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Do you think it's possible to try to sway someone's opinion and influence them to make the choice to be childfree?

By Kojaksmom8
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11 comments

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I've dealt with this situation more times than I can count as people have tried to persuade me into having children. They see having children as something everyone wants without considering that there are plenty of people who simply don't want children. None of their reasons have ever swayed me and I know better than to try and do the same to them. If someone wants to have children, let them. I wouldn't want to be the reason they didn't have them, but turn resentful of the fact that they choose to be with me or decided against living their lives as they wanted. It's truly a waste of time.

Powers3216 Level 5 Aug 13, 2018
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I usually respond jokingly with. "If you want to know why marriage isn't all sunshine and roses talk to married folks, if you want to see the same for kids; talk to parents."

BeardedWonder Level 6 July 31, 2018
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Doubtful. A lot of people have to figure out some things out for themselves.

Have a list of talking points and facts to back up your rational argument that will probably be ignored anyway. Such as:

1.) Children are insanely expensive. I think it was estimated that one child will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars before they hit 18. This is before college and weddings. It's "$600/week for a daycare in Baltimore where your child won't get beaten up.."

2.) Your whole life changes. I have seen parents try to raise babies as alcoholics. Spoiler It doesn't work out well. If you are not an adult yourself, eventually the Emergency Clinic will start to wonder why your child fell off of a car and hurt itself.

3.) There are no guarantees that your child won't be mentally impaired, diseased or be Charles Manson

4.) Addendum to 4, there is no guarantee that even if your offspring is semi-functional, they will be there in your dying years. Some just pursue their own lives and won't be there for you in the end.

UrsiMajor Level 8 July 31, 2018
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It might be possible if you want to put in all that time.

freedom41 Level 8 July 30, 2018
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Reverse bingo!

Max_d_cat Level 7 July 27, 2018
1

Good question; I never thought about it. I don't think I'd want to expel the energy into trying to change someone's mind about having kids. To me it would be like trying to change someone's mind about religion -- futile.

ArgosFriend Level 7 July 20, 2018
1

It depends on how steadfast they are in their conviction to have children.
Some learn best by example, how are they with a pet? What if their child was born with an ailment? Or cries all day, and night? Are they patient enough? Great word used in some of the responses in this thread, "romanticized"

My buddy, who lives upstairs from me has a kid with his wife and they all live with her in-laws. He boasts how amazing it is to have a kid (wife is pregnant with their 2nd). Yea, if he didn't have his wife who stays at home, the retired in-laws to help take care of their child, he'd be singing a different tune. He was giving my newly married best friend advice to have kids cuz "it's "magical bro, magical" Nice, sounds reasonable. <NOT!>
It's very easy to give out that type of advice, because the one giving it won't ever suffer from the consequence of regret the advised person might have.

MacStriker Level 6 July 20, 2018
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No. Once people get children or the idea of children and family into their heads, no logical argument can sway them. They are operating off of emotions at that point. :/

I would still try to reason with a woman if a pregnancy could kill her and leave her other kid(s) motherless or if a woman was in an abusive household though to reconsider.

4

I don't know if it counts as swaying folks, but you can definitely make it more 'normal' to choose not to have kids. It really feels like most folks think that childbearing is a universal goal, and I like to think that those of us who choose not to stand up in evidence of that not needing to be a necessity.

synergy Level 6 July 19, 2018
2

yes. I think a lot of why people decide to have kids is because a) it's brainwashed as inevitable or the only option. Making them really understand and appreciate that they can choose differently might make them make different choices. b) it's romanticized. A lot of parents realize it was a really shit decision that now they can't take back. Unfortunately they tend to not say anything until they've talked their friend/family into having kids, and then they'll actually acknowledge it to them, and in general it's socially taboo to say anything along the lines of "I regret having kids".

So yeah, a lot of it's educating about the realities, usually of the consequences to the parents, but I think it's also very important to make people understand the consequences to the child (although this may make them choose to adopt, rather than be childfree altogether, which personally I'm fine with)

Aerihk Level 5 July 19, 2018
1

why would you want to do that

weeman Level 7 July 19, 2018

Well it's not wanting to do that, but many people feel pressured into having children when they really don't want to.

@Kojaksmom ah fair enough

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