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Author Topic: What's so great about having children?  (Read 4395 times)

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Offline Trieste

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Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2011, 10:27:55 AM »
Not wanting kids and not liking it when they behave poorly does not mean that you are 'not good with kids'. They are two separate things. I like kids. I'm good with kids. I don't want any kids. Ever. And I groan when I see someone bring a small child into a theatre, a restaurant, or any other closed public venue because 90% of the time they will make an unholy terror out of themselves and everyone else will suffer. 'Get them OUT OF HERE until they can behave themselves,' I want to yell at the parents. It's vile.

I respect the parents that have well-behaved children, and I admire them. And it's part of my job in a public place to recognize that it is a public place and there are certain uses for certain places. If it bothers me that children are shrieking and chasing each other in a library, that's their problem and I have every right to be annoyed. But if it bothers me that children are shrieking and chasing each other in a public park, that's my problem and I need to get over it. In the same manner, children who want their parents' attention aren't doing anything wrong. It's in their nature to seek out affection from the people that are, for better or worse, the center of their world. It's not the kids' fault that the parents are poor hosts and ignore you for them. It is a shame that the kids will probably turn out to be poor hosts in the future, though.

I'm child-free, and it infuriates me that strangers feel entitled to ask me things like "When are you two going to start a family?" and whatnot. It's better with younger people. It's worse with older people. That's true for a lot of things, though.

As far as kids themselves? Kids are great. They are easy to convince into silliness. I have to watch the sarcasm around them (I've worked most with little kids and they don't 'get' sarcasm until later) but they are almost always bubbly and friendly.

They give great hugs. They remember things that you said side-handed, figuring they'd forget. They are always thinking, and always learning. They get just as restless as you do on a glorious summer day while stuck in the classroom. There is nothing like the wholehearted cheer you can get from a classroom of little ones when you tell them we're going outside for today's class. They take you back to the basics of what you know, and while the "but why?" can be infernally maddening, it also makes you think, too. And you're always teaching them, and teaching something is the best way to know it better, yourself.

They're very good at surprises, both good and bad.

In all, kids are pretty great. I like other peoples' kids. I like them a lot. I can't wait for my brothers to have a few kids of their own. I just don't want any of my own.

Offline Martee

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2011, 11:14:23 AM »
I hate those parents too. We don't go out much anymore, because it is too difficult to find a reliable, affordable sitter on a regular basis. On the rare occasions we do find one, the last thing I want is to be annoyed by someone else's kids. I left mine home for a reason!

Offline Noelle

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2011, 04:39:47 PM »
My parents used to physically remove my siblings and I from places when we wouldn't behave. Yes, it's annoying -- no, you might not be able to see all of the movie you just paid for, but that's just what happens when you have kids. Parenting doesn't stop once you poop 'em out, but some parents seem to think that gestating for 9 months is good enough.

It's kind of a funny double-standard sometimes, though...Every now and then I'll catch a parent being very stern with their children and I feel perturbed by it, almost sorry for the kid, but then I remember...well, at least they're actively parenting! Though there is a difference between parenting and ceaseless nitpicking about what your kids are doing.

Offline itsbeenfun2000

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2011, 12:01:36 AM »
I remember once when my nephew was young and sitting in front of the door not letting my mother out . my sister was negotiating with him to move for about 2 mins. Finally i said "Greg move now" using my teacher voice and he moved now. My sister gave me such a shocked look. Needless to say we brought our kids up differently. The point is how you bring them up makes a difference, in most cases, on the headaches you will have with them.




Offline Malefique

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2011, 04:22:03 PM »
I almost feel sorry for the kind of parents whose children are badly behaved little tyrants.  Almost.   But their parental failings are, sadly, inflicted on the rest of us.  My kids are no angels, and we have had our share of rows, groundings and other unpleasantness.  But when I'm out and about and I see little horrors rampaging round the place with little or no no attempt by the parents  to curb them. I'm just glad that experience tells me that in most cases,  those parents will suffer more at the hands of their offspring than anyone else will.   I don't take my own children to the city library any more because there were families in there letting their children not just run up and down - last time we were in, my daughter was hit in the face by a football two boys were kicking around the place.  And I couldn't get to the horror fiction in the adult section because a group of toddlers were sitting in front of the shelves making a 'house' out of the books with their chocolate smeared paws, while their mother was using the library computers to go on some social networking site and post up about how exhausted she was from looking after the kids.  It did my wicked heart good to see her later on in the shopping centre, crimson with fury and embarrassment because her little preciouses had gotten her thrown out of Primark because they were pulling all the clothes off the rails and covering them with snot and toffee, and were responding to her threats and yelling by rolling about on the floor screeching the same obscenities back at her.  Any of you who have posted up that you would not make good parents, you do yourselves no justice - you are wise enough and sensible enough to decide for whatever reason (doubt over capacity to cope, simple and understandable repugnance ) that you shouldn't reproduce.  That makes you much, much more suitable to be parents than the witless morons who reproduce without even thinking about it and without any intention of assuming parental responsibility once they have.  ;D

