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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone at the time in their lives where you're talking about how you're going to raise kids? Or already starting your family?

What if you don't have plans for children at all, or you and your SO disagree about this?

What about your experiences or personality led you to your conclusions?
 

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Since my early teens, I've said I was never going to have kids. Now I still don't have kids, but I'm not convinced it isn't entirely impossible. My partner also says he doesn't want kids, but we both keep hypothesizing about what it would be like and how we would raise this hypothetical child to not be like so many shitty delinquents out there. I kinda have a feeling we'll eventually develop as people do and end up deciding to have maybe 1 child at the very late age of around 40 (we're mid 20s now), provided there are tests for all possible foetal/infant abnormalities, as we both agreed that we'd definitely not raise a severely disabled / special needs child. I'm not very tolerant of other people's children (as my username indicates), but I think I could really be patient with and love and nurture my own child if I ever committed to having one. I think my partner would be a very good dad, but I know I need to change a bit before I am ready to be a good parent.

Things that I feel I need to do before I can commit to being a good parent:
- be less selfish, since parenting requires full time and life-time commitment to caring for, providing for, supporting the child well into adulthood and beyond!
- think and discuss with partner how we're going to go about raising a well-adjusted, happy little individual
- agree with partner about parenting techniques and values
- be able to provide for the child, financially
- be able to provide structure, but not stifle the child's naturally developing personality by trying make them what I want them to be (e.g. forcing an introverted child to be extroverted, forcing them to be academic when they prefer sports, etc.)

How would I raise my hypothetical child? Hmm, I don't want to write another essay, so I'll just say this:
- look at all the things I disagree with / dislike about how other kids/adults have turned out (in terms of behavioral issues, not superficial things like jobs) and try my best to figure out a way to avoid this fate for my child. I can't tell you how much kids with an over-inflated sense of entitlement annoy me. "I want the best of the best 24/7!" Impoliteness, lack of consideration of others and refusals to do simple household chores is a definite NO NO! I understand this is probably going to be present in younger children, but I ain't gonna let it go on when it should have stopped by middle childhood or whatever the appropriate age is.
- my parents did a pretty good job, so I'll seek their advice too
- raise the child in a place where they can explore the natural environment, etc. (e.g. countryside).
- consult the above with my partner and hopefully come to agreement on both our ideals of what makes good parenting
 

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I have never had a maternal instinct or been interested in having children. I didn't play with baby dolls, play house, or plan my wedding when I was a little girl. I am currently in the process of finding a doctor who will perform a permanent sterilization procedure for me, and luckily my insurance will cover it 100%.

As for relationships and significant others, I wouldn't date someone who already had children or someone who wanted children, adopted or otherwise, in the future. This isn't to say that I don't like children - I love spending time with kids, and I was even a teacher in Japanese elementary schools for a period of time - but my opinion of children from a parent's perspective is that they are exhausting, useless burdens.
 

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I am a male who is not yet at the stage for children (or even a long term relationship actually) but I have always known that I want children. I will not marry a woman who is not willing to have at least two children with me (and only with me- none from previous relationships or adoptions). I would like to have more as our finances improve.

As for my family, I expect it to be quite traditional. I know it's not a popular view these days, but I honestly have no intention of being in a marriage where I am not the main breadwinner. My personality has always been quite domineering, even with friends and the family I was raised in so I will continue to expect to have the last word in all decisions. Still I consider myself an open-minded, even-handed person; I believe it very important for a husband to be in charge but also to listen and care. I will run my family much like Plato's fabled "philosopher-king" I will be the undisputed ruler, but I will seek the counsel and work toward the happiness of my wife.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Since my early teens, I've said I was never going to have kids. Now I still don't have kids, but I'm not convinced it isn't entirely impossible. My partner also says he doesn't want kids, but we both keep hypothesizing about what it would be like and how we would raise this hypothetical child to not be like so many shitty delinquents out there. I kinda have a feeling we'll eventually develop as people do and end up deciding to have maybe 1 child at the very late age of around 40 (we're mid 20s now), provided there are tests for all possible foetal/infant abnormalities, as we both agreed that we'd definitely not raise a severely disabled / special needs child. I'm not very tolerant of other people's children (as my username indicates), but I think I could really be patient with and love and nurture my own child if I ever committed to having one. I think my partner would be a very good dad, but I know I need to change a bit before I am ready to be a good parent.

Things that I feel I need to do before I can commit to being a good parent:
- be less selfish, since parenting requires full time and life-time commitment to caring for, providing for, supporting the child well into adulthood and beyond!
- think and discuss with partner how we're going to go about raising a well-adjusted, happy little individual
- agree with partner about parenting techniques and values
- be able to provide for the child, financially
- be able to provide structure, but not stifle the child's naturally developing personality by trying make them what I want them to be (e.g. forcing an introverted child to be extroverted, forcing them to be academic when they prefer sports, etc.)

How would I raise my hypothetical child? Hmm, I don't want to write another essay, so I'll just say this:
- look at all the things I disagree with / dislike about how other kids/adults have turned out (in terms of behavioral issues, not superficial things like jobs) and try my best to figure out a way to avoid this fate for my child. I can't tell you how much kids with an over-inflated sense of entitlement annoy me. "I want the best of the best 24/7!" Impoliteness, lack of consideration of others and refusals to do simple household chores is a definite NO NO! I understand this is probably going to be present in younger children, but I ain't gonna let it go on when it should have stopped by middle childhood or whatever the appropriate age is.
- my parents did a pretty good job, so I'll seek their advice too
- raise the child in a place where they can explore the natural environment, etc. (e.g. countryside).
- consult the above with my partner and hopefully come to agreement on both our ideals of what makes good parenting
We are on the same wavelength on pretty much everything here! My husband and I have actually tried (pressure to have kids is VERY strong after you get married here, ugh) when I was in sales and making good money. After a two week wait to find out yes or no, we were a little too ecstatic to find that I was not pregnant to continue trying :) It's too scary to give up your freedom of spontaneity.

With the worldwide population still exploding, I think many of our generation believe their kids may not have much waiting for them when they reach adulthood. I admire people who know what they want and are determined to stand by their choices. I find myself very easily influenced by what my peers are doing, though it makes it easier when their little brat is screaming and I get to say, "I better let you handle that. Peace!" and shut the door.
 

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Fully agree with what @Ihatekids said. I'm not at a point in life where I could do that, maybe in my early 30s. We'll see.
 

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I don't intend on getting married or having children. I'm in no need to rush my life. If I die tomorrow, then I die tomorrow.

Having clarified that point, I would like to admit that the thought of having a spouse and children of my own has countlessly crossed my mind. I have wondered what kind of spouse I would make and what kind of parent I am likely to become.
When it comes to my children, I think there are a few things I consider important:

- I would want to raise my children outside of any traditional religion. Since I do not believe in a god, I would not want to impose anything upon my children that I, myself, do not adhere to or believe in. When they are older, they can decide for themselves in what or whom to believe.

- Their sexuality and gender, whatever they may be, are completely acceptable to me under any circumstance. I was raised by a woman who, though hard-working and deserving of much respect and praise, is extremely judgmental of what differs from the so-called "norm".
There will be none of that in my family. Intolerance and disrespect of another's lifestyle is not something I intend to preach in my own household.

- Self-sufficiency is essential. I would want to raise my children in an environment that encourages (supervised) curiosity and exploration. However, I would not want to do everything for my child. I'd like them to rely on me whenever they feel they absolutely have to, but otherwise, I'd like to watch them learn from their own mistakes and grow to be independent, competent, and capable individuals.

These are the most fundamental aspects of potential parenthood of which I can think at the moment. Other than that, my parenting style will depend on the personalities and personal needs of my children. Ideally, I'd aim to be authoritative and not authoritarian. I neither wish to be too lax nor negligent.
 
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I would raise my kids with an iron fist if they misbehaved.

None of this "attachment parenting" crap. I expect my children to be able to stand on their own two feet.

I was a bad kid growing up and I attribute it to the lack of any real guidance I had in my early childhood. Love my mom, but she had hell to put up with as a single mom and my dad was relatively absent.

But they will be loved and celebrated for who they are. There are certain aspects of self sufficiency that need to be learned regardless of gender and orientation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What about limiting/exposing your child to the truth of societal issues e.g. violence or sex? If asked a straightforward question, would you protect your child from something they would not understand, or tell the truth for sake of trust and honesty and try to explain the meaning to them?
 

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I want to have a big family, I think, at least 3 kids. If possible they will be privately educated. I'll try to give them everything they need: im not one of these people who'll be asking for rent by the time they're 16. I'll be honest; anything they ask I'll try to explain. There'll be rules, but they'll be consistent, and explained.

re parenting, I just think Love Is All You Need, that's all rly. Oh yeah, and to actually be there in the first place.
 
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Play with them, give them their space, teach them not to do drugs, drink alcohol, or have sex before marriage. Yes I do happen to be pretty conservative-minded.
 
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I'm a mother. ... And I suppose that I should be a little insulted by how people react when they see me with my daughter. My own mom recently said, "You know, I'm surprised by how patient you are with her." Gee ... thanks? But I am a pretty tolerant parent, and very protective. I think that my greatest fault is my inability to stay interested in whatever she wants to do. But ... she's a toddler. With toddler toys. And I've played with them so many times. I'm bored! Don't judge me!!!

So, yeah, my weak spots are my relative inattention and my fears that I won't be able to provide a nice, stable upbringing. I think that I'm aiming to give her everything that I didn't have, which is probably fairly normal (ETA: for some people). You know what you missed out on, and you're determined to let your child experience it. ... But that also means that she misses out on the experiences that helped to shape you. ... So, go figure. ::shrug:: I obviously don't have the answers. :tongue:

But I do want to give her the best of both worlds, as much as I can. I found a nice area that's near my family, and I'm planning to stick around here. When she gets older, I'll take her traveling so she can understand that there's a big world out there. And if she has questions about violence or sex ... uh ... it'll depend on her age. If she started asking any serious questions at a young age, I'd probably be really concerned and want to know why the hell she was asking. But once she's older, I'll give her mini-explanations. Enough to [hopefully] appease her curiosity without lying to her. (Yeah, don't ask me what those are gonna be. I'll let you know in a few years.)

... And, just as a note to all the militant non-parents: Keep your options open. Everybody knew for many years that I didn't want kids, and yet ... life happened. And it ain't so bad.
 

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What about limiting/exposing your child to the truth of societal issues e.g. violence or sex? If asked a straightforward question, would you protect your child from something they would not understand, or tell the truth for sake of trust and honesty and try to explain the meaning to them?
I would tell them the truth, although first I would try and ascertain the thought process by which it lead to that point. I remember asking my parents really mature questions at a young age and one thing they did first was try to figure out why I was asking that question in the first place.

Although, there were a few topics that were glossed over. It annoyed me learning later on i was lied to and i felt insulted they didn't respect my intelligence.

I personally don't believe in innocence, more or less. It's all degrees of guilt and a living on this planet has shown me that.
 

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Actually pretty surprised at the amount of "no children for me" answers.

I have actually thought a lot about this topic for a while, and although I do not actually expect to marry until my late twenties or early thirties, it has been a topic of considerable thought. I am who I am today largely because of my parents, and although they were not perfect parents, I respect what each of them have done for my own development and my siblings. My parents did not indoctrinate me into a religion, they were both compassionate and strict, and they gave me an opportunity to find my own path with minimal guidance. There are little things that I would change, and most of them I will not know until I get to that point, but they did what they could and I am here because of them.

I realize that I will have to change even more than I have if I want to be a good parent, and I know it will exact a tremendous amount of energy and focus for me to raise multiple children, but I am willing to do it. I have always struggled for a meaning or purpose to my life, and perhaps due to vanity I have come to determine that there is no greater thing that I can do than have kids who have strong characters and believe in improving the lives of others. They will be my legacy; nothing that I do during my lifetime, no matter how much personal success that I have, will come close to comparing to them.

