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Old 08-20-2010, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,437 posts, read 41,696,241 times
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Back in the stone age before interstates and A/C in cars making a long road trip for everybody was torture.We'd drive from N.C. to Oklahoma and after about 10 minutes of saying hello to his parentrs, my father would literally say"OK, now that is over with. Let's go back home"

There was always a drought andnobody could flush the toilet for days on end- cattle ranch in the boonies.

BTW neither of my parents liked their siblings, my brother and I didn't like each other and most folks I know who have ever had to work on their parents estates together ended up hating their siblings.

Having a family is not for everybody and I admire folks who realize their limits.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:42 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,952,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
BTW neither of my parents liked their siblings, my brother and I didn't like each other and most folks I know who have ever had to work on their parents estates together ended up hating their siblings.
As with everything else in life: garbage in, garbage out.

When parents raise their children without challenging any of the fundamentals of the doctrine of individualism, and later they wonder why their children ended up not being close, or even hating each other...well...I guess you were talking about some unaware parents in the first place.

The very idea of "family", in and of itself, stands in sharp contrast with the doctrine of individualism. A family is a group. When the group is collective only in structure but it lacks sentiment, affection, cohesion, common interests and identity, affinities, solidarity and a sense of complicity among family members...guess what you end up with later on?

Individual family members who drift apart in adulthood and hardly give a D about each other, at the end of the day.

What does a sibling become?

An annoying competitor, often virtual stranger, with whom you will have to share whatever is left from mom and pop - when said mom and pop are gone.

This is the very reason why many American contemporaries are not close to their families - or only maintain formal and relatively distant relationships with them.

"Every man for himself" is not conducive to strong families.
It never has been, it never will.

Perhaps western, individualistic cultures may want to consider doing away with the institution of family altogether as it hardly assorts with their most fundamental values.
Huxley gave them some ideas long time ago.
Time to implement them, perhaps?

Last edited by syracusa; 08-20-2010 at 10:52 PM..
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:49 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,952,401 times
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As for family size - taking into account modern social and ecological realities:

0 offspring is best for already living humans but asks too much sacrifice of those with an obvious drive to reproduce regardless.

1 is not really a family.

3 is overpopulating. And hard.

4+ is insanity.

How about the magic number 2?

If everyone in this world who wants to have a family stopped at two, they could all have some cake, eat some too and the world population would start declining.

I vote for 2 and remain grateful to those who opt for zero.

The video clip was funny though!
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:35 PM
 
Location: middle of everywhere
1,832 posts, read 3,666,335 times
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That was a hilarious video. I can't imagine 3 children, kudos to those of you who do it.

I heard somewhere that once you have three children, there is little difference after that- 3,4,or 5 it doesn't change the amount of work. They also said that going from 2 children to 3 children was harder than going from 1 to 2 kids.

Despite the only child stereotypes, I'm happy I stuck with 1. Although I will say I know of 1 only child who'd have his parents carrying on like the guy did in the 3 children segment.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:45 AM
 
2,605 posts, read 3,941,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
This is the very reason why many American contemporaries are not close to their families - or only maintain formal and relatively distant relationships with them.

"Every man for himself" is not conducive to strong families.
It never has been, it never will.
This has only been in more recent times. It starts when the kids are small, mom wants each to be their own little wonder, individual and special by him/herself. They each have their own sports and individual accomplishments because each one is JUST SO SPECIAL.

Kids aren't raised as a unit anymore. They are raised to be seperate and each has his/her own pedestal to sit on. They aren't taught anything about community property within the family. They aren't taught to take care of each other.

Parents are raising a bunch of individuals instead of a unit, but it isn't individuals as far as responsibility goes. Kids grow up thinking they are so very special, but they don't grow up with any sense of responsibility and accountability.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:03 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,364 posts, read 50,627,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoExcuses View Post
You missed the whole essense of his humor. Unless you grow up in, or have a number of kids, you can't see how funny that video really was.

Kids who grow up with a number of siblings form healthy attachments and relationships, but with the modern parenting, it's more difficult to be a happy parent with many children.

Most families had 4-8 kids when I was growing up. When that guy said, "We counted cows. AND WE WERE HAPPY.", I thought oh my, we did the same thing!! I remember road trips with 5 kids in the car. There were no seatbelts and we fought for a window. No one wanted to sit in the middle. There were no minivans; we were packed in to the Buick's back seat with the youngest of us in the front on my mother's lap.

There were no video games or other entertainment, we looked out the window and COUNTED COWS.

We didn't grow up to be sissies or have to have our hands held into adulthood. It was great to grow up with a lot of kids, whether we all got along or not.
That's funny.

