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Old 01-17-2014, 03:53 PM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,935 posts, read 3,878,619 times
Reputation: 3261

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I created this thread due to a debate I got into with some people on the Philosophy forum, regarding an issue of parenting. I'm 33 years old, married, but I don't have kids. I've never felt like I REALLY want kids. My wife is practically dying for kids and we're not doing anything to retard that process, but there have been no kids yet.

Here it is, put simply. Having kids enters a certain number of negatives into the life of the parents. They include, but are not limited to:

-Far less "free time"
-Far less freedom to do what you want to do, in that free time (you always have to consider how it will impact the kids)
-Higher expenses which require more work from the parents to make ends meet
-More stress
-More work to keep your house "kid-proof"
-Can't go out unless you get a babysitter
-And then if your kid is badly disabled, you may not ever get to live on your own again (with the kids out of the house) until you go into a nursing home

Keep in mind, I love kids and kids generally love me. I've been a teacher for many years and whenever we get together with my wife's family, I'm always the one entertaining the kids. I'm not kid-averse.

However, I don't see how the positives outweigh the negatives in today's world. The biggest positive I can think of is that having kids enables the parents to hand their legacy down to future generations, such that it doesn't die when they die. Beyond that, I can't see much that would counterbalance the negatives significantly enough. Sure, kids are entertaining and funny. They sometimes give love too, especially when they're young and innocent. But it appears that everyone has differing views on what is acceptable and unacceptable as far as how to raise kids. The result is kids get vastly varying upbringings, which causes conflict along the way... in ever-greater amounts as the people age.

If parents are going to be pilloried for "being parents" (check out the bad press that "Tiger Mom" has received, IN SPITE OF how her children have stood up for the way she was as a mother!), and the expectation is that we just bend and flex and whatever so that our kids can be exactly who they want to be without us raising them to adhere to any predetermined moral code, then why have kids? Even if that moral code is "my own personal moral code that I devised for myself without help from other people, nor religion, nor anything else", it's still predetermined as far as my kids go, because THEY didn't come up with it - it was in effect before they were able to develop their own. Really - why have kids? Just so they can entertain us? Just so they can give us love?

The consensus of opinion on that thread has been that, if I raise my kids according to the Bible, they're going to end up horribly psychologically deformed and that's going to be a terrible thing. (I'm not surprised about that, given the ignorance of modern human beings.) People of all stripes are going to say the same thing about SOME type of upbringing. If you bring your kids up to follow the Koran to the letter, they'll have mental problems. If you bring your kids up to be atheists, they'll have mental problems. If you bring your kids up exactly as your parents brought you up, they'll have mental problems (because this is NOW, not "then"). There's absolutely no consensus of opinion on how to raise a kid. Therefore, why in the heck should we HAVE kids? Let's face it. The world is getting worse and worse. If I had a nickel for every middle-aged to elderly person who has told me "I wouldn't want to have a kid in today's world", I wouldn't have to work another day in my life. Any kid who enters the world today is going to deal with unprecedented levels of strife, worry, stress, etc. For example, when I was a kid, NOBODY ever brought a gun to school. Now hardly a month ever goes by without the news talking about some school shooting somewhere.

Evidently, the kids that people had in generations past have not made the world a better place - they've only made the world a worse place. Oh sure, SOME people will say it's better for some others - heaven knows, America has become increasingly good for the poor and lazy, as well as those who choose "alternative" lifestyles which were once unfathomable... but the numbers don't lie. Incarceration is at an all-time high, while laws are becoming increasingly relaxed so as to give crooks every shot they can get at staying out of jail. Out-of-wedlock pregnancy is at an all-time high. New drugs are coming out all the time, constantly thwarting the efforts of law enforcement. Domestic terrorism is at an all time high. International terrorism is at an all time high. The world has been at war for over a decade and it ain't going to stop anytime soon. In my opinion and the opinion of many others whom I've spoken with, the world is getting worse and worse.

Therefore, one cannot say "I want to have kids to make the world a better place". The better argument would be that if you want to make the world a better place, DON'T have kids. But, that's a different question for a different time.

