T Nation

License to Raise a Child

I don’t have children, but I know it entails a lot of time, effort, money and compassion. Why, then, is such an important aspect of life treated so lightly by some? Obviously, needing a license to raise a child is a bit extreme, but when you see questionable headlines in the news on a daily basis it makes you wonder.

My cousin confided in me that she and her hubby were having financial trouble with the new baby and weren’t sure what to do. I told her to hang in there and offered to help where I could. Two months later she calls with the news she’s pregnant. How did this solve $$$ trouble #1?

Some people just don’t think-they have sex and boink, there’s a baby. You may think I’m a control freak, but if you plan for your retirement, why not a child? After talking with a number of people, I’ve found that a lot of people just don’t approach having children in that way, they just “happen”. This is a very slippery slope with financial and emotional implications.

I won’t comment on religion and it’s role in child bearing. However, if a family is struggling, then perhaps they should get their lives in order before subjecting an innocent child to a life of poverty. I understand that accidents can happen and that people must make adjustments. However, when you have your own soccer team and still can’t feed and clothe them properly, you have a problem.

Children need more than the basics. They should be given the opportunity to pursue sports, arts, boy/girl scouts-anything that will help create a solid foundation. I think it’s selfish when people “just do it”. They don’t have a plan and the children suffer.

Everyday there is another horrific story in the headlines:
-200 lb toddler
-12 yr old murderer
-14 yr old pregnant child
-8 yr old overdoses on drugs

These headlines could be decreased if people became responsible. For those that want children, I’m sure they bring them joy. However, there are plenty of children born to homes where the parents didn’t plan for it and have no intention of providing for them. Our cities are filled with children in “the system” who have been cast aside much like an old pair of jeans.

It’s unfair that there are so many children that fit this mold.

My mother was a cop and worked the graveyard shift so my brother and I had an adult to supervise us when we came home from school. My mother wasn’t rolling in dough and it wasn’t easy, but she made the effort because it was important for her that we have HER in our lives.

Despite our parents working full-time, they still did the boy/girl scout thing, piano and art lessons, etc. We weren’t rich, but our parents worked OT to make sure we had a chance to try different things.

I worked in the inner city as a teacher early in my career and saw a lot of messed up kids: born addicted to crack, abandoned, gang activity, etc.

If people simply think first and try to help their kids, then there would be less trouble for them.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

A lot of guys I work with are down on marriage. When they heard I was finally getting married they said “whatever you do, just don’t have kids.” I wouldn’t go that far, but I agree with you Tek. Kids need a lot of attention and effort.

Personally, I don’t have children because it’s just not for me. Nothing pisses me off more, though, when I see some white trash broad walking into a 7-11 with a couple of kids who are poorly dressed and dirty, while she’s stocking up on beer and cigs. It’s sad that some people put more effort into restoring a classic car than raising their kid (my uncle). Doesn’t spend anytime with his son but is always out there waxing his damned car. Pretty soon, the kid will be ready for college - something his dad never put away for. He’s got a bunch of classic cars and no college fund.

Prime example of what you were talking about. The dad is even trying to discourage the kid from college, saying how it’s not that important. He’s a real jackass. I give credit to the people that have kids-it’s a tough job, but you’re right, the kid shouldn’t pay the price because the parent is lazy (like my uncle) or unprepared.

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Given that a fucked up person can be more dangerous than 10 nuclear bombs, one might wish that they weren’t produced as freely and in the worst cases almost as carelessly as BM’s. Nature no longer cleans up its mistakes nor rewards those who do what was once right in parenting. The human race is in decline.

[quote]etaco wrote:
“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Given that a fucked up person can be more dangerous than 10 nuclear bombs, one might wish that they weren’t produced as freely and in the worst cases almost as carelessly as BM’s. Nature no longer cleans up its mistakes nor rewards those who do what was once right in parenting. The human race is in decline.[/quote]

Na, that is just the result of subsidizing bad decisions.

Sooner or later we will all run out of money and structures that work will evolve.

I agree with you. I know enlisted guys who are 19 years old with 3 kids about to get a divorce. How the fuck does that happen? At 19 I know I wasn’t ready for even one kid and now these people have three and they are about to have a broken home to grow up in?

I was simply raised to pay more attention to what I threw my dick into. I think a lot of people simply don’t have any significant life goals early on so they don’t even consider the long term consequences of having children at a young age even though they aren’t financially ready for one.

It isn’t much different than guys I’ve known who literally screwed around in college, dropped out, and now can’t find a decent job that pays much more than 30k a year.

I do remember being in high school when they made us do a five year plan. I think many of these problems would clear up if people could have more foresight as far as where they plan to be 5-10 years down the road instead of simply living for instant gratification.

Kids are a life long responsibility. You would think that alone would instigate someone to wear a fucking condom and think of the consequences.

Raising my kids has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I have 2 and there won’t be any more. <snip!> It’s much more demanding and frustrating than I ever could have imagined before having them. Don’t get me wrong, I love them fiercely and we have a lot of fun, but it’s hard work, too, and that’s with a fairly comfortable situation. Having to do this while just scraping by (or not) would be a disaster.

I agree with Tek on this one, taking care of children today is a very strenuous job, especially financially. Obviously taking care of kids has always been emotionally taxing, but the expense of children has skyrocketed. This is partly due to having more shit out there to buy and partly due to having more to pay for, such as college, activities, etc. for kids to do.

