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Listeners Weigh in on Having More than One Child

Brendan Newnam

Shirley Shin

Full Episode Audio

I vote for one child per family. Overpopulation is the main reason. Another observation I have is the fact that you double your odds of giving birth to a black sheep, the kid that every couple I know with more than one child has. The black sheep kid will not only rob the good child of your time and attention, but you will be guaranteed of having to house and/or otherwise support your black sheep well into their 30s. Take the fortune you will spend on the black sheep and travel the world with the good one.

Mark O'Connell
Irvine, Calif.

I like that Weekend America chose to cover the story of having children by looking at environmental consequences. I've felt like even talking about this has not been very welcome, especially with families who have more than one or two children or people who want more than one or two children. People sometimes take these comments very personally, and one has to make it clear that having children is a personal choice, but that the environment is a consideration for some.

I was surprised, though, that adoption wasn't presented as an option. I am adopted from Korea. and it grieves me to hear people speak about adoptees as if they are somehow not wholly a part of the families that adopt them. From my experience, my younger brother and I were adopted by my parents and their biological son. The three of us--my two brothers and I--are very different in a lot of ways, but also the same in other ways. We may not look like each other, but we all have Scandinavian tendencies.

I could live my life wondering what if. What if I hadn't been adopted at all? What if my biological parents had kept me? But what would be the point? It's nice that families are defined by the people who make them.

Leah Honsey
Minneapolis, Minn.

Oh, Dear Bill,

Can I just say as a person who grew up the oldest of six, I can freely admit I wanted to be an only child my whole childhood. Now that I am an adult I am so grateful that I was not. It's OK being an only child; what's not so easy is being an only adult. Imagine the responsibility of being the sole caretaker of elderly parents; imagine having no one to share your fears and concerns. Now imagine you and your siblings united in any one of a whole gamut of emotions: joy, celebration, grief, doubt. The journey shared is so much more meaningful.

Eloise Boyle
Kenmore, Wash.

As I listened to your show last Saturday, I heard the segment entitled "A Candidate Blind Taste Test" by John Moe. I figured I already knew who I was going to support, but I listened to the speeches by the actors and tried to honestly pick the one that I most agreed with. It turns out that it was not who I thought it would be. I will now be looking deeper into the candidates and trying to keep personality from influencing my decision. Thank you for opening my eyes to the fact that I, like so many people today, vote with our ego and not with our brain.

Arlene Gunn
Ludlow, Mass.

Although I am barely breaking even with the high cost of everything, my weekends are still pretty good. I consider myself one of the lucky ones, as I am a musician and have a number of fellow players who get together and play gigs on the weekends. There's not much money to be made in the coffee shops and small taverns of northern Indiana, but it gives us something constructive to do. It provides fun and camaraderie, and we get free coffee, free beer, and sometimes food.

James Ellsworth
Fort Wayne, Ind.

  • Music Bridge:
    Take 6
    Artist: The Vernon Elliot Ensemble
    CD: Ivor the Engine (Trunk)


  • Comment | Refresh

  • By Nataly Arlingston

    From FL, 07/22/2009

    Recently I've read one research, downloaded it at http://www.picktorrent.com It was said that the only child always gets what he wants and in large quantities. It makes him grow selfish. As for me I have the elder brother and I'm very glad about it. So, I think it is a bad idea to have only one child.

    By Karen Rucker

    From Berea, KY, 02/22/2008

    Well, I've got four kids, so this is an debate that hits close to home. But I really think that a key factor in this decision is how good you can be at the job. No, I'm not talking money. I have close friends with no kids, and no intention of having kids, because they know they don't do well with kids. And I also know lots of people who should never have had the first one, again because they are impatient and tense around children. I decided to have so many because I'm good with kids. I've volunteered with kids programs on a regular basis, have baby sat since I was 12, and tend to bring out good qualities in kids. My kids are polite to adults, considerate to each other, and work hard to contribute to their families and community (through volunteer work). They were the ones to convince me to be more environmentally responsible, to plant trees and use fluorescent bulbs. So while I think it worked well for me to have more than one child, I wouldn't say that everyone should do it. And while it works well for others to have one or even no children, that wasn't the right choice for me. And no one should have children if they are unwilling to love and care for them. If you truly think a second child is destined to be a "black sheep", but an only child will automatically be "the good one" then you should reconsider having any kids at all. Because kids are human, and all have some good and some bad qualities.

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