- Family and Parenting
10 Good Reasons to Have Children
I wanted to be fair as both a writer and a parent, so there's a companion piece to this article titled "10 Reasons Not to Have Children". I'm not sure why I wrote that one first because I love both my kids and I enjoy being a dad. However, if you're a parent - and an honest one - you do spend a lot of time thinking about how your life is different from what it once was. Particularly if you're an older parent like me (I was almost 42 when we had my first son), you've lived so much of your life in a certain way that having a child is such a game-changer that it's like moving to another planet. Thus, I feel as though I have a very good handle on the many reasons not to have children. That being said. having kids has been a very fulfilling experience and all the reasons I can think to have kids is because of my two boys and my wife. I just always happen to look at the funny side of something first. And actually, some of the reasons for having kids can be pretty funny.
- You can teach them all kinds of funny stuff - I didn't have kids so I could be one of those humorless parents who teach their kids to say the right thing all the time. I'm not teaching them to be rude or anything, but teaching your kids to be funny and make people laugh is a reward unto itself. As soon as my son could talk, I started teaching him movie quotes. He put the quote "come over to the dark side of the force" to particularly good use. I taught him "I'll have what she's having". However, not only did I teach him the quotes, I also taught him how and when to say them. For a two-year-old, his timing wasn't bad and I was incredibly proud whenever he used one of the quotes. When he started to potty train, I taught him that peeing was "draining the weasel" and pooping was "dropping the kids off at the pool." He's put those to good use as well. It's just kind of fun watching a three-year-old walk into daycare and tell one of his teachers that he has to drop the kids off at the pool.
- They make you laugh every day - Despite the fact that raising kids and being a parent is insanely hard most of the time, one of the great things about having kids is that they make you laugh every day. They do and say the funniest things. As a single man, I could go an entire day without laughing. Having kids, I laugh with them and at them every single day multiple times a day. Sure, I also feel like I'm losing my mind half the time, but laughing is good for the soul and some of the stuff kids do you never thought you'd see or hear or whatever. As much as they can be frustrating, they're also tons of fun.
- They make you proud - Recall back when you purchased your first car or your first new car. Remember that pride driving it home for the first time? Lots of hard work paid off and now you were driving the result of that hard work around town. Or maybe it was a new bike or new skis - whatever that thing was, you had a feeling of pride because you owned something you had always wanted and could show it off to people. Kids are awesome in this way. It's particularly fun when relatives come over and fawn all over them and make comments about how cute they are or how smart they are or how well behaved. As a parent, you just kind of sit back, smile, and think to yourself: "I did that." It's pretty cool.
- You get to relive your own childhood - I really like this part because I want to watch all the movies I loved as a kid over again and I just don't have the time, but now I get to do that because I have my boys. I get to show them "Star Wars" and watch them experience it for the first time. I get to teach them how to ski. Being an adult, I don't get to play video games as much as I'd like, but pretty soon we'll all be playing video games together. I get to have snowball fights. I get to show them the ocean for the first time and take them to Disneyland. I get to watch as they open presents for birthdays and holidays and get toys that I used to love. Then I get to play with those toys again.
- You're never bored - Prior to having kids I remember days where I'd just sit in front of the television and lament the fact that I couldn't think of anything to do. Even being a fairly active sort of person, I'd just have times where my friends were all busy and I didn't feel like doing anything. Well, once you have kids, you're never bored. Your calendar is full from morning to night and the word "boring" is no longer in your vocabulary. You are never, ever lacking for something to do.
- You can be pretty sure somebody will be there when you die - Dying alone is scary. We all kind of die alone no matter what, but it's nice to know that somebody will care about you and that you'll leave some kind of legacy and be remembered and kids are good for that sort of thing. Unless you do an incredibly bad job as a parent, your kids are likely to be concerned about you as you age and maybe even be there by your bedside when you die. It's a comfort to know that.
- There's nothing like the love you feel for your child - This might be the best thing about having a child. When I decided to have kids, I did so because I thought I would regret not having kids once I got too old. While the experience itself has its ups and downs, the most overwhelming part of it involves the love you feel for your child. There really is no other comparable feeling, except maybe the one some people have with cherished pets. However, I've had lots of pets in my life and there's definitely something more complex and deep with a child and the love you feel for them is incredibly profound and satisfying. You created the child. There's something pretty amazing about it.
- It makes you a better person - Being a parent and raising a child makes you do things differently. It makes you more patient (even though you're often less patient). It makes you try harder all the time to be better because you always have this little pair of eyes looking to you to make the right decision and being a bad example for your child just doesn't feel good.
- You can deduct them off your taxes - Really, a nice financial perk. It's kind of nice to know that all that extra money you spend on your kids is recognized by the federal government as non-taxable income or lost income. A couple who makes $50,000 with no kids is a lot more capable of paying taxes on their earnings than a couple who makes the same and has two kids. It's kind of like getting a rebate check on your children at the end of every year.
- You feel loved and kind of a like a superhero - No matter how frustrating your kids may be, when you come home at the end of a long day and your little one runs up to you and yells "Daddy! Daddy!" or "Mommy! Mommy!" your heart melts. They run up and hug your leg and seem genuinely happy that you're there. It might not last forever, but it's pretty cool. It's also pretty cool that they look to you for all the answers. Your kids think you're the best. You're the smartest person they know. They brag about you to their friends and their teachers. Most kids grow up for some time thinking of their parents as their heroes. It's a pretty great job.