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Discussion Starter #1
So on Friday I was with a group of people from college and they somehow got on the topic of children and how we planned to raise them. Eventually the topic had involved me, and everyone began to ask me what I planned to do with my kids and whatnot. So I basically told them I don't want to have any biological kids, and if anything I would adopt. From that point I was called a hypocrite and was given a vague reason as to why..I don't understand..I made this decision a few years ago because I wouldn't want to see my kid living this life and going through such pains..or worse, causing it, because regardless of a parents teachings there is never a guarantee of how your child will turn out in the end once they are no longer co-dependent and can make individual decisions. Even if was like me and content with his/her life..I would hurt just imagining what he/she would be going through, and he/she would grow up knowing that their whole life is just to fulfill somebody else's dream, or scheme, whatever we would consider our global economy/politics nowadays. And at least with a child that needs a home, they were already birthed, and were "abandoned" (possibly) or separated by their original parent, and I know that being all alone without any kind of support sucks. I would hate to see one more person have to go through that pain for so many years to come..

I really don't see how this decision could be considered "selfish" or "hypocritical"..in fact I feel that i'm helping the human race AND the planet as a whole. While people are pro-creating like wildfire, some of the children of these people are left behind due to whatever circumstance or tragedy occurs. And we're populating this world so quickly that it's becoming more and more of a problem towards the planet as well. And then on top of that we still have our broken financial system, that can't always guarantee us work, especially if we were born gifted or determined to learn like others are. We can only reproduce like this for so long before the repercussions begin to hit us in the face. So tell me, what are your thoughts on this? Am I selfish for thinking about humans and our planet's future as a whole and rejecting the societal expectation that everyone should have a biological kid to pass on our so called "legacy"?

EDIT: And I know some stories about foster homes from other people and they are not exactly...places that you'd want to have children in. However, that's not to say that all of them are bad, but there are some that can leave the child scarred and full of mistrust towards others.
 

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I have conflicting thoughts about your message.

I disagree with your reasons, but I agree with your conclusion that it is not wrong to refrain from procreating. Firstly, I want to say that life is life and life, and it is valuable. Our time on this planet is so limited; we are temporary. Even depression is worth something because it is an experience in the set of the tiny amount of experiences we are granted. I want to experience everything, even the painful moments, and I am bitter that I will not have time to do so. I think that saying you don't want to bring a child in this world because they will experience pain is an immature thing to say. Pain is not inherently a bad thing. Pain exists and it just is. Like happiness. If everyone were happy 24/7 then nothing would get done. There would be no change because everyone would be satisfied. I want to question why you value happiness so much. It feels good? So what? Depression is beautiful in the sense that it allows us to think and self-reflect, and if we use the shit that's thrown at us to fertilize a garden instead of stink up the world, everyone would feel more whole.

With that being said, it's hard not to want children. Our bodies are literally made to reproduce. If that weren't enough, our society feeds us this cookie cutter life of getting married and having children like it's the only right answer. If it is, then we're asking the wrong question because I see so much wasted potential in people using all of their minds and all of their time creating families. I love children and I love people, but when I see brilliant minds catering to families instead of ideas, I feel hurt. I feel hurt when I think of not having children as well. This is a catch-22 that requires so much thought. I commend you for thinking of this choice, but I think you should find better reasons.

Bottom line: We're all selfish. Parents are selfish, single people are selfish. We do what we need to do, and if after some serious thinking you come to the conclusion that you don't want children, then good for you; you are just as selfish as everyone else.
 

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I agree with you! Not so much with your reason of not wanting to have kids because you don't want them to suffer in this world though. Pain and suffering is part of life. But I don't want to have children, and if I chose to raise a child I would most definitely adopt. Aside from me not wanting to go through 9 months of pregnancy and then childbirth, why bring another human being to this Earth while thousands of other children are in need of a loving home? To me that is an awesome form of humanitarianism. So you're not selfish at all! If anything, the thought of wanting to have kids of your own rather than adopt because you want something "that is yours/came from you" is the more selfish thought. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Blindfolded Miles Sorry if I am confusing you, and thank you for your response.

