8 realities of growing up in a large family

Growing up in a large family carries many pros and cons. Here are some things to consider when expanding your family.

Growing up in a very large family has many ups and downs. Choosing to raise a very large family comes with many benefits and complications. Whether you are creating, or growing up in a family with many members, here are 8 ways others in your unusual situation will relate to:

Pro: Communal living

With so many people under one roof, everyone can pool their resources together to keep each other well and safe. Those who can work keep the household afloat, those who stay home keep it clean and kept. More hands can feed more mouths.

Con: There isn’t enough to go around

Even with the best of intentions or independent wealth, there is inherently a limitation on what can be spent on each child in a large family. Be it time, attention, affection, financial support or individualized care, large families face some tough realities when it comes to keeping each kid comfortable. Some families leave their kids to fend for themselves, from food, to love, to tuition. Other think an excess of allowance makes up for quality time and attention.

Pro: Big love

More people mean more opportunities to talk, confide and connect with those you love. There is better availability to share important moments and make memories when so many people are close by.

Con: More people more conflict

More personalities in one tight space mean more fights and conflicts. Each person may want his own way, or feel overrun but stronger personalities. Mediation and conflict resolution can become an integral part of everyday life.

Pro: Safety in numbers

When you can supply your own sports team, it provides a sense of protection. Outsiders won’t mess with one member when they know she’s backed up by a whole host of defensive players.

Con: Mob mentality

Large families with lots of young adult, teen and adolescent children can succumb to herd behavior. This means that when one goes off track the others are more likely to follow. Corrupting many members of a tight nit group is easier when just a few turn first.

Pro: Built-in friendship

In crowded houses you never have to look too far for a friend or supporter. Smaller cliques often form, but each member of the house knows they have many second choices for emotional support or advice if her bestie is pre-occupied or elsewhere.

Con: No privacy

Living in a large family could be a nightmare for an introvert. If a child is shy, introspective, or prefers quiet and solitude to constant company, this way of life can prove very stressful and damaging to her sense of wellbeing and peace. Each kid is different and should have her individual needs respected whenever possible; if possible.

Large families are still a necessary means of survival in some impoverished or rural communities. But most likely, choosing to raise so many children in one household without a solid means of support for each one will risk wreaking havoc on young, impressionable lives. One child requires a lifetime of planning and care, so adding to quantity without consideration of quality for each member of the family is not advisable. Big families have lots of ups and downs to consider, so each additional child should be given careful, loving thought.

Georgia Lee

Georgia D. Lee seeks to empower, inspire, enrich and educate anyone with an open mind, heart and spirit through her most treasured medium - black and white!