Why Does Child-Free Equal Child Hate?

Via Catherine Monkman
on Jul 9, 2013
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Blond Boy Crying

Shouldn’t children be treated with the same amount of respect as any other group of people?

After a recent discussion with some of my peers on Twitter about people who choose to be child-free being vehement child haters, I felt compelled to write a more detailed rant on the topic.

The debate arose when one of the people I follow re-tweeted an article asking the childless of the workforce to help pick up the slack for people who choose to have children. Comments that followed from her child-free comrades included calling children “brats” and “mewling spawn.”

What is the deal with the child-free group hating children?

To clear up the meaning behind that statement, I’m talking about hating children loudly and in public, just because they are children.

Not every person who chooses not have children has such an awful attitude, so this is addressed to those who do; I’m talking about using lazy parenting and poor behavior as an excuse to hate all children. I’m talking about insulting and mean statements posted on Twitter, Facebook and everywhere else about and towards kids and the people who choose to have them.

I’m talking about people who refuse to act like a grown up about their choice.

Yeah, that’s right: child-free child haters often act more like children than children do. I’m also directing this towards childless people who feel the need to make comments about how children should be raised, especially when the comments are extremist and closed minded.

So, you’re saying that if we had continued to hit our children, the world would be a much better place? That every single child is lazy and rude because we didn’t send them outside from sun up to sun down? That if we forced them to pull their pants up, we would have an end to war and hunger?

Yes, I’ve had experiences where a child has kicked the back of my seat during an entire movie. I’ve been on planes with babies that just won’t stop screaming. I’ve seen dirty and hyperactive kids leaving a trail of wreckage behind them in stores. Don’t think that because we’re parents, we are completely oblivious to the crap that some children are allowed to get away with. Neglectful and lazy parenting is the exception, not the rule. We don’t like it any more than you do, but we also don’t use it as an excuse for stereotypical and hateful behavior.

[Photo via altopower on Flickr]

These kids are still human beings and are worthy of kindness and patience—any living creature is.

Crying babies grow up to be artists, athletes and world-changers. A child who’s having a tantrum in the middle of the produce section may one day be the person who makes the political decisions about your future as a senior. These aren’t just little pests that have been placed here to annoy—they will be you some day.

I’ve got to wonder why some child-free individuals spend so much time and energy expelling negative crap out into the world about kids and parenting. If you don’t want to have children and dislike them so intensely, why are you so focused on them?

Is this a maturity issue? Is your attitude a result of how much kindness and compassion you received yourself as a child? I can only imagine the inner turmoil that must take place to keep up that hateful momentum.

Believe it or not, most parents don’t like their kids acting like lunatics any more than you do. We are raising our children to be caring, generous and mindful citizens but that takes time and patience—from everyone. Your sneers and woefully obvious glares won’t change anyone’s behavior but it will change how the world views you. Let me repeat something you’ve already heard before: you will never completely understand unless you’ve got kids.

To the child-free child haters:

When a baby is crying, it’s in distress. He or she is not trying to annoy anyone within earshot. If the baby is somewhere a baby shouldn’t generally be (and there are many opinions on where a child should and shouldn’t be), your issue is not with the child but with who put the child in that situation. Keep in mind that sometimes, parents make mistakes just like anyone else. A little compassion can go a long way.

If the child is misbehaving, again, your issue isn’t necessarily with the child, but with the parenting—maybe. You should ask yourself if the child’s behavior is actually bad behavior or if it’s just that you’re allowing yourself to be overly irritated simply because you’re “child-free, damn it, and children just shouldn’t be anywhere public, ever.”

Lastly, no one’s asking the child-free to love children. Dislike them all you want, but please do it quietly, with respect to children and their parents. Replace “child” in your child hating statements with words like gay, black, women or disabled and maybe then you’ll understand why parents are so insulted themselves and on behalf of their kids.

The bottom line is that all humans should be treated with respect and dignity. You don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to be child free and you can be proud of your choice.

There are many good reasons not to have kids and despite being a parent, I can agree with many of them.

You can, however, be vocal about your child-free decision without being hurtful in the process.

Choose not to perpetuate hate of any kind towards any group of people.

 

 

Like I’m not “Spiritual.” I just practice being a good person on Facebook.

 

Ed: Bryonie Wise

 


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About Catherine Monkman

Catherine Monkman is a shy, friendly Canadian living in a small house with her two nearly-perfect children, two kitties and two goofy dogs. Cat spends her free time reading, growing vegetables and cooking them, traveling and learning life lessons courtesy of and along with her family. Cat began contributing as a typo vigilante and now eagerly serves as an editor, writer and student of the mindful life.

Comments

56 Responses to “Why Does Child-Free Equal Child Hate?”

  1. Cat B says:

    Thanks so much for your comments, Emily!

  2. Katherine says:

    In theory that might be a good idea, Gregg. In reality, although the earth may be over populated as a whole, the US is actually experiencing an all time low birthrate. We are below replacement rate and have been for quite some time, which means that soon a larger portion of our population will be retired seniors than ever before. If your interested in the effects this can have on a society, just google "effects of population decline in Japan." So unless you are also willing to suggest that we start mass murdering our senior citizens (which you might be, I have run across that type of misanthrope before), then it's best for our society if we try to keep the birthrate at (or at least near) replacement rate. If you don't want kids because you just don't then that is totally fine with me, but if you are trying to make a point about reducing our personal carbon footprints then I cannot take you seriously via the internet. If you have electricity, internet access, and own a computer then you have no right to tell people that their choice to have children is harmful to the environment. Glass houses, and all that. When you are able to go completely off the grid, give up all of your modern comforts and exist entirely on subsistence farming then I will have total respect for your opinion on the matter. Until then, you can give up on the idea that you're saving the world by not having kids.

  3. Yolanda says:

    The author of this piece and the original piece have a WHOLE LOT OF NERVE and SELF ENTITLEMENT issues. So let me get this straight, because YOU decided to have a baby the child free need to cater and be understanding your inability to control spawn? Lady you are beyond delusional. In the workplace as a parent, YOU chose to work. If you are not going to put forth the effort needed, quit! Child free people are not obligated to make up for the fact YOU chose to have kids and to think they should shows how selfish and delusional you are. If I want to "hate" on kids I have every right to do so, because usually starts with self entitled people like you! Lady you really have a lot nerve to tell child free people to suck it up and deal. Unreal!

  4. Cat B says:

    Hi Yolanda, thanks for your comments!

    I actually did not write the first article about people having kids and asking others to pick up the slack for them at work. I personally disagree with the article, actually and in fact think parents shouldn't get any more favors than the childless do. All merits should be earned based on your contribution in the work place as far as I'm concerned.

    I also think that being mindful means keeping hateful opinions to ourselves, or at least verbalizing them in a way that isn't going to make other people feel crappy. My point, in a nutshell, which I'm thinking you would have gotten if you had read past the first paragraph (maybe?) is that there's no need to be derogatory and hateful to any person, whether it's a child or adult.

  5. Cat B says:

    Wow, thanks for this Katherine! Great comment!

  6. John says:

    I'm so happy to find your article. I really hate the negativity in the CF groups I've found. At first I was so excited to find ppl who could 100% understand my decision. However, I would soon learn they loved bashing parents and kids, calling them awful things. I stuck around, waiting for more moderate threads to appear. They got drowned out so I had to leave.

    My reason for not wanting kids is I had a little brother, 8 years younger when I was a teenager. I had to watch him all the time, kept invading my space, noisy, and constantly wanted to talk to me. I still don't fully understand why some people want kids so badly.

    I really want to join a group with people like you.

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