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  #16  
Old Feb 4, '12, 10:23 pm
PrayerShark PrayerShark is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

We all can't have large families though. I mean if one family has 12 children, then their children have 12 children each, and then there children have 12 children....and so on, somewhere along the line there is a point at which that the population exceeds the resources (food and water) needed to sustain them in a comfortable life. Therefore does society not have a right to be judgemental?
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  #17  
Old Feb 4, '12, 11:02 pm
SteveGC SteveGC is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

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Originally Posted by PrayerShark View Post
We all can't have large families though. I mean if one family has 12 children, then their children have 12 children each, and then there children have 12 children....and so on, somewhere along the line there is a point at which that the population exceeds the resources (food and water) needed to sustain them in a comfortable life. Therefore does society not have a right to be judgemental?
Well, I actually think those first 12 children are too young to be having children. And as far as those children having children, I mean, where does it stop? When the children are having children, it's just....how small are they gonna get? It's just going to turn into this ridiculous russian doll situation, isn't it?

Seriously though, if everyone had that many children for the right reasons, were devoted and faithful to God, God would provide. Never underestimate the power of God to provide for His faithful, if they indeed be truly faithful. Here's the thing, though. Many are not faithful; many are non-believers. As it turns out, these are typically not the ones who want large families anyway. Large families typically originate from families with strong faith traditions, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or otherwise.

And I don't think there's many couples out there thinking about truly wanting to have a very large family, but deciding it is more environmentally and socially responsible not to. Chances are they truly don't want the large family for other reasons. Then it seems some of them look upon large families with perhaps some jealousy, and criticize them with an unfounded claim that their numbers hurt the environment.
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  #18  
Old Feb 4, '12, 11:02 pm
MidnightSun12 MidnightSun12 is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

Remember that christians have rarely had popular opinion on our sides. Going against the established opinion and cultural norms is a part of carrying our crosses!

People are telling you that "4 is enough" because deep down they know in their conscience that your openness to life is generous and morally praiseworthy and they are not living up to the bar you are setting in their own personal lives. Instead of striving to be like you, they are trying to bring you down.

Make no mistake, the climate change fallacy and the over-population misconception is just scientific rhetoric used to cover up people's own insecurities. It's much easier for a person to say that your large family is "immoral" because of a large carbon footprint then it is for them to admit the immorality of ABC.

God bless! Keep striving to do the Lord's will and don't be afraid to be unpopular with those around you. Remember that heaven is for hero's, not cowards!
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  #19  
Old Feb 4, '12, 11:38 pm
cmscms cmscms is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

I hope I have never offended anyone but I have often said to people with a lot of kids 'Oh are they all yours' with a smile on my face usually trying to indicate how envious I am. I also might add 'They are so well behaved what is your secret !' I guess the reason is I am envious and I definetly have always intended to complement them.

As for people saying 'isn't 4 enough' How RUDE ! I would almost feel like being uncharitable and saying 'And exactly what is so wrong with your youngest that you don't want more?' Or 'What number were you for your parents and they should have stopped at your next oldest sibling'

I really think it is disgusting how society turns on large families.

I will be honest, as a 42 year old woman who has never had children and spent tremendous amount of time baby sitting other's kids for free, I am no longer nearly as patient as I am towards other people's kids. But the reality is (as odd as it may sound) I find it a lot more annoying to see a kid from a small family misbehave that one from a big family.

Nonetheless, I think it is rude for people to tell you to stop

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  #20  
Old Feb 5, '12, 8:50 am
Debora123 Debora123 is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fm1982 View Post
My story is long, but the gist of it is that my wife and I are at a serious cross roads on how to move forward with respect to children. She is suffering from a mental illness and cannot get pregnant right now, so the only 100% way to avoid pregnancy is abstinence. Apparently by putting her health ahead of any of our other physical desires, I am not showing that I love her - according to a counselor we saw tonight.

Anyways one big issue that I have is society's view of what a family size should be. We currently have 4 children, I have said I would have more. After the learning curve of the first 3, the fourth has been a lot easier, I feel significantly more confident as a parent and feel that I could handle more.

My apologies for the rant, but why is it that so many people stick their noses in and say "four is a lot", "more than enough", "why would you want more", "how do you think you will be able to afford them", etc. It is just so frustrating, because not only can I afford them, it doesn't seem to be anyone else's business.

All her friends tell her four is enough/crazy. Doctor, four is enough. People on the street, four is enough/crazy. Society in general, four is crazy. Counsellors, four is enough/crazy. Seriously? Why do people have such an aversion to larger families.

Do you know how much university will cost, they ask. My response is, well, yes, and in fact according to the calculations made by my bank, my contribution rates are sufficient to cover a significant portion. Will they most likely have to hold down part time/summer jobs - yes. But is the value of having more family/best friends/confidants greater than the costs - I would say so.

