Quote of the Day: Churchill on Family Size

 

“One to reproduce your wife, one to reproduce yourself, one for the increase in population, and one in case of accident.” — Winston Churchill

This was his formula for family size. It is one Janet and I subscribed to, although we only got to three. (Fortunately, there have been no accidents.) It seems anachronistic today. The better sort have been decrying increase in population for nearly a century because it will lower global standards of living. (This despite fewer people living in abject poverty today than in any time in history — even though we have nearly three times the world population as we had when family planning became a crusade for the “progressives.”) China embraced a one-child policy that is leading it towards demographic disaster over the next 20 years, despite their efforts to reverse it. So let’s hail Churchill’s formula for children.

I mention this today because my own children are working towards this goal. My third grandchild (and granddaughter) arrived on Tuesday, January 18. I arrived in San Antonio yesterday to help my son and daughter-in-law with her for a week. They have named her Sophia Thien Ia (which is Vietnamese for “beloved of God.”)

Life is good.

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  1. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    So, the question is, how do we turn around the population crash? And I gotta tell you, the crash (which is real) is going to be much worse than the bomb, which was fake.

    Do our leaders have it in them to start promoting the making of babies? Our society seems geared so much toward small families and fewer babies — and babies themselves are spoken of by the ruling class as burdens which prevent women from having careers. Which is why politicians are always talking about affordable child care instead of, you know, creating conditions where one-income families can actually survive.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Gramps again!

    • #2
  3. Ole Summers Member
    Ole Summers
    @OleSummers

    congrats, there are few things better than grandchildren – a second and often even more enjoyable chance without the bills lol. When my last grandchild was born three years ago I had them scattered from senior in college playing his last football season all the way to newborn, with five different stages of my life being re-lived – hopefully a little better than before!

    • #3
  4. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Ole Summers (View Comment):

    congrats, there are few things better than grandchildren – a second and often even more enjoyable chance without the bills lol. When my last grandchild was born three years ago I had them scattered from senior in college playing his last football season all the way to newborn, with five different stages of my life being re-lived – hopefully a little better than before!

    Well, hopefully we benefit from our past experiences.

    • #4
  5. Ole Summers Member
    Ole Summers
    @OleSummers

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Ole Summers (View Comment):

    congrats, there are few things better than grandchildren – a second and often even more enjoyable chance without the bills lol. When my last grandchild was born three years ago I had them scattered from senior in college playing his last football season all the way to newborn, with five different stages of my life being re-lived – hopefully a little better than before!

    Well, hopefully we benefit from our past experiences.

    lol, we can always hope!

    • #5
  6. Captain French Moderator
    Captain French
    @AlFrench

    My wife is Vietnamese. Our children and grandchildren all have Vietnamese middle names.

    • #6
  7. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Seawriter: Life is good.

    And there are, of course, at least two ways of interpreting this.

    • #7
  8. Mad Gerald Lincoln
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    Carbon credits are awarded to those who reduce their carbon footprint.

    Should those who are childless get Children credits?  They could sell them to parents of large families.

     

    • #8
  9. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Percival (View Comment):

    Gramps again!

    Yes, congratulations!

    We have no grandchildren, and until the week before last none of my four siblings had any, either.  But now my baby sister has a grandson. Those of us who are grandchild-deprived will soon be descending on the family (though not all at once) to give some great-uncle and great-aunt attention that we might otherwise bestow on our own grandchildren.  The new father and mother both seem to be genuinely looking forward to it.

    • #9
  10. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Congratulations on the arrival of another grandchild! How wonderful that you can help your son and daughter in law. The baby’s name is lovely and so American. I love name combinations that so obviously represent our melting pot. 

    • #10
  11. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    So, the question is, how do we turn around the population crash? And I gotta tell you, the crash (which is real) is going to be much worse than the bomb, which was fake.

    Do our leaders have it in them to start promoting the making of babies?

    Yes.

