Andy Murray has revealed his top parenting tip for new parents, jokingly telling them not to have four kids.
“Little parenting tip for any new parents out there…don’t have 4 of them,” tennis pro Murray, 36, tweeted along with a laughing emoji.
Murray and his wife, Kim Sears, 35, are parents to daughter, Sophie, seven, Edie, five, and Teddy, three and Lola, two.
Little parenting tip for any new parents out there…don’t have 4 of them😆
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) May 29, 2023
The tweet spurred a whole flurry of commentary. “I am one of four girls and while childhood was pure chaos, being adults and having three best friends for life makes it all worth it,” Twitter user @ladylaurengrace said in response to his tweet.
While another user @Velvet_Roses said: “I WISH I’d had a fourth baby, and I’ll regret forever stopping at three.”
How many children is the 'right' amount?
While four may feel like too many kids for some and others wish they had a larger brood, how do you know how many kids is right for your family?
“This is a very personal choice and many factors come into play for each parent depending on their circumstances,” parenting expert Kalini Kent says.
“Children need their emotional needs being met, and these include nurturing, attention, security and emotional intimacy. There are so many more demands on parents as many more are working and therefore juggling their time with competing demands. They therefore need to consider how much time they have to give and whether they are able to have a well balanced life.”
If you are lucky enough to choose the amount of kids you would like, as many people who struggle with fertility issues cannot do so, then Kent says some factors you should take into account. These include:
What your finances look like and how many children’s needs you can cater for
Whether you can give the quality of time, care, and attention to each of your children
Consider the cost implication and the care needed if one or several of your children have additional needs
“For some parents, having four children can pose a bigger strain, not just on the cost, but in juggling their time, especially with things like dropping off to different schools and activities,” Kent adds.
What's the average amount of children per family in the UK?
While Kent says there is no “optimum” number of kids for people to have, she notes that the average number of children per family in the UK is now 1.7, which has declined from 1.92 in 1960.
The reasons for this, Kent says, is that more women are choosing to have children later and the increasing cost of childcare is holding people back from having more children.
“Sometimes, childcare costs can outweigh income, so this can impact whether a mother can go back to work after having a baby,” Kent adds. “Another thing to consider is whether or not you have support from family or friends to help with childcare, as it truly does take a village.”
How much does a child cost to raise in the UK?
A report released in early 2023 found that the average cost of raising a child from infancy to 18 years old is £203,000.
The research carried out by Moneyfarm found that it costs around £11,000 per year to raise a child, which means that four children could cost around £800,000 to raise throughout their childhoods.