I was so tickled Sunday morning to see an article in our newspaper highlighting large families – in a positive way! In a world where children are often seen as a burden to parents and couples are encouraged to keep their family size down, this article is a breath of fresh air. I was also delighted to see that two of the three families mentioned are very good friends of mine (Komaromis and the Galbraiths). They represent two of the home schooling families whose children help me out with the pro-life table every 4th of July. It’s just a great article about the importance of faith and family:
That’s me with the kids on the 4th of July last year, which includes 2 of the 7 Komaromis and 3 out of 8 Galbraiths, the rest of the children come from three other home schooling families in our area. See some pictures from this year
Not your typical family
Raising this large family in contrast to today’s world may be more difficult due to society’s expectations, but it also may be easier thanks to technology.
“It’s been hard for my family to make sacrifices financially, like a second income,” Claudia said. “We live very simply, compared to many.”
The Galbraiths seldom go out to eat, used cloth diapers, eat healthy and cook from scratch, and hand down clothes.
The children participate in few sports and community activities.
But in addition to homeschooling, they read together, play in a musical band with other home-school families and share responsibilities around the house.
“We don’t feel we’re depriving them but prioritizing and making certain choices,” Claudia said.
Becoming better people
Being patient when someone else’s needs takes precedence, taking responsibility when a younger sibling needs correcting or practicing love and kindness in the midst of frustration – virtues of large family living.
“People ask about socialization,” because of home-schooling, said Susie Komaromi. “In a large family, you have to get along. “If you don’t like someone at school, you can avoid them. Here you (can’t and) must be kind and respectful to each other.”…
“They say family is a school of virtue,” Claudia said. “I have always thought that was for children, but it’s equally true for parents.”
Each child has his or her own personality.
“Parenting is a challenge whether you have one or 10, especially when their personalities are in contrast with your own,” Claudia said. “You appreciate their gifts and strengths and work with their weaknesses to bring them along.”…
Family devotions offer a quiet, safe place for the children to share their faith and thoughts and grow closer to each other…
Listening takes time. So these families invest time to make sure they know their children and their needs.
“With every child, we become better people,” Susie said…
“Having a big family isn’t for everyone – it takes a lot of faith, trust in the Lord, courage and most of the time it is just the grace of God that gets us through,” Susie said. “I pray all the time that God fills in what we lack as parents and educators.”
“I hope the kids have a good faith in God and openness to life.
“We live in a culture that does not (seem to) value that.”
A large family teaches children early that the world doesn’t revolve around them, Susie said. Growing up in a close-knit, interdependent family grounds them in fundamental virtues.
Anna Komaromi, 17, said she enjoys helping take care of her siblings and appreciates the choices her parents have made in rearing them.
“I’ve learned to put God first above all else,” she said.