    But that’s because the real leaders are the people who marry, reproduce, and raise 3 to 12 conservative Christians.

    We’re leading the future.  The present is mostly a lost cause anyway.

    • #11
  12. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    So, the question is, how do we turn around the population crash? And I gotta tell you, the crash (which is real) is going to be much worse than the bomb, which was fake.

    Do our leaders have it in them to start promoting the making of babies?

    Yes.

    But that’s because the real leaders are the people who marry, reproduce, and raise 3 to 12 conservative Christians.

    We’re leading the future. The present is mostly a lost cause anyway.

    Which means OUR leaders do, or at least should; THEIR leaders, not so much.

    • #12
  13. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Ole Summers (View Comment):
    congrats, there are few things better than grandchildren – a second and often even more enjoyable chance without the bills lol.

    After our grandson was born, a friend of mine said, “You get him amped up on sugar and soda, then drop him back off with his parents.  Payback!”

    • #13
  14. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Stad (View Comment):

    Ole Summers (View Comment):
    congrats, there are few things better than grandchildren – a second and often even more enjoyable chance without the bills lol.

    After our grandson was born, a friend of mine said, “You get him amped up on sugar and soda, then drop him back off with his parents. Payback!”

    That’s my plan. And giving them dangerous toys.

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Ole Summers (View Comment):
    congrats, there are few things better than grandchildren – a second and often even more enjoyable chance without the bills lol.

    After our grandson was born, a friend of mine said, “You get him amped up on sugar and soda, then drop him back off with his parents. Payback!”

    That’s my plan. And giving them dangerous toys.

    Kazoos.

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Percival (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Ole Summers (View Comment):
    congrats, there are few things better than grandchildren – a second and often even more enjoyable chance without the bills lol.

    After our grandson was born, a friend of mine said, “You get him amped up on sugar and soda, then drop him back off with his parents. Payback!”

    That’s my plan. And giving them dangerous toys.

    Kazoos.

    Drums.

    • #16
  17. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Stad (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Ole Summers (View Comment):
    congrats, there are few things better than grandchildren – a second and often even more enjoyable chance without the bills lol.

    After our grandson was born, a friend of mine said, “You get him amped up on sugar and soda, then drop him back off with his parents. Payback!”

    That’s my plan. And giving them dangerous toys.

    Kazoos.

    Drums.

    Penny-whistles. And a knife so they can cut open the drum and see what makes the noise.

    • #17
  18. Saxonburg Member
    Saxonburg
    @Saxonburg

    What happened to family sizes?  The Cynical Sixties happened.  Doomsayers became trendsetters.

    The Population Bomb was published in 1968, and the we’re-the-problem-and-we’re-all-gonna-die narrative was highly promoted and embraced.  It has now morphed into Climate Change, which is promoted by the same group of people (see The Population Explosion, published 1990).

    This is a chart from Pew Research (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/08/ideal-size-of-the-american-family/) showing the large and sudden shift in people’s view of the ideal family size coincident with the publication of the The Population Bomb.  The shift is so sudden and so obvious and so coincident that I even wonder if it is real.  It could be an artifact of a shift in the survey question or method.  Nevertheless, I have first-hand experience of the attitude of the day.

    I was a teenager in 1970 and was very close to the neighboring family. They were a happy, religious family and already had four kids, ages 10-16, when the mother announced that she was pregnant.

    “Oh, no”, I thought…but this whole family was delighted!  What?? I just couldn’t understand why they so were happy. How could they not know how terrible this was for the world?    Fortunately, I was not so strident in my opinion that I raised an objection.

    A few months later, a beautiful little girl was born and was doted over by her siblings and was raised in a loving home.   Now I like to think that their happiness made me rethink my position on families and on life.

    Congratulations, @Seawriter,  on the grandchild.   They are truly blessings. 

    • #18
  19. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Hurrah for little Sophia Thien Ia! 

