General Question

rebbel's avatar

What, in your opinion, should (a) wannabe parent(s) ask themselves sincerely, before they'd decide to 'have' a child?

Asked by rebbel (24814points) February 12th, 2013

In order to be sure (or, as sure as possible) that they would be best suited/equipped to raise a healthy and happy kid?

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33 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Are they willing to take on a lifetime commitment?

Can they afford it?

Are you prepared for 18 years of great highs and real lows?

If you don’t have a child who will take care of you in your old age?

janbb's avatar

Are you in a committed relationship? Can you imagine your life being as rich if you don’t have children?

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Would your child(ren) look at you in 22 or 23 years and say “Mom or Dad, Thanks so much for how you raised me. You’ve been a wonderful parent”.

cookieman's avatar

Are you prepared for it not to be about you anymore?

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
bookish1's avatar

“Will I be able to handle it if my child ends up not being a complete and utter clone of myself?”

rojo's avatar

Why do you want this child? And I don’t mean this in a bad way. It is an important question to ask.

Sunny2's avatar

How much of your life, as you know it now, are you willing to give up to do this job well?

zenvelo's avatar

Are you ready for someone to be completely dependent on you, financially, physically, emotionally, for the next twenty plus years, without complaint and knowing they will be most dependent at the worst times?

janbb's avatar

Are you ready for the most rewarding experiences of your life?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Are you financially stable and able to pay for housing/food/clothing and especially schooling/extracurricular activities of a child? Do you have at least one person that can help you with raising this child (this can be a friend)? Will you be able to (as best you can) care for its first 2–4 years of life (I think, if possible, parents should stay with their infants and toddlers at home and to take care of them themselves)? Are you able to teach it to be a part of this world – that is, have you thought enough about your values and ideas and how to teach what’s important to your child?

I’ll say that I thought about none of these when I was pregnant with my first and it turned out okay, he’s kind of awesome.

Coloma's avatar

1. Do you genuinely want to raise an individual or a mini-clone of yourself for ego strokes?
If you see your child as a pygmalion project, you have already failed miserably.

2.Are you prepared to be a single parent and not whine and complain if your relationship bites the dust?

3. Are you willing to support your child in whatever they want to do or become without foisting your beliefs and programming on them?

4. Are you able to respect their individuality without digressing to question #1?

5. Are you unselfish enough to make the necessary sacrifices entailed?

6. If you cannot answer “yes” to all of the above just don’t.

hearkat's avatar

Are you ready, willing, and able to take on a job that requires 24/7 attention for nearly 25 years, for which you must pay out most of your earnings, and much of which goes unacknowledged?

Are you strong enough to have your heart walking around outside of your body, playing soccer, roller skating, riding a bike, driving a car, riding a motorcycle?

Do you have the integrity to hear the one you love more than life itself tell you that you’re the meanest person ever, or that they hate you, and to look right back at them and stand your ground and live with their anger because you know that indulging them and letting them manipulate you will only make it harder for them to deal with the real world?

Are you willing to love completely without expectations, and to allow the human you create or adopt to be their own person?

Are you willing to put your ego aside and discuss with any potential co-parent a shared strategy for parenting, and to not debate it in front of the child – regardless of what other issues might be happening in the relationship? And are you willing to do it ALL, should your partner become unable to do it for any reason?

josie's avatar

Are they grown up enough to be selfless parents
Can they afford it

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

I agree with all the great answers above.

Are you prepared to:
Be a strong guide.
Set boundaries.
Be a great listener.
Let your child have a choice.
Be loving.
Be committed.
Always be there physically, financially and emotionally.
Are you prepared if God forbid your child has major health issues.
Are you prepared not to involve your child in needless adult issues.

rooeytoo's avatar

I am old fashioned, I think the woman should be willing (and the couple financially able) to give up her working career to take on the full time career of motherhood. I don’t see the point in having a child and then paying someone else to raise it and impart their values and views of life onto the child instead of your own. Obviously there are situations when this becomes a necessity but I don’t feel it should be the plan.

I was never willing to make that commitment so I have no children.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Since my husband and I decided not to have children, as have a lot of people I know, I would ask myself ‘why do I want to have a child?’
Most people are raised that it’s a societal norm and do no more thinking about it, it’s simply expected.

