Do two princesses make the ideal fairytale family?

If you're planning on starting a family, life might be easier if you have two girls, Bounty has discovered. We came to the conclusion after examining the lives of 2,116 families with different combinations of children, both male and female.
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. Two girls rarely annoy their parents with too much noise, confide in their parents and are unlikely to wind each other up or ignore each other.
By contrast, doubling the number of daughters is likely to lead to a whole world of drama, our report found.
Mums and dads with four girls turned out to be the least happy with family life overall, with one in four of those admitting they were not 100% happy with their lot – and one in three finding it hard to cope on a daily basis. Parents of four girls also admitted to having to cope with an average of four fights or arguments a day.
Bounty’s Faye Mingo says: "The mums and dads we polled obviously dearly love their children, but those with bigger families find it much harder to keep the peace on a daily basis.The findings were absolutely fascinating - we often assume little girls behave like angels, and if you have two this certainly seems to be the case. But the more girls you have the more of a handful they become - more so in fact than boys. In fact, going from two to four girls seem to take parents from one extreme to the other – whilst doubling the amount of boys has much less impact. We expected two, three or four boys to come out as the most difficult combination of children to have, purely because of their energetic and boisterous personalities."
The study looked into families with twelve different combinations of children, excluding only children but including everything from a brother and sister to four of the same sex. Mums and dads were asked to rank their children's behaviour within the family unit based on a string of categories including ease of care, compatability and overall behaviour.
Two girls scored highly in every category. They were 'easy to reason' with, 'helped around the house' and generally 'liked each other'.
But parents of four girls ranked them at the lower end of the spectrum in most sectors due in no small measure to the sheer workload managing four youngsters who regularly squabble and know how to wind each other up. 63% of mums and dads of four girls have had to buy a bigger house and car. They also find it impossible dealing with everyone when they’re ill and spend most of the time encouraging the girls to get on.
 In fact, mums and dads with four children of any gender found it harder, the results showed. And meal times, mornings and the bedtime routine emerged as key areas which become difficult with four children. Parents with four children also admitted neglecting one or more of their children on occasion, and find it harder to share their attention equally amongst everyone.
Other difficult combinations of children include two boys and two girls, three girls and one boy, and three boys and one girl – although 62% parents with this combination would have exactly the same number of children if they had their time again.
After two girls, the second most satisfactory combination of children was one boy and one girl. 86% of parents with one of each gender said they would honestly say their children were friends. Parents of one girl and one boy also commented that they rarely argue over toys, belongings and who can have what. Our report found one of each gender can also be reasoned with easily, making it easy for mums and dads to quickly sort out problems. The only downside of having a boy and a girl was a lack of shared interest as they grow up.
The third easiest combination of children was two boys. Parents of two boys revealed they frequently pay each other lots of attention day to day, and are often best of friends throughout their childhood. But while having two boys can be something of a pleasure when the children are little - parents can find the boys rarely confide in them as they grow up.
Faye Mingo added: "Rightly or wrongly, many parents have a set idea about the combination of children that would make up their ideal family unit. But of course nature doesn’t allow us to choose what we actually end up with or even what personalities our children will have. Every child is a blessing and there are lots of things parents can do to ensure family life is as harmonious as possible. Making sure quality time is spent with all children, reminding them how lucky they are to have siblings and creating family rituals such as eating and playing together can all help everyone to get the most out of family life together.”
1. Two girls
2. One boy and one girl
3. Two boys
4. Three girls
5. Three boys
6. Four boys
7. Two girls and one boy
8. Two boys and one girl
9. Three boys and one girl
10. Three girls and one boy
11. Two boys and two girls
12. Four girls
1. Rarely noisy
2. Help around the house
3. Very few fights and arguments
4. Quite easy to reason with
5. Play together nicely
6. Rarely ignore each other
7. They confide in you
8. Very well behaved
9. Rarely try to wind each other up
10. Really like each other
1. Fight and argue all the time
2. Difficult to reason with
3. Ignore and dislike each other
4. Bedtime routine is a nightmare
5. Create a lot of noise around the house
6. Rarely confide in you
7. Hard to deal with when ill
8. Takes ages getting ready for school
9. Had to buy a bigger house and car
10. Hard to cope with on a daily basis


As a mum of 4 girls who struggles on a daily basis, I found this research very encouraging. Of course all our circumstances are different and the level of challenge will depend on factors like age gaps, personalities of the children, the amount of support you have and your expectations of family life BUT it's great to know that I'm not the only one who struggles. We love our girls and wouldn't change anything however, we struggle with everything listed - apart from the fact that they do confide in us when they get the chance! We have not been able to solve any of the issues long term and have found that - in order to stay sane and close as a family - we have to be content, to a certain extent, to muddle along with the mess, noise and chaos being late for everything! But I still find it hard.
I have 4 daughters and a son, plus a little one on the way. YES my daughters do argue very often but I was one of 8 siblings with 4 brothers after me and we had about as many arguments as my girls have now so I dont think its the fact they are all girls I just think its the fact there are a few of them. Get a group of grown women together for too long and arguments and things will happen. I think its an unfair assumption that this is least harmonious. I think you have as many children as you can deal with and as you feel would make your perfect family. I wouldnt change anything here and I love all the noise and mess and everything and it doesnt take me ages to get to school because I make sure we are properly organised. The only bit I do find hard is when they are all ill together but its only ever a day here and there. I agree with some of the other ladies, Im also quite insulted by the results!
I have 5 daughters and one son. My daughters do fight some of the time but, I think this is just normal sibling rivalry. I grew up with two sisters and we hated each other and we fought like cat and dog. My daughters do confide in me and we are all very good friends. I think that it depends a lot on how you parent your kids. I think it is obviously going to take ages to get your kids ready for school and get them all settled at bed time as there are lots of kids, same goes for the noise. I am also a single parent but I love every moment of being a mum and I feel very blessed to have them all. I also work part time but I do feel that it's what you instil in your children that comes back.
Of course having 4 or more children will be more difficult than having 2. Doesn't make it any less 'ideal' like the article suggests, just different. We have 7 girls so does that mean our lives are twice as bad as those with the dreaded 4 daughters? lol We are pretty happy here thanks. Life and family is what you make it, some cope & embrace things better than others. The article is filled with generalisations.
what about age gaps? because that often makes a difference as to how they 'get on'. Not a useful article considering you cant choose what you have, why list negatives of 4 girls and positives of two, why not list + & - of both? Should be grateful to have children, whatever your lot. Being parents can be hard and demanding what ever sex you have, and I would have thought common sense would suggest having four of either sex is going to be harder than have two?! mother of two boys with 3rd boy on way.
I am actually quite insulted at these results,as my husband and I have 5 girls and 1 boy,our boy is 11,so second child,the children range from 15 years down to 3 months.Yes we have arguements and trantums,but who doesn't.However having more children allows them all to explore life beyond 4 people,and they learn patient/kindness/happiness and overall more rounded members of society.Before you ask,yes my husband is the father to all the children,and I am the mother,he works full time and I work part time and no we dont live in a council house or claim benifits !!!
I am one of two girls 3yrs apart and we hated eachother when growing up. I was always the annoying little sister! We get on great now though.
i grew up with noly one sister and although there was six years between us we rarely fought with each other, and got on better as she confided in me rather than our mother. So all in all i believe this, i hope i have two!!!
What a load of rubbish, you get what you are given so you can't choose your combination. All arguments etc.. will vary from family to family.
What about families with only 1 child?