The Best Reasons for Having More Than One Child


second babyIt turns out my rah-rahing for having a second baby is actually backed up by science. Who knew? Well now we all do thanks to this new book The Sibling Effect by Jeffrey Kluger, and his interview on Salon. Kluger tell us that yes, siblings really do matter. And if you have one, you should take full advantage of that relationship, because it's the only one you'll have for your entire life.

Kluger acknowledges that not everyone has an awesome relationship with their brothers and sisters, but after he shows why it's so important, he encourages us all to pick up the phone and foster closeness with the sibs. Something we should also try and do with our own children by not setting them up to be rivals.

So just in case you're on the fence about having another baby, here are five great things about adding that second baby to the brood.

1. Awesome Conflict Resolution

There's no better peer to learn from than a sibling. It's the first person you have to share with, starting with mom and dad. Whether the little one watches the older sister negotiate another piece of cake after dinner, or they both have regular knock-down drag-out fights, this is the relationship that gets you ready for the real world.

2. You Can Relax the Second Time Around

As the youngest in the family, I'm loathe to bring this study to light, but the numbers show higher IQs for the oldest child. Since this is a given, hey, why not just kick back and forget about the flash cards with the second baby? It can be your laissez-faire parenting moment. Because naturally the firstborn gets more resources, time, and attention from his parents and this can often result in a child more equipped intellectually. The good news is, if you aren't a middle child (and if you are, you're kind of screwed), you'll wind up being the only child after the oldest smarty-pants goes off to college. The little one can suck up those resources then, because that time actually does matter for development as well.

3. Kids Can Get in Some Dating Practice

No, not in a weird way. But it turns out you can identify a man who was raised with sisters, and a woman who was raised with brothers, within the time it takes to speed date. Which is a good thing, because boys with sisters tend to be more sensitive and more in tune with ladies, and girls with brothers know how to get along better with the dudes. Perhaps we can assume the same thing of gay dating, when the participants had same-sex sibs?

4. When Taking Care of the Parents

The one that everyone thinks about, for good reason, is totally true. When your parents have a health crisis, or just get old, you'll need someone else who totally gets it in the trenches with you.

5. The Bonding Over Death

And once the parents are gone, through death or divorce, you'll actually bond more to your sibling. Which is a good thing, because no one should have to go through all that pain by themselves.

Do you see these as benefits of having a second baby?

baby development, siblings


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ms_mo... ms_morgan

I'm the baby of three, and I have been fortunate enough to have a strong bond with both of my siblings.  My brother is 6 years older than me, so when we he hit Jr. High, we kind of grew apart, until I went to college and we got really close again.  And my sister is three years older than me, and I consider her my best friend.  I'm pregnant with my first, and as long as I don't COMPLETELY go crazy with just one, I plan on having at least another, if not more!  Siblings are a God send.

LikeA... LikeAVirgin

I have 4 brothers, no sisters and it is next to impossible for me to form real meaningful relationships with other women which is very disappointing. I do agree with these points though.

mumma... mummajenni

One's sibling(s) don't necessarily live our entire lives...

nonmember avatar Shelly

No. My siblings are dug addicted jerks. I don't want to be close to them, and I won't need them when my parents die. The ONLY REAL reason to have a child, is the desire to love and raise them. I am fine with one, I don't desire another. I'm not going to get pregnant for any of the above reasons. They are not good enough.

Sweet... SweetJakesMom

I've read several reviews on "The Sibling Effect", and from what I've read, the jist of the book is that siblings have a strong influence on your early development, but it may be positive or negative.

Siblings relationships are a toss-up...some are great, some are a nightmare. IMO, the bottom line is that you should NEVER have a child just for another child. You should do only if you and your partner both want a new life strictly for it's own sake.

Fallaya Fallaya

I don't see any benefits.  I love having one child and don't plan on having any more.

Sweet... SweetJakesMom

I also noticed the writer of "The Sibling Effect" had particularly glowing things to say about only children, so I'm not even sure the author himself would consider any of those as "reasons in to have another".  This is from an interview with the author...

"The biggest advantage a youngest child gets that middle children do not is to eventually become an only child... Only children tend to exceed other kids in terms of academic accomplishments, sophistication, vocabulary, and often, social skills as well."

No one needs to "give" their child a sibling, that's a myth. Each child should be desired fully just for themselves.

Sweet... SweetJakesMom

Sorry or the typos, damn you autocorrect!

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