I really want to know. Given the cost, hassle, etc. of having kids, and the lack of tangible guarantee that the kids will turn out anywhere near what you'd hope your kids would become, WHY have kids? (You could get all of the negatives with very little of the positive. Your kids could disappear and never talk to you again. They might commit suicide. They might end up in jail. WHY have kids?)
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Old 01-17-2014, 04:19 PM
 
3,395 posts, read 3,433,795 times
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Well, I had kids because I owe it to the world to spread my fabulous genes around.

But that doesn't explain why YOU should have kids...
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Old 01-17-2014, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Greater NYC
2,936 posts, read 5,058,628 times
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Been there. Done that. This has been discussed countless times on this forum to the point that past mods have locked new threads and/or moved them into old ones on the same topic.

Feel free to search for your answers.

Here's a start:
//www.city-data.com/forum/paren...want-kids.html
//www.city-data.com/forum/paren...have-kids.html
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Old 01-17-2014, 04:46 PM
 
13,338 posts, read 21,384,885 times
Reputation: 36465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Book Lover 21 View Post
Well, I had kids because I owe it to the world to spread my fabulous genes around.

But that doesn't explain why YOU should have kids...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idlewile View Post
Been there. Done that. This has been discussed countless times on this forum to the point that past mods have locked new threads and/or moved them into old ones on the same topic.

Feel free to search for your answers.

Here's a start:
//www.city-data.com/forum/paren...want-kids.html
//www.city-data.com/forum/paren...have-kids.html
Well said, in both responses.
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Old 01-17-2014, 04:47 PM
 
1,835 posts, read 2,533,178 times
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The only point in having kids is for ego satisfaction because certainly in the practical, legal and economic sense, it makes no sense.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Back in MADISON Wi thank God!
1,047 posts, read 3,423,687 times
Reputation: 1403
Well, wow, the good news is, you are certainly thinking about it! That's more than some people do! Too many people have kids without a second thought.
The bad news is, you could very well end up with one, given what you've told us, without perhaps REALLY wanting one.
Having children should not be taken lightly. As a woman, I had children because I truely felt a strong biological NEED to.
I suppose that's how many of us are designed. Otherwise, all the logical reasons that you pointed out to not have children would win.
Children are not easy. My kids are relatively good kids, healthy, good grades, never been in trouble, etc. And still, there is stress to having them. They are needy, ungrateful, expensive, and messy. But, I love my children more than life itself. I would go to hell and back for my children, and nothing else in this world can evoke such a passion in me.
I hope it goes well for you. There won't be any clear cut answers. You sound like a good, thinking man. Sometimes, as I tell my husband, we can over think something. Life is a process, and I have found, it's usually better when I am not living a life that's too much about me.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:03 PM
 
3,939 posts, read 3,997,220 times
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I had two kids because after having my first my maternal instinct was on fire and I wanted a second child. Our family is very close and my kids have a wonderful relationship. I expect both my kids to go out in the world as adults and make it a better place. I am an optimist, not a dreamer. I know life is difficult and rearing thoughtful human beings is a very important job. Every day I see how much love my kids have in their lives and I enjoy seeing the light in their eyes. A nurturing childhood is a beautiful thing. Maybe that is the bottom line... why I have kids. I can't give one reason. Being a parent is a true gift.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:21 PM
 
19,059 posts, read 22,313,456 times
Reputation: 13447
For me it was because I wanted to experience unconditional love towards another being. I'm certainly getting my fill as we go along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LivingDeadGirl View Post
The only point in having kids is for ego satisfaction because certainly in the practical, legal and economic sense, it makes no sense.
The only point for YOU.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:33 PM
 
32,525 posts, read 31,455,232 times
Reputation: 32389
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
They sometimes give love too, especially when they're young and innocent.
So. How screwed up was your family?

Last edited by DewDropInn; 01-17-2014 at 08:54 PM..
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:33 PM
 
4,750 posts, read 3,600,722 times
Reputation: 4947
So, if you don't want kids, then why are and your wife together?
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