    A dear friend had two kids, back in our day, when I was accidentally cranking out babies like a queen termite. One of her children died by suicide as a teenager. The other married a Scandinavian and declared himself uninterested in fatherhood, so my friend and her husband made brave noises about this, with occasional self-soothing references to climate change and whatnot. Then their son changed his mind, and he and his wife have a little baby boy.

    When I popped over to my friend’s house (bearing grandmotherly gifts) she was crying and, she said, had not stopped since seeing the first photo of her grandchild. “Well, why stop?” I said, and we sat around for the rest of the afternoon, sharing the revelations that seemed new-minted though of course, they are as old as human life: The chain of generations gaining another link, and the intensity of the love that one can feel for someone you haven’t even met yet. And the recognition of what becoming a parent does to and for your own child. All cliches and all worthy of lachrymosity.

    It was when my mother was dying that I realized how wrong we are to imagine that one doesn’t need to have kids to support you in your old age. My mother did not require financial support, but the end of her life would have been very, very different had she not had three adult children to be with her, advocate for her and take care of her with the tenderness and attention that only someone who knows you well (and loves you anyway) can offer. 

    Hurrah for three kids! Keep ’em coming! (And, as I tell my kids, adoption counts!)

    • #19
  20. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Saxonburg (View Comment):

    This is a chart from Pew Research (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/08/ideal-size-of-the-american-family/) showing the large and sudden shift in people’s view of the ideal family size coincident with the publication of the The Population Bomb. The shift is so sudden and so obvious and so coincident that I even wonder if it is real. It could be an artifact of a shift in the survey question or method. Nevertheless, I have first-hand experience of the attitude of the day.

    That chart is amazing. I suspect it’s a combination of The Population Bomb, the promotion of “family planning,” the women’s liberation movement, and the push to get women into the workplace . . . and now we have The Population Bust. The inflation of the 70s certainly didn’t help, and a decade later soon required the existence of two-income families just to survive. (These days, it’s more like three incomes.) And I don’t know how we get back without mass reprogramming.

    But who has the political will?

    • #20
  21. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    lachrymosity

    Here’s your award!

    award - Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown

    • #21
  22. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Hurrah for little Sophia Thien Ia!

    -snip

    It was when my mother was dying that I realized how wrong we are to imagine that one doesn’t need to have kids to support you in your old age. My mother did not require financial support, but the end of her life would have been very, very different had she not had three adult children to be with her, advocate for her and take care of her with the tenderness and attention that only someone who knows you well (and loves you anyway) can offer.

    My mother had several small health scares in her last years, my sister would get a call, she’d send out a panic text and we’d rush to her side  

    One of the last times I heard her laugh was when I said : it’s a bloody good thing you had five kids; may I suggest 10 in your next life ?

    Congrats on your new grand baby! They’re the best. We’re up to six, five grand daughters one grandson. Hoping our two unmarried childless sons even up the score someday 

     

     

    • #22
  23. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Annefy (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Hurrah for little Sophia Thien Ia!

    -snip

    It was when my mother was dying that I realized how wrong we are to imagine that one doesn’t need to have kids to support you in your old age. My mother did not require financial support, but the end of her life would have been very, very different had she not had three adult children to be with her, advocate for her and take care of her with the tenderness and attention that only someone who knows you well (and loves you anyway) can offer.

    My mother had several small health scares in her last years, my sister would get a call, she’d send out a panic text and we’d rush to her side

    One of the last times I heard her laugh was when I said : it’s a bloody good thing you had five kids; may I suggest 10 in your next life ?

    Congrats on your new grand baby! They’re the best. We’re up to six, five grand daughters one grandson. Hoping our two unmarried childless sons even up the score someday

    That’s also what I’m hoping to do myself, still.  My grandparents had one son, and that one son had 5 sons.  Those 5 sons have had – so far – one son.  The others are out of the family-making business now, but there’s still hope for me, I just need to find someone who wants kids.  It’s more difficult than it should be, especially to find someone who isn’t already nearly 40 and thinks she wants to have kids “someday.”