That said, I am aware how valuable and how scarce a life is, and my message was not to tell people to refrain from pro-creating, not at all, but to inform us that humanity needs to slow down a bit with the reproducing, otherwise we would destroy the lives of the ones that we pro-created. We have 13 year olds and older already having kids at an early age with little stability and needing their parents to do the extra work for them. Hell, we have 16 and pregnant to represent the devaluation of human life enough. These kids haven't even had time to see the real world and yet they're already popping kids or having abortions; sure we can't stop all of them from having sex, but there is certainly enough ways to prevent this already. But then again this is kind of going into a different topic so i'll stay on task for now.

I also noticed that you kind of simplified my reasoning to the single idea that i'm afraid that my kid will experience pain, but it's more than just that. And maybe it's also my fault for not broadening my details in terms of what kind of pain, because i'm aware that all humans experience it in different ways. If everyone were happy 24/7 then we wouldn't be "human", haha. However, 24/7 happiness would mean peace, not laziness exactly, and it doesn't mean that perfectionism wouldn't still exist, because there will always be something to improve or create. Satisfaction means the "confident acceptance of something as satisfactory, dependable, true, etc" which doesn't involve stagnation, it's just that you are content with your current position in everything. While depression CAN be beautiful in some sense, it doesn't always mean that it will be utilized positively, and it could also cause a bigger problem to emerge, which may or may not be long term. People become sociopaths and other things if it happens to go to the extreme, and it also depends on where the depression stems from. Depression is something that is unstable and unpredictable, so the results of it can be anything, good or bad. Same goes for happiness too, it can cause obliviousness and avoidance of problems, but it's a helluva lot healthier, and a lot more open/understandable to others than something as complex as depression is.

I understand that our basic purpose according to whoever from whatever is to procreate and sustain life on our planet. Maybe it's just because I've never had an urge to procreate as you say you do that I can't see your side clearly enough. I also know that society feeds this typical "average family" stuff into our brains from when we're kids, and that's another problem within itself, which could be considered manipulation, however we have plenty of kids today that see the reality of the situation that it doesn't always work out that way. Yes I agree, that if we put that same potential in what could be done to revolutionize our world rather than waste every ounce of imagination that you have on that one simple thing, something could very likely be different. And when you say you feel hurt when you think of not having children, do you mean having kids of your own? If that's the case then I assume babysitting or teaching wouldn't be enough to fill that "gap" then?

I still can't really see how it's a selfish choice when I look at it..unless you're looking at this religiously and are seeing this whole thing as me refusing an unborn soul or something.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I agree with you! Not so much with your reason of not wanting to have kids because you don't want them to suffer in this world though. Pain and suffering is part of life. But I don't want to have children, and if I chose to raise a child I would most definitely adopt. Aside from me not wanting to go through 9 months of pregnancy and then childbirth, why bring another human being to this Earth while thousands of other children are in need of a loving home? To me that is an awesome form of humanitarianism. So you're not selfish at all! If anything, the thought of wanting to have kids of your own rather than adopt because you want something "that is yours/came from you" is the more selfish thought. ;)
Thank you for your post and 2 cents on this!

That said, maybe I wrote something that is being misconstrued..my reasoning was everything even after that statement about pain and suffering. If it were for just that one reason then i would be a lot more indecisive, as suffering and pain is something that all humans have. I should've put more details into that statement, but even so, i'm mainly pointing to the unhealthy, life threatening types of pain and suffering, from very high to extreme levels. Not simplistic issues that can be resolved through support, romance or self confidence.
 

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I feel the same way in that there's too much instability with the global situation, and that some form of unparalleled environmental, economic, and social collapse will be likely to occur within my lifetime and most assuredly within the lifetime of any child of mine if there isn't some sort of drastic change.

