Author Topic: The Etiquette of the Childfree  (Read 46577 times)

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princessdolly

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #90 on: May 28, 2012, 10:48:39 AM »
I only roll my eyes and make comments about one kind of parent. The ones who say things like "please stop being naughty for mummy" or "please stop doing that" while there child runs around the shop or bus screaming like a banshee.

Are they seriously *begging* their child to behave? There shouldn't be a choice. Just walk over to them instead of standing there and drag them over to the cart or seat.

I don't want to hear the kid screaming *and* the parent wailing back at them. Then when they see me roll my eyes they glare at me. How dare I expect them to discipline their child.

Fotrtunately these people are rare (although not rare enough) and most parents know when to corral their children.

Hollanda

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #91 on: May 28, 2012, 10:54:50 AM »
I only roll my eyes and make comments about one kind of parent. The ones who say things like "please stop being naughty for mummy" or "please stop doing that" while there child runs around the shop or bus screaming like a banshee.

Are they seriously *begging* their child to behave? There shouldn't be a choice. Just walk over to them instead of standing there and drag them over to the cart or seat.

I don't want to hear the kid screaming *and* the parent wailing back at them. Then when they see me roll my eyes they glare at me. How dare I expect them to discipline their child.

Fotrtunately these people are rare (although not rare enough) and most parents know when to corral their children.

 
Usually in this case the parent is not confident enough to assert themselves effectively to their child. A child needs boundaries to feel secure. Therefore strict rules about acceptable behaviour are necessary!
 
It makes me mad!
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CakeEater

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #92 on: May 29, 2012, 05:16:31 AM »
Question related to some earlier posts:

What about a childfree person who is trying to decide whether or not they would like to have children, we are actively discussing this decision, having been brought up by them. They bring up the issue of, "But kids are loud/annoying/messy and I don't know if I would be able to put up with it."

Can I then bring out, "But you'll love them when they're your own"? Because I think that it's quite true in this situation.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #93 on: May 29, 2012, 05:26:18 AM »
Question related to some earlier posts:

What about a childfree person who is trying to decide whether or not they would like to have children, we are actively discussing this decision, having been brought up by them. They bring up the issue of, "But kids are loud/annoying/messy and I don't know if I would be able to put up with it."

Can I then bring out, "But you'll love them when they're your own"? Because I think that it's quite true in this situation.

If they're on the fence, and actively soliciting opinions, then you're in the clear.
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TheVapors

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #94 on: May 29, 2012, 05:32:49 AM »
Question related to some earlier posts:

What about a childfree person who is trying to decide whether or not they would like to have children, we are actively discussing this decision, having been brought up by them. They bring up the issue of, "But kids are loud/annoying/messy and I don't know if I would be able to put up with it."

Can I then bring out, "But you'll love them when they're your own"? Because I think that it's quite true in this situation.

My two cents about that type of a situation:

During a friendly discussion about having kids, I might suggest, "That's true. Plenty of kids are all those things at least some of the time.  But, there's the expression "You love them when they're your own" and that definitely holds true for me."

If you're having a discussion that both sides are happily participating in, then it's not so much whether or not it's right for the childfree couple to have or not have kids, and not a judgement on those who are deciding... it's gauging the difference between the two situations, and exploring the good and not-so-good to make an informed decision.

It's like asking (on a much more life-altering scale), "Hmm... which college should I go to?" You can get the opinions of people who have gone to two different universities and then decide. In those cases, I don't think throwing out, "Yes, kids are a lot of work, but I wouldn't change a thing" or "Here's my experience" answers are out of the question.

If during a discussion they want to know the truth, tell them the truth as you feel comfortable telling it. (In a non-"you'll regret not having kids" way.)

veryfluffy

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #95 on: June 06, 2012, 05:57:23 PM »
Question related to some earlier posts:

What about a childfree person who is trying to decide whether or not they would like to have children, we are actively discussing this decision, having been brought up by them. They bring up the issue of, "But kids are loud/annoying/messy and I don't know if I would be able to put up with it."

Can I then bring out, "But you'll love them when they're your own"? Because I think that it's quite true in this situation.

Can I just point out a basic point of childfree etiquette here: someone  "trying to decide" whether they want children is not, by definition, childfree. They are currently childless, they are "fence-sitters", they may decide to be childfree. Someone who is childfree does not have, does not want, and is actively avoiding having children.
   

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #96 on: June 06, 2012, 05:59:41 PM »
Question related to some earlier posts:

What about a childfree person who is trying to decide whether or not they would like to have children, we are actively discussing this decision, having been brought up by them. They bring up the issue of, "But kids are loud/annoying/messy and I don't know if I would be able to put up with it."

