Monday 20 November 2017

Letters: Idea that small families are better is an insult to the past

The assumption that material comfort is superior to having many siblings is an untenable one.
The assumption that material comfort is superior to having many siblings is an untenable one.
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Barbara McCarthy (Irish Independent, January 27) writes that having children that you can't afford is a form of neglect. Based mainly on a financial evaluation, Ms McCarthy qualifies that not being emotionally wealthy enough is also an issue.

Such assertions are, in the first place, arrogant and, secondly, judgmental. Arrogant because the writer assumes that there is a formula for determining how many children a family can emotionally afford - though she fails to actually say what this is. Maybe it is contingent on the parents: can some parents emotionally manage more children? Is that to say they are better than others? That there is a way to measure how well children have been reared?

Citing financial affordability, on the other hand, is insulting to the many families that brought children up in far more difficult times, in bigger families. Is Ms McCarthy saying all these children were neglected? From Ms McCarthy's formulaic, judgmental arguments, one would assume so.

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