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(BBC)   Childlessness linked to early death, though chances are you'll die happy   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 158
    More: Interesting, Journal of Epidemiology, community health  
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4269 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Dec 2012 at 8:24 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-09 10:23:28 AM  

QT_3.14159: SundaesChild: willfullyobscure: the one thing you will miss out on by choosing not to have kids is knowing what true, unconditional love means.

Not if they get a dog.

You feel unconditional love towards your dog?

Weirdo.


Sure I do. Perhaps not the depth of love I feel for my daughter, but when he does his business behind the bathroom door instead of outside because he hates going out in the rain, I just sigh and clean it up instead of driving him to the nearest pound.
 
2012-12-09 10:25:32 AM  

dugitman: blatz514: With the amount of booze I drink, having a kid would just get in the way

Oh no. It actually saves you time by having a bartender(s) around to mix your drinks and fetch beer, wine.


Good point. I was that kid for my dad.
 
2012-12-09 10:25:39 AM  

t3knomanser: QT_3.14159: All the fun and enjoyment of your own kids without the responsibility.

Meh, by that point I'm too old to enjoy it. I remember my grandparents- I hated visiting because they were old and boring and there was nothing to do but watch TV.


I must have lucked out. My grandparents took us fishing and camping. My maternal grandparents had a pool and a pool table. My paternal grandfather taught me to weld and shoot I even helped him rebuild the engine in his 1947 Ford. We never sat around and watched TV.
 
2012-12-09 10:26:33 AM  

the ha ha guy: But if your kid chooses to have no children, will you respect his/her decision? Or will you start with all the same complaints that have turned so many of the childless hostile against breeders?

How would you like it if your parents demanded that you NOT have children? How would you like it if they tried to sabotage your every attempt to live life in the way you choose, just to further their own agenda of making you die childless?

That's exactly what it's like for those who are childless by choice. No matter what we do, some busybody is always there to try to run our lives, to try to force us, sometimes violently, to conform to their way of life, just because we have a different opinion on what to do with the rest of our lives.


I have 4 kids. I'm sure that one of them will likely choose not to have kids and I will be sad with them on days they're sad about it and I'll be happy with them when they're happy about it. (yes, both happen - at least in most women who choose not to have kids).

I figure I'm in for grandkids from at least one of my spawn, though. Surely. *crosses fingers*
 
2012-12-09 10:26:42 AM  
Japan has looming economic issues because the population is reproducing at a decreasing rate. Retirees pay a smaller percentage of taxes and demand a larger cut of entitlements.

When your economy is based on consumption and your nation discourages immigration, what do you think happens when people stop having babies?
 
2012-12-09 10:31:42 AM  

mr pity: Japan has looming economic issues because the population is reproducing at a decreasing rate. Retirees pay a smaller percentage of taxes and demand a larger cut of entitlements.


Not being Japanese I cannot speak with a great deal of depth on this but I understand one of the issues they face which is affecting reproduction is the intense pressure in the job place to stay at work forever. After putting in 14 hour days for 7 days a week who would not be more than a little tired and disinterested in sex?
 
2012-12-09 10:37:12 AM  

SundaesChild: Sure I do. Perhaps not the depth of love I feel for my daughter, but when he does his business behind the bathroom door instead of outside because he hates going out in the rain, I just sigh and clean it up instead of driving him to the nearest pound.


And if he attacked your daughter, all that unconditional love would dry up in an instant. If you had a child that attacked another of your children, it doesn't make the love go away, it leaves you heart broken and tormented because you still feel that "unconditional love" regardless of their behavior. You may be able to summon the courage to do what needs to be done with the aggressor, but it will leave you broken and inconsolable.

Pets are not the same. We like to pretend, and I'm not saying they aren't meaningful and often very dear, but it's not the same.
 
2012-12-09 10:41:14 AM  
I'm doing my kid a favor by not having him. And everyone else. My kid was going to be a jerk.
 
