Convince me that I should have children.

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
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BRUTE
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by BRUTE » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:07 pm

brute has wondered this same thing. one of brute's older friends, who has plenty offspring, once told brute that he almost feels like spawning children was a mission from god. brute isn't sure if it's biological or acquired, but having more children was literally this man's goal in life. he didn't care much what happened to them after, it seemed - some of his adult children he hadn't seen in decades, others were mainly raised by their mothers. just planting the seed was his mission.

fair to say brute currently does not have this goal. but he wonders if, to a lesser extent, that's why many humans feel the need to procreate.

James_0011
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by James_0011 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:59 pm

henrik wrote:
James_0011 wrote:Also I'm curious how many of you with children enjoyed your childhood, and have/had a good relationship with your parents?
I did/do. Why? Do you suspect that most people don't?
I didn't mean to imply that most people don't. Just wondering if that is a factor contributing to people's decision to reproduce or not.

I am genuinely curious about the choice to reproduce, and why people have such an urge.
Last edited by James_0011 on Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

James_0011
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by James_0011 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:00 pm

BRUTE wrote:brute has wondered this same thing. one of brute's older friends, who has plenty offspring, once told brute that he almost feels like spawning children was a mission from god. brute isn't sure if it's biological or acquired, but having more children was literally this man's goal in life. he didn't care much what happened to them after, it seemed - some of his adult children he hadn't seen in decades, others were mainly raised by their mothers. just planting the seed was his mission.

fair to say brute currently does not have this goal. but he wonders if, to a lesser extent, that's why many humans feel the need to procreate.
Interesting, I never looked at it like that.

ShriekingFeralHatred
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by ShriekingFeralHatred » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:13 pm

blah
Last edited by ShriekingFeralHatred on Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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BRUTE
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by BRUTE » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:14 pm

but also have no reason to care about anything beyond death :D planet explodes 1 minute afterwards, brute don't care.

always a silver lining

James_0011
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by James_0011 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:35 pm

If intelligence is inherited, why do smart people sometimes have dumb parents? There are millions of examples of this.

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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by Swede » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:16 am

I´ll contribute my two cents as a father of two girls, soon turning 4 and 2 yo respectively.
I find that most of the experience can´t be taught, it has to be experienced first hand to fully grasp it. This is true for both pro's and con's. The following are of course just my own experience, YMMV. I´ll start with the cons:

* The sleepless nights in the early years sometimes tear you down completely. Not getting enough sleep affects your mood, energy level, your whole outlook of life... I´d say it sometimes gives you the equivalent of a mild or moderate depression.

* The lack of freedom is hard for someone who really likes their freedom (I do). There are a lot of things you would like to do that you will have to postpone or forsake. That said, if you have a reasonable spouse you can both enjoy at least some travels, interests, nights out etc while he/she takes care of the kid(s). I have made a fun trip with friends each summer since my first daughter was born - only some of the years just for three nights or so (and my wife has made trips with her friends).

* Being at home with the baby while your spouse soon becomes really boring if you are an intelligent person who craves some degree of intellectual stimulus. This is especially true for the first child - being at home with two kids is more demanding, but at least they entertain each other to some degree. At the same time as it is boring, it is also exhausting, as you have to more or less constantly pay attention to what the child is doing. This boring-exhausting state was something really novel that I haven´t experienced in any other circumstances.

* The strain on the relationship is powerful. Staying a couple without kids seems laughably easy when you try to manage a love relationship that always comes second.

In summary: Money, time, energy - all these resources are largely consumed by small kids.

Pro's:

* Personal development. I can´t think of any other experience that makes you grow as much as having kids. You have to question yourself constantly as a parent, and are forced to come up with answers and let them guide you. What values do you want to pass on and why? Your focus shifts from self-centred to a at least a little less self-centred.

