Children And Happiness

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Old 02-27-2005, 02:01 PM
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Children and happiness

I read a brief small synopsis of a study done on happiness in relation to the # of children one has.

I'll give you the main points:

Quote:
"The study found that ppl with children are in fact happiier than those without children. But such happiness gains differ for mothers and fathers."

"In comparing identical twins, they found that mothers with one child are about 20% happier than their children counterparts; and while fathers' happiness gains are smaller, men enjoy an almost 75% larger happiness boost from a firstborn son than from a firstborn daughter. The first child's sex doesn't matter to mother's (happiness)."

"Interestingly, 2nd and 3rd children don't add to a parents' happiness at all. In fact, these additional children seem to make mothers less happy than mothers with only one child -- though still happier than women with no children."

"If you want to maximize your subjective well-being, you should stop at one child," concludes the researcher, adding that ppl probably have additional children either for the benefit of the firstborn or b/c they reason that if the first child made them happy, the 2nd one will too.

Overall, the lesson from the study is that "just having reproduced at least once seems to be the crucial aspect of providing the happiness gain."
Ok.. that all said.... here's my question for discussion:

For those of you with more than one child -- think back to the time when you only had one child.... were you happier?

I don't mean this question to imply that you would give up your other kids. Or that you wish you didn't have them. We all know that parents (well, at least loving parents) would not give up ANY of their children. And could not imagine their lives w/o the first, 2nd, 3rd, etc child.

Put all those thoughts aside... really think about my question.... forget how the answer would effect your 2nd+ kids (I promise, I won't show them your reply. If you can't answer b/c they read this board, then PM your answer and I will post it anonymously) ..... and answer my question honestly:

DO YOU BELIEVE/THINK YOU WERE HAPPIER WHEN YOU HAD ONLY ONE CHILD?
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2005, 02:30 PM

RE: Children and happiness

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Good question Lynda. I think I'd have to say no, with a grain of salt. Even though Zach is under 2, I have a hard time remembering before he arrived...I do admit I was more relaxed & more organized & did have more time for myself. On the other hand, now that he's getting bigger, he and Jake are able to play together & I see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as being the entertainer - not that I'm a hard core "play with your kids, enrich them every moment" kind of person, I do expect Jake to play by himself & all that - he just doesn't want to! It was certainly EASIER having just one, but I honestly can't think of any difference in my happiness level from before kids to when Jake came to when Zach came, all of them involved so many other changes too...(stopped working, stopped doing some other stuff I enjoyed, started doing different things I also enjoy, met new friends, stuff like that).
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Old 02-27-2005, 03:40 PM

RE: Children and happiness

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althought i only have one child i have to say that when I was growing up i wanted no children after i had my first i couln'd help but think "why didn't i want children again" i am really excited about having more children i would like to have as meany as we can support!
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