How Many Children Should Parents Have?

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

We live in a big city and recently another mom told me I have too many children … I have seven. She scolded me and said it wasn’t good for the environment (carbon footprint – wise) or emotionally healthy for us.

I got up the nerve to say we make our decisions with prayer. She continued to shame me for relying on God, not economics and our global social culture.

I told her not to judge me and we have enough money to afford our children.

Why did I feel I had to justify my children?

Signed,

Not a Bad Mom

Dear Good Mom,

People who judge and shame others like this may feel a social obligation to scold them for not believing what they believe and feel is right. This is a major injustice in how we treat others in our current culture.

Engaging with someone who holds their opinions higher than yours isn’t going to connect with you.

You may feel compelled to justify your choices because you aren’t in the norm today. According to current studies,the average American family has 1.9 (or two) children today. Only 14 percent of American parents have more than four children.

You have the right to your choices based on your values, beliefs, and ethics. Leaving God out of the equation is common today.

Reasons parents and families benefit from having more than two children are:

  1. The older children help reinforce best values, ethics, and civility by our definition: be caring, considerate, and have courtesy.  
  1. Guiding your children to learn how to budget, plan, and prepare is healthy for them.
  2. You can create people who learn to be self-sufficient, not snowflakes.
  3. The family unit often becomes a stronger one, because your family may grow closer and rally around each other.
  4. You won’t have time to become “lawnmower” parents (making decisions and executing them for your children) and that’s healthy.

Deciding what’s best for your family is by your standards, which includes prayer, and may not be popular – it’s just different, and that’s not good or bad.

It’s always hard to not be in the popular group, but as parents used to say, “If everyone jumps off the bridge, are you going to follow them?”

We can tell you’re thoughtful and involved parents. Not having the time to be excessively involved with your children means they have a better chance to learn to be independent. This is a wonderful quality for parents to teach by example, whether you have 1.9 or ten children.

You’re great parents and don’t you forget it!

Signed,

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri