CORRECTION: Food For Thought, sorry for typographical error.
4 decades ago, the late Anne Landers, syndicated author and advice columnist did a survey asking parents if they had to DO IT again, would they have children. An overwhelming majority(over 50%) stated that they WOULD NEVER be parents. Many people have children because of parental, familial, religious, peer, and/or other societal pressure. Only a minute percentage of people want to be parents.
This translates into many children have perfunctory parents who go about their parental duties as an obligation. Such children are born into environments where they were not really wanted. They were just tolerated at best. There are some parents who view their children as endurable burdens, no more, no less. There are parents out there who have children much to their regret much later. A lot of them had children to appease their parents desire to become grandparents.
Many people succumb to societal pressure that not to have children is equivalent to being selfish, immature, and irresponsible. Although childfree couples are accepted more in this society, they are still marginalized in this pronatalist culture. Only a few couples are brave enough to decide not to have children and to stick to their decision despite opposition from parents, family members, friends, and/or other societal consensus.
There are people who have children without considering the effects upon their and their children's lives. Many people do not have the mental, emotional, and psychological wherewithal to be parents. This is reflected in many children being dysfunctional and having psychological issues. Parenting involves sacrifice, love, responsibility, and nurturance of children. However, there are many people who are not suited for parenting.
Children also know when they are warmly wanted/welcomed or if they are just a barely tolerable convenience/obligation. Parenthood is an awesome responsibility. Children are precious. Parenthood should NOT be a mere happenstance but a responsiblilty to be cherished, respected, and undertaken with the best of intention. Some people have the emotional, mental, and psychological resources to be parents and others are not. Parenthood is something to be assessed very careful before entering it. Let us discuss this.
I couldn't agree more...I was unfortunate enough to have a mother who decided early on that she didn't want me (she walked out when I was a year and 1/2 years old) However, I was REALLY fortunate to have a father that do. He's the best man in the whole entire world and I couldn't have been more lucky to have him as my father. He truly is my best friend. He ended up marrying a woman (who is my step-mom but out of respect I call her mom, because she helped raise me since I was 4 & she really does deserve the credit.) She wasn't the easiest woman to get along with and there is favoritism among her daughters (from a previous marriage) vs me. Also, I know and understand that I was just a "package deal" that came along with my father. However she did teach me to be a strong and independent individual. That combined with having the sweet, compassionate, understanding father that I do, I consider myself pretty lucky. I wouldn't have thought so about 10 years ago though lol.
You are my heroine GM. I agree totally with what you are saying. It is being more accepted in society now for couples deciding not to have children. In fact, these 'childless' couples opt to adopt instead of bringing another child into the world. Hurray for them.
My parents should have never had children although the three of us grew up to be upstanding adults and wonderful loving and caring parents ourselves. Although I love my son dearly, if I had to do it all over again I would not have children biologically, I would adopt instead.
What gets me is with all of the education on birth control in this world, children are being born on a daily basis that are not wanted, drug addicted and beaten to death. This has got to stop!
I'm under the impression that you're exaggerating the results from this study. Comments like "an overwhelming majority (over 50%)" gives me the impression that the results were something like 53% of people who responded to the survey. Then you go on to say that "only a minute percentage of people want to be parents." You seem to be taking a statement from an extremely sensationalist and not credible source (the woman credited for the Halloween candy scare) and generalizing it across the entire population.
I think I understand the sentiment. It really is sad when children are born into a family that doesn't give them the love that they deserve. But I'm not sure that the way you're going about it is doing much to help the problem, in fact it might be making it worse.
You note that people tend to have children because of societal pressures. Is it so outrageous to say that perhaps people regret having children as a result of the same pressures? When I was pregnant with my son I felt bombarded with negativity surrounding having children. You're going so be SOOO tired. Might as well kiss those dreams of being a writer or actress goodbye! It felt like most of the baby conversations I had were actually about the death of me, not the birth of my son.
I can't really blame anyone for succumbing to the negativity, it was really hard to not do that myself. Having a baby shouldn't be painted as impending doom to your needs and dreams because it just isn't true. Before my son was born I was deeply depressed. Who knew that my unplanned pregnancy (oh my!) could turn my life around in a positive way?
These are the stories we should be talking about. We should be trying to reduce shame and negativity. We should be part of the solution instead of the problem. "But wait!" you might say, "I didn't cause any of this, anyway it isn't like I can do anything about it!" Oh but you can. We want some magic legislation to swoop in and save us from ourselves. Well you know what? It isn't going to happen. If you aren't part of the solution then you're part of the problem. Fight stigma. If you think that pregnancy and children are wonderful then for the love of God express it.
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