Why do people have children?

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

What are the more common (albeit strange) reasons - manifest and unconscious - for which people reproduce?
 

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  • #2
Chi Meson
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Scientific reason: It is a "hard-wired" evolutionary response.

Personal reason: "Whoops."
 
  • #3
Phobos
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Well said, Chi Meson. As to your first point (evolutionary response), I suspect many people experience this as a feeling that they are "ready", or that something is missing in their lives, or that it's the next logical step in their relationship with their SO. Also, many people seem to want to recreate the family situation they grew up with and to develop a connection to future generations. And then there's love. And fun. (Of course, there are many times when parents are ready to leap out of the nearest window...but overall, it's love & fun).
 
  • #4
selfAdjoint
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Also their parents keep bugging them about it. Being a grandparent is a better deal than being a parent.
 
  • #5
jimmy p
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boredom i guess, sometimes i look at children and think "why the hell would someone want a kid like that?".... i cant stand children and im talking age 1-17. If i had a child it would only be so that i could warp and twist it at a young age. stupid children, glad i was never one...
 
  • #6
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you can chalk me up as one under the 'whoops' catagory. :tongue:

but I must say there is something really satisfying about helping shape a new life. Like today, I was watching my two year old drawing pictures and he was holding the pencil just like I'd taught him. I got a warm fuzzy feeling from knowing that my teaching was a success and he won't have to deal with teachers nagging him someday about holding a pencil incorrectly.

Of course later tonight that fuzzy feeling will be long gone when he refuses to eat what I've cooked him for dinner cause he's so darn picky. :rolleyes:


Anyway, I think another reason people have kids is because it makes them in some way feel immortal.
 
  • #7
Kerrie
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it's definitely an individual choice...i have two young children, and had the desire to have a family of my own several years ago...my fiance however, never wants children of his own (i am divorced obviously from my kids' father :) ), but my fiance shows a great parental love for mine as if they are his own...i find it amazing that he has no biological need for his own family, but loves and adores my kids as if they were his own.
 
  • #8
skywise said:
Of course later tonight that fuzzy feeling will be long gone when he refuses to eat what I've cooked him for dinner cause he's so darn picky. :rolleyes:
Don't let him get away with it. My brother convinced me to be a picky eater when I was really little and it's haunted me ever since...

cookiemonster
 
  • #9
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well.. I try not to but I feel like such a big meanie if I make him go to bed hungry. He's soooo stubborn..it's like pulling teeth.
 
  • #10
Evo
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I never wanted children. I don't like children, I didn't like other children when I was a child. But my (ex)husband insisted on having kids, apparantly just to somehow "immortalize" himself, he has never cared to be part of their lives.

I love my children and don't regret having them, but I would have been happy to never have kids.
 
  • #11
Don't let him get away with it! He'll get over it soon enough, and he won't have to feel retarded when he can only eat one thing on the menu when he takes his girlfriend out to a restaurant.

cookiemonster
 
  • #12
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By raising children we may rediscover our own childhood.
 
  • #13
Evo
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skywise said:
well.. I try not to but I feel like such a big meanie if I make him go to bed hungry. He's soooo stubborn..it's like pulling teeth.
My oldest daughter was a very finicky eater. Even when she was a year old, she would often refuse to eat anything, even her favorite foods, going 1-2 days at a time without eating. The doctor said she'd eat when she was hungry enough.
 
  • #14
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skywise said:
well.. I try not to but I feel like such a big meanie if I make him go to bed hungry. He's soooo stubborn..it's like pulling teeth.
Your post reminds me of the days when my father would be chasing my little brother round and round for hours just to force a teaspoonful of food into his mouth. I have decided even then that it would be better just to starve him a bit so that he would crawl back to the diner table. Clever eh?
 
  • #15
Math Is Hard
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Loren Booda said:
What are the more common (albeit strange) reasons - manifest and unconscious - for which people reproduce?
In my great-grandparent's day, the more children you had, the more unpaid labor you had to work the farm. It was strictly practical.
I think now people see offspring as their legacy to the world. And they get comfort in that sense of the continuity of their genes.
Not that I would know. I only have furry four-legged children. :smile:
 
  • #16
Tsu
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Math Is Hard said:
I only have furry four-legged children. :smile:
They DO seem to be the BEST children, don't they? You'll never have to attend a PTA meeting and your cat won't crash your car! All kinds of benefits!! No high insurance premiums, no little league or dance recitals, and they rarely mouth off at ya... :wink: :biggrin:
 
  • #17
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But, unfortunately, one does experience generations of them predeceasing. Fortunately, there are relatively humane ways of achieving that if necessary.
 
