Sunday, April 5, 2009

Changes in family size

Families are shrinking faster than we first thought. The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently revealed that childless couples are the fastest growing family type. In three years time childless couples will outnumber families with kids. Currently 47% of Australian families consist of couples living with children. This will shrink to 33% in just three years.

Families with only one child are rapidly increasing with around 15-18% of children being only children.

One parent families are on the increase as well due to increases in family breakdown, declining birth rates and an ageing population.

It means that we as a community are becoming less tolerant of children and, in some ways, less conversant with the ways of children. They are in some ways more of a mystery to adults than ever before. It also has interesting ramifications for the future of parenting. We will raise a generation of children who have grown up in small families. With opportunities to look after younger siblings decreasing hands-on child-rearing learning opportunities for kids within families will virtually diminish as well. The future of parenting is perhaps a little uncertain.

The reduction in family size also means that households are a little more intense. Adults now at least have equal numbers as kids in most families so families become more adult-like and serious places.

What do you think are the ramifications for children and the community in general of the decrease in family size?

From Michael Grose's Parenting Ideas, Tips & Advice blog.


Lerin said...

This is a trend being seen in "western" countries all over the world. I think it is so sad... definitely will have drastically negative consequences. Children are a blessing.

paladin said...

Just to legitimize taking up space on your blog for a personal comment, let me address your actual topic: larger family sizes = better world (all other things being equal). More training in selflessness (even though that training can be through the "school of hard knocks"), more training in trusting God when your own resources are exhausted and your own frustration-meter is "red-lining", more of a chance to bring new people to Christ, etc., etc. There... I've paid my fare! :)

Anyway... thanks for your note! Lent has been (for me) a battle, with good effects, I think; to be continued...

God bless you and your family, always!

In Christ,

Rita said...

What a sad fact.

I can't say the numbers shock me though.

Interesting post, thanks.

God Bless!