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2 Children Per Family? Why Is This The Norm? - Page 4

post #61 of 179
"I think a lot of it has to do with our society becoming more self focused and self centered."

Or it could be the opposite -- that the standard expectation level of what people should do for their kids now (in terms of time, money, effort) has gotten to be so high, that many people feel they can't have more than a couple without being selfish and depriving the their kids of their due.

In other words, in a time where kids didn't cost more than the food in their stomachs and the clothes on their backs, and their labor was actually of value to the family (either in a factory bringing home a paycheck, doing the labor at home that is now mechanized, or on a farm) having more kids might have been the more selfish act.

I know my great grandmama had the very old-fashioned idea that a large family, especially with the children very closely spaced, was evidence of an inconsiderate or uncaring husband. In other words, the man pursued his sexual pleasure while endangering the health and/or life of his wife by frequent childbearing.
post #62 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by njbeachgirl View Post
People have another kid for that reason?
Yes they do. My friend had a boy at 16. She wanted a girl. Had another boy at 17. Wanted a girl. Had another boy at 18. Left the abusive UAV shortly there after and got pregnant and had a girl at 20. Thinks she may try for another girl or two to even them out. She's always wanted a big family, but in the beginning, she was really sad each time she found out she was having another boy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bscal View Post
My dad (to DH) "Congrats man. But seriously, how did this happen?" DH "Well, you know, I just can't keep my hands off her!"
Holy sh*t man. I could kiss your dh! That is an awesome response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undercover Mama View Post
I have four children and one on the way. And I love my life. This is what I chose. They are ages 8 and younger. I have always been able to be a SAHM and I homeschool them. Does it get difficult? Of course.

Are we wealthy? Not even close. We practice frugal living, but don't feel deprived. Most of the clothes are free hand me downs, but you wouldn't think it if you saw them. I don't think kids "need" a lot of toys and junk to be happy.

We have never been on welfare.

On our yearly trip to Disney World, I smile as we find our seats on the jet for that cross country flight. The faces of the people around us are priceless, but I get compliments almost without fail about how well they did.

We value our time together and try not to over-schedule. Because we get our school work done much faster at home, we are able to fit in the extras without being consumed. My kids are currently in dance, horseback riding, karate and violin. We read together daily and play games, take walks, and spend a lot of time working together in our garden and orchard and taking care of animals.

Did it always make sense to have another? No, I think if I waited until it was logical, I wouldn't have had one yet. We do our best and trust that it will work out. Each one adds so much to our family.

Use logic to plan, but also listen to your heart!
yes to all of this!
post #63 of 179
I haven't read all the posts here, so forgive me if I say something that's already been posted. We have 3 children and we are by no means done. Oh yeah, that shocks most people. For me it has nothing to do with what other people think, so the theory about proving our socio-economic status by having a lot of children was just shot out of the water. And growing up I didn't want any children, so this has been a huge shift in beliefs for me.

My personal belief is that people have fewer children because they have been indoctrinated to believe that the world is vastly overpopulated and we all have to do our part to curb the population explosion. Most of the European and Asian countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand is experiencing negative population growth at this time. I also believe that people have been raised to be more selfish and self involved and also with the idea that good parenting is about how much you give to your kids. These days you aren't a good parent if your children don't come with a pre-paid college education and every material posession under the sun. Parents aren't successful if they don't live in a big house and drive expensive cars. Therefore there isn't enough money to take care of more than two kids. Large families are often slapped with a label of not being smart, educated or sophisticated enough. People just can't get past the idea of what society designates as acceptable, so there has to be something wrong with those who don't follow suit.

What is lost is not only large, loving families, but children who are independent and has a purpose in life. Instead of working for what they want, there is suddenly a huge sense of entitlement about what I deserve from my parents. My one friend once told me that her parents gave life to her so it was their responsibility to make sure that she could go to University. I wholeheartedly disagree. Her parents gave her life and their responsiblity was to make sure she was fed, clothed, well taken care of and loved. Anything else was a bonus.
post #64 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veronika01 View Post
I haven't read all the posts here, so forgive me if I say something that's already been posted. We have 3 children and we are by no means done. Oh yeah, that shocks most people. For me it has nothing to do with what other people think, so the theory about proving our socio-economic status by having a lot of children was just shot out of the water. And growing up I didn't want any children, so this has been a huge shift in beliefs for me.

My personal belief is that people have fewer children because they have been indoctrinated to believe that the world is vastly overpopulated and we all have to do our part to curb the population explosion. Most of the European and Asian countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand is experiencing negative population growth at this time. I also believe that people have been raised to be more selfish and self involved and also with the idea that good parenting is about how much you give to your kids. These days you aren't a good parent if your children don't come with a pre-paid college education and every material posession under the sun. Parents aren't successful if they don't live in a big house and drive expensive cars. Therefore there isn't enough money to take care of more than two kids. Large families are often slapped with a label of not being smart, educated or sophisticated enough. People just can't get past the idea of what society designates as acceptable, so there has to be something wrong with those who don't follow suit.

