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Happiness plummets with kids' arrival [Harvard expert alert]
News.com.au ^ | May 8, 2008 | Adam Bennett

Posted on 05/08/2008 2:13:15 PM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative

MARRIAGE is a constant source of joy, but introducing children into the relationship will send your happiness in a downward spiral, a conference has been told.

[...]

The more kids you had, the sadder you were likely to be, [Harvard psychology professor Daniel] Gilbert said.

US and European studies had shown that people's happiness did spike while they were expecting a baby but sharply plummeted after the child was born.

The low point came when children reached the ages of 12-16, and recovered only when they had flown the coop, he said.

"In reality ... children do seem to increase happiness as long as you're expecting them, but as soon as you have them, trouble sets in," he said.

"People are extremely happy before they have children and then their happiness goes down, and it takes another big hit when kids reach adolescence.

"When does it come back to it's original baseline? Oh, about the time the children grow up and go away."

[...skipping silly comparison of kids with Armani socks...]

"The psychologists tell us that we like things more when we pay for them - what does that sound like? It sounds like children. We pay for them in time, attention, blood, sweat and tears - what kind of idiots would we be to devote all of that to the rearing of our young if they'd didn't bring us some happiness?"

The fact that parenthood crowded out all other things in life could explain why we considered children our greatest source of joy, he said.

"Parents tell me all the time that: `My child is my greatest source of joy'," he said.

"My reply is that: `Yes, when you have one source of joy, it's bound to be your greatest'."

(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.au ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: happiness; marriage; parenthood; psychology
The professor is a real piece of work, I say. Parenting isn't for self-absorbed wimps.
1 posted on 05/08/2008 2:13:15 PM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Freerider Ping


2 posted on 05/08/2008 2:14:37 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

Well Duh! Raising kids IS hard work, especially the 14-18 years, it gets better when they bug out? I suppose so, as far as the daily grind goes, but you never stop worrying about them. I told my older son, “kids are supposed to be a joy until 13, so you end only up with 5 or so years of stress, you’ve been a pain since 8, thats 10 years, no wonder I bald and grumpy.” I still love him but at 18 it was time to go!


3 posted on 05/08/2008 2:17:57 PM PDT by enraged
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

While this guy does touch on some reasoned issues, his take on childbirth and the resultant unhappiness is just strange IMO. Yikes.


4 posted on 05/08/2008 2:20:46 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Who opposes John McCain's leftist agenda? The RNC, Rep Congress members, the Democrats? Good luck!)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

“The professor is a real piece of work, I say.”

Oh, he’s a piece of something alright. “Work” is not what I was thinking, though.


5 posted on 05/08/2008 2:21:13 PM PDT by L98Fiero (A fool who'll waste his life, God rest his guts.)
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To: enraged

I’ve wondered if God made then diffucult from 14-18 for a reason. I disagree that they aren’t blessings and don’t bring happiness. Mine were so sweet when they were younger. If they were that way at 17 or 18 though, instead of counting the days before we can kick them out, would we not let them go?:’)


6 posted on 05/08/2008 2:23:39 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: enraged
It's a period of reversible brain damage. Around 19 or 20 they will start coming out of it.
7 posted on 05/08/2008 2:25:20 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

It depends what you mean by “happy,” doesn’t it?

If having a pair of Armani socks makes you happier than having a family with all its joys and sorrows, then maybe you are a bit, shall we say, shallow?

Speaking of psychoanalysts, Freud never really did understand what the world “love” means.


8 posted on 05/08/2008 2:25:38 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

One of the best times in our lives as parents for my spouse and myself was having a houseful of tumbling, running, giggling toddlers all under four.

We absolutely adored our kids and still do. We wouldn’t have traded it for the world.


9 posted on 05/08/2008 2:28:05 PM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

Anti-breeder diatribe.

Is he a poofter?

Is he a zero population growth ecoweenie?


10 posted on 05/08/2008 2:29:28 PM PDT by weegee ("I didn't kill innocent people." - Bill Ayers, Weatherman. Terrorist. Obama's comrade.)
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To: JimWforBush; martin_fierro; Jersey Republican Biker Chick; najida; Allegra; RockinRight; ...

FREERIDERS!

11 posted on 05/08/2008 2:30:10 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (Play that Funky Music Typical White Boy!)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

What do you want to bet that Professor Gilbert had a bias against children and in favor of abortion long before he started his “research?”


12 posted on 05/08/2008 2:32:34 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

Thanks to liberals, of course raising children in modern America is a nightmare.

Liberal schools make them into spoiled, selfish little wildings—and then you get arrested if you try to slap some sense into the little brats.


13 posted on 05/08/2008 2:34:49 PM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

I have three children - a 19 year-old, a 16 year-old and a 2-1/2 year-old. I am just as happy now as I was before they came along, if not more.

With all due respect, the Professor is an idiot.


14 posted on 05/08/2008 2:35:29 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Average White Conservative)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
"MARRIAGE is a constant source of joy,..."

Stopped reading right there!


15 posted on 05/08/2008 2:36:59 PM PDT by avacado
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

Wow. I hope they didn’t spend a lot of money on the research, because I’ve done my own, and have found the root cause:

Adulthood.

It used to be, children grew up to be adults here in the US at one time. With the boomers, they decided that adulthood was not for them and have opted to remain adolescents until they die.


16 posted on 05/08/2008 2:40:21 PM PDT by RinaseaofDs
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
My happiness has actually increased due to the responsibilities of a child. Go pound sand professor!
17 posted on 05/08/2008 2:51:44 PM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways Guero >>> with a floating, shifting, ever changing persona....)
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To: enraged

You NEVER SOP WORRYING ABOUT THEM! The bigger they get the bigger the worry. Even once they’re on their own and married you still worry. The difference is you worry about their careers, spouses, children, mortgages etc. That’s the price you pay for being a parent and frankly, I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. The joys far outweigh anything else.
I have a few friends who are childless and seemingly happy but I feel sorry for them. Their lives revolve around friends and other family members and ours revolve around our close knit family.


