Easier Parenting Means Having More Kids?
Many parents lament how hard parenting is these days. How it’s too often “all joy and no fun.” But Bryan Caplan, economics professor and author of Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids says it doesn’t have to be this way.
According to Mr. Caplan, power of nurture isn’t as powerful as we thought. There’s research out there that basically tells us that parents don’t have to lead overly busy, stressful lives to have their children become “healthy, smart, successful well-adjusted adults.” He contends that parents should “lighten up,” be less intent on being the perfect parent, and treating your child like a project to be perfected, and “focus on enjoying the journey with your child, instead of trying to control his destination.
In essence, parenting can be easier than we think and the kids will turn out fine. This is good news until Mr. Caplan goes further to recommend that because it does not have to be as hard as you think…have more kids! In other words, if you are hesitating to have that next child—don’t. Go for it. Want another one? Have it. Have as many as you want. While possibly welcome advice to first time parents or those who want to have another child, it doesn’t mean that having more kids is necessarily the best thing to do for the parents and the family.
It's not the best thing to do when you look at the bigger picture-how having more kids impacts the world. Mr. Caplan’s “have more kids” advice should stop at two. After replacing yourself and your partner does the same, to have more than that becomes a selfish act when it comes to impacting the larger world. With each kid, we bring in another consumer who’ll leave quite the wake, at least in this country. Each additional child will make an environmental impact on our world, seven billion people and growing each second. The population would get closer to maintaining itself is there was an average of 2.1 births per woman (or two kids per couple). So having up to two children just seems the balanced scenario between wanting kids and thinking about the impact of our reproductive actions on the larger world.
Parenting may be easier than we think it has to be, but we are wise to not just think of ourselves and what we want when it comes to how many children we want to have. That number does impact our world, including the children who are already in it.