Not that a child has to have any of that stuff, but in the US as well as other places you are putting them at a disadvantage if you can’t provide some of those things.

It is a fucked up situation that no one seems to pay a lot of attention to. Cost of living is ridiculous even if you cut out most of the extras.

When my mother first introduced this concept to me years ago (a license to procreate), I thought she was being a fascist, but now I completely agree with her. The facts are that when screwy people have kids, the kids are most likely going to be screwy as well. It’s a vicious cycle that we pay for in the form of welfare and high insurance.

To adopt my daughter, we had to go through 2 years of thorough investigation (FBI, local sheriff, agency investigations,…) and it was expensive as well. They need to put a little more of that scrutiny into the baby making derby.

Having kids is the greatest, btw. Those folks who say ‘Don’t have kids!’ are missing out. Ever watch your daughter do cartwheels and handstands in gymnastics class? Ever watch your son open a hole in the line so a running back can score a TD? Watch another son score a game-winning basket?

Y’all can have the trips to Paris or the newest car. I’ll have my kids. :slight_smile:

[quote]xalfred wrote:
It’s sad that some people put more effort into restoring a classic car than raising their kid (my uncle). Doesn’t spend anytime with his son but is always out there waxing his damned car. Pretty soon, the kid will be ready for college - something his dad never put away for. He’s got a bunch of classic cars and no college fund.

Prime example of what you were talking about. The dad is even trying to discourage the kid from college, saying how it’s not that important. He’s a real jackass. I give credit to the people that have kids-it’s a tough job, but you’re right, the kid shouldn’t pay the price because the parent is lazy (like my uncle) or unprepared.[/quote]

Lazy? Nah, those cars get a lot of attention, because that’s what he’s into. I think the word you’re looking for is selfish. Too many adult teenagers running amuck.

While the right to have kids is currently seen as a fundamental right, the Supreme Court has not always thought so. In Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927), Justice Oliver Wendel Holmes wrote, "We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. "

The Court legitimized the State of Virginia’s mandatory sterilization procedures.

[i]“Been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding. The cretins cloning and feeding, and I don’t even own a TV.”[/i]

Someone brought up that Harvey Danger song in another recent thread. It’s one of the things I really worry about these days. It’s painfully apparent to me that the smart people are holding off on having kids, while everyone in the shallow end of the gene pool is breeding like rabbits.

It’s like reverse evolution. This is definitely not good.

Out of curiosity, when you meet a guy like that and he tells you about his situation, do you ever say, out loud, “How the fuck does that happen??!”

I think I would.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I agree with you. I know enlisted guys who are 19 years old with 3 kids about to get a divorce. How the fuck does that happen? At 19 I know I wasn’t ready for even one kid and now these people have three and they are about to have a broken home to grow up in?

I was simply raised to pay more attention to what I threw my dick into. I think a lot of people simply don’t have any significant life goals early on so they don’t even consider the long term consequences of having children at a young age even though they aren’t financially ready for one.

It isn’t much different than guys I’ve known who literally screwed around in college, dropped out, and now can’t find a decent job that pays much more than 30k a year.

I do remember being in high school when they made us do a five year plan. I think many of these problems would clear up if people could have more foresight as far as where they plan to be 5-10 years down the road instead of simply living for instant gratification.

Kids are a life long responsibility. You would think that alone would instigate someone to wear a fucking condom and think of the consequences.[/quote]

[quote]Tithonus81 wrote:
[i]“Been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding. The cretins cloning and feeding, and I don’t even own a TV.”[/i]

Someone brought up that Harvey Danger song in another recent thread. It’s one of the things I really worry about these days. It’s painfully apparent to me that the smart people are holding off on having kids, while everyone in the shallow end of the gene pool is breeding like rabbits.

It’s like reverse evolution. This is definitely not good.[/quote]

There’s a Luke Wilson movie, Idiocracy, about a society so incredibly dumbed-down. The movie itself, isn’t worth the rental fee, but it plays with the “reverse evolution” that you mention.

[quote]Supraman wrote:
xalfred wrote:
It’s sad that some people put more effort into restoring a classic car than raising their kid (my uncle). Doesn’t spend anytime with his son but is always out there waxing his damned car. Pretty soon, the kid will be ready for college - something his dad never put away for. He’s got a bunch of classic cars and no college fund.

Prime example of what you were talking about. The dad is even trying to discourage the kid from college, saying how it’s not that important. He’s a real jackass. I give credit to the people that have kids-it’s a tough job, but you’re right, the kid shouldn’t pay the price because the parent is lazy (like my uncle) or unprepared.

Lazy? Nah, those cars get a lot of attention, because that’s what he’s into. I think the word you’re looking for is selfish. Too many adult teenagers running amuck.[/quote]

You’re right, selfish is a much better word to describe it. It’s just pisses me off since he won’t buy the kid new sneakers (he’s 12 and outgrowing them) but he doesn’t hesitate to show off the new parts he bought for his “baby”.

[quote]Damici wrote:
Out of curiosity, when you meet a guy like that and he tells you about his situation, do you ever say, out loud, “How the fuck does that happen??!”

I think I would.

[/quote]

I am usually too upset by people that age telling me about their child support payments to be able to make comments like that. I can’t say I envy that at all.