Thank you to the Anon who wrote in to defend large families. I appreciate your passion:
stop bashing big families. It is not your right to say my parents were morally irresponsible for having a lot of children. If you think like that then you obviously don’t know anything about large families. We are all taken care of. We probably have more money than you do. And did you ever think that maybe the siblings could give each other attention. We were all planned, and my parents do use birth control. We have never had to go without a day in our lives.
The other Anon who argued that large families are always irresponsible, poor, and doing a disservice to the children cannot have known many large families. In my and my other people’s experience, it seems including yours, they are usually some of the most well-loved and cared for children. The large numbers of the family bind them together, and the benefits of having many close siblings are numerous.
While that is not everyone’s experience, neither is it true that only families with few children are well-loved and cared for. In my personal experience with the advantages and disadvantages of both kinds of family sizes, from “really big” to “only child,” the quality of family life and parenting has nothing to do with the number of children, and everything to do with the quality of the parents themselves.
There’s no such thing as a family that’s “too big” or “too small.” There’s no magic number of children that makes for the perfect family. It all depends on the circumstances on the family. Parents can have only one or two children and still ignore their children in favor of careers and their own private interests, which is hardly an infrequent occurrence in modern society. The quality of parenting is not determined by the number of children. Just as the quality of home life is not determined by money. Despite the message of our materialistic culture, children are not being “deprived” if they have only the necessities: food, clothing, a home, and loving parents. In so many cases, if you ask a member of a large, loving family whether they’d trade their younger siblings for a bigger allowance, they might say yes—for about thirty seconds.
Stereotypes like “big families are bad for kids” are harmful to everyone. Anecdotal evidence of one large dysfunctional family is no more evidence that large families are a problem than is anecdotal evidence of the dysfunctional small family or only child. And in any case, insulting or judging someone’s family is never, ever the right approach.
Thank you for writing in, and God bless you!