Can I then bring out, "But you'll love them when they're your own"? Because I think that it's quite true in this situation.

Very well said!

Can I just point out a basic point of childfree etiquette here: someone  "trying to decide" whether they want children is not, by definition, childfree. They are currently childless, they are "fence-sitters", they may decide to be childfree. Someone who is childfree does not have, does not want, and is actively avoiding having children.
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Midnight Kitty

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #97 on: June 10, 2012, 09:23:53 AM »
Question related to some earlier posts:

What about a childfree person who is trying to decide whether or not they would like to have children, we are actively discussing this decision, having been brought up by them. They bring up the issue of, "But kids are loud/annoying/messy and I don't know if I would be able to put up with it."

Can I then bring out, "But you'll love them when they're your own"? Because I think that it's quite true in this situation.

Can I just point out a basic point of childfree etiquette here: someone  "trying to decide" whether they want children is not, by definition, childfree. They are currently childless, they are "fence-sitters", they may decide to be childfree. Someone who is childfree does not have, does not want, and is actively avoiding having children.
I was not aware that the definition of "childfree" was someone "who does not have, does not want, and is actively avoiding having children."  I don't have any children and [checking my biological clock] it is too late to have them now.  That was not my choice.  We wanted children.  I did not "actively avoid" having children.  We are content with our "childfree" status, but I disagree with your definition.
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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #98 on: June 10, 2012, 10:33:40 AM »
Question related to some earlier posts:

What about a childfree person who is trying to decide whether or not they would like to have children, we are actively discussing this decision, having been brought up by them. They bring up the issue of, "But kids are loud/annoying/messy and I don't know if I would be able to put up with it."

Can I then bring out, "But you'll love them when they're your own"? Because I think that it's quite true in this situation.

Can I just point out a basic point of childfree etiquette here: someone  "trying to decide" whether they want children is not, by definition, childfree. They are currently childless, they are "fence-sitters", they may decide to be childfree. Someone who is childfree does not have, does not want, and is actively avoiding having children.
I was not aware that the definition of "childfree" was someone "who does not have, does not want, and is actively avoiding having children."  I don't have any children and [checking my biological clock] it is too late to have them now.  That was not my choice.  We wanted children.  I did not "actively avoid" having children.  We are content with our "childfree" status, but I disagree with your definition.

I actually agree with it.  It's not so much having children, but desiring a lack of same... eating salad all week doesn't make me a vegetarian.  :)
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veryfluffy

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #99 on: June 10, 2012, 11:50:05 AM »
Question related to some earlier posts:

What about a childfree person who is trying to decide whether or not they would like to have children, we are actively discussing this decision, having been brought up by them. They bring up the issue of, "But kids are loud/annoying/messy and I don't know if I would be able to put up with it."

Can I then bring out, "But you'll love them when they're your own"? Because I think that it's quite true in this situation.

Can I just point out a basic point of childfree etiquette here: someone  "trying to decide" whether they want children is not, by definition, childfree. They are currently childless, they are "fence-sitters", they may decide to be childfree. Someone who is childfree does not have, does not want, and is actively avoiding having children.
I was not aware that the definition of "childfree" was someone "who does not have, does not want, and is actively avoiding having children."  I don't have any children and [checking my biological clock] it is too late to have them now.  That was not my choice.  We wanted children.  I did not "actively avoid" having children.  We are content with our "childfree" status, but I disagree with your definition.

If you would have had children had it been possible, and wanted to have them, you would generally be seen as childless. If you regard not having children as an unfortunate outcome, you are not childfree, even if you accepted it.

Being childfree means that you wouldn't have chosen to have them, even if all the ducks had lined up. I don't want to argue about definitions, but that is simply the way the word is used by those who have embraced the childfree life.
   

ydpubs

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #100 on: June 10, 2012, 01:00:08 PM »
Question related to some earlier posts:

What about a childfree person who is trying to decide whether or not they would like to have children, we are actively discussing this decision, having been brought up by them. They bring up the issue of, "But kids are loud/annoying/messy and I don't know if I would be able to put up with it."

Can I then bring out, "But you'll love them when they're your own"? Because I think that it's quite true in this situation.

Can I just point out a basic point of childfree etiquette here: someone  "trying to decide" whether they want children is not, by definition, childfree. They are currently childless, they are "fence-sitters", they may decide to be childfree. Someone who is childfree does not have, does not want, and is actively avoiding having children.
I was not aware that the definition of "childfree" was someone "who does not have, does not want, and is actively avoiding having children."  I don't have any children and [checking my biological clock] it is too late to have them now.  That was not my choice.  We wanted children.  I did not "actively avoid" having children.  We are content with our "childfree" status, but I disagree with your definition.

