The Many Benefits and Blessings of Kids!

Thursday, December 11, 2014
posted by elizabeth @ 10:14 AM

My greatest joy and accomplishment in life is being a mom to four kids. In our community neighborhood and schools, four children is pretty normal. In some of my other professional groups, four sounds like crazy talk. Either way you slice it, I would not trade my busy life or my big brood for the world. We are always on the go. I do wake up extra early. I do drive to and from athletic events or dance late into the night. Studies have shown that non-parents sleep more and eat healthier than parents. That doesn’t change my mind! My children truly complete me. And provide me a deep happiness.
Saying “I’m complete” has been a joke between my husband and me for 6 years now, ever since our twins were born. Our precious twin boys were the third baby that I wanted. We received a bonus baby, taking our total to four. What a surprise blessing! Parenthood is rich and fulfilling. Being able to connect with a person at the parent-child level is pretty amazing.
I heard Elizabeth Edwards say that as soon as she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which ultimately led to her death, she immediately went to visit her daughter, Cate, in college. She just needed to be with Cate in that moment. I understand that. When my oldest daughter was merely in Kindergarten, I had a health scare, and I went straight to school to pick her up early. I just needed to be with her. She completes me. All my children do.
It’s not just all touchy- feely. There is evidence to back up the health benefits of children. John Dick, Founder of CivicScience, has compared over 1 Million responses from the “Parental Status Poll.” The numbers show that even though non-parents get more sleep, eat healthier, have more exciting social lives, and have greater financial freedom, parents are actually happier than non-parents. 60% of parents said they were “very happy” or “happy” compared with only 52% of non-parents.
Another study by The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research found a direct correlation between children and happiness for parents over 40 years old. I guess by 40 years old, parents are sleeping through the night and not on diaper duty, which increases the happiness. The study looked at parents around the globe. The study was conducted on 200,000 parents in 86 countries between 1981 and 2005. Around the world, parents are happy people.
Additionally, children lower blood pressure. Who knew? A study by Brigham Young University found that couples with children had significantly lower blood pressure readings. The effect was most pronounced for women. Furthermore, a study by Taiwan’s Mental Health Foundation showed senior citizens with children have greater emotional satisfaction than non-parents.
Even without the data to back it up, every parent knows that a parent-child relationship is special. I derive such happiness in watching my children grow and mature. I’m proud of their hard work, their accomplishments, and their activities. My favorite times are when the whole family is together. My greatest memories include them. This Holiday Season, I have all the gifts I need.

-Elizabeth Biar

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