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Having kids or not, life satisfaction remain same

Parents with or without children are just two sides of the same coin: non-parents are not 'failed' parents and parents are not 'failed' non-parents, says a study

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Having or not having kids doesn't affect life satisfaction. VOA
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Parents with or without children are just two sides of the same coin: non-parents are not ‘failed’ parents and parents are not ‘failed’ non-parents, says a study.

According to researchers, factors such as higher educational attainment, higher income, better health and religiosity enhance life satisfaction and they found that parents and non-parents have similar levels of life satisfaction.

“It is simply a mistake to presume that people with children have better lives,” said Angus Deaton, the Dwight D. Eisenhower professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University.

Having kids doesn’t increase life satisfaction. Twitter

“Some people like oranges, and some like apples, and we do not think that orange eaters should have better or worse lives than apple eaters,” he added.

However, adults with children at home experience more emotional highs and lows than those without children at home, said the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers examined data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index – a survey of 1.8 million Americans who evaluated their lives and reported daily emotional experiences between 2008 and 2012. The researchers focused on the 34-46 age group.

They found that all emotions – happiness, smile, enjoyment, worry, stress and anger – were markedly higher among those who have children at home. “Life evaluation is not the same as experienced emotions, such as happiness, enjoyment, sadness, worry or stress,” said Deaton.

Also Read: New Toys Help Cultivate Emotional Intelligence in Children

“The results show that, no matter what else is taken into account, parents experience more of all of these than non-parents. There are good days and bad, ups and downs,” he added.

For countries like India, where there is strong social pressure to become parents, Deaton and Stone say their argument does not apply. In such countries, people may have children even when it does not increase their own life evaluation, though it may increase that of their parents or communities, said the study. “The evidence for those countries does indeed show that parents have lower life evaluations, on average,” the study said. IANS

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OrchKids- Bringing Joy To Underprivileged Kids Through Music

Nema was accepted into the Baltimore School for the Arts where she now studies music.

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Jazz
Jazz is like the first dance music. Free dancing, where you show free expression. You throw your body but nobody is doing the same two steps

In Baltimore, a free after school music program called OrchKids is being used as an instrument of change for children in underprivileged neighborhoods. In the past 10 years, more than 1,300 children have received free group music lessons, and free instruments, from flutes to trumpets to violins.

The program was started by Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, who said OrchKids also aims to create social change in a city where about 40 percent of the population live in poverty. She hopes that if more children of color learn an instrument that “orchestras will better reflect the diversity of our communities.”

For 15 year old Nema Robinson, OrchKids has given her more opportunities than she ever imagined. Four years ago, the quiet teenager started taking the group violin lessons and quickly progressed.

Her teacher, Ahreum Kim, grew up in Korea and studied at the prestigious Peabody Institute in Baltimore.

“Nema’s determination has helped make her a top violin student” Kim said. “OrchKids is doing a lot for Nema, by giving her confidence, the practice of being in front of an audience, and musical skills she can be proud of,” she added.

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Producing the Tanzania Albinism Collective Project allowed Ian Brennan to work with people who are not identified as musicians and are just waiting for a chance to be heard. VOA

Nema’s musical journey began when she and her mother, Susan Johnson, saw an OrchKids concert. Johnson was amazed to see black kids performing classical and opera music. “You just don’t see that,” she recalled thinking, “And I’m elbowing Nema and telling her, ‘This is what you should be doing.”

Nema enthusiastically agreed, and soon after started taking violin lessons that have given her the opportunity to play all kinds of music. She is especially proud of being a violinist in the Orchkids jazz band.

OrchKids has been instrumental in guiding many students, some from difficult backgrounds, by providing a place where they feel respected and safe.

Music
Google Doodle celebrating musician Clara Rockmore’s 105th birthday. Google

“Some of the students come into the class with baggage,” said Kim. “That could be due to poverty, or trouble at home. It is helpful when I learn about their families.”

Nema had a rough start in life as a drug addicted baby. With both her parents in prison, her aunt became her guardian and mother.

“She’s my number one supporter and has helped me a lot,” said Nema appreciatively. She pushes me. If it wasn’t for my mom I don’t think I would really be this good at playing the violin.”

Music
OrchKids has been instrumental in guiding many students.

Aside from the camaraderie and the encouragement that OrchKids provides, Nema also enjoys performing. I like seeing the audience, and their clapping and standing up after the performance,” she said. “It just makes my day.”

Thanks to her free violin lessons, Nema was accepted into the Baltimore School for the Arts where she now studies music.

Also Read: China Set To Spend Billionaire on ‘One Belt One Road’s, But Some Focus on Poverty

She hopes to earn a college degree in music so she can teach other black children, like herself, how to live their lives on a high note.

“It doesn’t matter what race you are, you can play music. If it’s your passion then it’s your passion,” Nema said with a smile. (VOA)