2012-12-09 10:43:37 AM  

QT_3.14159: I figure I'm in for grandkids from at least one of my spawn, though. Surely. *crosses fingers*


And if none choose to have children, what then? Will you continue to respect their decisions, as you claim you would for one, or would you start filling up the bingo card until at least one of them gives in and you get grandkids?
 
2012-12-09 10:45:57 AM  
TFA: Involuntary childlessness may increase the likelihood of early death, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reports.

There's the key. Having some sort of genetic disorder may make one more prone to dying early.
 
2012-12-09 10:46:53 AM  

Glockenspiel Hero: I honestly don't understand the antagonism on these threads. If you don't want kids it's fine- we made a different choice but I won't judge you for yours. We did the infertility shuffle before adopting so i realize all too well that sometimes childlessness is not voluntary.

/was woken up by the two of them having a screaming fight
//anyone want two kids, fair condition,low mileage?


It's human nature. People hate other people who don't look, think, and act exactly like them. In reality, tolerance, acceptance, and empathy are (unfortunately) absurd fantasies that will never come to pass.

Look around you: people hate and ridicule others if they use a different brand of cell phone. Do you honestly think there will ever come a time when everyone locks hands and sings kumbayah?
 
2012-12-09 10:47:08 AM  
Are you sure that people with kids don't just imagine that their lives are dragging on for an eternity?

/headline is a troll
//might as well play along
 
2012-12-09 10:47:14 AM  
We're in our 50s & never had children by choice. I have nothing against kids,but dammit, when we have our annual party & I ask you not to bring anyone under 21, that means your 5 year old too. There's gonna be drunken adults, expensive musical equipment, there's nothing for kids to do here,my house is not child-proof & everything is either sharp or loaded.
Find a babysitter or stay home, I've told people to leave after they said "But I didn't think that applied to my 2,4 & 6 year olds!" Yes it does,see where it says NO ONE UNDER 21 on the invite,in block letters.

really,I lock up the guns during the party
 
2012-12-09 10:47:26 AM  

mr pity: Japan has looming economic issues because the population is reproducing at a decreasing rate. Retirees pay a smaller percentage of taxes and demand a larger cut of entitlements.

When your economy is based on consumption and your nation discourages immigration, what do you think happens when people stop having babies?


An expanding population cannot continue indefinitely. At some point we must decide upon an equilibrium, or war, famine and disease will decide it for us.

//在日
 
2012-12-09 10:47:29 AM  

QT_3.14159: SundaesChild: Sure I do. Perhaps not the depth of love I feel for my daughter, but when he does his business behind the bathroom door instead of outside because he hates going out in the rain, I just sigh and clean it up instead of driving him to the nearest pound.

And if he attacked your daughter, all that unconditional love would dry up in an instant. If you had a child that attacked another of your children, it doesn't make the love go away, it leaves you heart broken and tormented because you still feel that "unconditional love" regardless of their behavior. You may be able to summon the courage to do what needs to be done with the aggressor, but it will leave you broken and inconsolable.

Pets are not the same. We like to pretend, and I'm not saying they aren't meaningful and often very dear, but it's not the same.


Oh, it's absolutely not the same. I just don't feel it's right to shame childless people for not having children. Some of them don't and should not have children for a reason.
 
2012-12-09 10:51:08 AM  

SundaesChild: I just don't feel it's right to shame childless people for not having children. Some of them don't and should not have children for a reason.


On this, we absolutely agree.

the ha ha guy: And if none choose to have children, what then? Will you continue to respect their decisions, as you claim you would for one, or would you start filling up the bingo card until at least one of them gives in and you get grandkids?


I would be very sad. And yes, I'd probably hit on some of the breeder bingo things, but I'd like to think I won't be too pushy about it. I guess we'll see if / when that happens.
 
2012-12-09 10:51:53 AM  
I used to drink a lot. It was for leisure.
Then I had kids.
Now I drink a lot more. It's for survival.
 
2012-12-09 10:55:20 AM  

QT_3.14159: I would be very sad. And yes, I'd probably hit on some of the breeder bingo things, but I'd like to think I won't be too pushy about it. I guess we'll see if / when that happens.