For me, it's not so much a sense of not wanting my child to suffer in that future but more of not wanting the responsibility of being a parent to hold me back from being a part of that change or doing what needs to be done. That is, I feel that a parent should be responsible to their child before anything else but at the same time I want to fulfill a greater (or at least, a different) purpose than being a parent so the only resolution to that is to not become a parent at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I feel the same way in that there's too much instability with the global situation, and that some form of unparalleled environmental, economic, and social collapse will be likely to occur within my lifetime and most assuredly within the lifetime of any child of mine if there isn't some sort of drastic change.

For me, it's not so much a sense of not wanting my child to suffer in that future but more of not wanting the responsibility of being a parent to hold me back from being a part of that change or doing what needs to be done. That is, I feel that a parent should be responsible to their child before anything else but at the same time I want to fulfill a greater (or at least, a different) purpose than being a parent so the only resolution to that is to not become a parent at all.
Hmmm, interesting. So you feel that you would be too distracted on your kid to go after the bigger challenges (before they are on their own anyway)?
 
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Children smell bad, are noisy, use up all your money (as well as a good 25 years of your life) and always have a coating of germs, dirt and bacteria.

Your decision is justified.
Yuck, crazy kids. I'll be damned if my child carried this 25 year disease! :wink:
 

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I definitely see where you are coming from and I don't think you are being selfish at all. How can you be "selfish" over something that doesn't even exist, yet? If you had made someone pregnant and then said the same things, then that could be considered selfish since the child was already on its way. I think it's a nice thought to adopt because many of these childrens live in terrible conditions and probably need a good, stable home with someone who can love them.

I've been thinking and discussing with a friend for a long time of maybe not wanting to bring a child into this world due to all the negative and bad things out there, but then again, it has always been that way and people are still able to live good, fulfilling lives. But like the arab proverb "Sunshine all the time makes a desert", pretty much explains it. If we never experienced hardships in our lives, we wouldn't grow and better ourselves. I think I want both biological and adopted children in the future.
 

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I definitely see where you are coming from and I don't think you are being selfish at all. How can you be "selfish" over something that doesn't even exist, yet? If you had made someone pregnant and then said the same things, then that could be considered selfish since the child was already on its way. I think it's a nice thought to adopt because many of these childrens live in terrible conditions and probably need a good, stable home with someone who can love them.

I've been thinking and discussing with a friend for a long time of maybe not wanting to bring a child into this world due to all the negative and bad things out there, but then again, it has always been that way and people are still able to live good, fulfilling lives. But like the arab proverb "Sunshine all the time makes a desert", pretty much explains it. If we never experienced hardships in our lives, we wouldn't grow and better ourselves. I think I want both biological and adopted children in the future.
That's an interesting decision! And yes, i wonder how it can be a selfish decision when it's something non-existent at the moment..unless you happen to be highly religious and see it as the rejection of an unborn soul. If anything i'm more worried about the different roads that a child could take, or if they happen to stray off of the path of good, and commit some kind of crimes and having to somehow take action for this as it's my kid and my responsibility. And there's always those small percentages that anything could go wrong, to me or the child. But as you say, it's still possible to live a good and fulfilling life.
 
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That's an interesting decision! And yes, i wonder how it can be a selfish decision when it's something non-existent at the moment..unless you happen to be highly religious and see it as the rejection of an unborn soul. If anything i'm more worried about the different roads that a child could take, or if they happen to stray off of the path of good, and commit some kind of crimes and having to somehow take action for this as it's my kid and my responsibility. And there's always those small percentages that anything could go wrong, to me or the child. But as you say, it's still possible to live a good and fulfilling life.
It sounds to me as if you are too focused on avoiding pain in life, tbh. People do wrong things all the time and that's just life. Your friends do, your parents, your partner, if you have one, and so will your children. And it's hardly the end of the world.

Now, why are you exactly worrying about your child becoming a criminal? The path your child(ren) take is not entirely unpredictable. I mean, life is quite unpredictable in some ways but there's still plenty of factors you have control of that determine the person your child is going to grow up as. You will be the person raising them, you choose the education they'll receive (considering economical limitations and public education), you can even control the relationships your children will form while they are very young. You (and your partner, unless you'd be a single parent) can also offer understanding and help if your child comes to you with any problem or is going through a hard time. There's a lot of aspects of one's psychology that are determined by the way a person's been raised. Of course, that may sound like a lot of responsibility as well. And it is, that's why being a parent requires a lot of compromise and responsibility. Either way, what you don't teach your children, they will learn through life, which is what everyone does.