What is lost is not only large, loving families, but children who are independent and has a purpose in life. Instead of working for what they want, there is suddenly a huge sense of entitlement about what I deserve from my parents. My one friend once told me that her parents gave life to her so it was their responsibility to make sure that she could go to University. I wholeheartedly disagree. Her parents gave her life and their responsiblity was to make sure she was fed, clothed, well taken care of and loved. Anything else was a bonus.
Ok well in my case of 2 kids, its because thats what we feel we can handle emotionally. We both originally wanted more, then decided we felt complete at two. Had it happened at 1 kid or 3 kids, that's how big our family would be. My kids won't have college handed to them, along with anything else they just want.

Sometimes, family size is determined by the feelings of the parents, not just the financial aspect.
post #65 of 179
I think the advent of reliable contraception had a lot to do with it. People no longer have to have as many children as nature decides, they have a choice. For most people, the choice is to have two children.

I'm a big believer in choice, having spent much of my formative years in a country where contraception was illegal and unavailable. I saw at first hand the damage that can be done when people have to choice but to continue reproducing beyong their emotional, physical and financial capacity.
post #66 of 179
I think that a lot of posters are pointing out valid reasons for this norm; we're in the "waited until later" to have kids; find "a parent/hand for each" to be a good idea; & find the "affording/fitting in average car/room in house" arguments to all be applicable. We're older (40's me-50's DH), introverts that find the noise & energy of small children exhausting (although we love them dearly), have no retirement savings & are living with DH's parents - partially because we can't afford housing, partially to help take care of them in their old age (80+ yrs old). I was an only child, & DH was the youngest of 3. We knew if we had kids, we wanted at least 2, but the reality is that we just can't handle more than that. We have 2 girls, & are thrilled with them (were hoping for 2 same), & think it's great that they have a sib of the same gender.
post #67 of 179
and God Forbid you have the 'holy grail' of families like we do. (at least in my area) had a son, 2 years later had a daughter. people don't ask if we are having more they just assume we MUST be done.
post #68 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veronika01 View Post
I haven't read all the posts here, so forgive me if I say something that's already been posted. We have 3 children and we are by no means done. Oh yeah, that shocks most people. For me it has nothing to do with what other people think, so the theory about proving our socio-economic status by having a lot of children was just shot out of the water. And growing up I didn't want any children, so this has been a huge shift in beliefs for me.

My personal belief is that people have fewer children because they have been indoctrinated to believe that the world is vastly overpopulated and we all have to do our part to curb the population explosion. Most of the European and Asian countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand is experiencing negative population growth at this time. I also believe that people have been raised to be more selfish and self involved and also with the idea that good parenting is about how much you give to your kids. These days you aren't a good parent if your children don't come with a pre-paid college education and every material posession under the sun. Parents aren't successful if they don't live in a big house and drive expensive cars. Therefore there isn't enough money to take care of more than two kids. Large families are often slapped with a label of not being smart, educated or sophisticated enough. People just can't get past the idea of what society designates as acceptable, so there has to be something wrong with those who don't follow suit.

What is lost is not only large, loving families, but children who are independent and has a purpose in life. Instead of working for what they want, there is suddenly a huge sense of entitlement about what I deserve from my parents. My one friend once told me that her parents gave life to her so it was their responsibility to make sure that she could go to University. I wholeheartedly disagree. Her parents gave her life and their responsiblity was to make sure she was fed, clothed, well taken care of and loved. Anything else was a bonus.
I appreciate your perspective, and I am happy to see large families. Please, though, don't assume that children from small families have a huge sense of entitlement, or aren't independent, or don't have a purpose in life.
post #69 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmom View Post
Actually, 2 per couple is less than zero growth - it will result in an overall pop decline, which causes lots of problems for things like social security, etc. Europe is in this predicament, and it's weird - it's the first time in history that a population has chosen not to replace itself.
How is 2 per couple less than zero growth? Do you mean because some people don't have any or only one?

While it is a predicament for countries when the population goes down, I do not think that people should have kids just to keep the population growing. Government security is not a good reason to have more kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I think zero population growth is a good idea as far as the environment goes, but on the other hand people should be free to have as many children as they want, and enough people never have children to balance things out in the US anyway.
There is positive population growth in the US. I agree with your point that people should be free to have as many children as they want but there are more people having more than 2 than are having less so it isn't really balanced at this point.




I think it is very interesting that some people have mentioned that people are more selfish and so having less children. I think it is just as easy to justify that people who have large families are being selfish.

I don't mean to say that people who have large families are selfish, just that the same logic could be used to say they are... that might not be coming across right.

