Social Development and Family Planning

by Sharon Secor

    Family planning and social development are tightly intertwined, a connection seen easier in developing nations than those already industrialized. In the real-world context of the lives of families, family planning represents far more than just the number of children a family chooses to have or not to have. Family planning has an immediate impact, creating tangible, positive change in the life of the individual family. It can dramatically expand possibilities and potentials, lifting some families out of poverty within a single generation. For many, family planning is the foundation of lasting social development.

    What It Means to the Individual Family

    In “Social Development: The Developmental Perspective in Social Welfare,” James Midgley describes social development as “a process of planned social change designed to promote the well-being of the population as a whole in conjunction with a dynamic process of economic development.” Access to family planning information and services is a major factor in reducing poverty and improving overall health and well-being for mothers and children. For the individual mother, wider spacing of children leads to healthier pregnancies, as the body can recuperate fully between children. Having fewer children also leaves more time, energy and money to invest in raising and educating each child.

    Secure Daughters' Economic Future

    Family planning protects women from becoming trapped in poverty and abuse, economically powerless with few options, a vital social development concern. When parents space their children thoughtfully and limit the number, they can prepare each child to be financially independent in adulthood. Concentrating child-rearing efforts on fewer children can make a huge difference in outcomes. Teen girls are less likely to get pregnant when they do well in school, have educational and life goals and have positive relationships with parents. Helping your daughter to avoid teen pregnancy is an important means of protecting her economic future and life options.

    Some 'Me-Time' Makes Better Parents

    Social development is about more than economic improvement. It is also about education and human development. Family planning places that within the grasp of the average person. Spacing children widely or having fewer children allows you to strive toward your vision of a better self. You have time to continue your education and move from just a job to a career that is fulfilling. You can develop intellectual interests and pursue hobbies. That bit of "me time" helps you to be a better parent and models values that will impact your children's lives. If you value learning and yourself, so will they.

    Close-Knit Relationships Protect

    Family planning helps create a family environment conducive to social development through better parenting and better education. However, there is something else equally central to the sort of life success that social development has as its goal. When you space your children, you have time to form close-knit relationships. These relationships can help your children weather the inevitable storms of life, offering the sort of support that helps them to navigate the loss and disappointment that is a natural part of life, without falling prey to addictions or destructive behaviors, as so many others do.

    About the Author

    Sharon Secor began writing professionally in 1999, while attending Empire State University. Secor specializes primarily in personal finance and economics, and writes on a broad range of subjects. She is published in numerous online and print publications, including Freedom's Phoenix, the ObscentiyCrimes and the American Chronicle.

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