by Collin Turney
I worked door-to-door selling educational books for families that helped from learning ABC’s to SAT college prep. I met a total of aprx 3000 families, and here is my analysis:
1 kid – highly stressed parents and child as a by product of the psychological stress that comes with the “all the eggs in one basket” mentality. This means strict grade requirements, strict curfews and other things that are small but total up to a large amount of stress on the child because he feels like it is his duty to never fail at anything.
2 kids: assuming tbe kids are close in age, aprx 8 years or less, creates a “versus” mentality in the family. One child is always against the other. This often will pit parents against each other as well as the kids are always trying to earn the favor of whichever parent likes them more. The younger child has a high propensity to be a polar opposite of their older sibling as they are so often compared to their older sibling and feel as if they are living in someone’s shadow and will become different out of spite to build their own identity.
3 kids: Nearing the breaking point. Not many negatives other than the youngest often can get away with murder and the middle one feels he has no identity as he is neither the oldest nor youngest.
4+ children: the parents at this stage are fully occupied with raising the kids and stop giving a crap about their own personal problems and just do what needs to be done to keep everyone fed. Also, they will just let kids be kids and not worry so much about if they are wrestling in the house or coloring on the walls or other petty things because the parents reach a point where they realize if they care to much about each individual thing the kids are doing they would go insane in less than a week. Also, at 4 or more kids the dynamic in the kids is such that the older kids often assume a part in raising the younger ones and everyone is held to the same standard rather than the “vs” mentality of the 2 kids family and the “baby, directionless middle child, and oldest most mature child” mentality of the 3 kids family.
The chillest family I met had 8 kids under the age of 10 and the kids were in the middle of what seemed to be the toddler version of MMA in their front yard and the parents gave no hecks.