Having one child is better than two or more
People plan on when to have children and how many to have although, some countries have introduced birth control policies to control their population. For example “in china, the government has introduced a one-child policy that restricts urban couples to having one child” (Matt). In order to maintain sizable families, couples have adopted family planning methods. Family planning refers to a plan to have children, by using birth control techniques. It’s mostly used by a married couple who want to have a limited number of children to bear and to time pregnancy occurrence.
Benefits to the family
Every couple wishes to have families which they can afford to look after socially and financially. Having a family which one can afford to raise is advantageous to the couple and the economy as well. In today’s world, many couples have decided to have one child rather than two for various reasons. Although financial constrain is the primary reasons for having one child, there is also social benefit aspect.
First: “Parents aim at maintaining high living standards, not only for themselves but also for their children” (Masso). If a couple has one child all the resources will be focused upon just one child. With resources being focused on one child, it is easy to support the social life of that child hence the worry of the child of feeling lonely and socially segregated is taken care of. Housing one kid is easier than two because you will only need at least a three-bedroomed house: no need to buy an extra flat for your child. Clothing for the kid will not be much problem because you will need few clothes. Food for one kid is not difficult to buy as compared to feeding more than one child. For example, currently, the prices of basic foodstuffs have sty rocked hence people with more than one child are heavily feeling the pinch. The child is given the quality and enough food, hence protected from malnutrition. Parents find it easier to buy a car for one child than when they are two or more.
Second: All parents wish to give their children a better education. Some are willing to take their children to private schools, better colleges, buy them the best and recent textbooks, and even provide home tuitions for certain subjects. It will be easier for couples with one child to provide such education to their child than those who have two or more. This is so because the cost of taking one child to private schools or college is lower than taking two or more. The cost of higher education is so high and getting more than two children through university education is a mountain to climb. With one child, the burden of educating him or her is low and hence your child will get the best available education because he or she will no need to compete for school fees with any other child.
Third: Having one child gives the couple enough time to spend with their child as the child develops and learns. Taking more time to be with their child creates special closeness (it’s hard for people with two children to be close to each one). “A mother will not divide oneself between two young babies who require her attention” (Masso). It’s easier to carry one child as you visit your neighbors, friends, and going out grocery shopping. Such attention by the couple to their child makes a great difference as compared to a family with more than one child.
In the first years of life, a child requires much attention from his or her parents and therefore a child born alone in a family gets all the benefits of individual attention. Because one child receives such individual attention throughout his or her young life, he or she is in better position to succeed in adult life. “Only child reduces any conflicts among children as they compete for attention and love from their parents because she or he is the only around who requires attention from his or her parents” (David et al). In case the parents die there is no problem of sharing inheritance fortune because only the child inherits. Court battles in solving the problem of sharing inheritance will not arise with one child.
Fourth: In case one of the parents is away, on job duty, or abroad for business, the parent left behind will not find it difficult to raise one child alone. Again the cost of raising one child by single a mother is not big as when she was rising two or more. In case the two parents separate (divorces), the parent who is left with the responsibility of raising the child will not find it hard.
Fifth: With one child to take care of, parents are a better place to enjoy their life to the fullest as well as maintaining their relationship intact. “An additional child to the family brings problems to the family” (Weston, 40). There is no point in the life of one child mother when she will be faced with the problem of dealing with a toddler at the same time having another child in her belly. Raising a toddler is a tedious job but, once he or she starts walking and talking it becomes fun knowing that you will never have another child. Multiple children constrain family travels particularly when they are young. Carrying more than two children while on a picnic is quite a difficulty since you spend much of your time looking after them instead of enjoying your travel.
With one child the problems of the sleepless night are reduced because you can keep that child near you. There is no quarrel in the house as children fight one another since it’s the only child. Actually having more than one child might weaken a couples’ relationship because you find a situation whereby, the mother loves one child more than the other which is quite dangerous for the family’s union. Such a scenario creates tension within the family and might weaken the family bonding resulting in divorce.
Sixth: There more children you have the more maternity leaves you to get from work. Having one child will just guarantee a short time maternity leave hence reduce the chances of interrupting mothers’ career path. “After a short period maternity leave, the mother can resume her job without necessary updating her skills” (David et al). As result mothers have more time to pursue their careers, increasing their financial earnings. Having more than one child interrupts with mother’s career as she seeks more maternity leaves to give birth.
