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Seventeen Kids!


One more and they'll have two whole (National League) baseball teams' worth of children. The part of me that cringes at the idea of getting pregnant once has just shriveled up and died. This woman must have an iron uterus or something.


Aug. 6th, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
The "older kids doing a lot of the child rearing" happens in families with as few as three children.

Very large families, while mind-boggling today, develop coping strategies and are probably no more neurotic than the rest of us. Possibly less because there is, of necessity, less emphasis on me, me, me.

I'm sure older children, regardless of the number of children in a family, assume some of the child rearing responsibilities in many families. I don't even think it's a bad thing if the parents are aware and not using older kids as surrogate parents. Even some kids who are 'only' children rear themselves, though I don't think that's a good idea. Kids having responsibilities is a positive learning experience. I agree completely that many children from large families are probably well adjusted and happy.

However, the few people I know who reared younger siblings did not have a good experience. They felt used and didn't want children of their own for a quite a long time, if at all, because they felt they had already put in their time child rearing.

Helping out and having responsibilities is different than being expected to raise someone else's child when you didn't make that choice. I suppose it boils down to how the parents handle the needs of the older child balanced against the needs of the younger ones...and against their own needs and choices. When there are seventeen children in a family, I don't see how they would cope without some of the older children having to literally parent younger siblings.

And ALL families are dysfunctional in one way or another. Let's hope most remember to put the 'fun' in dysfunctional. :>)


by Illsaysheis

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