I just can't quite see why that is a valid reason to not have children, though, ultimately, it is your choice and I have no reason to tell you otherwise. I don't think you are selfish or a hypocrite either.

Also, this:
Am I selfish for thinking about humans and our planet's future as a whole and rejecting the societal expectation that everyone should have a biological kid to pass on our so called "legacy"?
On the one hand, you speak of how bringing another child to the world affects society as a whole. On the other hand, you speak of the potential suffering of your child. What's your real reason?
 

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It's your choice @Kyuubixcel - no one can force you to have children! I guess it's seen as the 'normal' thing to do so some people struggle with the idea that some people just don't want them. It's nice that you would adopt children, I've always liked the idea of giving a child a home who might otherwise not have a loving family or a decent place to grow up.

Everyone will experience adversity in their life time, but if utilized correctly it can be character building. The only thing you can do is to arm your children with the resources to use it to their advantage.

I don't see how it is selfish not to have children (or to have children). I'm not sure that I agree with some of your reasons, but whatever your reasons, that is your decision. No one can take that from you.


 

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Discussion Starter #15
It sounds to me as if you are too focused on avoiding pain in life, tbh. People do wrong things all the time and that's just life. Your friends do, your parents, your partner, if you have one, and so will your children. And it's hardly the end of the world.

Now, why are you exactly worrying about your child becoming a criminal? The path your child(ren) take is not entirely unpredictable. I mean, life is quite unpredictable in some ways but there's still plenty of factors you have control of that determine the person your child is going to grow up as. You will be the person raising them, you choose the education they'll receive (considering economical limitations and public education), you can even control the relationships your children will form while they are very young. You (and your partner, unless you'd be a single parent) can also offer understanding and help if your child comes to you with any problem or is going through a hard time. There's a lot of aspects of one's psychology that are determined by the way a person's been raised. Of course, that may sound like a lot of responsibility as well. And it is, that's why being a parent requires a lot of compromise and responsibility. Either way, what you don't teach your children, they will learn through life, which is what everyone does.

I just can't quite see why that is a valid reason to not have children, though, ultimately, it is your choice and I have no reason to tell you otherwise. I don't think you are selfish or a hypocrite either.

Also, this:

On the one hand, you speak of how bringing another child to the world affects society as a whole. On the other hand, you speak of the potential suffering of your child. What's your real reason?
Thanks for the post!

Sorry, my mind is a complete jumble of thoughts when it comes to this topic...I do see where you're coming from though. I don't really have 1 small reason to not have it, because to me it connects to everything that I spoke of, the state of the world, my responsibility and possible guilt, what effect my child would have on myself, others, and the planet altogether. If my child were to ever become a criminal (depending on the kind of criminal as well), I would be worried about how he is affecting others and the planet as a result, and whether or not another life is ruined because of some kind of injustice. And if that were to happen, I would ultimately blame it on myself, because I did something wrong for him to react this way..or maybe he was influenced by something outside that I could've possibly prevented. Same goes for if my child happens to suffer, suicidal thoughts and bullying are an example, and a lot of the times kids don't want to tell their parents, out of pride, fear, or other circumstances. And say that all goes well for him in school, what if he can't get employed because of his "skills"; maybe he wasn't born with a certain "talent" and lacks the determination to train some of his skills. Maybe some of these things will never be a reality, however the possibility will always be there. No matter what age, gender, ethnicity, or personality you have. That's not to say that none of these may never happen, and I could just be extremely paranoid. And as parents, we are always obligated to love our children, to say that we don't would leave a heavy mark on their hearts, and could be the potential cause of something, good or bad.

