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On the decision to have children




   Before people have children they should think about it.  They 
   should think about all that is involved in having children.  
   They should have them only after they have fully considered 
   everything.  They should think well about all they are getting 
   themselves into. 


   Things that come along with having children

      - Children mean a lot more work for the parents, especially 
         the mother.  She has to care for them, cook for them, 
         spend a lot of time with them.  If she doesn't want to be 
         saddled with all this work, effort and bother it is 
         better not to have them. 

      - Children require a lot of patience on the part of both 
         parents. 

      - Children represent a big financial burden.  It costs a lot 
         of money to raise a child.  And it costs a lot more if 
         you want to send him to college.  

      - Children tie parents down and restrict their options.  A 
         wife may not be able to work if she has young children; 
         she may have to stay home and take care of them.  
         Children can also tie the husband down more in the sense 
         that if he has several of them he may be more cautious 
         about changing jobs or taking risks.  He may be less 
         inclined to leave a job he dislikes. 

      - Children can bring a lot of additional stress into a 
         marriage.  They can become the cause of a lot of 
         arguments between husband and wife (as when the husband 
         and wife have different ideas on how to raise them, how 
         to discipline them, etc.).  They can also cause stress 
         through the additional financial burden they cause if the 
         husband's income is only marginally enough to support 
         them.  There may be many arguments over money.  A couple 
         that would get along very well without children might 
         argue all the time if they had children. The additional 
         stress produced by children could easily break up a 
         marriage that might work well without them. 

      - Children can be a whole lot of trouble.  They can be 
         trouble at the age of one, at the age of seven and at the 
         age of seventeen.  And, often, the older they get the 
         more trouble they become.  They can be the source of not 
         only a lot of trouble but of a great deal of heartache, 
         misery and suffering.  They may start running around with 
         the wrong crowd; get involved in juvenile delinquency and 
         crime; get involved in alcohol and drugs; have 
         illegitimate children.  There is just no end to the list 
         of troubles they can get into.  They can become 
         frustrated, confused, unhappy people who never find 
         themselves and go through their entire lives confused, 
         miserable and unhappy.  And their parents can go through 
         their lives feeling guilty and unhappy about it all. 

      - Children are individuals and they each have their own 
         personality and their own set of problems.  They may be 
         slow; they may be stubborn and independent; they may be 
         lazy; they may have physical or mental handicaps or 
         disabilities; they may stutter or wet the bed or have 
         inferiority complexes.  And they may have all these 
         problems and many more all rolled into one!  And the 
         problems may all just grow worse as they grow older.  
         People are complex.  Children are people.  Being a parent 
         can mean dealing with complex problems. 






   Questions people should ask of themselves before deciding to 
         have children.


      - Am I emotionally healthy and mature enough to have 
         children?  Can I provide the spiritual and intellectual 
         strength, example and leadership that children need?  
         Only those who are relaxed, confident, and comfortable 
         with themselves should, in my opinion, have children.  If 
         you are frustrated, unhappy and confused about life those 
         frustrations will be passed right on to your children, 
         just as with a communicable disease. 

      - Is the society around me fit for children?  Is the society 
         a healthy one?  Am I doing right by bringing a child into 
         it?  Or would I be doing him a great disfavor?  If the 
         society is too unjust, immoral and corrupt, if the 
         temptations and pressures toward evildoing are too 
         strong, the child may hardly stand a chance.  He may be 
         doomed before he gets started.  Remember:  Evildoing 
         brings destruction.  Not only in the next life, but in 
         this one. 

      - How is the school system that he will have to attend?  Is 
         it a good one?  A just and fair one?  Does it adequately 
         prepare people for earning a living and meeting and 
         dealing with life?  What is its effect in regard to moral 
         character?  Does it improve character or does it destroy 
         character?  Looking at the sort of product that it is 
         turning out (its graduates) how do you answer these 
         questions? 


   Nov 1986


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