Why is something news? Many journalists would say that things which impact large numbers of people should be reported upon. Late last week many news outlets covered a story about how the trend towards smaller families means the “extinction of the middle child.”
How this change in family structures will impact peoples’ lives, comprehensively, is beyond uncertain, if It could be ascertained at all. What is certain is that smaller families are the best way to limit what is now a manifest pattern of climate change degrading well-being on earth and threatening our kids’ future. Smaller families are also a great way to mitigate the real extinction at hand – that of other species.
We may have an emotional reaction to changes in things we are used to, things like the concept of middle children. But focusing on that – and not mentioning climate change in stories about family size – is negligent.
So what’s the next move? Today the demographic transition to smaller families is thought of almost exclusively in quantitative terms. But it’s impossible to change family size without having qualitative impacts, and opportunities. With smaller families we can more easily work together to plan for and invest more in each child, perhaps even enough to give every child a fair start in life relative to other members of their generation.
Let’s talk about what matters. Take action today.