* The relationship to your parents changes drastically. Now you suddenly realise how much they love you and how hard they have worked for you to become the person you are today. This fills me with gratefulness towards them and it is easy to forgive them for any mistakes they might have made (everyone makes mistakes as a parent). I see parenting very much as paying this gift forward, not expecting anything particular in return from my children but would rather see that they too paid it forward to their kids (wouldn´t put pressure on them to do so, though).

* Love. This might be taken as both a pro and con. Trust me when I say that the love you feel towards your child is unlike any other love you could feel. It is at a different order of magnitude. Parents, siblings, partners can´t compare. For instance, imagining the death of a friend or not-so-close relative makes me feel bad, but it is easy to see that the wounds would eventually heal. Imagining the death of a parent, sibling, very close friend or even my wife is worse, but still, I feel that I could handle it and that life would become normal again after some time. Imagining the death of one of my children: total horror, wouldn´t want to live anymore, can´t imagine a decent life after it.

* Seeing them grow. When you´re a grown-up, your development is pretty stagnant and slow. Each day is pretty much like the last, same habits, same thinking etc. When you have kids, something new happens almost every day and it´s really fun to se their development in real time.

So, from a hedonistic point of view, it´s a no-brainer: forget about it and enjoy life. On the other hand, if you´re up for the challenge, shoot! Having kids is really hard work, but the pay-off in terms of meaningfulness and personal development are substantial. It´s a bit like choosing between an easy job with good pay or a challenging job that forces you to constantly learn, but with less pay. Chances are, while the easy job seems tempting at first, after a few years you start to get bored and feel kind of empty. Just be sure that you have a really strong relationship with your co-parent to be!

ffj
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by ffj » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:50 am

@Swede
Very well written and spot-on. Especially the paragraph abut love. Whew, it bothers me to even read that.

fog_tree
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by fog_tree » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:42 am

Having kids is the biggest adventure of my life. I would be bored without of them. Why would you resign the biggest unpredictable, long time lasting adventure?

Toska2
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by Toska2 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:22 pm

The only good argument is the love of your own offspring. Everything else is comparable to adoption or lesser quests. Adventure/difficulties? I have yet to kayak the boundary waters, sail a catamaran, fish Hudson Bay, work menial low paying jobs. (aka mbgi's thoughts on artificial self imposed challenges) Changes to parents' relationship? Adopt, babysit, teach whatever. Apparently the struggle must be "in kind". Will it ever be? What's to say the differences in parenting style won't be divisive?
Personal growth is highly variable. We talk in other threads about friends' and family relationships being strained over how and why to save. Even more recently the quote of "crabs in a bucket" came up. Are all the "crabs" childless?

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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by Toska2 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:42 pm

Personal note:

My parents wanted a brood children. Treating us as individuals and raising us to be adults is another story.

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fiby41
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by fiby41 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:50 pm

Who'll take care of you when you get old?

I'm not sure how social security works exactly in other countries. But children are social security for parents in countries in which people haven't outsourced social security to their governments.

As an aside, seriously, what makes a capitalist country, USA for example, outsource their social security money to the government and let bureaucrats, who have no skin in the game, decide how much they get back than taking care of their old age expenses themselves? Do people really believe a socialist government setting can take better care of their individual needs in the dusk of their lives than they themselves can?

Just as a safety measure people have more than a single child. Just in case one of the children turns out to be a bad seed and bail/dump the parents in their old age.

Those parents that do take the risk of having an only child, pay more attention to it and are said to cater to all its whims and fancies. However this hasn't been my experience. Maybe I should have asked nicer or been more of an asshole , but I digress...

Parents who also pay for their child's education are effectively buying a voting share and a controlling stake in that individuals life. They get to have a say in which stream he will major in, who he will marry, and they can have expectations from him.

So parenting is not a selfless act. People who have children do it in their own self-interest.
My first duty is towards myself then to my parents. After I put away my minimum requirement for fiby41 aside yearly, my parents can have as much as they need... but until I can do that relations can get a little strained and they'll understand why I'm stingy even when it comes to spending on myself.