The people who compliment are far and few between, but I value those compliments much more than any naysayers opinion. When the naysayers comment on how difficult it is, they are usually shocked when I say that four is no big deal and that they are generally well behaved. Routine, predictability good listening skills as well as being able to evaluate and react calmly on the fly along with love go a long way to raising kids properly.

I work part time at a grocery store (second job/an evening out of the house per week/a little extra money) and the other day saw a dad shopping with his 5 kids. I thought it was beautiful to see, and did have a little envy at the fact that he did have 5 and I will likely never see that number.

Anyways, this is just a rant. I am so frustrated by so many people sending the message that four children is such a crazy/difficult thing. My wife always hears this and has bought into it so much that sometimes it's like 4 kids is worse than managing an entire army. I am a teacher, so managing 25 all day, then coming home to 4 makes it seem so much easier.
People need to mind their own business in regards to how many kids other families decide to have. Not doing so is extremely rude. Whether the family is "too small" or "too big" for someone else's taste shouldn't matter in the slightest bit and they should keep their mouths shut about it, since it's not their family.

Next time someone makes a rude comment in regards to the # of children you have, you should look right at them, smile, and politely say "thanks for your opinion, but however many children my spouse and I decide to have is no one's business except our own."

That should shut them up.
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  #21  
Old Feb 5, '12, 9:09 am
hannajomar hannajomar is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

Some people are only "pro-choice" when it comes to abortion. It's a backward world when a woman who chooses to abort her unborn baby is seen as some kind of hero, and parents who want to welcome all the children God wants to give them are seen as selfish or insane.
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  #22  
Old Feb 5, '12, 10:39 am
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SeaShoreGirl SeaShoreGirl is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

The op has an obligation to his wife (who is in need) and his children already born. While it's none of the grocer's busniess, words of a priest, psycologist and doctor should be taken into account. There is a woman on here to which a second pregnancy would be deadly. A few years ago there was a woman who had to stop after 5. It is VERY appropriate for some professionals to say "enough"

We are also able to overcome certian diseases that would of caused death...one of the reasons people had big families in the past. Of my friend's 5 kids 3 have serious problems. 1 has a nut allergy...its very hard to maintain when there's 7 people in the house. Numerous trips to the ER. Even 20 years ago he would of been dead by now. 1 requires occupational therepy. She's normal, mostly, but 100 years ago would of been a deaf cripple going blind. Yet another has yet-to-be diagnosed learning problems. 100 years ago he could of forgotton school and just learned a trade. Today he needs alot of help. Homeschooling....because he needs a large amount of attenttion...may be out of the question.

So bully for you if you were able to produce 9+ healthy kids. (or special needs ones younger so they had sibiling help) In todays' world its a rarity.
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  #23  
Old Feb 5, '12, 11:32 am
bearkatjen bearkatjen is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hannajomar View Post
Some people are only "pro-choice" when it comes to abortion. It's a backward world when a woman who chooses to abort her unborn baby is seen as some kind of hero, and parents who want to welcome all the children God wants to give them are seen as selfish or insane.
I don't know a single pro-choice person (and I know lots of pro-choice people), who considers a woman a "hero" for choosing abortion. All of the pro-choice people I know fall into two camps, they either don't judge that woman, or they are disappointed in the woman's choice.
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  #24  
Old Feb 6, '12, 1:30 pm
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StJudePray4Me StJudePray4Me is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

My daughter and I watched the original "cheaper by the dozen" from 1950 over the weekend. The story is set in the 1920's...and in the story, people are often making remarks to the father about having so many children. I thought of this thread...

The best scene involved the whole family piled into their open-top automobile, pulling up to a Stop sign. At the bus stop, a crowd is waiting. A man at the stop says, "hey, Noah...what are you doing with that Ark?". And the dad responds, "Collecting animals like the Good Lord told me to. All we need now is a jackass: Hop in!"

My daughter and I laughed and laughed! The funny comeback is still the best response to those people! My favorite response, read in another thread on this site: "we decided we'll stop as soon as we get an ugly one!"
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  #25  
Old Feb 6, '12, 7:51 pm
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anp1215 anp1215 is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fm1982 View Post
My story is long, but the gist of it is that my wife and I are at a serious cross roads on how to move forward with respect to children. She is suffering from a mental illness and cannot get pregnant right now, so the only 100% way to avoid pregnancy is abstinence. Apparently by putting her health ahead of any of our other physical desires, I am not showing that I love her - according to a counselor we saw tonight.

Anyways one big issue that I have is society's view of what a family size should be. We currently have 4 children, I have said I would have more. After the learning curve of the first 3, the fourth has been a lot easier, I feel significantly more confident as a parent and feel that I could handle more.