People have different numbers of kids (including zero) for all kinds of reasons. I just hope that people are only having kids because they want to.
post #70 of 179
I can't promise to be right about this, but what I'd heard is that here in the US, population growth is more about immigration than about how many babies people are having. So our population is growing, but most of that isn't because people are having more than 2 kids each.

But I heard that in college in the late 80s/early 90s so I can't promise that's still accurate.
post #71 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I can't promise to be right about this, but what I'd heard is that here in the US, population growth is more about immigration than about how many babies people are having. So our population is growing, but most of that isn't because people are having more than 2 kids each.

But I heard that in college in the late 80s/early 90s so I can't promise that's still accurate.
I've heard that too but the way that I understand it is that a lot of the growth is from immigration but there is also growth from people having kids. The average number of kids per family is still 2.something. (meaning more than 2).
post #72 of 179
[QUOTE=Toolip;12501843]How is 2 per couple less than zero growth? Do you mean because some people don't have any or only one?

QUOTE]

No, it leads to less than zero growth because, inevitably, a certain # of children will die before they reach adulthood and have kids themselves. So replacement isn't 2/couple, it's 2 + however many children it takes to account for the angels that don't make it + the others that don't have kids because they physically can't.
post #73 of 179
[QUOTE=Kappa;12501940]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolip View Post
How is 2 per couple less than zero growth? Do you mean because some people don't have any or only one?

QUOTE]

No, it leads to less than zero growth because, inevitably, a certain # of children will die before they reach adulthood and have kids themselves. So replacement isn't 2/couple, it's 2 + however many children it takes to account for the angels that don't make it + the others that don't have kids because they physically can't.
Oh, thanks for clarifying.

So you're saying that ZPG would be a number very, very close to 2 kids per family, just slightly over.
post #74 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolip View Post
I've heard that too but the way that I understand it is that a lot of the growth is from immigration but there is also growth from people having kids. The average number of kids per family is still 2.something. (meaning more than 2).
That's why I think immigration is a good thing.
post #75 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
That's why I think immigration is a good thing.
Yeah, I agree. I was wondering why European countries that are having negative population issues don't do more to encourage immigration rather than giving incentives for people to have more kids. I know that I probably don't understand all the pieces but is seems win-win to me! Kids are expensive to a government and then they could essentially hand-pick the people that come in to the country. I would love to understand more about this.
post #76 of 179
Even if we had zero population growth in N. America, which we don't, I don't think that necessarily justifies having more kids. There are also things like natural resources to consider.
post #77 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonJelly View Post
Even if we had zero population growth in N. America, which we don't, I don't think that necessarily justifies having more kids. There are also things like natural resources to consider.
absolutely! especially at the rate that north americans consume resources.
post #78 of 179
I have very personal reasons for limiting my family to 1 child.
I grew up in a family with 4 kids. There were a lot of "alliances" and favoritism. Looking back, it seems petty, but my emotions are still pretty raw over how my parents dealt with inter-sibling issues. This is very personal, and I don't expect others to empathize with my experience, but it is just one reason I only want one child.
Also, in my area especially, families have a lot, lot, lot of children that they honestly can't afford. These are people who are already in the welfare system, but keep having children. My mother is a schoolteacher and sees it so many times. We're talking kids without food, proper attire (socks, jackets, etc.) My feeling and guess is that these families are not really "planned". I don't want to see myself in that situation, though, if true economic hardship presented itself, more children would add to that burden. I worry about feeding, clothing, and educating my child. I'm not talking about violin lessons, dance, designer jeans, ipods. This is the flavor left in my mouth about large families that has helped me make my personal decision. I have no judgement to pass on anyone that responsibly plans their family size, be it 1, 2, 3, or 20.
post #79 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by fechera View Post
I have very personal reasons for limiting my family to 1 child.
I grew up in a family with 4 kids. There were a lot of "alliances" and favoritism. Looking back, it seems petty, but my emotions are still pretty raw over how my parents dealt with inter-sibling issues. This is very personal, and I don't expect others to empathize with my experience, but it is just one reason I only want one child.
I have 3 siblings, and I my experience was very similar. A lot of rivalry, and my mother tended to play the kids off each other, do a lot of comparing, favoring, etc. There was a lot of ganging up and backstabbing, and like you, I feel that it was badly handled. There was one scapegoat, one golden girl, one boy favored for being the only boy, and one who was always babied.
post #80 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I have 3 siblings, and I my experience was very similar. A lot of rivalry, and my mother tended to play the kids off each other, do a lot of comparing, favoring, etc. There was a lot of ganging up and backstabbing, and like you, I feel that it was badly handled. There was one scapegoat, one golden girl, one boy favored for being the only boy, and one who was always babied.
I don't know if there's any addiction or other dysfunction in your family, but those roles are very typical of that kind of situation. You sound like you could have come out of al-anon. We had some of that in my family as well, but I don't know if it's about a larger family or if it's about dysfunction, which can happen in any size family. Though I don't know how a family dealing with addiction would deal out roles if there were only one child.
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