Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Children Guided Into Adulthood Will Grow Up Just Fine

Dear Tazi:

My husband and I married young and have always wanted a large family, so we have never bothered with birth control. The result of this decision is our having been blessed with six children in seven years. Although we do not want as many children as The Duggars we are excited to be expecting our seventh child this summer. We have the financial means to raise our children, and feel that the number of children we choose to have is nobody's business but our own.

How many and counting now?

By now, I am used to the crude comments from strangers and acquaintances and have learned to ignore them; however, I overheard my sister-in-law saying something to my brother that has me both angry and concerned. I am afraid that there is a downside to having such a large family that we may never have considered.

"Cheryl" told my brother that he and I should really start to consider limiting the size of our family  and that we may already have too many children. She commented that "having children in litters increases the chances of raising delinquents". Tazi, at first I was livid that Cheryl would compare me and my family to animals, and angry that she would assume that our children would grow up to be delinquent, but then I got to thinking about the large families I knew growing up. Over half of them have children that never quite made the grade in life, and many of these people were troublemakers as teenagers and have become failures as adults. Do you think I am doomed to raise failures simply because I have had too many children?

Mom of Six...And Counting

Dear Mom of Six...And Counting:

What I think is that your sister-in-law needs to keep her uneducated and prejudicial opinions to herself! I have searched, and there is not a shred of scientific evidence that shows children from large families are doomed to delinquency and failure. What I did find was strong evidence supporting the fact that parents who are involved in their children's lives, who hold their children accountable for their actions, who praise children for accomplishments, punish bad behavior, and seek outside help for the ones who struggle with academic or emotional difficulties end up raising successful, well-adjusted adults, regardless of how many children they had.

I would like you to take a second walk down memory lane and refocus on the types of family structure that the large families you knew had. Were the children raised to be well-mannered or was bad behavior excused or ignored? Did the parents use the excuse that they were too tired to offer each child individualized attention? Were the children taught to work through their problems, share their belongings, and develop close bonds with each other? Did one family have a problem with alcohol abuse or violence in the home, while another did not? The answers to these questions may shed some light on why some of these children grew up to be successful adults while others did not.

It is my opinion that as long as you and your husband have the emotional means to care for your many children (as well as the financial means) you should not worry about your children developing into delinquents in spite of your efforts to raise them otherwise. Your husband should have told his sister to put a sock in it!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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