My apologies for the rant, but why is it that so many people stick their noses in and say "four is a lot", "more than enough", "why would you want more", "how do you think you will be able to afford them", etc. It is just so frustrating, because not only can I afford them, it doesn't seem to be anyone else's business.

All her friends tell her four is enough/crazy. Doctor, four is enough. People on the street, four is enough/crazy. Society in general, four is crazy. Counsellors, four is enough/crazy. Seriously? Why do people have such an aversion to larger families.

Do you know how much university will cost, they ask. My response is, well, yes, and in fact according to the calculations made by my bank, my contribution rates are sufficient to cover a significant portion. Will they most likely have to hold down part time/summer jobs - yes. But is the value of having more family/best friends/confidants greater than the costs - I would say so.

The people who compliment are far and few between, but I value those compliments much more than any naysayers opinion. When the naysayers comment on how difficult it is, they are usually shocked when I say that four is no big deal and that they are generally well behaved. Routine, predictability good listening skills as well as being able to evaluate and react calmly on the fly along with love go a long way to raising kids properly.

I work part time at a grocery store (second job/an evening out of the house per week/a little extra money) and the other day saw a dad shopping with his 5 kids. I thought it was beautiful to see, and did have a little envy at the fact that he did have 5 and I will likely never see that number.

Anyways, this is just a rant. I am so frustrated by so many people sending the message that four children is such a crazy/difficult thing. My wife always hears this and has bought into it so much that sometimes it's like 4 kids is worse than managing an entire army. I am a teacher, so managing 25 all day, then coming home to 4 makes it seem so much easier.
Simple answer: The world tells us children are a burden and not a blessing. Good thing we are not of the world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Sims View Post
I can sympathize with some of what you're going through. My wife's pregnant for the sixth time and we are avoiding a large portion of my family due to how terribly they treated us during her last two pregnancies (including a miscarriage).

I think there's a lot of reasons for the prejudice against large families. On the one hand, you have the zero-population-growth mentality that believes there's no way the planet can cope with more people. Another related issue is the contraceptive, pro-death mentality that is so prominent now. Children are a burden; pregnancy is a disease. Voluntarily putting yourself through either is not only selfish, but borderline insane.

However, the biggest issue I see (just personal experience) is the overwhelming selfishness of the current crop of 18-40 year olds. The 70's may have been called the "me decade," but I think that period can't hold a candle to what's going on now. Partying, traveling, buying the biggest, latest toys and satisfying whatever other wants and cravings come along are all far more important than acting responsibly, getting married, settling down and meeting all the other traditional benchmarks of adulthood. So many of the people I know are in a state of perpetual adolescence that I often wonder how they're able to hold down a job. We quit hanging out with some friends because we don't drink anymore, and we don't want our kids exposed to their weekly binges (and, unlike them, I wouldn't think it was cute to see my daughters doing an imitation of me drunk). We know people our age who don't have kids, but who do camp out to buy the latest big video game. We have one friend who has spent her entire pregnancy complaining about how she can't wait to have that "thing" out of her so she can get drunk again. Another acquaintance didn't want to try having a baby until she had checked everything off her "bucket list." She's now hitting 40 and has spent upwards of $30,000 on unsuccessful fertility treatments over the last few years. But, hey, at least she's been to Paris. These same people criticize us because we don't have the latest video game systems, don't give our kids unrestricted TV & internet access, do teach our kids manners, don't let them act vulgar or inappropriately, take them to Mass and send them to Catholic schools; and most of all, because we have so darn many of them.
Well said.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hannajomar View Post
Some people are only "pro-choice" when it comes to abortion. It's a backward world when a woman who chooses to abort her unborn baby is seen as some kind of hero, and parents who want to welcome all the children God wants to give them are seen as selfish or insane.
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  #26  
Old Feb 6, '12, 10:42 pm
SteveGC SteveGC is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

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Originally Posted by StJudePray4Me View Post
"Collecting animals like the Good Lord told me to. All we need now is a jackass: Hop in!"

