New study: parents of four or more kids are happiest

Marriage and family
Marriage and family

Here’s a new study that says that four or more children makes parents the most happy.

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.

Now, happiness of the parents may not be the main goal of a relationship, but it definitely helps the spouses to apply themselves to the real main 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 in order to feel happy, so that they will be able to engage.

So, I’ve always planned for have four children in my decisions about education, career, etc. I often get a lot of flak from a few single women who wanted to delay marriage, and/or not have so many children. I am glad to see this study, because it’s a confirmation of the idea that more children makes for a happier family. 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 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.

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

  1. WK,

    This study was done amongst Australian Families in Australia (Also, where is the actual study? Dr. Harman hasn’t put the actual study in a journal as of yet? I would love to see the actual study.). I wonder if someone conducted this same study in an American city (New York, LA, Chicago, Miami, or even Denver) amongst American Famlies would the results be the same?

    My wife and I have four children. Although we love our children (none of them are teenagers), and if we had a chance to do it all over, we would’ve stopped after the first two!


      1. Lol! We still love our children! My wife & I tell each other that if we saw each other, again, 16 years ago and knowing what we now know about each other, then we would’ve attended different colleges in different states (my wife was or is my college sweetie). We have a George & Wheezie Jefferson Marriage (or maybe more like Al & Peggy Bundy marriage?).


  2. We have six children and would gladly have welcomed more. We raised them on my husband’s single income which was definitely not ample, and yet we consider ourselves, as do our now-adult kids, among the wealthiest people we know.


  3. @WK,

    Congratulations on your goal to have four children. That is a noble plan.

    “But the noble man devises noble plans; And by noble plans he stands.” Isaiah 32:8

    Four is much better than the one or two that most Christians in the West aspire to have.


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