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Science: Kids make parents depressed and have harmful effects on marriage
April 9, 2009
10:03 am
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First we saw this:

Kids are Depressing, Study of Parents Finds | LiveScience

And now I saw this in the morning:

Kids Curb Marital Satisfaction | LiveScience

So once again, I have no idea why people have kids. I'm not saying no one should. Someone has to have kids. Its just something that:

  1. Only those with sufficient emotional health and leadership skills should be allowed to do it.
  2. They should be paid to do it.

Thats all. It makes perfect sense. We live in a dumb stupid world.

April 9, 2009
12:14 pm
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fantas
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Maybe people need to change their perspectives about kids, after all, It isn't like the kids chose to impose on them. I wonder if these are the same people who also get depressed and loose their self-worth when they can't conceive. Communities have raised children for gazillion years and with little assistance and technology than today's parents, so I really don't get it. I mean most people have only 2-3 children and they are depressed? My grandma had 13. Now that's depressing!

I'm not sure those studies are credible because marriages seem to crash on their own and there are many depressed childless people. So they should stop blaming the kids.

I think it's a state of spiritual depravity, that causing all the depression and discontentment. Self-reliance and extreme individuality can be lonely, me thinks. The answer then is a spiritual one. Stop looking for kids and others to make you happy? Kids were never meant to be for their parents' entertainment and emotional management.

April 9, 2009
2:25 pm
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The studies are credible and scientific and they make sense. You cant dismiss them that easily and you can say all you like but thats what the studies found out and it makes sense: There's no doubt that kids take a toll on the parents emotionally and financially. You dont think they do?

>> Communities have raised children for gazillion years and with little assistance and technology than today's parents, so I really don't get it.

Its just the way society has been. Muslims have existed for 100's of years too. Not everything that people have been doing since a long time is correct. And yes people have been having kids, but what effect do they have on parents? No one could say for sure before this study came.

Kids are a burden.

April 9, 2009
4:38 pm
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It's not that having kids makes you depressed and harms a marriage.

Our society is very hard on parents. Much harder than it used to be. It's a rough time to be a parent.

April 9, 2009
4:46 pm
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It isn't the kids, it is the adults who decide to have kids then wish they didn't...how can one blame a child? Having children is a huge responsibility, and maybe people who decide to have them would fare better if they went to parenting classes beforehand. I always wished that a manual would have popped out at the same time. But it is all about attitude...and commitment, and seeing matters through. Some parents give up to easily because their lives are more important and then the school district begins to raise the child, and on and on and on..... Parents, are responsible for their own children.

April 9, 2009
5:10 pm
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Ok. Lets take this step by step.

Do we all agree first that kids are emotionally and financially demanding?

April 9, 2009
7:01 pm
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g_g,

You said: "We live in a dumb, stupid world."

Well, I don't know if I would go so far as to say that.....what I will say is that it is not a perfect world.

I believe that what needs to be considered here is ALL children in ALL parts of the world, not just the modern, industrialized nations.

Other cultures and tribes across the globe might have a different perspective.......

Personally, one of the things that I am most proud of in this lifetime has been that I never had children.

Just didn't have the necessary, ADEQUATE skills, basically and I didn't want to pass on ignorance to yet ANOTHER generation.

But I think some really good points have been brought up here by others worthy of consideration.

No, it's not a perfect world and ignorance is not bliss.

April 9, 2009
11:06 pm
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tbT

>> Just didn't have the necessary, ADEQUATE skills, basically and I didn't want to pass on ignorance to yet ANOTHER generation.

I'm glad you even realized that. So many others live blindly without ever thinking about what skills they'll need. Yea its not a perfect world.

April 9, 2009
11:30 pm
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g_g,

I had no choice.,really.

Just THINKING about having children would have been like trying to DO SOMETHING with a handful of quivering jello in my hands or something.....I had no clue!

It would have been like, for me - someone just coming up to me out of the blue and saying.....all of a sudden - 'speak russian to me now!!!!"

I would have been at a loss.

Drawing a complete blank.

Not even knowing where in the world to start.....

....yeah - just THAT clueless!!!!!

Hell, at times I even neglect my cats from time to time - so just HOW was that supposed to fit in with an actual human being?????

I guess, in a way, it is good that I recognized my limitations early on.

