PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

October 16, 2012

Larger families have larger problems

Fanny Morgan
The Port Arthur News

PORT NECHES — It appears that having a large number of children is not always blissful.  The system does not account for seven children in one family.  

I will use my own children as an example.  My daughter will love this!  Yes, my daughter has seven children.   To begin with, they are all extremely close and love all being together.   No secrets in this family.  We are talking about close quarters.  Even having four bedrooms does not make enough room for them to get away from each other.  You can well imagine.

Parents have to be tough.  They have to go by the rules and help out.  When this does not happen, they have privileges taken away.

Drama is always on in this household.  One or two siblings tend to stay in trouble.  So what’s new with that? Even small families have to contend with this.  Only problem here is that parents of seven children don’t always have time to work this out with the individual child.  

Actually, the most important thing I can see is spreading incoming funds around to meet every need.  Children always need something.  I am sure that there are times when they get turned down.  With both Mom & Dad working and making decent money, it still is living from payday to payday.

Government help is impossible, even with groceries.  The parents go to work every day and make money.  Now if one or both were to stay home, they probably would be taken care of.  Both parents are strongly skilled and are trying to set an example for their children.  

There are two children in college, and one living on her own.  They have to support even the ones in college.  Money has to come from somewhere.  The Dad works a lot of overtime to help out even more.  The children are all of school age.  They do not want to be any different from other children, so they strive to have what they need.

They moved a couple of years ago.  The children were very unhappy with the schools.  It was extremely hard to make friends.  Being in sports was the tool that got the boys into friendships.  The girls are still struggling.  They have been what I would call bullied by different groups of kids.  When it is reported, then they are considered a snitch and nobody wants to be their friend.  They need a privacy act for school children.  When someone has enough of being called names and listening to snide remarks, they tell someone — or should.   I can assure you that my grand-daughter learned her lesson, just this week, not to tell anyone.  Handle the situation yourself.  The adults running the school may hurt the situation more than help.  After telling everything to a counselor, word was all over school about a snitch we have among us.  Of course, you know the groups got in trouble.  This caused a very depressed grandchild.  The Mother took over then, by speaking with the counselor about fixing this.  It will take a while to sort everything out.  My suggestion, after writing a nasty email to the principal, (which I had to apologize for) was smile and when called a name say ‘you got that right’.  If you show that it does not bother you any more, it will stop.

This particular family has a lot to contend with.  It seems there is always someone unhappy.  I applaud my daughter and son-in-law for handling situations the way they do.

I honestly do not see any of these children neglected.  They turn to their parents for help, and that is just the way it is supposed to be.

Whenever you cannot have everything you want in life, it only gives you something to look forward to.  It is hard to say no, not today, instead of giving in.  Children seem to learn to appreciate this – sometimes.

I lived with four siblings.  In my teenage years, I knew then that we did not have everything others had.  I made the best of it.  I was never bullied because of this.  Peer pressure is a new way of life.  Handling it is even harder.

Fanny Morgan of Port Neches is once retired and now is a church secretary. Contact her at fan1007@aol.com.