Offline Trieste

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Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2011, 05:18:51 PM »
I usually just feel really bad for those parents. In the spirit of never assuming malice where ignorance would suffice, I just assume that they don't know how to be parents. And I'm not sure how you rectify that. I know there are classes before the birth of a child, but not everyone has the time/money to take one. It's also my understanding that they focus a lot on the birth itself. But how do you handle a tantrum? How physical should you get with your child? At what point is it best to throw in the towel, pick 'em up and haul 'em home? How do you determine how long of a time-out to give, so that it'll be long enough to be punitive but not too long? How do you talk to your child about stealing? How do you know they're old enough for a training bra? If you're a single mom, how do you talk to your son about his sexuality when the time comes?

Yeah, I'm all set not having to tackle that stuff, thank you all the same.

Offline CmdrRenegadeTopic starter

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2011, 10:05:09 PM »
@Oniya: That's certainly a good thing.  I know alot of people who would tell me to change my mind or expect to be single forever.  There are still lots of traditional people around who still believe children are just 'part of the deal'.  One thing I love about this site is that the people here have no sacred cows.  I'm going to give dating sites a try, but it's still scary to think how few of us there are right now.  I'll hope for the best.

@Serephino: We're in the same boat.  I'm still pretty selfish myself and planning around all the potential 'ifs' of a kid would probably get me nuts.  That being said, if you do adopt, I hope you succeed.  My friend is having a very hard time adopting and that has more to do with income, convenience, and other such things. 

@Alliance: Yeah, I agree.  Raising kids can get in the way of any big project you want to do, work related or not.

@Anjasa: I agree.  It is hypocritical, but they wanna keep the kids hungry so that they get their grandkids now that it's no longer their problem.  They just don't want to pay for them.

@Martee: I'm glad it worked out for you.  There are plenty of people out there who changed their minds like you did but wound up regretting it.  I'd like to hope that a case like yours would be what would happen to me if I did change my mind. 

@Sho: An interesting point, but I have to wonder how realistic that is.  We've come to expect a higher quality of life that's getting harder and harder to afford.  The kids, no matter how good they are, may simply have problems of their own and can't really help you in your twilight years.  In these lean years, that feels all too real.  Though the conversation part is something I can get behind.  I have those conversations with my mother about the local wildlife.  She would comment about the cardinals which she calls "red chubbies". 

@Lilias: With hardwiring there are also fuses.  I have a hypothesis that when a population reaches a certain mass that people's reproductive urges become less compelling.  There's already so many people around that the community doesn't need more.  As for the First World needing more children, I disagree.  If anything I think the First World needs less people.  More jobs keep leaving due to outsourcing, resources get used up, and ways of life become unsustainable.  On top of that, people are already living far longer than before and therefore consuming more.  It's already a problem in Japan, a massively overcrowded country, and they're only adding to their future problems by incentivizing more births.  So what happens when those children in turn grow old? No, I think for our long term health, we need to slow and draw down our population to adapt to this new reality. 

@itsbeenfun2000: Well done.

@Noelle: That difference would be hard for me to grasp.  I tend to be a control freak.

@Trieste: As with others on this thread, I'm of the same mind with you on this.  I'd probably wind up going "southern father polishing gun" when the boyfriend comes along to take my daughter out. 


Offline Wolfy

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2011, 10:53:21 PM »
I'll be honest, I want kids...Eventually...you know, when I feel ready to have them. At the moment, though, I have too much to do..college, getting a job, taking care of myself, etc, etc...there's too much I want to do to be tied down by kids at this point. :/

Offline Zakharra

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2011, 01:31:25 AM »
@Lilias: With hardwiring there are also fuses.  I have a hypothesis that when a population reaches a certain mass that people's reproductive urges become less compelling.  There's already so many people around that the community doesn't need more.  As for the First World needing more children, I disagree.  If anything I think the First World needs less people.  More jobs keep leaving due to outsourcing, resources get used up, and ways of life become unsustainable.  On top of that, people are already living far longer than before and therefore consuming more.  It's already a problem in Japan, a massively overcrowded country, and they're only adding to their future problems by incentivizing more births.  So what happens when those children in turn grow old? No, I think for our long term health, we need to slow and draw down our population to adapt to this new reality. 

