Thursday, November 4, 2010

Large Families vs. Small Families

Semester Essay # 5 Prompt 16

            A few decades ago, many families had a half a dozen or more children. Nowadays, more and more families are choosing to have only one or two children. Are smaller families better than larger ones? Why or why not? State your position and support it with specific reason and examples.

            Decades ago large families use to be a common sight and life style. I can testify to this statement because my mother herself comes from a family of about seven siblings and my father comes from a family of about nine siblings. Large families were everywhere and at that time had many benefits. Nowadays, families have gotten smaller. I come from a family where I have two siblings. Compared to that of my mother’s and father’s our family size is noticeably undersized. However, I believe that times have changed and smaller families are better than larger families.
            Larger families served a greater purpose in times like the 1800’s and 1900’s. Large families were especially useful in areas of farming were constant work was always needed. More children meant more hands, which meant less work for everybody else and that the work got done faster. Feeding the children was no problem for the parents because they could eat from the crops they harvested. Large families were also useful when the industrial revolution kicked in. Many jobs were available, and at the time when the industrial revolution first started children were allowed to work. Children were especially useful for jobs were small nimble fingers were needed; children could also much easily crouch into small tight spaces. Finding a job for a child was no hard task. In this case more children meant more workers, which in turn brought in more money for the parents.
            One must keep in mind the fact that the cost of living has risen dramatically since the 1800’s and 1900’s. Although a common sight back then, it is rare to find anything sold for a nickel in these modern times. We now live in a society were a dollar has virtually no value. Large families were easier to maintain back then because they could be afforded. Nowadays, a large family would be realistically unaffordable. Children under a certain age can not work so it is not like the children would be bringing in money. The majority of people have also moved out of an agricultural style of living. I am not saying that there aren’t any more farms, but most people live in cities and urban areas. From a financial point of view small families would be the wise decision. Small families are better than large ones now, because a family can live at a much more comfortable style if there are fewer people to have to worry about.
            Imagine having a family of twelve children and two parents.  Two to twelve is a major challenge. With only two parents available the twelve children would be in a constant competition for attention. In smaller families the ratio is usually two parents to about three children. This is a much more manageable situation. Raising children is already a hard task but when you have about twelve children fighting for two people’s attention there is bound to be more chaos and disorder than usual. In smaller families each child will receive more parental attention which in turn is likely to boost a child’s confidence level and make them feel loved. Time changes many things, and while a few decades ago large families were popular the facts show that in this day and age small families are better.

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