'Really happy' parents have four or more children, study finds 9 months ago

'Really happy' parents have four or more children, study finds

As a parent of two – and currently pleading with my husband to agree to one (or two or three more) – I am forever looking for reasons as to why adding to our family just makes perfect sense. 

Obviously, the perfect number of kids is a personal decision for every family to make, but there are lots of different (and sometimes conflicting) theories out there when it comes to how the number of kids you have not only affect your own happiness, but also the children's.

As in; having just one is said to be a little lonely, having one of each is a "gentleman's family," and having three or more is, well, a little crazy, no?

Well, if you are debating taking the plunge and adding another baby to your growing brood,  you might find this new study from Australia's Edith Cowan University interesting – I know I sure did.

Because - drum roll, please – according to this study, it is parents of four – or more – kids that are the happiest.

Yep, you heard me. Four IS the new two, apparently.


To conduct the study, researchers spent five years conducting interviews with hundreds of parents from various family types about resilience, social support, self-esteem and life satisfaction, and found that parents with large families expressed the highest ratings in each of those areas.

One of the researchers, Dr. Bronwyn Harman, told the Sydney Morning Herald, that while large families often deal with added expenses and rude questions like, "Are they all yours?," most of the families planned to have four or more kids "and it was a lifestyle they'd chosen." Therefore they "accept that there is chaos in their lives but it does not negate the happiness they get from their families."

Another bonus of having a large family is that children growing up with many siblings are hardly ever bored, and always have a playmate at hand.

"They have social support within the family," Harman explains.