    • #23
  24. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Ole Summers (View Comment):
    congrats, there are few things better than grandchildren – a second and often even more enjoyable chance without the bills lol.

    After our grandson was born, a friend of mine said, “You get him amped up on sugar and soda, then drop him back off with his parents. Payback!”

    That’s my plan. And giving them dangerous toys.

    I don’t remove choking hazards, I just tie a string to them.

    • #24
  25. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    lachrymosity

    Here’s your award!

    award - Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown

    A golden tear cup.

    • #25
  26. Chris Hutchinson Coolidge
    Chris Hutchinson
    @chrishutch13

    First and foremost, I wish you and your family a big congratulations on the new little blessing!

    I’m quite jealous as my oldest is 28 and I’ve seen no indication of him having any children any time soon. I definitely don’t harp on him about it but it makes me sad and I pray about it often.

    I enjoyed reading the different grandparent comments. My wife and I just had a really nice conversation with my parents about it Friday. It was Grandparent’s Day here in Poland and it’s a pretty big deal here so after the kiddo’s talked with them we had a nice conversation about the importance of the grandparent/grandchild relationship. I know I treasured as a child and young adult.

    • #26
  27. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Chris Hutchinson (View Comment):
    I’m quite jealous as my oldest is 28 and I’ve seen no indication of him having any children any time soon. I definitely don’t harp on him about it but it makes me sad and I pray about it often.

    My oldest got married at 36 and now has two children. Surprised everyone. Mom and I pegged him as a confirmed bachelor, like her older brother. Nope. He just had his own schedule.

    • #27
  28. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    My oldest got married at 36 and now has two children. Surprised everyone. Mom and I pegged him as a confirmed bachelor, like her older brother. Nope. He just had his own schedule.

    My oldest brother married late, to a woman 15 years younger.  His fifth child was born after his 50th birthday.  My next oldest brother remarried late, to a woman 14 years younger, and had three more children.  Women’s fertility has a time limit.  Men, not so much.

    I’m the outlier–married early and had children on the traditional schedule.  So when I was 50, my youngest (of three) graduated from High School. (:

    • #28
  29. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    My oldest got married at 36 and now has two children. Surprised everyone. Mom and I pegged him as a confirmed bachelor, like her older brother. Nope. He just had his own schedule.

    My oldest brother married late, to a woman 15 years younger. His fifth child was born after his 50th birthday. My next oldest brother remarried late, to a woman 14 years younger, and had three more children. Women’s fertility has a time limit. Men, not so much.

    I’m the outlier–married early and had children on the traditional schedule. So when I was 50, my youngest (of three) graduated from High School. (:

    It sometimes seems…  unfortunate, somehow… to me that having children young means that they only likely outlive their parents by maybe 20 or 30 years.  Seems like it would be better if children had more time on their own, in that way.  Maybe that’s an advantage to older fathers, at least.  Men’s fertility doesn’t have the same kind of time limit.  And in the past, older men with younger women was much more common.  Which meant that children would tend to outlive their father, at least, by more than they do now.  Perhaps that was a good thing.

    • #29
  30. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    kedavis (View Comment):
    It sometimes seems…  unfortunate, somehow… to me that having children young means that they only likely outlive their parents by maybe 20 or 30 years.  Seems like it would be better if children had more time on their own, in that way.  Maybe that’s an advantage to older fathers, at least.

    No. Not if fathers raise their children right – to be independent. I started a life on my own when I was 21. That did not stop me from enjoying a relationship with my father right up to the day he died 42 years later. Sometime in the 1990s I acquired the habit of calling him every Saturday morning. Four years after his death I still miss those phone calls. My wife had a similar relationship with her father, only she died of cancer a year before his death. And I know my adult sons would miss having me around.

    • #30
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