangerous trick, because neither the mother’s health, nor the level of her needs can no longer withstand such a load as a restless baby. A 40-year-old woman physiologically needs 6-9 hours of continuous sleep. Her psyche collapses from merging with the chaotic consciousness of a newborn. She does not accept herself as ugly, stupid and is afraid of this, realizing that she will not be able to recover, as it happens, if she gives birth at 20-30.
Extreme # 2 – we will give birth as much as possible. Another version of the same story: it is better to shoot right away, so we want twins or the weather. And feed it in tandem. Another option: as long as we are young and have strength, we will give birth, the state helps. At some point, the strength of the parents ends, as does the financial assistance of the state, and it turns out that children need not only supervision and care, but also full-fledged communication, the involvement of parents in their lives. And the spouses have no resource left to communicate with each other and build relationships with their offspring.
Often it ends with the father proudly leaving into the sunset in order to “grow personally”, while the mother and restless kids are left with tiny alimony and vague prospects.
What are the recommendations?
- First, calculate the financial component. You will spend 60% of the family budget on your child in his first 10 years of life.
- Secondly, to assess the level of health of both parents, especially the mother – after all, she will directly invest the resources of her body in the formation of the child even after his birth. That is why a gap of 5-6 years is now considered optimal – so that parents have time to recover physically and mentally, and the child goes through the most important stages of development, being provided with full attention.
- Thirdly, add to the age when you are planning a child – both the first and the last – 22 years – this is the real time when he will become independent, having received at least a bachelor’s degree education. And assess whether you will be active, successful, and provided during this period in order to help him continue his journey into life. Children are difficult happiness.
A family without children – what is the reason for the decision of modern couples not to have children?
Why do married couples refuse parenting? Voluntary childlessness can be due to many reasons. A couple may not want children because:
- Banal reluctance.
- Lack of sufficient financial resources to ensure a normal life for the child.
- The desire to live for yourself.
- Housing problem.
- Career – lack of time to raise children.
- Lack of maternal instinct.
- Psychological trauma in childhood, suffering at a young age, which later grows into fear of motherhood (fatherhood).
- Unstable and unfavorable situation in the country for the birth of children.
Read: What is more important – a child or a career, how to decide?
A family with one child – the pros and cons of such a family model
Oddly enough, it is not a career at all and not even a financial deficit that is becoming the reason that the family stops at one baby. The key reason for “having few children” is the desire to devote more time to the child and to give him, his beloved, all the best. And, in addition, to save him from the jealousy of his sisters-brothers – that is, to give all his love only to him.
What are the advantages of a family with only one baby?
- The outlook of the only child in the family is broader than that of peers from large families.
- Higher level of intelligence development.
- All the impulses of parents (upbringing, attention, development, education) are directed to one baby.
- The child receives in the optimal size everything that is required for his growth, development and, of course, good mood.
Cons of a family with one child
- It is more difficult for a child to join the children’s team. For example, at home he is accustomed to the fact that no one will offend him, will not push, or deceive. And in a team, children are quite aggressive in the game.
- A growing child is under considerable pressure from parents who dream that he will justify their hopes and efforts. That often becomes the cause of serious psychological problems in a child.
- A child has more chances to grow up selfish – from childhood he gets used to the fact that the world should revolve only around him.
- The child lacks the orientation towards leadership and achievement of goals, which is available in a large family.
- Due to the increased attention, the child often grows up spoiled.
- The manifestation of overprotection inherent in the parents of one baby generates and reinforces children’s fears. A child can grow up dependent, incapable of decisive action, not independent.
A family with two children – the advantages of a family with two children; is it worth giving birth to a second child?
Not everyone can decide on a second baby. This is usually hampered by memories of childbirth and pregnancy, difficulties with raising the first child, just “settled” question with work, fear – “but will we pull the second?” and so on. The thought – “should we continue …” – arises in those parents who have already appreciated the experience of the birth of their first child and realized that they want to continue.
But it is not only the desire to continue that matters, but also age difference in children, on which a lot depends.
Difference in 1-2 years – features
- In most cases, children become friends.
- It is interesting for them to play together, toys can be bought for two at once, and things from the eldest are immediately transferred to the youngest.
- There is practically no jealousy, because the elder simply did not have time to feel his exclusivity.
- Mom, whose strength has not yet replenished after the first birth, is very tired.
- Children very violently sort out their relationship. Especially, from the moment when the younger begins to “destroy” the elder’s space.
Difference 4-6 years – features
- Mom had time to take a break from pregnancy, diapers and night feedings.
- The parents already have a solid experience of communicating with the child.
- The youngest can learn all the skills from the older child, thanks to which the development of the younger is faster.
- The elder no longer requires such serious attention and help from parents. In addition, he himself helps his mother, entertaining the youngest.
- Relationships among growing children follow the “boss / subordinate” scheme. They are often openly hostile.
- Things and toys for the child have to be bought again (usually by this time everything has already been given out or thrown away so that it does not take up space).
- Elder jealousy is a frequent and painful occurrence. He had already managed to get used to his “uniqueness”.
Difference in 8-12 years – features
- There is still time before the senior’s teenage crisis.
- The elder has fewer reasons for jealousy – he already lives for the most part outside the family (friends, school).
- The elder is able to become significant support and help to the mother – he is able not only to entertain, but also to stay with the child when parents need, for example, to urgently leave on business.
- Of the minuses: with a strong infringement of the elder in attention, you can lose with him that connection of mutual understanding and intimacy that was before the birth of the younger.
A family of three or more children – the optimal number of children in the family or the stereotype “we breed poverty”?
There are no more opponents of a large family than its supporters. Although they both understand that three or more kids in a family is hard work without vacations and weekends.
The undoubted advantages of a large family include:
- Lack of parental overprotection – that is, early development of independence.
- Absence of problems in communication of children with peers. Children already at home get their first experience of “infusion into society”.
- Parents do not pressure their children to “meet expectations”.
- Availability of benefits from the state.
- Lack of selfish traits in children, the habit of sharing.
Difficulties of a large family
- It will take a lot of effort to resolve children’s conflicts and maintain order in relationships and in the home.
- You need impressive funds to dress / shoe children, feed, provide proper medical care and education.
- Mom will be very tired – she has three times more worries.
- Mom will have to forget about her career.
- The jealousy of children is a constant companion of the mother. Children will compete for her attention.
- Lack of peace and quiet even when you want to hide for 15 minutes and take a break from worries.
According to psychologists, it is necessary to give birth to children without regard to stereotypes, other people’s advice and the opinion of relatives. Only a self-chosen path will be correct and happy. But all the difficulties of parenting can be overcome only when the choice was mature and deliberate…
It is clear that the desire to give birth to 8 children living in a communal apartment and without decent earnings is not supported by sufficient grounds. The “minimum” program, according to experts, is two kids. As for more children, you need rely on your strength, time and capabilities…
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