Happy Families Have Daughters -- But Not Too Many

Family Matters on 04.07.11

Actress Jennifer Garner with her two daughters. Photo: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images 

The relationship between sisters, whether good or bad, has inspired centuries of dramatic literature, television plots, and Lifetime movies -- but a new study commissioned by parenting site Bounty.com suggests that families with just two daughters are happier than those with any other combination of children. 

According to The Telegraph:  

The results show of all the variations, two girls make for the most harmonious family life as they are unlikely to fight, will play nicely and are generally a pleasure to be around. It also emerged two girls rarely annoy their parents, make limited noise, often confide in their parents and are unlikely to wind each other up or ignore each other.


In the study, more than 2,000 sets of parents with various combinations of children -- from one of each sex to four of the same -- ranked their children's behavior, including how well they follow routines, how well they share, if the children are friends, how often they fight, and how easy it is to solve arguments. The families with the second-highest rate of happiness were those with one boy and one girl, and the third happiest had two boys.

Though researchers expected families with four boys to report the highest stress levels, they ranked only 6th out of 12 possible combinations -- meaning they are happier than families with three or four children that include both boys and girls. 

But the study says this is also a case where double the number of kids means double trouble: 25 percent of parents with four daughters said they were "not 100 percent happy" and one-third said it was "hard to cope on a daily basis," putting those families at the bottom of the happiness chart. Negatives of having four daughters included "fight and argue all the time," "difficult to reason with," and "had to buy a bigger house and car." 


Tell us in the comments: Do you think families with four girls have a harder time than other families?


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