Large families are a lot more common that you think today. With many people getting divorced it is very common for blended families to end up with 4 or even more children. People still react with shock when they hear people say “oh I have four kids” and generally follow it with, “How do you cope.”
Large families generally aren’t as chaotic as they are assumed to be because they have no choice but to be organised and there are many hands to help. You will be hard pressed to find a child who grew up in a large family who didn’t enjoy it.
There are many advantages of being one of many.
You are never alone. There is always someone around, maybe not to play with but to just keep you company. If you want to do something there is always someone there to do it with you.
You learn the value of sharing and compromise early on. With this comes amazing negotiating skills, there is nothing like a negotiation between two toddlers trying to get the toy they want. It may not be an advantage in the moment but learning that you are not the only person in the world is a lesson that will hold a child in good stead. Learning you can’t always get what you want and that you need to, sometimes, compromise is a big part of life.
There is always someone to help you. Parents have their hands full with many children, they simply can’t always be there to make peanut butter bread or fix a broken Lego house, but an older sibling can. There are also a lot of resources to call on when you need to do a project or build a model or draw something you really just can’t.
You always have a support team. Whether you are a dancer, a swimmer or soccer player, you will never be without a team of supporters cheering you on. There will also always be someone reminding you got this, when you don’t feel like you do.
There is always laughter and children learn how to laugh at themselves. Children laugh at each other it is part of who they are, as long as it still done in a kind way, children learn to not take themselves too seriously. Mistakes happen, you say the wrong the wrong thing and that’s ok. This is a really good lesson for children to learn to shake things off, find the humour and move on.
Children who grow up with many siblings learn the value of team work, they learn that everyone has a part to play and if they don’t do their part, the bigger machine won’t work. This is valuable lesson for life, we all are a small part of a bigger picture and if we do not do our part, it has consequences far beyond us.
When you grow up in a large family you learn the power of family and just how strong sibling love can be. Siblings may not always like each other, they may not always want to be around each other but when something happens, good or bad, they are the ones you turn to first, they are the ones you rally around you.
Having a large family is not for everyone but when you find yourself kid no 3 out of 6, there are many advantages and many opportunities to create lasting memories and be part of an incredible tribe.