Because of circumstances, I had one at a time with years in between. I wish I could have had them close together.
I was one of 7. We played the counting cows game, too. You counted as many cows as you could on your side of the car when you passed a pasture, BUT if you passed a cemetery, your cows were all dead and you had to start over.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:20 AM
 
2,605 posts, read 3,941,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I was one of 7. We played the counting cows game, too. You counted as many cows as you could on your side of the car when you passed a pasture, BUT if you passed a cemetery, your cows were all dead and you had to start over.
Funny how inventive kids got back then. That's hilarious.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:26 AM
 
8,322 posts, read 8,599,004 times
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I am not a fan of large families. I suppose a definition is in order first. I would say four or more kids is a large family. We chose to have two children. Its worked out very well for us. We have plenty of time to give each child. We had money to pay for braces and we never worried about stupid stuff like the co-payment on health insurance when our kids were sick. Now, that our son is eighteen we have the money to pay for him to go to the best public university in the state. He was one of those kids who got good grades, but not good enough (-A average or better) to qualify for a scholarship.

I have a number of criticisms of large families. These are not universally true. I believe they are more often true than not though. Here are my criticisms:

1. Parents will claim they have plenty of time to give each child, but once they have four or more its just not true. Something has to give. I am in a position where I have seen a lot of young children that have been injured in accidents. The common thread that seems to run through it is they are being raised by one parent or by parents who are too busy to supervise them much. Now, it is true that some parents do a better job with a large family than others do. However, the averages prove my point.

2. Older children end up getting roles like "substitute parent to the younger kids" dumped on them. It really isn't appropriate for a thirteen year old to be parenting five and seven year old siblings. They don't have the same judgment and adult does. It often leads to jealousy and bad feelings.

3. Parents struggle more to make ends meet. This leads to a host of problems. Sometimes one spouse ends up suppressing anger over the fact that the new couch they wanted must wait while Johnny gets braces and Mary has dance lessons. Decisions are made to allocate the limited resources of the family in ways that are not always good or appropriate. Dave doesn't get braces even though the dentist says he really needs them. Steve doesn't go to the doctor for over a week after he gets sick because Mom is having trouble trying to dig up $30 for a copayment. Worst of all, the way many families deal with this is that Dad works two or more jobs and is never around.

4. Large families place a large burden on a public school system. If you live in a home worth $250,000, you pay the same property taxes whether you have zero kids or seven kids. However, seven kids cost the district a fortune to educate. In essence, people who have large families and utilize the resources of the public school system don't pay their own way. They may claim that they do because they pay taxes, but the proportionate share they pay doesn't begin to cover the cost that they impose on society.

If I had my way, I'd stop providing so many subsidies and tax deductions for people with large families. I would say after three kids, you should stop being able to declare kids as dependents.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:32 AM
 
2,605 posts, read 3,941,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I am not a fan of large families. I suppose a definition is in order first. I would say four or more kids is a large family. We chose to have two children. Its worked out very well for us. We have plenty of time to give each child. We had money to pay for braces and we never worried about stupid stuff like the co-payment on health insurance when our kids were sick. Now, that our son is eighteen we have the money to pay for him to go to the best public university in the state. He was one of those kids who got good grades, but not good enough (-A average or better) to qualify for a scholarship.

I have a number of criticisms of large families. These are not universally true. I believe they are more often true than not though. Here are my criticisms:

1. Parents will claim they have plenty of time to give each child, but once they have four or more its just not true. Something has to give. I am in a position where I have seen a lot of young children that have been injured in accidents. The common thread that seems to run through it is they are being raised by one parent or by parents who are too busy to supervise them much. Now, it is true that some parents do a better job with a large family than others do. However, the averages prove my point.

2. Older children end up getting roles like "substitute parent to the younger kids" dumped on them. It really isn't appropriate for a thirteen year old to be parenting five and seven year old siblings. They don't have the same judgment and adult does. It often leads to jealousy and bad feelings.

3. Parents struggle more to make ends meet. This leads to a host of problems. Sometimes one spouse ends up suppressing anger over the fact that the new couch they wanted must wait while Johnny gets braces and Mary has dance lessons. Decisions are made to allocate the limited resources of the family in ways that are not always good or appropriate. Dave doesn't get braces even though the dentist says he really needs them. Steve doesn't go to the doctor for over a week after he gets sick because Mom is having trouble trying to dig up $30 for a copayment. Worst of all, the way many families deal with this is that Dad works two or more jobs and is never around.

4. Large families place a large burden on a public school system. If you live in a home worth $250,000, you pay the same property taxes whether you have zero kids or seven kids. However, seven kids cost the district a fortune to educate. In essence, people who have large families and utilize the resources of the public school system don't pay their own way. They may claim that they do because they pay taxes, but the proportionate share they pay doesn't begin to cover the cost that they impose on society.

If I had my way, I'd stop providing so many subsidies and tax deductions for people with large families. I would say after three kids, you should stop being able to declare kids as dependents.
I agree with some of what you are saying, and I believe that limiting a family to two children is the most responsible these days.

Back 50 years ago, large familes were common, which is how we got into this mess, but large families didn't suffer too much, we always had each other and a lot of stories to tell.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,437 posts, read 41,696,241 times
Reputation: 47030
I'm teaching my kids the cow/cemetary game now. They love it but it only works on non interstate drives. Around town we count bibycle riders but if you see one without a helmet you lose your number and have to start over.
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