Monday, August 27, 2007

Choosing Not to Have Children

Choosing Not to Have Children
Vincent Ciaccio, the organization's strategic planning director, conducted a study revealing what motivates some people to be child free.

Among his findings:

The reasons for being non-parents were not wanting to sacrifice time, privacy, or personal space for children, having no compelling reason to have them, actively not wanting children around, being perfectly content with pets, and seeing the effects of children or family/friends.

Three subgroups emerged from this: Those concerned with the effects of childrearing on their lifestyle, those that just didn't like children, and those concerned about the environment and their own misgivings about their parenting ability.

And there were two other groups: Transitional Women-They put off having children until it was too late, or had planned to have children when a certain goal was reached (financial or educational) had been reached, at which point other factors made the tming unsuitable for having a child.

Transformative Women-They are intentionally child free,motivated by the desire not to be a parent, and enjoy the time and focus they can give to their other relationships and their careers.

(Ciaccio's study involved generally college-educated, high earning Causasian women. I personally have spoken to a wider demographic (or spectrum); 100% agree with the study subjects.)

The child free are strong advocates of parental responsibility, both in having children (You would not believe the vast numbers of men out here who seem to have sired at least fifty different kids from the Eastern seaboard to the California coast...with at least fifty different women.) and for the children's personalities and actions. They feel that people should know what parenting involves BEFORE having children. If more men or women knew or were taught this beforehand, many more would be child free. Many children's behavior problems can be attributed to poor parenting. (If left unchecked, a behavior problem can and often develop into serious criminal activity.)
. . .
And of course, the child free do not want to be discriminated against in the workplace or in everyday life. And they do not appreciate stereotypical attitudes or statements directed at them, such as "You're being selfish", "All women should be mothers", "You'll change your mind about having kids", "But you seem so mature!". "Are you retarded?", "You're supposed to have kids, it's in the Bible", and "What's wrong with you?", among other choice gems.
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Feh23 said...

News flash: Some people don't want children around, so they don't have them
Thanks Captain Obvious!

Seriously, I think it's hilarious that there seems to be this sudden awareness that some people actually take the time to assess their lives and decide to NOT have children they don't want.

Anonymous said...

My decision to lead a child-free life is just that, my decision. I married a like minded man and we enjoy our lifestyle 1000%. We are active in the lives of our niece and nephews, and I am currently the main caregiver / medical contact to my mother, recently diagnosed with and receiving treatment for ovarian cancer, and her senior husband. Together my husband and I work part or full time, respectively, enjoy many hobbies which stimulate the economy, we own our home outright, pay taxes, make charitable contributions of time and money, and enjoy a quiet home life with our beloved cat, where peace abounds.

As a woman,I have encountered some of the choice replies mentioned in this article. Someone inadvertantly wished me a Happy Mother's Day assuming that as a woman I had children, to which I replied, "Bite your tongue!"

While being childfree certainly has it's noble factors such as social responsibility regarding consumption and resource depletion, my choice is simply based. I enjoy an ordered life and the freedom to choose where I place my energies and spend my time, even if they are spent scrapbooking or reading or having a real conversation with a neighbor instead of focusing solely on offspring. The point is it is my time and my one life and I need to live it to the fullest as I feel suits me.

I feel the most selfish choice is the choice made without clear thought and introspection. Ultimately all choices affect all of society so each one should be made carefully.