Are bigger families happier families?

If you’ve got children and grandchildren you will know that they bring a great deal of joy mixed with a lot of worry and some heartache. When the grandchildren are running round the house and garden it can feel really lively, busy and happy.

But how many kids bring the optimum level of happiness? Well, a five-year study by Perth’s Edith Cowan University has come up with the answer.

They discovered families with four or more children are the happiest and feel the most satisfied.

Bronwyn Harman, a lecturer in the School of Psychology and Social Science, asked parents from different family types about resilience, social support and self-esteem.

The parents who rated the highest satisfaction in all the categories were those with a family of four kids or more.

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The great thing about a big family is you have a lot of back up emotionally and there’s a great deal of support available. Couple that with the fact that the kids are never bored because there’s always someone to play with and you can see how the equation works.

Researchers discovered that there are plenty of questions for parents of large families. They described being asked if they were Catholic; had a television; and if the children all shared the same father?

Of course there are draw backs. More kids equals bigger bills, less time and more pressure. There are the practicalities to deal with too. If you have a big family you need a bigger house and a larger car.  All of this could be outweighed by the joy, fun and love that children can’t help but bring with them. Plus there’s a never ending supply of hand-me-downs and you don’t need to invite anyone over to have a party!

In recent decades, many parents have opted for smaller families, does this research suggest they’re missing out on something?

How many kids were in your family when you were growing up, is four the perfect number? Were you an only child, would you have loved brothers and sisters to play with ? Share your story with us.