|Advantages of Having a Large Family|
While many people will argue that children are at a disadvantage in a large family, and some will even venture to say there is a level of neglect there. Certainly children of large families are not indulged as often as their small family counterparts, but having the newest gadget, designer shoes, or their every whim met is not necessarily a bad thing at all. Even if one would view having to wear hand-me-downs, sharing a room, or putting up with a certain level of noise and a hectic household a negative thing, the truth is there are a good number of advantages to being a part of a large family, most which far surpass any "negatives."
The following is an excerpt of an article written by educational consultant, James B. Stenton, of the website ParentLeadership.com.
Consider how your family life benefits each your children. How are your children strengthened to be better men and women through the give-and-take of growing up with several brothers and sisters?
- Unlike most children today, they are genuinely needed at home. Through their chores and their handling of responsibilities around the house, they contribute to the family's welfare. That is, every day they practice putting their powers up against problems for the service of others. Consequently they grow in self-knowledge (their strengths and limitations) and realistic self-confidence. They grow to be more mature more quickly.
- Related to this, they understand the real meaning of responsibility, that is, if we don't do our duty, someone else will suffer. So their moral development--moving from "self" to "others"--takes root more deeply. They grow to be givers, not takers.
- Surrounded by siblings' conversation and playful interaction, they enjoy constant intellectual stimulation. This strengthens and sharpens their judgment.
- They're surrounded by laughter. By and large, even with its ups and downs, the home of a large family is a happy place, a place of healthy fun. Good cheer, it seems, is livelier, more heartfelt, when shared with a crowd. All their lives, children from a large family remember the fun they had together, the sheer delight of being alive surrounded by love.
- Even their normal squabbles and spats, when refereed by parents, teach them lessons of fairness, sharing, splitting differences, letting others off the hook, forgiving and forgetting. This fortifies their moral standards, their lifelong conscience. (Friction, though irksome and tedious at times, has its uses; it rounds off rough edges, forms a smooth, resilient surface.)
- Since their parents take care of their needs but cannot satisfy their whims (through lack of money and time), children learn the difference between wants and needs. They learn to wait for what they want, or to work and earn it themselves. Thus they are spared the corruptive influence of instant gratification. They internalize the virtues of patience and honorable ambition. They grow to become self-reliant self-starters.
- Through interactions with their siblings, children more deeply understand gender differences. From their sisters, boys understand and appreciate femininity; from their brothers, girls understand and appreciate what's common among males. All the children are thus better prepared for marriage.
- One of the mysteries of a large family is the startling differences siblings display in temperaments and talents and interests. By dealing with these differences among their siblings, children learn to get along with anyone. Having to share a bedroom and bathroom and space at the table prepares the children superbly for marriage and for life.
- Older children play with the youngest ones, and thus form a bond of affection with them. Younger children receive love and learning from several older people, not just their parents. So older children are pulled out of their egos, and younger ones are surrounded by love.
- Each child journeys through life enjoying the support of his grown-up brothers and sisters. No matter what befalls them in life, your children will never be alone. Indeed, the finest gift parents can give their children, the gift lasting a lifetime, is their brothers and sisters.
Site and content 2005 - Lotsofkids.com