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British Study: Have 2 Children, Lose 1 Friend

Photo by glennharperDoes having children affect your social relationships?

Does having children affect your social relationships?

There are many challenges to being a parent, and it is true that your life will never be the same.  Maintaining social adult relationships can be difficult after having children. In fact, a new British study has found that for every two children a parent has they lose one friend.

On average, the British have less friends then they did twenty years ago. This is especially true for parents.

The Telegraph reports:

The British study shows that having offspring results in a trade off of roughly two children to one friend as parents fall back on family and professional helpers…

The average number of close friends for people with no children is 4.7 and this gradually declines until those who have three children have just 3.5.

In my American experience, parenting is not such a deterrent to friendships. In fact, I have gained many new friendships with other parents as a result of my children’s friends.  It’s a win-win for everyone when the grown-ups and kids all like each other.  Also, I have not lost any of my childless friends as a result of becoming a parent.  I still make time to do activities with them without my children, like going to see music or backpacking, and I also include them in our kid-friendly activities.


  1. I’m the quiet sort, so having kids didn’t change my existing friendships all that much. But having kids get into elementary school meant suddenly making friends with their friends’ parents. I’ve found some really good friends that way.

  2. Interesting–the opposite hold true for me. When my first child was born, I had no friends. Now I have more than I can manage, thanks to playgroups and other connections I have made over the years. To me, being a SAHM leaves time for having and building friendships; I wonder if this study differentiated between working and SAH moms?

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