"we decided we'll stop as soon as we get an ugly one!"
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  #27  
Old Feb 14, '12, 4:39 am
ajaffres ajaffres is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

Don't I know it, I get a lot of those comments and we only have 3. Three boys. People say, wow, you have your hands full! Homeschooling has been the best blessing for us since many families that homeschool have larger families.
I never felt that I was giving less to my boys than those who have 1 child. I rarely need to organize 'play dates' because the boys are content with each other. We attend many social events and yes, I limit the kids on their extra-curricular activities compared to my friends who have only 1 child. (Many of them live with their mother and grow up with no Dad to speak of.) Learning that money doesn't grow on trees, it not a bad thing. Teaching teens that they may have to contribute to their post secondary education by working in the summer and part-time during the school year and perhaps stay home instead to living in a dorm where young adult party, drink and are prone to pre-marital sex every weekend, may also be a blessing. Statistics also show, that the industry needs to produce more tradesmen/women then university graduates. How many university graduates do you know end up working in retail with not marketable skills?
In your case, your wife is not in a condition to have more children, things might change. I would have loved to have more children, but not my husband. I have learned recently to put relationships in perspective. My number one relationship should be with God, secondly with my husband and thirdly with the children.
Four is a beautiful number, you are not crazy. Enjoy your family, if a fifth is part of God's plan, he will let you know when you wife is better.
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  #28  
Old Feb 14, '12, 5:45 am
GraceDK GraceDK is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

I think its sad that some of the only times where I see child abuse in the news in my country its comitted by people who have many children. For some people having many babies is part of not taking responsibility... We have a case like that running in the news right now. That coupled with the historical fact that women have often had more children than they had energy for because the man was 'the leader' and didn't wanna give up sex... well I think these things play into public prejudize.
If you see a really big family, you look at these kids to see if they are well mentally stimulated by both parents etc..

In the environment where I now live there are some large Christian families. These people are wonderful but sometimes there are children all over the place tearing plants out of the ground, making a lot of noise and drawing on the walls, and their parents are nowhere in sight. This makes the neighbours go crazy.. and prejudize thrive when such things keep happening.

I think that people of this generation generelly have trouble being disciplinarian.. when you have guests with one or two kids even, those kids can destroy all reasonable conversation, you see them yelling and slapping their parents.. and if there are many of these kids you start to get irritated.. I think its natural. So people need to raise their children well.

I don't think having many kids is bad, what I do not like is father-less homes where the dads work all the time and never see their children, however they might rationalize this behaviour. A healthy home is not made up by a stay at home mom and 10 children who never see their dad.. Or homes where little kids, especially girls, are asked to help the mommy out all the time so they don't have the freedom to play and be children.

Can people follow these thoughts?
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  #29  
Old Feb 14, '12, 6:56 am
ajaffres ajaffres is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraceDK View Post
In the environment where I now live there are some large Christian families. These people are wonderful but sometimes there are children all over the place tearing plants out of the ground, making a lot of noise and drawing on the walls, and their parents are nowhere in sight. This makes the neighbours go crazy.. and prejudize thrive when such things keep happening.

I think that people of this generation generelly have trouble being disciplinarian.. when you have guests with one or two kids even, those kids can destroy all reasonable conversation, you see them yelling and slapping their parents.. and if there are many of these kids you start to get irritated.. I think its natural. So people need to raise their children well.

I don't think having many kids is bad, what I do not like is father-less homes where the dads work all the time and never see their children, however they might rationalize this behaviour. A healthy home is not made up by a stay at home mom and 10 children who never see their dad.. Or homes where little kids, especially girls, are asked to help the mommy out all the time so they don't have the freedom to play and be children.

Can people follow these thoughts?
As Catholics we are called to responsible parenthood, it is not better to be an irresponsible parent of 1,2,3 or more. When a woman gets pregnant, she should be rejoicing, not feeling like lab rat. Vatican II is very clear on this matter. I unfortunately do not have the document on hand to quote it personally. Those families you are referring to are possibly not Catholic and may receive different teachings in that regards.

Teaching kids to pitch in around the house (not just the girls) is a great way to eventually prepare them to take care of their own home later in life. A balance between academics, play and learning life skills are important.
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  #30  
Old Feb 14, '12, 7:16 am
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Brendan Brendan is offline
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Default Re: Why the bias against medium to large families?

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Originally Posted by PrayerShark View Post
We all can't have large families though. I mean if one family has 12 children, then their children have 12 children each, and then there children have 12 children....and so on, somewhere along the line there is a point at which that the population exceeds the resources (food and water) needed to sustain them in a comfortable life. Therefore does society not have a right to be judgemental?
Your statement conveys a lack of understanding of the creative role of God and His omniscience.

Remember that the couple are participatory in the creation of a new human person, but God is the primary actor. It is only by a positive act of His Will that a new soul is created. It is not something that God merely allows to happen, but something God does.

As such, it can only be for our good that a child is created.

In addition, God has a much better understanding of what the natural resources are, and how many humans He can support via the fruits of the Earth than we do.

Ergo, there can NEVER be more people on the Earth than God desires there to be. In fact, throught the scourge of abortion and other forms of murder, there are most certainly fewer people than God desired to be alive today.

So that couple that you mentioned, and their children, and their children's children, can only have as many offspring as God desires there to be and whom God speciically created there to be.
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