Sunday, April 10, 2011

You Can't Always Get What You Want...

But if you try sometimes, you find, you get what you need.

Did you know that a family with two daughters is most likely to be happy?

Well, I'm sure you do know that, because I'm never able to blog when I want to, and my friend Susie shared this gem with me days and days ago and the article has been all over the media since then, but still, interesting, no?

Before kids I would have said the ideal two child family would have gone:

Boy, Girl
Girl, Boy
Boy, Boy
Girl, Girl

My rationale would have been that everyone wants a son, one of each is preferable to two of the same and hence the order.

Apparently that's not the case. The UK parenting website examined over 2,000 families to find out what the 'ideal' combination of children would be - and their results are:

1. Two girls
2. One boy and one girl
3. Two boys
4. Three girls
5. Three boys
6. Four boys
7. Two girls and one boy
8. Two boys and one girl
9. Three boys and one girl
10. Three girls and one boy
11. Two boys and two girls
12. Four girls

Singletons were not included in the study because, I suppose, it was about 'child combinations' but I think it's an odd omission. Plus I think there's the hugely important factor of age differences that is ignored - but having said that, I do agree that having two little girls is proving to be a very successful combination in the K household, and for most of the reasons cited in the study:

1. Rarely noisy
2. Help around the house
3. Very few fights and arguments
4. Quite easy to reason with
5. Play together nicely
6. Rarely ignore each other
7. They confide in you
8. Very well behaved
9. Rarely try to wind each other up
10. Really like each other

All this seems to ring true for us. They do both play quietly and volunteer around the house (often making the situation much worse as a result....). They don't squabble too much, and Anna is quite easy to reason with looks pointedly at two-year-old daughter.

Is this going to continue? To an extent I hope so. I doubt one will want to go to a monster truck rally and the other a princess pageant - I think they are more likely to have shared interests growing up - so I don't see much fighting in that arena  - but hello, what about 10 years time?? What about two teenage girls with rollercoastering hormones growing up in a financially impoverished household in a conspicuous consumption-obsessed town? Plus, does LK think two girls are fab when they both yell 'NO YAKERS DADA' (no Lakers dada) every time he touches the remote control??!

I know he wouldn't trade his girls for anything, and I suppose the bottom line for me is that once a child is born, he or she stops being a gender and starts being a person, an irreplaceable part of your heart.

But girls call you, and remember your birthday, and stop you dressing like a twenty years out of date nut-job when you're in your 50s.

There, I said it.


Anonymous said...

Funny....none of those ring true for us. Could it be the red hair?

(And because i cannot, for the life of me, get my Google account to recognize me, i'll sign my name)

Mom Of Two Redheads

Lise said...

It peeves me that this is all over the media, and rarely has the source been cited. Thank for including that. I went to to check it out. Most media has implied that this is a scientific study. As far as I can tell, it's not. It's an opinion poll done by a website that is geared toward parents of young children. It's impossible to determine from whether the respondents were self-selected. It doesn't take into account ages of the children or the parents. It doesn't mention whether the two-daughter familes are finished having children. Nothing about the economic level of the families and whether that effected the outcome. And no mention of the country of origin of the responders. I don't know if all of the parents were British, and if American parents would have responded differently.

All that is not to say that having two daughters isn't absolutely wonderful. Just that it's not scientifically proven to be "best."

Tommie said...

I have two daughters, ages eight and four. And while I adore them and definitely think they are the best combination for me and my husband, my cousin and his wife have three sons and I have a feeling if I asked them, they'd say that three boys is the best combination. I do have to say that I think your point about after a child get here he/she becomes more than a gender. To Lise's point, my husband and I are absolutely done having children after having our two girls.

Nimble said...

It was new to me. And we have two girls too. Youngest just turned 7 this weekend, oldest is 9. I try to remind myself often that having them now in the same elementary school is probably the easiest, least stressful parenting time I will have until they're mid twenties. Oldest daughter is intense and regularly gives us previews of the adolescence to come. But I am looking forward to the fashion advice in my fifties.

LMM said...

I grew up in a house with two girls, 3.5 years apart. Let's see:

1. Rarely noisy - except when we were fighting and slamming doors.
2. Help around the house - when threatened.
3. Very few fights and arguments -WHAT? They're crazy. We almost killed each other on many occasions. Especially in the teen years.
4. Quite easy to reason with - reason only works so well with a hormonal 13 year old.
5. Play together nicely - this is true, most of the time.
6. Rarely ignore each other - couldn't if we tried.
7. They confide in you - Sometimes
8. Very well behaved - Sometimes
9. Rarely try to wind each other up - except long car trips
10. Really like each other - wasn't always true. We had a couple high school/college years when we didn't really like each other all that much. But now we're terribly close and love each other to pieces. So much so that I was just a *little* sad for my daughter when we found out baby #2 was a boy, that she won't have a sister like I did.

Patti Kuche said...

So two of either is the premium after which it all goes downhill according to the research. This might help explain the family dynamics I grew up with - three older brothers and only two younger brothers. I am a girl by the way, well, along time ago,and the only one. Sadly, not spoiled nearly enough!

Laura said...

"A son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter's a daughter for the rest of her life." :):)

I'm a mama of twin girls, and I have to admit that I cried when I found out that "Twin B" was a girl, too. I SOOO wanted a boy! Just one boy! But I am just thrilled to bits with my girls, and now I wouldn't change a thing. (And I'm too old to have more!) My little sister, mama to one girl and one boy, told me to "Pray for girls!" all through my pregnancy. But I adore my nephew, and he was my main reason for wanting a boy just like him.

I am one of two girls, and I was lucky enough to have a daddy who always said, "Girls are the best!" and never made us feel "less" for not being boys.

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