I can't imagine the screwed up life an offspring of mine would have to endure simply out of my own ignorance and inadequacy!!!!!

When you know better - you do better.

When you just don't honestly know any better - best to not multiply~!!!!!

My honest to goodness sense is that I saved some poor soul a life of absolute torment and confusion by simply choosing not to procreate.

The one thing in this life that I am truly proud of............ 🙂

April 9, 2009
11:55 pm
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I'm not surprised by the results of these studies.

Soofoo, I think you said it best: "It's a rough time to be a parent."

Guest, as you said, kids are DEFINITELY emotionally and financially demanding.

I certainly wouldn't want to live in a country where people had to be thoroughly vetted or whatnot in order to have them, but I wish that there were more of a message getting out there to people that they're just as valid if they do not become parents. I think a lot of people have kids because they believe it's what they're supposed to do.

I chose not to have children. Now I'm almost 37 and have someone wonderful in my life -- a 42-year-old man who is also childless. We're hoping to get engaged, live together, and then get married down the line -- in that order -- but we've pretty much ruled kids out. We feel that's what's right for us -- but we both feel kinda marginalized in society.

Just today, I was having a chat with a guy at work who knows me pretty well and he made a reference to my "handing something down to grandchildren." People just ASSUME you're going to have kids eventually, unless you're some high-powered career woman or jet-setter or whatnot. If childlessness was seen as a more "OK" option, perhaps parenthood, or not, would be more of a conscious and thought-out choice. I think that would make everyone happier -- including the children.

April 10, 2009
5:04 am
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We'll, unless you have some awfully naughty kids, I think that the joy that they can bring offsets the stressful stuff so, it all kind of balances itself out in the end.

April 10, 2009
9:42 am
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hi TbT

Just THINKING about having children would have been like trying to DO SOMETHING with a handful of quivering jello in my hands or something.....I had no clue!

Nice way to put it. Yes I feel the same. If I imagine myself having a little 4 year old son: How will I handle him? I have no clue. How can I gently 'herd' him into being a nice human being without killing or harming his self-esteem? I may be able to do it, but it will require a lot of intervention on my side. Why should I do that? What am I going to gain by doing all that work? A kid that smokes cigarettes or in the best case, someone that grows up to be an adult and has their own kids. Anddd.. what good is that going to do for ME?
Science says otherwise: I'll loose my peace of mind to some significant degree and I agree. I definitely will. It makes sense. I and you and SpecialK can see it. We're a handful of people who can and yes, sometimes I'm proud of it too. Thanks infact for saying that. I think I can feel better about myself in this regard now. Its nice to find like minded people, ah yes. Sometimes I forget that.

Hell, at times I even neglect my cats from time to time - so just HOW was that supposed to fit in with an actual human being????? When you just don't honestly know any better - best to not multiply~!!!!!

Exactly, so true. I have thought the same thing: one should be able to care for an animal and respect and love it in a stable long-term manner before they try to create a human being.

hi SpecialK

Guest, as you said, kids are DEFINITELY emotionally and financially demanding.

Thank you for agreeing. We're a small percentage of people who can see that. The large percentage of humanity currently thinks its a great thing to have kids as shown by many of the posters above who disagreed with me including fantas, soofoo and OMW. So most people dont believe in this statement even though its commonsense: yes they are a burden. Science and commonsense proves it.

but I wish that there were more of a message getting out there to people that they're just as valid if they do not become parents. I think a lot of people have kids because they believe it's what they're supposed to do.

Agree. I think its downright sad and pathetic that most people live their lives in this dumb robotic "must do it because society does it" way.

Now I'm almost 37 and have someone wonderful in my life -- a 42-year-old man who is also childless. We're hoping to get engaged, live together, and then get married down the line -- in that order -- but we've pretty much ruled kids out. We feel that's what's right for us -- but we both feel kinda marginalized in society.

Consider yourself one of the few enlightened people on this planet! I'm happy for you. Thats awesome! You made a great choice. You now have more time for yourself and for each other.

perhaps parenthood, or not, would be more of a conscious and thought-out choice.

