Family Planning Tendencies
The Fact That More Couples are Choosing to Have Only One Child, or None
In the past years, countries like China adopted a one-child family policy that required every family to have only one child. The policy was intended to curb the increasingly increasing population in the country so that the government would realize a sustainable population. The policy has often been practice in different regions across the world (Lamanna, Agnes and Susan 204). Nevertheless, most parents in different parts of the world including the United States prefer to have one child or even none as a matter of choice rather than a policy. Accordingly, this paper details the fact and reasons why more couples are choosing to have only one child or none.
Social psychologist and author Susan Newman argues that, only- child families are increasingly becoming the new traditional family for series of reasons. Many women in the modern societies are having children later in life, and most families often get concerned by the cost of raising children (McLanahan 607). In this regard, such families may choose to have one child or none. Different views about the nature of singleton children have been fostered in the past years. Such views termed single children as a spoiled lot and promoted multiple-sibling families. Nevertheless, the modern economic and demographic trends dovetailed with research shows that only children are not disadvantaged at all. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand why single-child families are on the rise.
Some families make decisions to have one child because of economic reasons. Such families prefer to devote their financial resources, time and energy to one child to spare some for traveling and being more engaged citizens. In this regard, having one child or none leads to greater flexibility. According to USDA, a child born in 2011 is likely to cost an average of $243,900 in terms of raising her/him to the age of 18 (Sandler 83). Besides, there are opportunity costs of a family’s loss of income from parental leave, dropping out of workplace entirely or scaling back hours. According to USDA, “two-parent households that have multiple children devote more than a third of their income to their children” (Sandler 55). Therefore, there is a strong economic case for many families stopping at one child.
The fact of having one child is the convenience it presents. Having singleton child is much easier for parents since it allows for a considerable more controlled environment. In addition, there are fewer relationships in the families of singleton children to complicate the overall family dynamic. In this regard, there is only one child to cry, have meltdowns or scream that is more appealing to most parents.
Many couples who decide to have a child are very peaceful. They regularly give jobs of attention to the child that in turn make the child feel loved. In addition, having one child allows the couples to be more attuned to the personal emotional needs of the single child since there is no other child whose needs would take the parent away from the other child (Lamanna et al. 204). The point that couples with only one child have adequate time and sufficient energy to stay attuned to the child cannot be underestimated since such attunement to the emotional needs of a child is essential for positive cognitive and emotional development in children.
Additionally, the point that more couples are choosing to have only one child or none has been fostered by a cultural change in societies. In the past couples of decades, parents of only children were considered selfish and often warned that their offspring would become maladjusted, spoiled, pragmatic, frail, selfish, and would be prone to anxiety, mental anxiety, and suicidal activity (McLanahan 610). The modern parents have far rejected these judgments and stereotyping nature of human beings. There have instead, decided to give the best to their only children in terms of taking them to better schools, giving better meals and clothing. As a result, as they age, they experience limited pressure from their children thus, “everything is more precious” (Lamanna et al. 204).
A Pew survey (2007) found out that 75% of individuals believe that the primary purpose of marriage is the “mutual happiness and fulfillment” of adults rather than the “bearing and raising of children” (McLanahan 617). Therefore, such people prefer having one child to realize the purpose of marriage.
Most parents have devoted to either have one child or none in different parts of the world. There are often reasons for such decisions regardless of the traditional beliefs of the disadvantages of only children siblings. Such reasons include the need to provide the best to the children, the need to adapt to the prevailing economic circumstances and to enjoy the primary purpose of marriage. Besides, such couples prefer to be in only children families for convenience and to have adequate time and sufficient energy to stay attuned to the child.
Lamanna, Mary A, Agnes C. Riedmann, and Susan Stewart. Marriages, Families and Relationships: Making Choices in a Diverse Society. , 2015. Print.
Sandler, Lauren. One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One. Simon and Schuster, 2014.