When you have a singleton, you’re going to hear one phrase at least once: “Can I have a little brother/sister?” Instead of panicking, approach the topic with care. In fact, consider it. If you’ve established yourself, transmogrified into a parent, and you love your children with all your heart, why not fulfill their wish? It isn’t just about four-year-old children wanting something beyond their control or understanding, but for you and your wife—consider it like this:
Look, I have four children. All boys. They’re ages five and down (twins in the middle). I’m not saying it’s a seamless lifestyle choice, but I love my boys very much. That being said, there’s something about seeing your kids play together that just lights a fire in your heart, and makes you feel like you’re fostering positive relationships. I mean, five minutes later they could be whipping LEGOs at one another. There’s chaos time, and then, there’s playtime. Both are equally treasurable.
When They’ve Grown
When they’re teenagers, who are they going to call when they get drunk at a party? It may be you, and you may have my golden rule: “If you call me for help, for no reason whatsoever will I speak about it get mad at you. I want you to be safe more than anything else.” That, of course, will be outfitted with no words being exchanged, and as promised, never speaking of it again.
Teenagers are also less likely to tell their parents things that are bothering them. That’s just a fact of life; we’ve all been down that road. They can tell their friends, but they can also tell their siblings. Fostering a healthy sibling lifestyle is difficult from the parent’s end. I’ve already had to talk with the eldest about tattling/ratting on his younger brothers. They don’t get in trouble for it, and I tell the eldest that it’s okay not to tell me every little thing they do. It’s helped him differentiate what is tell-worthy, and what isn’t, and it boils down to this: If it’s going to hurt someone, or it’s dangerous in any means, tell me.
If you’re a father who’s going to be proud of his children no matter what, who’s going to be there for them for anything, then you’re going the right direction. Kids need that sense of structure more than anything. I’ll tell you one thing, having multiple children is definitely going to make family gatherings that much more fun. However many children you have X how many hours you have to stay at one of those things = the total outcome of your fun.
Whether it’s having two or more, you have to know your limits. We’ve maxed-out at four. Don’t have so many children that their quality of life is affected; you need to be able to give them the time they need individually, and, I hate to say it, money is a big factor. Don’t be the dad who works eighty hours a week just to be broke; this is the time to make the best memories, so get on out there, and do it.