Amish families are usually quite large for several reasons. Children are seen as great blessings from God within the community, Amish don’t sanction any kind of birth control, and Amish women get married and start having children extremely young.
Amish women get pregnant in their early twenties, shortly after they get married. They have an average of seven children, as children are seen as gifts from God.
In Amish culture, marriages and families are extremely important. As a result, many devoted Amish wish to get married and start having children right away.
Also see Do Amish Women Shave? to learn more.
How many children do Amish families have?
Amish usually start having children shortly after marriage because they do not sanction using birth control. They usually get married in their early twenties. The average Amish family has seven children.
Amish believe in the scripture from Genesis that instructs people to “be fruitful and multiply.” Because of this, the Amish don’t sanction any kind of birth control, so large families are common.
Most families have between six and eight children. Children are considered blessings and gifts from God, and Amish families enjoy their communities filled with extended families, cousins, aunts and uncles, and siblings. 
In Amish culture, family time is extremely important. Spending time with children allows parents to establish a good work ethic and pass on spiritual values. Additionally, because Amish families are so large, children are hardly alone and are usually surrounded by siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
Children live at home and attend school from first to eighth grade. They are given chores and responsibilities at a young age. When they are teenagers, they begin working in a more official sense at a family business and contribute their paychecks to their household until they move out and start their own family.
Children’s chores include farming and homemaking skills, such as:
- Milking cows
- Feeding livestock
- Gathering eggs
- Cleaning animal pens and the house
- Cooking food
- Growing fruits and vegetables in the garden
- Maintaining correspondence with other Amish by writing letters
- Doing laundry
- Making clothing
- Selling food at farm stands
Parental roles in Amish communities are more traditional, with males performing labor outside the home and women and girls performing household tasks. The father in a family is considered the head of the household and is typically the main breadwinner.
Women are supposed to be submissive to their husbands and have a more prominent influence in raising the children.
Amish people emphasize Biblical values, including selflessness, brotherly love, and a focus on the family. This leads to close-knit families that often play games, sing, and maintain the household together instead of focusing on individual pursuits.
When children are done with their chores, they have many options for fun activities, including:
- Climbing trees
- Playing with children from other families
- Riding scooters
- Playing board games
However, most children don’t have too much time for recreational activities, as they usually go to bed by 8:30. Then, they are up bright and early the next day for their chores. 
Also see Are There Black Amish? to learn more.
At what age do Amish women get married?
Amish women usually get married between the ages of twenty-one and twenty-three. On average, Amish women are a year younger than Amish men when they get married.
Amish typically start dating around sixteen when they begin socializing with other young adults at church, frolics, auctions, and home visits.
One of the most popular activities for young adults seeking a date is Sunday night singing, which includes the Amish from several different communities.
During this event, Amish young adults sing hymns together, with time to socialize between the songs. This lasts until 10:00 pm. Afterward, refreshments are served, and the young adults can mingle. If a boy likes a girl, he’ll usually offer to give her a ride home. This signifies the beginning of a courtship. 
Typical dates for Amish include:
- Buggy rides
- Spending time with each other’s families
- An outdoor activity with a large group
In most Amish communities, the couple is allowed private time together, but not behind closed doors. Therefore, chaperones should be present at all times.
Courtship is taken seriously because most Amish communities do not allow divorce. Engagements are usually private, and the couple might even keep the news from their parents for a few months. Once the bride informs her family, the names of the women who intend to marry and their future grooms are read at Sunday service by the deacon.
Amish weddings usually occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the winter after the fall harvest at the bride’s home. This is to avoid any preparation or cleanup on a Sunday. The ceremony begins early in the morning and includes a sermon, singing, private instruction, vows, and prayer.
Brides usually make their own wedding dresses and bridesmaids’ dresses. Wedding dresses are usually blue, and when Amish women die, they are typically buried in this dress. The dress cannot have any lace or a train. 
After the wedding, the bride and groom help clean up. They do not go on a typical honeymoon but instead go on overnight visits to various relatives and make new acquaintances. The couple lives with the bride’s family until they can establish their own place.
Also see Do Amish Pay Taxes? to learn more.
Do Amish have incest problems?
Amish have incest problems, which was revealed by an investigation by journalist Sarah McClure in 2020. She uncovered fifty-two cases of sexual abuse among the Amish, including incest.
These cases don’t capture the full picture, as these were just the cases that were charged and prosecuted. McClure reported that nearly every victim she spoke to were dissuaded by their family and church leaders to talk about any abuse, as it is not Christlike to report these issues. 
In McClure’s experience, the alleged perpetrators were largely the victim’s father, uncles, and brothers. Thus, many cases of sexual assault are cases of incest as well.
This sexual abuse crisis has no one reason or explanation, but many factors, including:
- Strict adherence to patriarchy
- An isolated lifestyle, so victims have little exposure to the police or other people who could help them.
- Education that ends at eighth grade and doesn’t include sexual education
- A culture of victim blaming
- A religion that prioritizes forgiveness over punishment
- Families that live in close proximity
Because victims are discouraged from reporting their abuse and are often punished for doing so, there’s no way of knowing how big of a problem incest within Amish communities is.
Also see How To Tell If An Amish or Mennonite Woman Is Married? to learn more.
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