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Why do people have children?

  1. Apr 7, 2004 #1
    What are the more common (albeit strange) reasons - manifest and unconscious - for which people reproduce?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2004 #2

    Chi Meson

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    Scientific reason: It is a "hard-wired" evolutionary response.

    Personal reason: "Whoops."
     
  4. Apr 7, 2004 #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).
     
  5. Apr 7, 2004 #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.
     
  6. Apr 7, 2004 #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...
     
  7. Apr 7, 2004 #6
    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.
     
  8. Apr 7, 2004 #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.
     
  9. Apr 7, 2004 #8
    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
     
  10. Apr 7, 2004 #9
    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.
     
  11. Apr 7, 2004 #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.
     
  12. Apr 7, 2004 #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
     
  13. Apr 7, 2004 #12
    By raising children we may rediscover our own childhood.
     
  14. Apr 7, 2004 #13

    Evo

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    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.
     
  15. Apr 7, 2004 #14
    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?
     
  16. Apr 7, 2004 #15

    Math Is Hard

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    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:
     
  17. Apr 8, 2004 #16

    Tsu

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    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:
     
  18. Apr 8, 2004 #17
    But, unfortunately, one does experience generations of them predeceasing. Fortunately, there are relatively humane ways of achieving that if necessary.
     
  19. Apr 8, 2004 #18

    Math Is Hard

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    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.
     
  20. Apr 8, 2004 #19

    Evo

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    Very true!

    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.

    I'm the same way.
     
  21. Apr 8, 2004 #20

    Kerrie

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    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.
     
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