UUmm..Japan has a population decrease going on. ALL First World nations are seeing their population go down. Except the US. Russia is hemorrhaging population very badly.  The only places that see a population growth are Third World or the two emerging  First world nations of India and China.   

 To keep social systems like Social Security, the population needs to be growing, not shrinking. That's why some nations are trying to encourage people to have more children, so they can slow or at least keep even with the number of deaths.

Offline CmdrRenegadeTopic starter

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2011, 07:08:46 PM »
UUmm..Japan has a population decrease going on. ALL First World nations are seeing their population go down. Except the US. Russia is hemorrhaging population very badly.  The only places that see a population growth are Third World or the two emerging  First world nations of India and China.   

 To keep social systems like Social Security, the population needs to be growing, not shrinking. That's why some nations are trying to encourage people to have more children, so they can slow or at least keep even with the number of deaths.

If people were still dying in their 60s, that would be true.  I'm aware of Japan's demographic crisis, and how the Japanese government is giving monetary bonuses to families that have more children.  That would still work if mortality rates were as high as they were in the early 20th century.  But now medical care has gotten so good that Social Security collectors are now living well into their 70s, 80s, 90s, and even 100s.  If we keep ballooning each successive generation to support the previous one, you get overcrowding of social services and it only makes the problem worse in the long run.  In a nutshell, people are living too long.  I know that sounds morbid, but from a purely economic standpoint, the collectors of Social Security the elderly are no longer giving to the economy.  They're only taking.  They live longer and will logically demand medical treatments to help them live ever longer lives now that they're available.  Each generation will get old and the next one will have to be even bigger to keep it going.  How long will it be before we overcrowd? No, I think we need to let our populations drop and then stabilize.  People who don't exist don't demand jobs, social services, good school districts, etc.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 07:47:42 PM by CmdrRenegade »

Offline ColdBloodedJellyDoughnut

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2011, 08:00:59 PM »
I heard my mother say to my father that she wished they hadn't had me. Oh my siblings, I was the only one who was planned. It kind of broke my heart, and I'm still dealing with that a lot now.

My sister had an unplanned pregnancy, ended up getting post-partum depression and her partner left her. However, now she's met someone new and amazing. She's a wonderful mum, and they're planning to have a baby together.

My other sister has a child with Cystic Fibrosis, which is a terrible genetic disease. But my niece is a wonderful child and we love her to bits. And if my sister and her fiance got the choice, they would have another baby.

I have not yet been tested to see if I carry the CF gene, but the idea that I do, and that it could effect my chances of having my own children breaks my heart. I've seen the bonds between parent and child, and even if you hate your parents, or if your kids annoy you, they're still your family. That's what's important, not the crying, puking etc.

Offline Caela

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2011, 09:58:25 PM »
Renegade, I used to be in your boat. Had NO plans on having children and never really changed my mind and decided that "Yes, now I want them!" I did however have an unexpected pregnancy and made the decision to keep the child. I wouldn't undo that choice for anything. My daughter P is 2.5 now and is the most amazing little person to me. We have days that we don't get along and she does have her fits and tantrums but that is what her bedroom is for (I refuse to bargain with a tantrum, she can go scream all she wants in her room where I can ignore her) and bedtime is bedtime.

I'm working on being the same type of parent Malefique seems to be. My daughter has rules and boundaries and within them I will freely spoil her. When she steps outside of those rules and boundaries, however, I am quick to step in and correct her behavior. She knows the rules and knows Mommy WILL enforce them if she needs to, which means I don't have to much. Follow through is a wonderful thing. :D

As for why you should have them...if you don't want them, you shouldn't. There are a lot of women out there that don't want children and doctors are (gradually) starting to get a clue and listen when they say it. If I'd been able to find one who would permanently fix me before I'd gotten pregnant, my daughter wouldn't be here and I'd have felt no regret for that. I did put my foot down about stopping at one and my GYN (now), is the sort that listens so she was happy to help me ensure that my daughter will be an only child.

Procreating is an intensely personal decision. If you don't want to, then don't let anyone else pressure you into thinking that you should for some reason. If you change your mind later and decide to have them then no harm, no foul, but if you have them and didn't want them, you can't change your mind...they're here.