Totally agree. In the future I believe in fact the law will be involved. People need a license to build a house and repair plumbing so and surely, parenting needs more skills than plumbing and building a house. Yet people ranging from drug addicts to anyone on the "not enough emotionally healthy" scale are allowed to have kids, without any permission or approval. Once I said this to a girl somewhere and she got offended. One can be emotionally healthy and not want to have kids like, so yea - like you said, it should be a well thought-out choice. It would be nice if people stopped being robots and started making their own choices.

hi Craig

We'll, unless you have some awfully naughty kids, I think that the joy that they can bring offsets the stressful stuff so, it all kind of balances itself out in the end.

The first link dealt with this, but the benefits of having kids (if any) only exists with younger kids:

Other research has shown there's a bright side to raising kids, too. One study of people with younger children found the parents have greater social networks and higher levels of self-confidence than non-parents.

"Young children in some ways are emotionally easier," Simon said. "Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems."

Overall, the study found that kids were harmful for emotional health.

April 10, 2009
10:02 am
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I agree that finanically having kids is expensive, and unless parents are really willing, able, and wanting to provide properly for their children they may want to think twice about the financial side of raising children.

I couldn't imagine my life without my children, and I'm happy my husband and I had all five of them. I've seen great wonderful parents and I've seen some that probably should have never had children, as far as causing a person to become depressed, I'd say that they were most likely depressed before children or at least on their way to depression.

Some people have kids just to save their marriage or relationship, now to me that is stupid and very well could cause a depression... but I wouldn't say the children are the cause of that kind of depression.

Is it emotionally draining to have children, I'd say no. In my opinion, and for me it wasn't and isn't. Yes, there can be times when you feel emotionally drained here or there, like when a child gets sick and your concerned for them, but otherwise, all and all for me and my husband we have enjoyed are children more then we can say. We still do a lot with our children whom are all adults now, and we are a close family unit.

I'd have to say now days that having and raising children is really difficult with the economy in the shape it is in, but I'd say it isn't the kids that make the parents depressed, and cause the harmful effects on marriage, it would be more the circumstances in which they live, where they live, and how they live their life.

Having kids can cause the PPD, that is a proven fact afterwards in many women, but with help they can get better as well. So again that would be the women's hormones causing the depression not the kids themselves.

April 11, 2009
9:48 am
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Any relationship a person takes on beyond themselves is demanding. Friendships, children, pets, family, work associates etc.

It depends on a persons heart. It's about giving and sharing. If you're healthy enough "upstairs" then these exchanges are truly that: reciprocal and satisfying despite the occasional pitfalls.

Unfortunately the last 50-60 years has seen an increase in self serving elements: materialism, individuation ( some say womens lib has fractured the family and causes stress on relationships because child rearing is a full time job, and having both parents working takes from the family unit) People have shifted from a sharing mentality ( working together to acquire because credit wasn't so readily available) to go9ing it alone due to banks easing up lending, and credit cards. It's easier to be "Me" alone.

Even kids are a target to the marketing machine like never before! It's consumerism that is depressing. It robs of personal connectivity and love.

I think it's a trap. Yet another addiction added to the list of others: drugs, alcohol, gambling. Now people are addicted to shopping albeit by credit.

This mentality about children being a burden , creating unhappiness is yet another attempt at fracturing the very elements that bring an ADULT pure joy and satisfaction.

To raise children is a service. Since when is service not worthy? An adult who hasn't become totally dissociated would feel a bond and joyful connection with offspring( a human life that starts out helpless)

Some decide to not have kids for many reasons. If it is due to lacking the proper tools then that's responsible. But even if an "accident" happens a mentally healthy adult would step up and fill the role as parent. If we raise our kids properly ( not spoil them with materialism, but teach them how to respect themselves and others, be loving and responsible) then whats so depressing about it?

I had hard times raising my son, but for the most part it is satisfying. He's a pretty respectable, responsible teen, soon to be an adult.

It's a hellofalot better than being surrounded by "toys" ( where my income would of gone if it weren't for him)

Besides I'm a women. My biology screams to reproduce. Easy for a man to say "I don't want kids".

What are women to do? Get sterilized before puberty so we don't' have this drive? How many men will opt for sterilization?

There's so many things wrong with the source of this thread.That article, the "scientists", I think are part of the "Big Brother" task force poisoning peoples minds and hearts. Does anyone ever think about the source, and reason for this type of info? It's BS to the 120th degree! Another mind seed to drive down the birth-rate? Besides it takes 18 years plus before these little bloodsuckers start paying taxes right? Less Kids, less beings "taking" from the system.