Couldn't you just adopt a kid instead of guilting someone else into having one for you?
 
2012-12-09 11:00:37 AM  
How do you really know that you're happier without kids if you've never had them.

/I do not like them, Sam-I-Am...
 
2012-12-09 11:03:02 AM  

WhippingBoy: How do you really know that you're happier without kids if you've never had them.

/I do not like them, Sam-I-Am...


You could say the same thing about face tattoos. But they're both decisions with far-reaching effects on your personal and professional lives that will have consequences for many years after you choose to have them. So it's not the sort of thing you just test-drive to figure out if it's the right thing for you.
 
2012-12-09 11:09:57 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: QT_3.14159: I would be very sad. And yes, I'd probably hit on some of the breeder bingo things, but I'd like to think I won't be too pushy about it. I guess we'll see if / when that happens.

Couldn't you just adopt a kid instead of guilting someone else into having one for you?


That kind of misses the point of grand kids. I don't plan On guilting anyone into it. I just look forward to enjoying them.
 
2012-12-09 11:10:50 AM  

WhippingBoy: How do you really know that you're happier without kids if you've never had them.

/I do not like them, Sam-I-Am...


I've tried that same argument regarding certain sexual acts, and it doesn't work there either.

How do you know that cramming lampreys up your butt whilst rubbing Scotch Bonnets into your eyes isn't enjoyable?

//the above is not the act in question
 
2012-12-09 11:15:17 AM  

WhippingBoy: How do you really know that you're happier without kids if you've never had them.


I know someone who spent half his life in the military. He claims that being in the military was the best thing to ever happen to him.

But that doesn't mean I'm going to give up the next eight years of my life just to find out if I would like being in the military just as much as he did.
 
2012-12-09 11:17:06 AM  

Girion47: You have veins bursting in parents' brains right now.
I swear people with kids HATE those of us without kids. It's all snide remarks and "who will take care of you when you're older?"


I was never even aware of this strange persecution complex until I read about it on Fark. But now that I know about it--you are all perfectly justified in hating anyone who has kids. You poor things--maybe you can buy something that will soothe your butthurt. You know, with all the money you've saved by not having kids. And if that's not enough, why, just keep acting like a martyr. Someone is bound to care.
 
2012-12-09 11:18:39 AM  
The world sucks, humans are garbage, why make more trash for our pile of misery?
 
2012-12-09 11:20:10 AM  

cryinoutloud: Girion47: You have veins bursting in parents' brains right now.
I swear people with kids HATE those of us without kids. It's all snide remarks and "who will take care of you when you're older?"

I was never even aware of this strange persecution complex until I read about it on Fark. But now that I know about it--you are all perfectly justified in hating anyone who has kids. You poor things--maybe you can buy something that will soothe your butthurt. You know, with all the money you've saved by not having kids. And if that's not enough, why, just keep acting like a martyr. Someone is bound to care.


You haven't met my mother-in-law. My mom while severely disappointed at least respects our decision, my MIL seems intent on destroying the marriage so her daughter can find someone else that might convince her to have kids. What's sick is she's using her 92 yr. old mother being in a nursing home to try and scare my wife into having children.
 
2012-12-09 11:20:15 AM  
You younger guys need to be careful. I know a few couples that got married and vociferously declared they were never having kids. All was fine for a number of years, until the wives approached or hit age 40. Things changed very quickly... (one of the couples is still together, the other two have since split up, after 15 and 9 years of marriage).
 
2012-12-09 11:29:05 AM  

QT_3.14159: That kind of misses the point of grand kids. I don't plan On guilting anyone into it. I just look forward to enjoying them.


QT_3.14159: And yes, I'd probably hit on some of the breeder bingo things, but I'd like to think I won't be too pushy about it. I guess we'll see if / when that happens.


You're aware that everything on there is a guilt-trip, right? Why not just take responsibility for your own desires? If you want occasional contact with kids without raising them, wouldn't joining a mentorship program be more responsible than nagging your kids to enter into a life-long commitment to children involving an investment that you yourself admit you would no longer want to have? I've just never understood this need that people with children have to make other people also have children.
 