Offline Zakharra

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2011, 04:14:35 PM »
If people were still dying in their 60s, that would be true.  I'm aware of Japan's demographic crisis, and how the Japanese government is giving monetary bonuses to families that have more children.  That would still work if mortality rates were as high as they were in the early 20th century.  But now medical care has gotten so good that Social Security collectors are now living well into their 70s, 80s, 90s, and even 100s.  If we keep ballooning each successive generation to support the previous one, you get overcrowding of social services and it only makes the problem worse in the long run.  In a nutshell, people are living too long.  I know that sounds morbid, but from a purely economic standpoint, the collectors of Social Security the elderly are no longer giving to the economy.  They're only taking.  They live longer and will logically demand medical treatments to help them live ever longer lives now that they're available.  Each generation will get old and the next one will have to be even bigger to keep it going.  How long will it be before we overcrowd? No, I think we need to let our populations drop and then stabilize.  People who don't exist don't demand jobs, social services, good school districts, etc.

 Wrong. There is no population exposion in the First World (aside from the US). It is dropping fast. It's only on the Third World and China and India that it's growing. If you want population controls, try and get them enacted in the nations that are actively growing. To try and force that on other First World nations would be very very hard. 


 

Offline Oniya

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Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2011, 04:50:14 PM »
I think he's saying that in order for Social Security to be maintained with a growing elderly population, there would need to be a corresponding growth in the younger population that is paying into Social Security, not that such growth in the younger population is actually happening now.

Offline CmdrRenegadeTopic starter

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2011, 06:04:02 PM »
Wrong. There is no population exposion in the First World (aside from the US). It is dropping fast. It's only on the Third World and China and India that it's growing. If you want population controls, try and get them enacted in the nations that are actively growing. To try and force that on other First World nations would be very very hard. 

I didn't say there was a population explosion.  There is none in the First World, except MAYBE in France about 3 years back, but they only reached 1.9 children per women if I remember right.  We agree on that.  What  I'm saying is that each successive generation is sticking around for a longer and longer amount of time and not economically contributing anymore.  When Social Security was introduced back in the 30s, the life expectancy of the average American adult was 57-64 years.  Retirement age was 64.  Social Security was not nearly as costly simply because many people would die before they could collect it and those few who beat the odds wouldn't be around for much longer.  They had lived hard lives that took their toll on their health.  They might have worked in a poisonous factory, smoke too much, drank too much, etc. before the dangers were understood and medicine could counter it.  All a person suffered from severe cancer, asbestos poisoning (which killed my grandfather in 1946), etc. could hope for was a relatively painless demise.  These treatments just didn't exist.  But now that we have it, they're getting the (very expensive treatment) through Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. 

As for Third World country population explosions, those are simply to keep up with their appalling death rates.  As unhealthy as life in the 30s could be, it's still worse in these places.  Disease, malnutrition, warfare, famine, etc. are things they have to live with everyday.  Giving birth to 6-8 kids is the best/only way they have to insure that at least a 1 or 2 survive to adulthood. 

I highly suggest you read this.  Although the author writes from the perspective of warfare, it sheds a lot of light on why First World nations have so few children and Third World have so many. 

http://takimag.com/article/war_of_the_babies

I think he's saying that in order for Social Security to be maintained with a growing elderly population, there would need to be a corresponding growth in the younger population that is paying into Social Security, not that such growth in the younger population is actually happening now.

You're on the right track, Oniya.  There would need to be that corresponding growth.  But what I'm also asking is "what about when the current crop of young people grow old and in turn have to be supported?" If we need say 90 million young people to support 30 million elderly until they pass, what will we do when we in turn need 270 million to support that 90 million who are now old and in need of care.  Where does it stop? All those expensive medical treatments and homecare over the course of 30 odd years after retirement is going to add up.  Every American is already paying around 9% of their paycheck to support every person who collects Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  We'd need those 270 million to keep it at relatively the same level. 

I admit there's speculation there, but I hate to think of a situation where an adult has to choose between making a mortage payment on their house or paying for grandma's expensive chemotherapy, or even worse yet some very real Logan's Run/death panel type existence where people are just condemned to waste away because they're too expensive to keep alive for not enough return. 

Offline CmdrRenegadeTopic starter

Re: What's so great about having children?
« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2011, 06:12:55 PM »
I'm continuing this topic about overpopulation in another topic so as not to go off on too much of a tangent. 

http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=110142.0
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 06:14:45 PM by CmdrRenegade »