Friday, October 30, 2009

Do children add to our level of happiness?

Most people seem to have the understanding that children brings happiness into life. Research however, shows that the level of happiness in marriage is declining with the birth of the first child. It is called the “ U- effect” as the decline continues until it reaches the bottom when the children are 12 to 17 years old and from there it rises again.
Children often “ruins” a woman’s career, they cause a couple to have less time for one another and they are “heavy” on the bank account.

A research on what women like to do showed that to spend time with friends, to rest, to eat, to do sports, to watch television, to prepare food, to talk on the phone are enjoyed more than to take care of children.

I must admit that I was more than shocked about these results as I would have had a completely different order on my list of what I like do. Spending time with my girls would definitely be on top of my list and that has been the case since they became a part of my life. Actually I didn’t like this particular program until the following point…….

Professor Tal Ben Shachar has defined happiness as follows:
Happiness = pleasure and meaning. ( he would even write it like this: Happiness = pleasure and meaning.)
For something to be meaningful you need to feel that it is important and that it adds something to the world, and it has to be something that you are willing to pay a high prize for. With other words; For something to add meaning to life there is a need to work hard and for a long time.

So the conclusions concerning children are that:
Children do not necessary bring pleasure, but still they bring happiness to most of us because happiness is a combination of a little pleasure mixed with a lot of meaning.
We are the ones to decide what is meaningful to us.
Maybe it would be good for some people not to have children.

Elin Elkouby

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