Post # 1
My SO and I have always agreed that we would like to have a child, if possible…and we’ve also discussed that we would be all right if it doesn’t happen (I’m 37 and recognize the risks at this age), but we agreed we would try to have one. This past weekend, we went away to a cabin on a private lake with two of his colleagues and their families. There were four kids, ages 6, 8, 9, 12, and they were not the best behaved. I chalked it up to the kids being overly excited with all the fun things to do…and also some lack of discipline by the parents. On the way home, I asked my SO whether the weekend made him more or less eager to have children of our own. He said less because it didn’t seem like his colleagues enjoyed their kids much (I agreed). Since then he commented to another colleage (who was not on the trip) that after that weekend he never wanted to have kids. He may have been partially joking, and clearly I plan to discuss this important topic with him more.
In the past, when I have observed bratty kids, my mother always says “it’s different when you have your own kids!” My question is – have you or your SO ever changed your feelings about having kids after spending time around mis-behaved kids?
Post # 3
My DH’s best friend has 4 kids and the parents have chosen to never discipline their children, ever. The kids bite, scratch, scream, yell, whine, pinch, and hit. I think for a while there, my Darling Husband actually thought that’s just how children are (we don’t have our own and there are no nieces or nephews yet, plus we’re both the youngest in our families).
UNTIL, that is, we spent some time with a friend of mine and her wonderfully behaved children. He got to see the effort and care my friend and her husband take to help their children become polite and kind people and it really changed his thinking on things.
Maybe if you could hang around with some more “on the ball” parents in a more normal and relaxed setting (not at a cottage where there are fun things everywhere and kids are bound to get excited)? Good luck!
Post # 4
I wouldn’t worry about this one bit in the grand scheme of things. After all, how many people have woken up with a brutal hangover and SWORE they would never drink again?
Post # 5
@Juliepants: I think your DH’s friend needs to watch the episode of Moder Family where they decide they’re not going to tell Lily no, and she goes around the house flipping switches on and off non-stop. Cam gets his hand stuck in sink and panics because he thinks she’s getting closer and closer to the disposal switch. Moral of the story = kids need to be told no sometimes.
My philosophy on kids is that they are what you make of them. If you teach your kids they can disrespect you and your rules with no consequences, then that’s what they’re going to do. But if you both positively and negatively enforce the behaviors you want, you’re a whole lot more likely to enjoy your kids and being a family. Besides, you’re not doing your kids any favors by letting them go wild – think not listening and doing whatever they want will fly in school or in a job?
Post # 6
EVERY time I see a bratty child screaming and crying while their parent sits back and enforces almost zero discipline because to them saying their child’s full name over and over again is enough….yeah, makes my ovaries shrivel up. That being said, I still want kids. Cause I know they’re the exception and I have our own family to look at. We were pretty great kids growing up. So much so that strangers would compliment my parents on how well-behaved we were. So, I know good kids exist. I’m sure he’s probably feeling the same thing. He just witnessed some kinda-crappy kids so that was the last image of children he had in his head before you asked if he wanted some. I would have said less as well. 🙂 But I’d still want some.
Post # 7
@GirlNextDoor: I try to remember that if they’re your kids, it’s up to you to discipline them.
For every bratty kid I encounter, I encounter at least one adorable one.
People may disagree w. me, but at this point I’d be happy with one kid. I don’t think it’s cruel. Partly so we can devote more time to just one kid, and partly for my own sanity. My sister and I raised merry hell when we were kids. I am just not sure I want to deal w. all that.
If you have one kid.. they can get into less trouble. Remember that! lol
Post # 8
Here’s an opinion from someone who has raised a responsible full grown adult.
I always wanted to be a mother. When I got married (the 1st time) 3 years later I was pregnant. From the very moment I found out I was expecting I knew what kind of parent I wanted to be. I wanted to be an attentive, nurturing, teaching, diciplining parent who when people saw my child they wern’t like “Oh great, here comes that little brat Billy”!!!
Fast forward 26 years later… when I see my grown adult son I can honestly say I secretly pat myself on the back for all the hard work I did (yes, I say I because even though I was married I felt like a single parent due to his dad choosing to stay a mama and daddy’s boy). I believe all the attention I paid to his needs, letting him know I’m always there for him and being a true parent not his best friend paid off. He could come to me for anything ask me any question (even sex) without feeling embarassed. I would often tell him how proud I was of him and one day he told me “You know mom, you’re the only one that has ever told me that”. That made feel good.
Bottom line, if you want to be parents you can have any kind of relationship with your children you want. Even though there’s no guarantee I believe if you put in the work you’ll reap the rewards.
Post # 9
@Future MrsB: Lol! We watched half an episode of America’s Super Nanny once and his reactions were priceless. I wish there was a way to nominate families annonymously. I agree with the rest of what you said in your post as well.
@claireos: EVERY time I see a bratty child screaming and crying while their parent sits back and enforces almost zero discipline because to them saying their child’s full name over and over again is enough….
YES, ugh, this make me die inside and fear for our planet.
Post # 10
My nephews are adorable lovely and sweet, but also loud, out of control and unmanageable. I recently called my mom while they were staying with her and just hearing them in the background made me rethink having kids. However, my mom explained that the reason it is different when they are yours is because YOU are the ones setting the rules, expectations, boundaries, schedule and discipline to what works for you. Just because your husbands colleagues don’t enjoy their kids, doesn’t mean you and your SO won’t enjoy yours.
Post # 11
No because we know its not the kids fault, its the poor parenting choices made the so called adults who should be raising them.
Post # 12
Thanks bees – I really appreciate the much-needed perspective on this very important topic. I will no doubt be quoting all of you when I talk with my SO about this matter soon 🙂 I also feel it comes down to parenting (and when you choose to have kids), so I’m breathing a sigh of relief thanks to all of you 🙂
Post # 13
My mom wanted a kid, my dad didn’t. Whenever they’d see a kid acting out, my dad would ask my mom, “how many did you say you wanted?” Well despite that, she won out, because here I am!
We’re not certain on whether we want to have kids, and crazy kids/miserable parents do make me think . . .
Post # 14
Meh, kids are only as “bratty” as you allow them to be imo. My brother and I were raised by military parents. Bratty?? Not here not uh. We were extremely well behaved in public, played at home, and aren’t scarred because of it, and know how to act! It’s called raise your kids, and don’t let them run over you! Now, I still cringe when I hear these bratty children in the grocery store, and momma’s pretend to ignore it, like it’s goi gto go away. Won’t be me
Post # 15
haha all the time. Every time I see a bratty kid in public I waffle back from my “maybe” to NEVER. lol. And we are going to be spending a week with my mother in law at Christmas… where my SIL will be with her 3 week old baby. Realllllly concerned that after that week neither of us are ever going to consider having children again 🙂
Post # 16
My fiance and I have decided to have one baby/child and see how we do. Just like we did with our cats/ then we got a dog. We did great with the kitties, so added a pup. I have told fiance I “think” (stress on word think) I can handle raising 1 baby/child and be a very successful mom. I basically raised my 2 brothers while we grew up and they are both very responsible hard working men today. Finace says, “You’ll be a great mom because you already were to your brothers and your a teacher so you have the patience.” I admit that yes I have patience, but by 3:00 my patience is becoming limited. Might have to be a Stay-At-Home Mom for a year!