  • #18
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Tsunami said:
They DO seem to be the BEST children, don't they? You'll never have to attend a PTA meeting and your cat won't crash your car! All kinds of benefits!! No high insurance premiums, no little league or dance recitals, and they rarely mouth off at ya... :wink: :biggrin:
I have to agree with you on that, Tsu. I think that cats require less attention than dogs. Having a dog is probably closer to having a kid than having a cat. Cats are more like roommates. :smile:

Loren Booda makes a good point. When you take an animal into your life, part of the deal is that you know you'll almost certainly outlive them. I had to put one of my cats down this winter and it was very painful (still is) but I know that the only way to completely avoid that pain is to not have any animal companions in my life. Not an option for me.

One thing I noticed about myself that seems to be different from a lot of other women is I don't get all ga-ga around babies. It seems like whenever a woman brings her baby into a room full of other women, they go nuts wanting to hold the kid and talk gibberish to it. Then they bring it over to me and say "Oooooh, don't you want to hold the baby? I know you're dying to hold the baby!" Well, um, not really. I never completely understood that phenomena.
 
  • #19
Evo
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Math Is Hard said:
I have to agree with you on that, Tsu. I think that cats require less attention than dogs. Having a dog is probably closer to having a kid than having a cat. Cats are more like roommates. :smile:
Very true!

Math Is Hard said:
Loren Booda makes a good point. When you take an animal into your life, part of the deal is that you know you'll almost certainly outlive them. I had to put one of my cats down this winter and it was very painful (still is) but I know that the only way to completely avoid that pain is to not have any animal companions in my life. Not an option for me.
I know a lot of "childless" couples who's pets *are* their children. Sorry to hear about your cat, it's always so sad when you have to say goodbye to them.

One thing I noticed about myself that seems to be different from a lot of other women is I don't get all ga-ga around babies. It seems like whenever a woman brings her baby into a room full of other women, they go nuts wanting to hold the kid and talk gibberish to it. Then they bring it over to me and say "Oooooh, don't you want to hold the baby? I know you're dying to hold the baby!" Well, um, not really. I never completely understood that phenomena.
I'm the same way.
 
  • #20
Kerrie
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Evo said:
I never wanted children. I don't like children, I didn't like other children when I was a child. But my (ex)husband insisted on having kids, apparantly just to somehow "immortalize" himself, he has never cared to be part of their lives.

I love my children and don't regret having them, but I would have been happy to never have kids.
i think there is a lot of pressure on women to have children, so i admire you for being honest.

i like well behaved children the best :smile: and this has a lot to do with how they are raised and treated. children need to be loved, appreciated, respected and inspired, as they will be in charge of our world someday when we are too old and tired to be in charge ourselves. evo, i hope your dislike for children does not spill over into your relationship with your kids, it's amazing how important you really are to them although they may not ever say it.
 
  • #21
Tsu
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Math Is Hard said:
I have to agree with you on that, Tsu. I think that cats require less attention than dogs. Having a dog is probably closer to having a kid than having a cat. Cats are more like roommates. :smile:
Well said. :biggrin:

Loren Booda makes a good point. When you take an animal into your life, part of the deal is that you know you'll almost certainly outlive them. I had to put one of my cats down this winter and it was very painful (still is) but I know that the only way to completely avoid that pain is to not have any animal companions in my life. Not an option for me.
Me either.
Some years ago I was of the mind that one could never HAVE too many puppies and kittens. Well, GUESS WHAT!?!? :biggrin: So, for many years we had 3 dogs and 4 cats as our family. They all lived very long and happy lives playing on 5 acres and swimming in the creek... Then they all started getting very old and ill. We had to have all but one of them (who is still with us - it's going to be REAL hard to loose this one :frown: ) put down within the past 3 years. As hard as it is, it's really the only way I'd like to see my animals leave this world. Ivan and I are there with them - holding them, loving them, looking into their eyes as they get their 'love shot' so that our faces are the last things they see as they go. Their looks of love in their eyes at that moment are what get me through the next few weeks. We knew for years that, since we got them all at about the same age and time, we'd probably be loosing them in like fashion, so we were pretty prepared. The good times watching them all grow up together were definately worth it. :biggrin:

One thing I noticed about myself that seems to be different from a lot of other women is I don't get all ga-ga around babies. It seems like whenever a woman brings her baby into a room full of other women, they go nuts wanting to hold the kid and talk gibberish to it. Then they bring it over to me and say "Oooooh, don't you want to hold the baby? I know you're dying to hold the baby!" Well, um, not really. I never completely understood that phenomena.
I know several women like you. While I DO love babies very much and enjoy their soft sweetness, their little baby noises... and the smell of newborns are wonderful... :smile: ...there ARE times that this is not the case. :eek: Occasionally their noises become loud and obnoxious, and their odor really CHANGES for some odd reason. That's when I figure I probably broke it, so I hand it back to it's mom and tell them to give it back after it's been fixed. :biggrin: I only seem to like them when they're functioning properly. :biggrin:

One of the things Ivan and I learned when we were trying to decide whether or not to have children was that we both had friends and family who, even though they loved their kids with all their heart, many said if they had it to do over again - they wouldn't have had kids. We thought that was very interesting.
 
  • #22
Kerrie
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Tsunami said:
One of the things Ivan and I learned when we were trying to decide whether or not to have children was that we both had friends and family who, even though they loved their kids with all their heart, many said if they had it to do over again - they wouldn't have had kids. We thought that was very interesting.
that is interesting Tsu, if I could do it over, i would wait till i was at least 30...i had my first one at 23, but because of both of my children, I have learned a lot about myself too...for some, having children is a good way to analyze who you really are and where you stand on certain things...for me, this was the case.
 
  • #23
Tsu
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Kerrie said:
that is interesting Tsu, if I could do it over, i would wait till i was at least 30...i had my first one at 23, but because of both of my children, I have learned a lot about myself too...for some, having children is a good way to analyze who you really are and where you stand on certain things...for me, this was the case.
I believe we have a great deal to learn from children. We should always be open to this. Too many people aren't.
I think that those people who really love children and have the time and energy to spend raising them properly are the ones who really SHOULD have children. Unfortunately, there are way too many people having children who probably shouldn't. (Now, I'm exposed to a lot of the unhappy results of these situations in the ER, so I have a certain bias on this subject.) I enjoy children very much and have become the favorite 'auntie' of many of my friends children. I have a few friends who are very good parents and their children reflect that. I also know some parents who have lost all (or never had any to begin with) control of their children and are struggling to become the parent instead of the child in their relationships with their children.
Oh, good grief I'm digressing and off topic. Sorry. (Why do I do that? :frown: )
Well, on the other hand, we've already covered most of the general reasons that people have children. And if I'm not mistaken, MOST people do have children... So perhaps the question of why people don't (or shouldn't) have children is just as interesting?
 
  • #24
Ivan Seeking
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I wanted to builld all of our children.

I think some people should have kids and some people should not. There is a surprising amount of social pressure to have children and I am amazed at how many times I have been told that I must not have a life since I don't have kids. Don't kid yourself; a lot of people can't and don't handle parenthood well and the casualties are the childrenand the parents. With three little ones at home, even my sister who is about as motherly as they come finds parenthood to be almost more than she can handle at times.
 
  • #25
Evo
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Kerrie said:
evo, i hope your dislike for children does not spill over into your relationship with your kids, it's amazing how important you really are to them although they may not ever say it.
Not only do my kids consider me the best mom in the world, but so do their friends. Their friends call me and talk to me, a couple have taken me out to dinner so we could have more in depth talks. These are 16 year old kids. I love my kids more than anything. My kids are not rebelious, we never fight, they don't do drugs or drink, I have no disciplinary problems with them because they know that I worry about them and they respect my feelings. When they go out with friends, they keep in constant contact with me and are always sure to be home at a decent time and usually bring me little treats.

I have an unusual approach to parenting I got from my mother. My mother raised 4 happy, well adjusted, non rebelious, intelligent, succesful kids. How did she do this? She trusted us. We grew up with no rules & no restrictions. Just good common sense. I have raised my kids the same way. They have never had curfews, never been grounded, never had restrictions on tv, computer, going out, friends, dress, nothing. Because there is no power struggle, my kids like to stay home. I've made an environment for them that they don't feel a need to rebel against. They understand & respect my feelings about their safety and go out of their way to make sure I don't worry about them. I think they worry more about me than I worry about them. The secret is that you have to develop a relationship of mutual trust & respect at a very early age.

Almost every one of their friends have had major fights with their parents and rebel and run off (even if only to a friend's house for a few hours) and do drugs and other stupid stuff. The more they rebel, the more their parent's try to control them and the more they rebel. It's an endless cycle.

It's a shame so many parents try to dominate & rule their children from the time they are born and end up creating exactly the situation they wanted to avoid.

I know this won't sit well with a lot of parents, but it has been successful for me & my mom.
 
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