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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by jacob » Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:17 pm

https://www.amazon.com/Countdown-Last-B ... 316097748/ is a good overview of all the reasons people choose to have children or choose not to all over the world.

For example, in countries/regions (Palestine for example) where law and order has not been institutionalized, a larger family literally means safety. It's your own private army.

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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by Toska2 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:19 pm

I have no qualms about suicide so unless I become a paraplegic beforehand I'm good.

I don't believe in wasting a large part of a good living to help those who lived a long and fulfilling life. I could theoretically spend ages 35-55 taking care of them. My parents will be a bigger burden to me than their parents were due to lifestyle, personalities and healthcare.

ShriekingFeralHatred
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by ShriekingFeralHatred » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:36 pm

blah
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Eureka
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by Eureka » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:09 pm

Me too did/do.

James_0011
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by James_0011 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:56 am

ShriekingFeralHatred wrote:
James_0011 wrote:If intelligence is inherited, why do smart people sometimes have dumb parents? There are millions of examples of this.
Surely many genes control intelligence, and I assume a lot of them are recessive.
How would your argument make sense if the trait may be recessive?

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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by jacob » Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:18 pm

Since the heredity of intelligence has been studied in detail, there's really no need to speculate.
  • IQ in children is about 50% hereditary (shows a 0.5 correlation with the parents).
  • IQ in offspring regresses towards the mean.
  • The degree of stimulation in the environment (growing up) accounts for the rest.
Taken together, it means that if you're (the parents) are of above average intelligence, your children are more likely to be dumber than you than smarter than you. OTOH if you're dumber than average, your children are more likely to be smarter than you than not. However, if you're not capable of providing a stimulating childhood for a given child, that child will be dumber than they otherwise would have been. The childhood (mostly pre-teen) environment accounts for the rest of the difference.

Note that a 0.5 correlation is a pretty iffy foundation for a strategy, even "for government work". Another way of looking at it is to say that one can make a significant difference with the right or wrong environment. Note, for example, how the oldest child also tend to be the smartest one. Probably because that one received the most parental attention whereas additional children leads to an increasing amount of routine behavior (less fussing) as well as sharing parental attention with siblings. Only-children tend to be the most intelligent.

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BRUTE
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by BRUTE » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:30 pm

jacob wrote:..it means that if you're (the parents) are of above average intelligence..

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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by enigmaT120 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:35 am

Do other languages but English even have contractions?

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BRUTE
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by BRUTE » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:56 am

yes

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FBeyer
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by FBeyer » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:35 am

jacob wrote:Since the heredity of intelligence has been studied in detail, there's really no need to speculate.
  • IQ in children is about 50% hereditary (shows a 0.5 correlation with the parents).
  • IQ in offspring regresses towards the mean.
  • The degree of stimulation in the environment (growing up) accounts for the rest.
...
NITPICK TIME!!!
In an R-squared framework a 0.5 correlation coefficient accounts for only 25% of the variation. So how does someone interpret 50% heredity from that?
One cannot combine numbers that way.

So if the parents are 120, then the first 60 IQ points come from the parents?
Naaaaah... Doesn't sound right.

It's not a useful piece of information really.
You can say that IQ in children has a correlation coefficient of 0.5 with that of the parents and leave it at that. How you interpret that number depends on what you'd like to say it seems.

ShriekingFeralHatred
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by ShriekingFeralHatred » Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:03 am

blah
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FBeyer
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by FBeyer » Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:28 am

ShriekingFeralHatred wrote:... I never understood anyone thinking otherwise.
Can't or won't understand?
Have you tried?

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Dragline
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Re: Convince me that I should have children.

Post by Dragline » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:01 am

FBeyer wrote:
ShriekingFeralHatred wrote:... I never understood anyone thinking otherwise.
Can't or won't understand?
Have you tried?
It worked for Genghis Khan. Therefore, it must be a great idea.

Or maybe its just the usual mindless mimicking backed up with a convenient narrative about teleological destiny of allegedly superior beings.

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