Children really do make parents happier, new study shows

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  • Billy Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    May 31, 2012 2:43 p.m.

    Children can be either the source of the greatest joy or the greatest heartache for parents. I think on the whole, however, that this study is correct. Overall it makes sense that parents are happier than non parents, all else held equal.

  • PGVikingDad Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 31, 2012 12:56 p.m.

    Why does this require a study? The answer can be found with a single question addressed to parents: "Is being a parent preferable to being childless?" Comparing the happiness of a parent to someone who has never held that role is meaningless. The real insights are revealed when comparisons are made *by the parent*, weighing life before the birth of their child to life after. Some might say they'd do things differently, but I suspect this number would be relatively insignificant, which can only imply that - ALL things considered - these people are more happy with a child than they were without. This is certainly not an argument that everyone should have children, however; merely an observation that children very likely elevate the happiness of those already inclined to have them. Owning a dog brings great joy to dog-lovers, for example, but having one in the house drives me crazy.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    May 31, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    The design of family is happiness.

    It seems to me that the real problem lies in the question "Do children make us happy?" But it is a psychological question to a philosophical problem. "Do children make us happy" is an impossible question when considering that not everyone WILL answer "yes".

    A parent who neglects and abuses their children might answer "no", but at the same time it effects no human progress to qualify this question by such a parent. It must be ad hominem. Suppose it was put it in the form of an argument- IF we love them THEN they certainly will enrich our lives (not love as simply feeling, but acting and doing what's best for them, etc). Call me crazy, but it just makes sense to me this way. In giving to others we really receive the most.

    Will they make parents happier? Perhaps that's up to the parents. But should they? Ought this be what we strive for? Absolutely! "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" reinforces this, our telos- the design of human happiness. We can reject the truth or live it. In my experience, people who live it live much happier lives.