Sure, I can decide what aspects of their lives I can influence, but some children can not be moved in some aspects, regardless of what is said or done, and we see that from an early age. I would hate to be the cause of my childs pain, through my paranoia overprotectiveness, or my laid back attitude, nor would I want them to be the cause of somebody else's pain. How would you feel if your child had murdered the family of somebody else? Sure it may never come to that extreme, but as I said, the possibility is always there, and our judicial system will pretty much make sure you never see this portion of your soul again once they commit a large enough crime. Okay, I went into way to much detail on this and I may have just gave you the wrong conclusion in your head based on what I just wrote. What I meant was that I only wish to make a positive impact on the world, not a negative one through any of my decisions. Would you still make the decision to do something like have a child if you knew that this child was going to harm somebody else's family in the future? Yes, I know that this is unrealistic but just imagine. Would you take that opportunity of happiness from somebody else? Look at China, these people can't have more than 1 kid, and if it's a girl, chances are that they will be killed. A lot of them still decide to have children though, probably for the same reasons as you and other people would. Overpopulated, but still increasing. And meanwhile, there are children that are homeless or in foster care, which is also increasing, but nobody wants them because they prefer to have their own blood. I'm not saying that it's a selfish decision but it doesn't exactly help the state of the world either. Would you still be doing this if every country we were in had the same kind of situations? If you happen to have twins without knowledge of having more than one child, would you feel any kind of regret?

Once again I apologize if I gave you the wrong idea with what I wrote here, i'm not sure if i'm relaying the right message to you, it's kinda difficult when only I can imagine it in my head.

I'm really just saying that I think we all need to help the world somehow, whether it's decreasing our population (which isn't too bad right now but at the rate that this is going it can be much worse), or maybe raising a child in need of a home thats already in existence, rather than just bringing another one into this life..and even then, this can be done later on in life and once you raise the adopted child it can better influence your decision on whether or not to have a kid. I may sound crazy, but i'm just trying to make a difference. And believe me, you will notice the change if there is enough people that desire it.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
It's your choice @Kyuubixcel - no one can force you to have children! I guess it's seen as the 'normal' thing to do so some people struggle with the idea that some people just don't want them. It's nice that you would adopt children, I've always liked the idea of giving a child a home who might otherwise not have a loving family or a decent place to grow up.

Everyone will experience adversity in their life time, but if utilized correctly it can be character building. The only thing you can do is to arm your children with the resources to use it to their advantage.

I don't see how it is selfish not to have children (or to have children). I'm not sure that I agree with some of your reasons, but whatever your reasons, that is your decision. No one can take that from you.


I think it's a taboo when people say that they don't want kids..at least that's how it's treated a lot of times anyway. I do agree with what you said about arming your children with the resources, but isn't it the result that counts to a parent? What if the result is not something that they had hoped for? Say it's something that affects the life of somebody else negatively..would they be without responsibility because the child is old enough to make their own independent decisions, therefore avoiding to take any of the blame? Or would it be a critique of themselves and how they raised the kid, which would be a gigantic guilt trip and self-deprecation? What if they are responsible for the destruction of our planet in itself? What if they were the first ones to create a planet destroying nuke? Things like that. Do we take the blame for it or do we just throw it on the child saying that they just had a different mind from us?

And might you tell me what you disagree with? It will help me think about it more and be more confident in my answers as to why :)
 
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I think it's a taboo when people say that they don't want kids..at least that's how it's treated a lot of times anyway. I do agree with what you said about arming your children with the resources, but isn't it the result that counts to a parent? What if the result is not something that they had hoped for? Say it's something that affects the life of somebody else negatively..would they be without responsibility because the child is old enough to make their own independent decisions, therefore avoiding to take any of the blame? Or would it be a critique of themselves and how they raised the kid, which would be a gigantic guilt trip and self-deprecation? What if they are responsible for the destruction of our planet in itself? What if they were the first ones to create a planet destroying nuke? Things like that. Do we take the blame for it or do we just throw it on the child saying that they just had a different mind from us?