Seven: A one-child family can access better health services for the mother and also there is the reduction in mortality rates. “The risks associated with pregnancies are reduced because mothers only become pregnant once and for all” (Backett and Alexander 34). The risk of mothers dying when giving birth is avoided in the future. Mothers of only one child tends to have better health and live longer than mothers of more than one child because only child mother does not waste a lot of energy and blood while giving birth. The cost of accessing health services is minimal in a family of one child. Parents can buy health insurance and also access the best hospitals in the country: even the family may hire a family doctor. There is no worry of having more than one child being sick and also the chances of spread of communicable diseases are minimal. Only child family is batter placed to give their child the necessary care to protect him or her from disease-causing bacteria and virus. They are to afford the best anti-bacteria soaps and disinfectants for the family use.
Eight: Savings rate in a family having one child are high because they spend less, that is, there is more money in the bank. The cost of raising one child isn’t huge as if one was raising two or more. Parents employ few resources in terms of money and time on their child hence more money to invest. Only child businesses can own businesses such as grocery shops or invest in securities. Because parents will not depend on their children when they grow older, there is the possibility of saving for the future. Also, they will be enough money in the account to cater for the child in his adult life. The child will never have to strain if even he or she does not secure a better job.
Benefits of having one child for a country
One child policy has impact on the population of a country. It checks the growth of the population to a point that does not strain the economy of the country. If all families in a country with a high population growth rate were organized under one-child policy, then the fertility rate will fall to a point suitable for the economy. At appoint in time we will have two children instead of three if the birth rate was not controlled. For example, “the policy of one child in china has reduced the population by more than 400 million people since it was introduced in the 1970s” (Therese). If the population growth rate of a country is checked through one-child policy then, it would be easier to implement economic growth policies. A large population with few resources constrains the capacity of the country to increase its gross domestic product. Thus reduced population reduces problems associated with overpopulation such as epidemics, growth of slums, overstretching social services (health, education), and strain on the environment. “With a low population, demand for natural resources is checked as well unemployment rates caused by surplus labor” (Don and Bryant).
Only child families constitute to a less population in an area hence there are no competitions for social services. With one child helps the government by cutting, the cost of providing social services and infrastructure: the government will construct few schools, hospitals, and social amenities. No competition in public hospitals because parents can afford private hospitals, the population in public schools is reduced to a sustainable level. The cost of putting and maintaining infrastructure such as roads and railways by the government is checked because few people are using them.
Environment: There are environmental benefits brought about by choosing to have one child. Only child means small population hence reduced competition for natural resources. “High population resulting from large families is said to be causes of much pollution to the environment” (Don and Bryant). Vast lands covered with forest are destroyed to pave way for settlement and agriculture especially in rural areas. As the result, water catchments are destroyed causing rivers to dry up leading to water shortages. Incidents of poverty, growth of slums in urban centers are associated with large families hence having only child families checks this problem.
The current world food crisis and the high inflation rate is caused by the fast-growing world population. The problem is expected to worsen in the future if the population growth rates of countries particularly developing nations are not checked. Thus, in my opinion, the population growth rate problem will only be checked only and only if we develop one-child family culture across nations.
- Backett K C, and Alexander H, Talking to young children about health: methods and findings, Health Education Journal, 50, (1991): 34-37.
- David M, Edwards R, Hughes M, Ribbens J, Mothers and Education: Inside Out? Exploring Family-Education Policy and Experience. London: Macmillan, 1993.
- Don Hinrichsen and Bryant Robey. 2000, Population and the Environment: The Global Challenge.
- Masso, P Whitfield, A child to call my own: a study of adopted women and their experience of motherhood. The Benevolent Society, 2003.
- Matt Rosenberg, 2008. China’s One Child Policy: One Child Policy in China Designed to Limit Population Growth. Web.
- Therese Hesketh, Li Lu, and Zhu Wei Xing. 2005. The Effect of China’s One-Child Family Policy after 25 Years.
- Weston, R Kilmartin, Children? No children? Effects of changing personal relationships on decisions about having children. Family Matters no.57 2000: 14-19.