18 posted on 05/08/2008 2:59:30 PM PDT by surrey
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

The majority of the people I know well who have kids are less happy because of them. Spoiled brats and monsters, the lot of them (and the children are ever worse).

I plan to stay single, child-free, and happy.


19 posted on 05/08/2008 2:59:53 PM PDT by rosenfan
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

If humanity is lucky, this professor is practicing what he preaches. Just like the pro-abortion crowd, they view their babies in the womb as special and they view yours as deserving a fork in it’s head.

Now back to the article. The professor is operating under the illusion that married with children means no other options but children.

When the article mentioned a mishmas of “studies” from the U.S. and Europe I just yawned. These studies often don’t even report what people say they report.

However, the prof. does have a point. People who have made grave errors in judgement or bigotly stick to evil notions will rationalize themsleves until they’re dizzy. Consider the foolish people who pay a lot of money for a “green” car often try to justify themselves in a feeble way by saying they are saving the planet.

Yours truly,
The Woim


20 posted on 05/08/2008 3:03:27 PM PDT by The Woim (Agitating for social change: Abolish all gun laws NOW! Abolish the Dept of Education!)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
Having three kids is by far the best thing my wife and I ever did. We taught them to treat each other and their parents with respect, we had zero tolerance for unnecessary drama, and it's amazing how much fun we all had together.

Our only regret is that now we only have two children. I know the two remaining kids mourn every day, and always will.

I still wouldn't have traded it for anything, though. Breeders rule!!!!

21 posted on 05/08/2008 3:04:03 PM PDT by joe.fralick
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
Yeah kids are such a drag that when my oldest turned 18 we had another one.


22 posted on 05/08/2008 3:04:47 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
The more kids you had, the sadder you were likely to be,

Another compelling scientific reason to murder our unborn. (heavy sarcasm)

I guess all my life I've been around the wrong people. People who love their children and wouldn't want a life without children. People whose children brought them great joy and happiness. As someone who only has step children, they have brought me joy and happiness.

23 posted on 05/08/2008 3:07:26 PM PDT by A message
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To: surrey

If they have friends, family, and they’re happy, why feel sorry for them?


24 posted on 05/08/2008 3:07:48 PM PDT by rosenfan
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To: Straight Vermonter

The oldest child in my family was 18 when I was born and I have a younger sister who is about 17 months younger than I. People would argue with my mom that we were not her children but her grandchildren! People!


25 posted on 05/08/2008 3:16:28 PM PDT by MamaB
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To: CindyDawg

This is really making me look forward to the next few years. I have 13 year old and 11 year old twins.


26 posted on 05/08/2008 3:47:13 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: luckystarmom

My son will have 3 teenage girls at the same time:’) I enjoyed most of the teenage times too though. That’s not to say that there weren’t days that I thought about opening the door and telling them to go. It’s like they were either on top of the mountain or down in the valley and their fuse was extremely short..


27 posted on 05/08/2008 3:53:36 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: MamaB

I was the oldest of 5 girls. Stair steps. I spaced mine 4 years apart so they wouldn’t be so close and fight. Right...The oldest and the youngest fought or ganged up on the sandwich child. Mommmmmmmmm!!!!


28 posted on 05/08/2008 3:56:10 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
Parenting isn't for self-absorbed wimps.

BINGO - and it's why narcissistic liberals have fewer children. They're always in search of their inner child and don't need competition from a real child... Sad.

29 posted on 05/08/2008 3:56:35 PM PDT by GOPJ
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

Hey prof Sherlock, it is not the place of your children to make you happy.


30 posted on 05/08/2008 3:56:36 PM PDT by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

Herr professor seems to be an advocate of the zero population fantasy that has been lectured to us by the academic elites since the 70’s. Of course they fail to understand that Western civilization will be buried under a flood of human beings (Africans, Mexicans, Mid-Easterners) that didn’t get the memo. Europeans will disappear within a generation because of this attitude. Children are work, but so what, raising them is wonderful for anyone that is willing to put their heart into it.


31 posted on 05/08/2008 4:01:33 PM PDT by Gen-X-Dad
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
Image hosted by Photobucket.com dumbass doesn't know the difference tween stress and real unhappyness
32 posted on 05/08/2008 4:39:00 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist ┬ę┬«)
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To: rosenfan

Because their life has become centered around everyone else’s problems. The one couple only talk about their rich friend and his marital woes.


33 posted on 05/08/2008 5:33:56 PM PDT by surrey
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To: surrey

What does that have to do with the fact they they don’t have children?


34 posted on 05/08/2008 5:43:17 PM PDT by rosenfan
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To: rosenfan

When I’m in a mall all the parents of anything old enough to walk seem like depressed zombies.


35 posted on 05/08/2008 8:23:37 PM PDT by Strategerist
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative
Seems like a good candidate to be an Obama supporter.

Obama seems to attract lots of airheads to his side.

36 posted on 05/08/2008 8:26:02 PM PDT by OKIEDOC (Kalifornia, a red state wannabe. I don't take Ex Lax I just read the New York Times.)
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To: surrey
I have a few friends who are childless and seemingly happy but I feel sorry for them

Don't. I can assure you we are not "seemingly happy." It is more akin to "wild, giggling bliss."

37 posted on 05/09/2008 3:39:18 AM PDT by meowmeow (In Loving Memory of Our Dear Viking Kitty (1987-2006))
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