And might you tell me what you disagree with? It will help me think about it more and be more confident in my answers as to why :)
I think the way a person is in themselves - mentally, physically, emotionally - the choices they make - does have a lot to do with parents and the upbringing of the person in question. On the other hand once someone is an adult, you cant always blame their parents for how they act, they should have the common sense not to do bad things, they do have their own minds and free will. You just have to do your best to raise them right.

You say that you wouldnt have children in case they were the ones that destroyed the planet, they could also be the ones to save the planet for all you know, or at least one of the people that contributes towards that. :happy:

Obviously I am not arguing that you should have kids, because as I previously said that is your choice. It is a big choice that I think some people do take too lightly. It is something that any person should always be 100% sure about before they bring new life into the world.
 

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It does seem to be taboo - I agree. I don't think that's fair.

Not everyone wants to have biological children for the same reasons. Whether you choose to adopt or have biological children it's obviously a big responsibility and not one that should be taken lightly - as you realize. It just feels like you're viewing things through only a negative light and it's not being balanced by all the positive things that can result from the same action. It just sounds very motivated by fear. Even if the worst case scenario happens, there is a solution to every problem and a way to overcome every obstacle we face. In that regard, the possibilities are endless as well. That being said, you're more than entitled to not want to have children. Not everyone can handle it. There are plenty of things I know I can't handle and so won't do because of that. You're hardly a lesser person for not wanting to have a child. Everyone is entitled to make their own choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It does seem to be taboo - I agree. I don't think that's fair.

Not everyone wants to have biological children for the same reasons. Whether you choose to adopt or have biological children it's obviously a big responsibility and not one that should be taken lightly - as you realize. It just feels like you're viewing things through only a negative light and it's not being balanced by all the positive things that can result from the same action. It just sounds very motivated by fear. Even if the worst case scenario happens, there is a solution to every problem and a way to overcome every obstacle we face. In that regard, the possibilities are endless as well. That being said, you're more than entitled to not want to have children. Not everyone can handle it. There are plenty of things I know I can't handle and so won't do because of that. You're hardly a lesser person for not wanting to have a child. Everyone is entitled to make their own choice.
You're right indeed. I am looking at things and mentioning them in the negative light because a lot of people don't look at it from this point of view until after they've had their children..I even had a teacher say that it's "normal" to "regret your child", and i HIGHLY disagree with that. And if she ever says that to her kid, I can only imagine the reaction that they'd make knowing that their mother actually looked at them as a "mistake" once. Once you make a decision like this you take full responsibility for whatever happens and need to be emotionally ready for anything as well. As you said, not everybody can handle it. However, one should at least KNOW whether or not they can handle it before actually rashly going through with the plan without preparation...i've seen people that have lost kids, and man..it's just overwhelmingly sad to see them..they just look gone. It's hard to explain. Not only was their life taken way too early, but all those years watching them grow..was just taken away, leaving only the memories behind. Where does this leave the parent? They just invested all that time, love, pain, experience, effort, reciprocation, knowledge, etc. and now they're just back at square one..what now? It's like investing your whole life in a company and one day it all fails, you become homeless and have nothing else to do. Sorry if that's depressing but it's a sad reality for many people out there, i just wanted to make it known.
 
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I think the way a person is in themselves - mentally, physically, emotionally - the choices they make - does have a lot to do with parents and the upbringing of the person in question. On the other hand once someone is an adult, you cant always blame their parents for how they act, they should have the common sense not to do bad things, they do have their own minds and free will. You just have to do your best to raise them right.

You say that you wouldnt have children in case they were the ones that destroyed the planet, they could also be the ones to save the planet for all you know, or at least one of the people that contributes towards that. :happy:

Obviously I am not arguing that you should have kids, because as I previously said that is your choice. It is a big choice that I think some people do take too lightly. It is something that any person should always be 100% sure about before they bring new life into the world.
I agree. They could be either one :p , but personally i'd rather not put my planet on a gamble like that. And I can't say that outside influences from my generation of kids (and even adults from the previous generation/s) would be a good thing towards humanity exactly..which is a different problem in itself ^_^
 
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