I have concerns about the future of humanity and the future of this earth, so I will raise my kids with the intent to make them active citizens who will work with their generation to make our society better than the last ~3 generations have done. I believe in the future, and I will do my part to raise great human beings.
 

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Is it just my observations, or do a lot of people want to raise their kids opposite of how their own parents did. Of course, I'm not saying that among healthy functioning adults that this is the majority of the case, but I do hear a lot of people saying that they are going to do the opposite (or are raising currently) of the way their parents treated them. So its important that the aspiring parent has dealt with his or her issues in the best possible way before raising their child(ren). But there might be a trend like that so grandparents and grandchildren are more aligned in views (rebel rebel, same. also said about political views). But at the end of the day while I'm on this topic, I feel its important that one takes the positives from their parents about what to emulate, what to ignore, and build upon that (or upon a good example of parenthood elsewhere).

Lastly, this is coming from someone who is not a parent so you have to take all of what I said with a grain of salt :tongue:
 

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No kids for me, time, labor, resources. 50% divorce rate, custody battles, a worsening world etc... you get the idea.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
@Algernon that's the existential question for me - protect the thought of an unborn child from a world that has no place for them, or dedicate my life to creating a person with the capacity to change the world for the better? Or fail miserably at the latter and beg the question, could I have been better off? I know first hand how my parents' greatest designs for me fell flat.

Being already married, it's pretty persistent. No one I know (granted, I live in the armpit of america) has stopped to think of the consequences of more people in the world. Let's breed, because that's what we were made to do, and my peers are doing it.
@Epherion But if few people with critical thought processes care to have kids, what will future generations look like? Do we have a responsibility in this way to the human race?
 

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I'm not yet at the point in my life where I am stable enough to have children but once I am I plan on being the absolute best Mom ever. I will be the Mom my kids feel they can talk to...I don't want my kids to grow up like I did with a mom that I felt I couldn't trust and disliked. I'll be a good role model for my children and actually make good decisions instead of subscribing to the whole "do as I say, not as I do" crap. I'm sure I'll make mistakes along the way but I'm striving to be the best one out there...the absolute opposite of my own mom.

Yes, I have mommy issues. :p
 
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@machood

The so-called industrialized states have birthrates that will not replenish their current population, or if they do, it is only just and declining. As a population, the more wealth, the less kids. Immigration can replace that decline in population, however after a couple of generations even those who immigrated demonstrate the same tendency, more wealth = less kids. One could argue that most of the Global North prioritizes security over immigration, in part due to an underlying xenophobic perspective. "We do not want competition for jobs, because they are ours".

There are too many people in this world as we currently live, but they are primarily in impoverished countries like China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria - yes, I know I am generalizing, but the vast majority of the population is impoverished compared to a very small elite class. Those six are close to 45% of the world population, iirc. It is concentration of population where poverty is prevalent.

Unfortunately, consumerism is likely to persist and if the so-called developing world becomes consumers like the West, well then we have an issue. But population is not the concern here, it is the use of resources and a pattern of over-consumption. Breaking that pattern will be difficult, but that's the advantage of some technological innovations. I worry that we will always be consumers - it is somewhat inescapable. My hope is that a couple of generations down the line, we realize that less is more. I would say that smartphones and tablets have potentially reduced the amount of waste already: reducing newsprint, paper use, minimizing the need for desktop computers, minimizing demand for TVs.

I believe in great people doing great things, and while they are rare, they will enact change because they will it. They make others want it. Not to say that your child will be that person, but to give up and say this "world that has no place for them" cannot be the answer. It must not be the answer. We are innovative and creative, and we can find a way to both reduce the carbon footprint and carry more than the population that currently inhabits this planet. If every couple had one child or less for the equivalent of two generations, it would not solve the problems of the world.

Our children can be part of the solution, that's my perspective...but I won't be birthing a child. The onus is on us to improve, regardless if we have a child or not.
 
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