New study: parents of four or more kids are happiest

Marriage and family
Marriage and family

When I was planning out my life, I did some research on how many kids I wanted to have. I love to plan and budget things out way in advance, because even if things don’t go as planned, the planning phase helps you to improvise. According to my research, four was the right number. Of course, you can never be sure how many you’ll get, but it doesn’t hurt to make a budget for the number of kids you want and a plan to make them.

Anyway, here’s a new study that says that four or more makes parents the most happy. Now, happiness may not be the goal of a relationship, but it definitely helps the spouses to apply themselves to the real goal of serving God. You can’t get miserable people to achieve anything for God, and you have to be serious about what people need to engage.

Anyway, The Daily Signal reports:

The happiest parents are—drumroll, please—parents with four or more kids.

Parents of large families were found to have the most life satisfaction, according to a study by Australia’s Edith Cowan University. Dr. Bronwyn Harman, of the psychology and social science school at the university, spent five years studying what types of families are most content.

“[The parents] usually say they always wanted a large family, it was planned that way, and it was a lifestyle they’d chosen,” Harman told The Sydney Morning Herald.

During her five-year study, Harman interviewed hundreds of parents from different family makeups. Her findings are based on resilience, social support, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.

Her research points out that parental happiness relates to how much effort has been put into growing the family.

“What is important for kids are things like consistency, boundaries and [to] know that they are loved, no matter what,” Harman tells ABC Australia.

Prior to the study, Harman thought parents with more children would be less happy.

Though larger families may have more chaos and expenses than a smaller family, Harman’s research shows that these issues are balanced by the amount of joy received from having more children.

Her findings show that children who grow up in large families learn independence at a young age and always have someone to play with.

I often get a lot of flak from single women who want to delay marriage, and/or not have so many children. Although many of the “rules” I have about where relationships should be headed seem arbitrary, there is actually data to back it up. I’m not trying to rush into marriage and four children for no reason, but because this is what makes people happiest in the long run. It makes for a better environment for achieving other things for God. I never do anything or ask others for anything without some evidence to back it up.

I think people tend to worry a lot about having kids, and that’s because having kids is expensive. But that can easily be planned out if you earn and save to prepare. My plan was to raise the kids in the country and have a capable homeschooling mom teach them and build their resumes up. Having lots of kids is not a problem if you take care of the money requirement, and don’t let them be spoiled all the time. Sometimes, they will just have to be patient and do things on their own and not be the center of attention. That’s probably good for them in any case.

7 thoughts on “New study: parents of four or more kids are happiest”

  1. Kids are not as expensive as people think they are. The numbers on how expensive kids are come mainly from people who only have one or two and thus spend a lot of money per child. Plus, in our culture, there are so many “necessities” to buy for your kids that aren’t actually necessities (like paying for their college, designer clothes, bicycles, cars, video games, etc). The things that are actually necessary for children are far less numerous and far less expensive than most people realize. And it’s cheaper to buy kid stuff in bulk or to recycle from kid to kid, meaning that each additional child is less expensive than the last.

    Of course, children are more expensive than not having children. But they are worth it. And I’ve found that requiring them to work for the extras they want instead of just handing them everything in life is good for their character as well.


  2. There are so many benefits I have observed to having more children:
    -They tend to entertain each other. It’s not a massive break, but it takes some strain off.
    -They form a mini-society, so they get to practice all sorts of social behaviours among themselves, eliminating the immediate need for extra-familiar activities, making them leisure rather than a need.
    -They always seem less spoiled and more helpful, possibly because when they are selfish and stubborn nothing gets done and they later regret it.
    And of course the multiplication of the inherent fulfillment parents feel when they see their child learn, grow and become a proper little human.

    I can’t wait to start building our own giant family. :)


  3. My dad has four girls & i guess he is happy even he is not married to any of the four different mothers but he seems to be a proud father and grandfather.


  4. We did hope to have a bunch of kids. It was our vision. We had six and the oldest is 30 so maybe I can speak about it.
    More is better! My children are very close, lifetime companions. I should add that we homeschooled and so they did not develop the mistrust of family relationships and distance encouraged at school. We were free to cultivate our own culture and all shared in common interests. Don’t worry…we also encouraged lots of pursuits outside of our home, pursuits based on each person’s interests.
    Some of the positives to large families:
    Self-centeredness is not fed and nurtured. Children live within a context where they are not necessarily the center of attention.
    Interdependence and accompanying humility is encouraged.
    Very importantly, one learns how to successfully live in a community. This is difficult for every person but it is training for going out into the various larger communities every person must live in.
    The cultivation of relationships is usually seen as a zero-sum thing in our one and two child, or child-free culture. But it doesn’t work that way. relationships are expansive; there is not a finite amount of relationship to be had. Love grows and multiplies. There is room and time for everyone.


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