Researchers in the UK polled over 2,000 families with various arrangements of children under age 16 (not families with only children, but we already they're the happiest). Their provocative conclusion? Two girls make for the happiest families. Apparently, two girls play relatively well together, make less noise and are generally nicer to be around.
Keep moving in that direction, however, and things take a turn. Parents of four girls reported the most strife. Big families of girls fight a lot and require more space and an extra car. I found it interesting to read all of this - the family combination I grew up with (two boys, two girls) ranks second to last in terms of happiness whereas the family combination I have now (one boy, one girl) ranks second to best - but I'm taking it all with several grains of salt.
Happiness research is always a bit tricky. Keep in mind that what the researchers were looking at here focuses on the hassles of parenting young kids, not the actual happiness of the kids/siblings and their- and the parents'-eventual satisfaction with life. The fact that two girls under the age 16 make parents happy gives rise to an eyebrow. (I think it was at about age 16 when my accommodating good nature gave way to a door-slamming attitude that lasted for several long parental pain-inflicting years.) In any event, here's the breakdown via The Telegraph:
'BEST' TO 'WORST' COMBINATIONS OF CHILDREN:
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
Does any of this ring true to you? What are you hoping for in a family?
For more about family planning including the benefits of having two girls, visit Babble.
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