"Curbs Marital Satisfaction"? and just what is that? SEX? less sex? LOL too much emphasis on sex. Couple focused intimacy. It's frequency, it's performance level. Again eluding to the fact "sex" is an act within itself, purely for pleasure. Having kids gets in the way? Maybe childrearing gets in the way of the Porn driven industry that likes men to be stuck in one dimension. Women purley for sexual pleasure.

As for PDD. Maybe that is due to how women are conditioned, and that our lifestyles don't supply the same type of support systems for women as they did in the past? When I had my son PDD lasted a week. It was a normal physical/mental adjustment. I was exhausted but after that I started to go out, and get active again. I had a support system and didn't feel isolated.

When i was pregnant I walked every day to and from work. One mile there and back. I Lifted and moved: exercised. Now there's special parking spots for expectant mothers. Women are being sold on this idea they shouldn't "strain" themselves. Become sedentary during pregnancy. It makes you weak and unable to cope during delivery and afterwards.

I had a 6 hour labour. Because i kept in shape and due to my build. I refused a cesarian ( hospitals almost force that procedure on women because they want women to adhere to their "schedule")..I used a Midwife.

How many women here, who have given birth, felt as though they were treated like they had an "illness" through the pregnancy and during delivery? Don't do that hunny! You're pregnant! May as well tell a women she is a cripple!

No wonder women get depressed!

Discerning minds see through it, but those who don't? They're being robbed!

Kids aren't depressing. It's this adult world we create, feed and perpetuate that conditions kids to become to so-called monsters they're described to be, and us buying into it.

I'm not saying everyone should have kids. But this blanket statement, the article is like a damn doomsday report. I reject that and the motives behind it.

April 11, 2009
8:06 pm
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MsG,

Nice read. A lot of good points & I couldn't agree more. You clever girl you.

g_g,

I still have a great relationship with both of my boys. I am proud of how they've turned out. No regrets for ever having them & wouldn't trade that for the world. Sure, it's not for everyone but, as for me it's been quite a fulfilling experience really. I think adults are considerably more emotionally taxing than your average kid is. Maybe that would've made for a better thread; "Dysfunctional adult family members perpetuate depression".
Now there's something that you might really sink your teeth into.

April 12, 2009
12:06 am
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I dunno guest..how would we determine who gets to breed and who doesn't? Aren't we endowed with certain inalienable rights? It certainly goes without saying that parenthood shouldn't be entered into lightly.

given the speculation of: "Scientists speculate that the problem is partly a modern one, because parents don't get as much help at home as they did in previous generations. "

couldn't we then consider that extended parenting or a more shared parenting might meet with less depression?

And additionally, having parents meet a laundry list of prerequisites is by no means a guarantee that some of those parents might not also experience depression when their kids screw up.

April 12, 2009
11:54 am
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you could also do a study that sex is bad for people. it results in babies. for some people it is addicting. for some it leads to violence, guilt etc etc.

it depends on the people in the study and the questions they ask.

did I bring my mothe pain and anguish? when I call her and tell her I love her do I bring her happiness. yes.

April 12, 2009
12:03 pm
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My daughter is the most wonderful gift I've ever received. Her dad and I conceived her in love and marvel at her every day. Raising her with love and acceptance has given us the chance to heal some of our own childhood wounds. She deserves the very best of us, and we strive to give it.

Mary

April 12, 2009
12:28 pm
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exactly, I do not have children of my own, my mom explained to me that children are the cause of the greatest unhappiness you can have in life and the greatest unhappiness.. I don't think science can put a label on a group of people like "kids" and say that having them in your life is bad for you.

there are two many factors involved.
All I have to do is to tell my mom that I played the piano at a church baptism and she is thrilled and happy and proud. when she knows I am greiving she is sad. that is just part of loving someone.

April 12, 2009
6:49 pm
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Great arguments! I'm a gonna come back to this soon.

April 13, 2009
9:45 am
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MsGuiided,

I just want to chime in here and say that I thought you brought up some excellent points with regard to current materialism and individuation of modern tmes.

SPOT ON!!!!!!!

Consumerism IS a trap and advertising is getting very, very emotionally sophisticated!

April 14, 2009
5:43 pm
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msguided. thanks for stating your thoughts so well and clearly.

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