Here are some of my reasons for us NOT having a child:
1) My dna is not spectacular, nor is my husbands.
2) I refuse to raise a child to fear society and the people in it that would harm my ‘child’
3) Financially my husband’s medical needs have left us in a position that would make it hard to afford a child.
4) Emotionally, my husband and I are from poor families, and we feel our lives are more enriched by doing things now that we never had the opportunity to do when we were growing up.
5) The world is overpopulated and natural resource are limited.
6) I refuse to pay someone else to raise my child for me while I work. I would go bat-sh!t crazy staying home all the time.

seekingwolf's avatar


Having children is no guarantee that you will be cared for in your old age. I work with patients and I see TONS of people who don’t get any help or visitors. Their kids see them sparingly because they are busy with their own lives.

Everyone, with or without children, need to plan and not rely on children to take care of you for free. Most get stuck in a home on Medicare and that’s the end of it.

mattbrowne's avatar

Ask the question of how well they can manage their emotions.

hearkat's avatar

Another thing to consider: Do you have unresolved issues from your own childhood? Both I and my husband did, and that resulted in an unstable emotional environment for our son (he was unplanned; I was taking birth control pills). I also have some friends who didn’t like things their own parents did and resolved to do the opposite – which bit them in the ass, too. One must be able to make parenting decisions based on their current situation, and think through what potential outcomes could be.

janbb's avatar

@hearkat But deopsn’t almost everyone have unresolved issues from their own childhood when they have children? I think it would be the very rare few who would not.

janbb's avatar

Edit: “doesn’t”

hearkat's avatar

@janbb: For those of us who had significant dysfunction in their childhoods, yes. But that’s the point. Ideally, we should do what we can resolve our own issues in order to not pass the legacy on to our own kids.

janbb's avatar

@hearkat Yes, but part of the working out is throught the process of having and raising your own kids, I think.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@janbb My issues from childhood created anger, rebellion & impatience. My husband has his own issues from childhood that include abandonment and physical abuse.

We feel it’s important that all our energy goes towards keeping ourselves happy and healthy as adults. Some people may think it’s selfish, but to us, it’s unselfish, because we are putting our unborn ‘child’‘s needs ahead of our own by realizing we’re not parent-material.

Realizing your limitations in all aspects, is very important, parenting is a huge committment. Any animal can procreate, humans can think about it and make a rational and responsible decision.

One of my friends just told us last weekend that his kids are ruining his marriage and he was incredibly sad, stressed and so is his SO. And these are pretty good kids really, just goes to show that it’s not for everyone.

hearkat's avatar

@janbb: Well, I’ve described many times how I reparented myself once it occurred to me that I needed to be a true role-model for my son and not a hypocritical “do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do” parent. But my epiphany occurred to me after more than a decade of damage had been done, and I wish I had done things differently and sooner. I also know many who don’t work out their own issues and whose kids are messed-up in the process. So I think that if a person is deciding to become a parent, it would be in the best interest of the child if they address their own neuroses as soon as possible.

janbb's avatar

@hearkat I’m not disagreeing with you really and @KNOWITALL I’m not saying that people should have children in order to resolve their issues. What I am saying, I guess, is personal to me and that I was hit by many of my childhood issues as I parented and that my motivation to resolve those issues and grow was strengthened by my desire to be a good parent.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@janbb Sure, I’m not taking it personally at all. I just think a lot of people have children because it’s the societal norm and they ‘want to’ so they can get their tax breaks, have a little mini-me and that unconditional love.

I personally just think the CHILDREN can benefit by having happy, healthy parents, which is why personal responsiblity is so important.

If children are our future, and we continue having unhealthy parents raising unhealthy children, where does that leave the world? It just requires a little more thought than a lot of people give it, in my humble opinion. I totally respect good parents, I just don’t see them often enough.

hearkat's avatar

@janbb: ... and that was my experience, as well – but I still think it is best if one were to contemplate such things and start the process of changing into the kind of person they want their children to become before the kids are born. I agree that there are scenarios that come up by surprise when parenting; but again, if one has put some forethought into their parenting strategies, they will be better prepared for it, rather than responding reflexively.

janbb's avatar

@hearkat I agree. My husband had resolved that he wanted to be more loving than his parents and he was – for a long time. I didn’t know what my issues with the relentless of parenthood would be until faced with them; it would have been better if I could have anticipated that but I didn’t. Instead, I went for a bout of therapy when my oldest was 10 months old.

rebbel's avatar

May I thank you all for your useful and valuable answers?!
I feel I can ask myself some of them, and also I almost feel that they could be bundled and be gifted to schools/universities.
Thank you!

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