#childfree #parents #children #ChildbirthDecisions #MarriedCouples
Traditionally, a person grows up, gets married and has children.
That person becomes a part of the typical American family.
But a Michigan study has discovered that many adults don’t want to be parents.
An article on the study, written by Zachary P. Neal, associate professor of psychology at Michigan State University, and Jennifer Watling Neal, psychology professor at Michigan State, was published Aug. 17, 2022, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The article says many people decide relatively early in life whether they want to be parents.
In fact, the article quotes the study, 21.64 of adults studied say they do not want children.
The study determined that a person was “childfree” if they answered “no” to whether they have ever had children (biological, adopted or step-children), whether they plan to have children in any of the three categories and whether they wished they had, or could have, children.
The study also breaks down the types of people in the category: “Childfree” people don’t want children; “childless” people want children, but can’t have them; “not-yet-parents” want children in the future; “undecided” people aren’t sure whether they want children; and “ambivalent” people aren’t sure they would have wanted children.
The study also says that under-population is not a problem. Despite the relatively high percentage of people in the Michigan study who don’t want children, the global population will continue to grow, the article says.
Having children is, and should be, an option for everyone. Parents of previous generations urged their children to at least “replace themselves” with children of their own.
For certain people, that may not be an option, physically. For others, it may be a decision based on other burdens in life. Still, for others, it may just be a matter of personal choice.
These people should not be criticized for their decisions. Very often, critics of such people have no idea what that person, or that couple, may be dealing with.
The article points out that workplace policies on work-life balance also favor parents. “We believe the needs of (the childfree group) warrant more attention from policymakers,” the authors write.
Having children should not be considered an obligation. Many parents of past decades lay guilt trips on their children for not producing grandchildren for THEM.
Of course, grandparents may love grandchildren, but they get to send them home, in most cases.
In short, children should be sent home with parents who WANT them, and are willing to put in the necessary work to raise them.
The article also points out that people who don’t want children are told they may change their minds down the road. That appears unlikely, the article says.
So, have children only if you want. If you do, have only as many as you want. But, if you don’t want to, that’s OK, too.