2012-12-09 11:29:52 AM  

WhippingBoy: You younger guys need to be careful. I know a few couples that got married and vociferously declared they were never having kids. All was fine for a number of years, until the wives approached or hit age 40. Things changed very quickly... (one of the couples is still together, the other two have since split up, after 15 and 9 years of marriage).



So what? Things change and you cross those bridges then.  'Let's have kids so we stay together in ten years' seems like a bad reason to have kids.
 
2012-12-09 11:30:35 AM  

WhippingBoy: You younger guys need to be careful. I know a few couples that got married and vociferously declared they were never having kids. All was fine for a number of years, until the wives approached or hit age 40. Things changed very quickly... (one of the couples is still together, the other two have since split up, after 15 and 9 years of marriage).


"You know what will save your relationship? KIDS!"

Great advice.
 
2012-12-09 11:34:37 AM  
My husband and I are childless by choice, and we've been lucky in that nobody has tried minding our business for us -- except one weird friend-of-a-friend I met last summer. She tried the "but if nobody had kids then humanity would die out" argument, and I pointed out you could say the same thing about any choice anybody made -- "You want to be a doctor? But if everybody wanted to be a doctor, we'd all starve to death because there would be nobody to raise our food!" "You want to be a farmer? But if everybody wanted to be a farmer, we'd all die of easily treatable diseases because there would be no doctors!"

She was not amused.
 
2012-12-09 11:35:10 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: QT_3.14159: That kind of misses the point of grand kids. I don't plan On guilting anyone into it. I just look forward to enjoying them.

QT_3.14159: And yes, I'd probably hit on some of the breeder bingo things, but I'd like to think I won't be too pushy about it. I guess we'll see if / when that happens.

You're aware that everything on there is a guilt-trip, right? Why not just take responsibility for your own desires? If you want occasional contact with kids without raising them, wouldn't joining a mentorship program be more responsible than nagging your kids to enter into a life-long commitment to children involving an investment that you yourself admit you would no longer want to have? I've just never understood this need that people with children have to make other people also have children.


I suppose that would depend on how open-minded her son-in-law is...

/I'm my own grampa...
 
2012-12-09 11:37:07 AM  

WhippingBoy: I used to drink a lot. It was for leisure.
Then I had kids.
Now I drink a lot more. It's for survival.


Me too, brudda, me too.


I love these threads!

/ 3rd one arrives via stork on 1 Feb.
 
2012-12-09 11:37:55 AM  

Goddess of Atheism: She tried the "but if nobody had kids then humanity would die out" argument


I would have just agreed with her and left her to realize she hadn't said anything relevant.
 
2012-12-09 11:38:52 AM  

cryinoutloud: I was never even aware of this strange persecution complex until I read about it on Fark. But now that I know about it--you are all perfectly justified in hating anyone who has kids.


People who have kids are fine, people who insist that others must do the same are not.

When you go to a family gathering, just to have all your "relatives" tell you that you're "godless", " diseased", "satanic", and various other insults, just because you don't have a wife and kids, you might understand what we're talking about.

In the last two years, I have never stayed at a family gathering long enough to finish the meal. Invariably, one relative will always pipe up "so why don't you have kids yet", then the shiatstorm starts, and only ends when I leave.

/I only went this year because that relative had died, but another one seems to have taken her place.
//Next year, I'm just going to send a card.
 
2012-12-09 11:38:57 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: QT_3.14159: That kind of misses the point of grand kids. I don't plan On guilting anyone into it. I just look forward to enjoying them.

QT_3.14159: And yes, I'd probably hit on some of the breeder bingo things, but I'd like to think I won't be too pushy about it. I guess we'll see if / when that happens.

You're aware that everything on there is a guilt-trip, right? Why not just take responsibility for your own desires? If you want occasional contact with kids without raising them, wouldn't joining a mentorship program be more responsible than nagging your kids to enter into a life-long commitment to children involving an investment that you yourself admit you would no longer want to have? I've just never understood this need that people with children have to make other people also have children.


