Why No Children?

Thursday, March 14, 2013
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Starshine Roshell’s February 28 column was a nice try at a humorous take on a concept she obviously cannot, deep down, comprehend. What, not like/want children?! I would propose a minor edit to her reference to childless adults being asked “to explain why they’re not helping to populate this poor, desolate planet.” How about “not helping to overpopulate” the planet?

The Los Angeles Times on March 2 ran an item on a poll about moral issues and population growth. The main issue raised was the crowding out of other species: “Two-thirds in poll say humans’ number are driving the extinction of other species.” The article went on to say, almost as an afterthought, “The world’s population is projected to reach 10 billion by the end of the century.”

As a child-free adult male I feel I have done my bit for zero population growth. (Remember that?) Not to mention helping to maintain a civilized atmosphere in restaurants. If asked to explain, I might say I am not so much against children as I am for the survival of species’ diversity. Those non-human species that have so far managed to hang on, at any rate.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Yes. I prefer the term child-free, too. Childless sounds sad, like you're missing something. I prefer to imply that I'm "free" of the responsibility of raising children and "free" to do what I want with my time & resources.

I decided not to have children after being the step-mother of a toddler for 5 years. Even though she was a good child, I found "parenting" to be exhausting and thankless.

I'm so grateful I was able to experience parenthood before having a child of my own. If everyone had this opportunity, I'm sure many more would choose a child-free existence.

Parents always tell me, "It's different when it's your own child." I say, "It would have to be or no one would have more than one."

I used to wonder if I would ever be sorry about my decision to be child-free. So far, I'm happy to say I made the right choice for me.

You do not need children of your own to have a wonderful, fulfilled life.

DWhite (anonymous profile)
March 14, 2013 at 4:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hello the planet is overpopulated!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 14, 2013 at 4:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We don't talk about overpopulation now because of racial implications. Also, the problems in restaurants are not caused by the presence of children, but by the poor parenting they receive.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 14, 2013 at 8:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@ Ross Care -- thanks for you comments, & of course there's another angle and aspect here: my long-time spouse and I (married in late 60s) were practically charter members of ZPG (remember the Paul Ehrlich book, the POPULATION BOMS?), but then many years later had one child. Over time, when couples have only one (or, stretch it, two) kids, then over time we could begin to reduce human population in this way, a method with a lot less suffering in it.
DWhite celebrates his/her child-free adult existence, and I respect that. 'Childless' is rather thoughtless. However, after 14 years of child-free marriage the advent [ha] of a human child changed my existence and has added incredible joy to it. In terms of human evolution, some reproduction AND GOOD PARENTING {BC, you are correct!} is utterly fun and pleasurable and rewarding.
Children can give us hope and inspiration and expanding hearts.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 15, 2013 at 6:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@ Ross Care -- Rochelle's phrase "poor, desolate planet” was irony, not incomprehension, yes?

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
March 19, 2013 at 7:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, Adonis. Thanks for noticing.

starshine (anonymous profile)
March 19, 2013 at 11:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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