So when you go see a really good movie you don't feel inclined to tell the people around you how great it was?

Imagine that feeling multiplied by a bajillion.

This is why we tell people about how rewarding raising kids can be. Yes, it is hard. But doing the hard things in life are most rewarding because they are hard. I felt the same way when I hiked the grand canyon rim to rim. It was hard, it hurt, it was amazing.

I'm not in the business to guilt anyone, but if I didn't tell my kids just what a powerful and amazing experience being a parent can be, I would be failing them.
 
2012-12-09 11:41:18 AM  
Just turned 40, and no kids in sight. I take a Freakonomics-ish stand on it: recognizing that human behavior is driven by incentives, and for me, the incentive to be a parent just doesn't exist (furthermore, I'm gay). In what I've observed with other people, I just can't get past thinking of children as a liability rather than an asset. I can't perceive them as these little people that eventually grow up and learn to take care of themselves and solve their own problems. Especially when I watch this failing to happen with other people and their own kids. I just see an inferior copy of an inferior copy until they're all reduced to grunting and pointing.

Finally, the world needs fewer people, not more.
 
2012-12-09 11:44:50 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: WhippingBoy: You younger guys need to be careful. I know a few couples that got married and vociferously declared they were never having kids. All was fine for a number of years, until the wives approached or hit age 40. Things changed very quickly... (one of the couples is still together, the other two have since split up, after 15 and 9 years of marriage).

"You know what will save your relationship? KIDS!"

Great advice.


I don't think that was the point of his post. He spoke of the *wives* approaching 40, and then things changing. It seems he was referencing couples who may or may not survive as a couple when one member suddenly decides that reproduction is sooper-important.
 
2012-12-09 11:46:26 AM  
Childless does not equal alone. I will still have my husband, sillies.

And having children does not absolutely guarantee that you won't die alone yourselves.
 
2012-12-09 11:46:42 AM  

aagrajag: An expanding population cannot continue indefinitely. At some point we must decide upon an equilibrium, or war, famine and disease will decide it for us.


No first world nation in the world has an expanding birthrate. Give people birth control, a retirement safety net, and decent jobs in cities and population control takes care of itself.
 
2012-12-09 11:46:50 AM  

QT_3.14159: So when you go see a really good movie you don't feel inclined to tell the people around you how great it was?


So if someone says "I don't like Star Wars", you'll invite them over to your house for a Star Wars marathon? You'll bring up their dislike of Star Wars at every possible gathering? You'll give them Star Wars gifts throughout the year, to guilt them into liking Star Wars?

If you like kids, great, but saying it once is enough. If I say I don't want kids, it might just be that I have more facts about my personal life than you're aware of, and I feel that having a wife and kids isn't compatible with my current situation.
 
2012-12-09 11:50:58 AM  

QT_3.14159: How can you die happy without grandchildren? I get that having kids is hard and expensive... but then you get grandchildren. All the fun and enjoyment of your own kids without the responsibility. Not to mention you get to see your own kids get the payback for all their fits and tantrums.

I'm only 38 and my oldest is only 15, but I'm waaaaay looking forward to grandkids in 10 years.


But I get all the bennies of grandchildren right now, with my nephews...

Seriously. All of the fun and enjoyment, and none of the responsibility. Except I didn't have to raise anybody else in order to get there.
 
2012-12-09 11:51:56 AM  

willfullyobscure: the one thing you will miss out on by choosing not to have kids is knowing what true, unconditional love means.


Untrue, I still have parents of my own.
 
2012-12-09 11:52:17 AM  

QT_3.14159: So when you go see a really good movie you don't feel inclined to tell the people around you how great it was?

Imagine that feeling multiplied by a bajillion.


If I tell someone they should really go see a movie, it is at most costing them a single evening and $10-$20. Not every second and dime they make for the rest of their lives.

I'm not in the business to guilt anyone, but if I didn't tell my kids just what a powerful and amazing experience being a parent can be, I would be failing them.

So tell them. Don't guilt them into that decision because you want the fringe-benefits of grandparenthood.
 
2012-12-09 11:52:47 AM  

Fizics: This does not surprise me at all, there is a childless man who lives down the street from my family that is just insufferable about our children practicing their chosen sport in the public street in front of his house. My daughter has just entered competitive singing and is building her endurance by some light sprints up and down the road while practicing her song registers. I realize the man works at night but this is simply unreasonable, some singing and light wind-sprints should absolutely not bother this man but he insists on complaining to her. This is just a case of the "child-free" thinking their rights supersede everyone else's.


No, this is an example of children who need to play in front of their own home, not the neighbor's.
 
2012-12-09 11:53:47 AM  

Abox: Goddess of Atheism: She tried the "but if nobody had kids then humanity would die out" argument

I would have just agreed with her and left her to realize she hadn't said anything relevant.


We were in the house of a mutual friend, so I had to be polite. (Plus, I confess: that actually annoyed her more than if I outright argued with her. When she made the "humanity dies out" comment, I pretended I had no idea she was nagging me to procreate, but was assuaging her "fear" that my childfree state meant the world population would soon drop from 7 billion+ to zero.)
 
2012-12-09 11:54:11 AM  
So I jut need to knock up some slut, and take off. I can do that.
 
2012-12-09 11:55:55 AM  

the ha ha guy: QT_3.14159: So when you go see a really good movie you don't feel inclined to tell the people around you how great it was?

So if someone says "I don't like Star Wars", you'll invite them over to your house for a Star Wars marathon? You'll bring up their dislike of Star Wars at every possible gathering? You'll give them Star Wars gifts throughout the year, to guilt them into liking Star Wars?

If you like kids, great, but saying it once is enough. If I say I don't want kids, it might just be that I have more facts about my personal life than you're aware of, and I feel that having a wife and kids isn't compatible with my current situation.


I don't have a problem with people who choose not to have kids. I'm not a big fan of other people's kids either, so I understand where the motivation comes from.

The reason I spoke up in this thread at all was the notion that those who are kid-less will die happy. That's just not what I see from people I know who chose not to have kids. YMMV, obviously.

If you find other ways to enrich your life, more power to you. I just see single people without kids and it seems so empty. It can be a happy lonesome, though, so do what makes you happy.
 
2012-12-09 11:56:08 AM  

aagrajag: I don't think that was the point of his post. He spoke of the *wives* approaching 40, and then things changing. It seems he was referencing couples who may or may not survive as a couple when one member suddenly decides that reproduction is sooper-important.


Reducing his point to "sometimes people break up"? I know several couples who had kids and then split up later (I'm sure most people know someone fitting that description these days). All the same fall-out from a relationship ending plus the fact that you now share a child.
 
2012-12-09 11:56:46 AM  

QT_3.14159: LouDobbsAwaaaay: QT_3.14159: That kind of misses the point of grand kids. I don't plan On guilting anyone into it. I just look forward to enjoying them.

QT_3.14159: And yes, I'd probably hit on some of the breeder bingo things, but I'd like to think I won't be too pushy about it. I guess we'll see if / when that happens.

You're aware that everything on there is a guilt-trip, right? Why not just take responsibility for your own desires? If you want occasional contact with kids without raising them, wouldn't joining a mentorship program be more responsible than nagging your kids to enter into a life-long commitment to children involving an investment that you yourself admit you would no longer want to have? I've just never understood this need that people with children have to make other people also have children.

So when you go see a really good movie you don't feel inclined to tell the people around you how great it was?

Imagine that feeling multiplied by a bajillion.

This is why we tell people about how rewarding raising kids can be. Yes, it is hard. But doing the hard things in life are most rewarding because they are hard. I felt the same way when I hiked the grand canyon rim to rim. It was hard, it hurt, it was amazing.



I always feel like I've committed a social faux pas when I turn a random gathering into a conversation about my interests unless they've already made clear they are into the same stuff.
 
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