If you would have had children had it been possible, and wanted to have them, you would generally be seen as childless. If you regard not having children as an unfortunate outcome, you are not childfree, even if you accepted it.

Being childfree means that you wouldn't have chosen to have them, even if all the ducks had lined up. I don't want to argue about definitions, but that is simply the way the word is used by those who have embraced the childfree life.

Agreed. Childfree by choice are people who never wanted, never tried and don't see being unable to have them as the undesirable result.

I have seen a few groups that called themselves childfree (when DH and I were trying to find like minded people) only to find they were not in fact childfree, but couples with grown children who had moved out. They are empty nesters, not childfree. And there were groups for the childless, ones who wanted kids but due to circumstances could not have kids, also not the same as those who actively chose not to have kids. I felt bad for them because you'd hear about their fertility issues and things like that, but again I had nothing in common with them in that regard.
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Midnight Kitty

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #101 on: June 12, 2012, 06:06:19 PM »
I guess I don't fit the standard definitions.  As I said, we are content with our "childfree" status even though that wasn't our original plan.  I would not have much in common with "childless" couples who tried to have children and were not successful.

Please note I did not argue the definition; I simply said I was unaware of that definition.  I don't hang out on parenting forums, nor do I know any groups of people who have "embraced the childfree life," so I did not know there was a specific definition for both terms, neither of which describe me. :-\
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purplemuse

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #102 on: June 24, 2012, 08:10:30 AM »
Parents: Sometimes it doesn't matter how mature your child is for his/her age; there are just some events that are only for adults. Even if there's no sex/violence/alcohol involved, it can still be an adult event, and your child will just have to wait until he/she grows up. This is not "just like racism."

Childfree: Most other places are going to be fair game for kids to be around. Childfree only means that you don't have kids; not that you never have to deal with them.

Everyone: If the event is not adults or children only, make sure everyone gets a turn. Parents-- children do not get a monopoly on fun (and don't think some of us don't notice when you're enjoying the activity along with your child-- the same activity you declared the childfree adult "too old for"). Childfree-- the kids will not necessarily have a chance to do the activity later (and unless you're on death's door, that logic could apply to you as well).

Parents: Just because some of us don't have kids doesn't mean we don't have anything important in our lives. Ask/let us talk about work, hobbies, family events, etc*.

Childfree: Having kids is a big deal for the people who do-- there's this whole new person who wasn't there before. Ask/let them talk about the kid*.

Childfree: Kids are individuals and all of them are different. Saying you don't like any of them is a little much.

Parents: Kids are individuals and all of them are different. People are allowed to prefer one over another**.

*Within reason-- no one should be monopolizing a conversation

**They are not allowed to be rude or cruel or openly play favorites, but they are allowed to get along with one child better than another; just like people are allowed to prefer the company of certain adults to others.

snowdragon

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #103 on: June 24, 2012, 11:13:25 AM »
old for")
Parents: Kids are individuals and all of them are different. People are allowed to prefer one over another**.


**They are not allowed to be rude or cruel or openly play favorites, but they are allowed to get along with one child better than another; just like people are allowed to prefer the company of certain adults to others.


Pursuant to this: It is not being openly cruel to not take a child out who will.not.behave. for the adult in question. If one child listens, behaves well and both adult and child have a good time together that is great....if your other child tells that adult "I don't have to listen to you, talks through the event and tells others to shut up, or any variant of misbehavior the adult is not wrong to say "I will not take misbehaving child out" ever. 
   

Piratelvr1121

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Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #104 on: June 24, 2012, 01:38:59 PM »
old for")
Parents: Kids are individuals and all of them are different. People are allowed to prefer one over another**.


**They are not allowed to be rude or cruel or openly play favorites, but they are allowed to get along with one child better than another; just like people are allowed to prefer the company of certain adults to others.


Pursuant to this: It is not being openly cruel to not take a child out who will.not.behave. for the adult in question. If one child listens, behaves well and both adult and child have a good time together that is great....if your other child tells that adult "I don't have to listen to you, talks through the event and tells others to shut up, or any variant of misbehavior the adult is not wrong to say "I will not take misbehaving child out" ever. 
 

POD.  I am a parent and there are kids who were put on mine and DH's "Will never go anywhere with us again, ever" blacklist because they would not behave themselves and would try to get the boys to misbehave too.  Take her on an errand? She'd assume you were going to buy her something and if you didn't she'd whine, pout and do all she could to misbehave, attempt bribery by saying "I'll behave if you buy me what I want!!"  Might have worked on her mom and dad, but didn't work on us.

The IL's invited same girl to brunch once because the boys had been playing with her before they showed up and we told her it was time to go home cause the IL's were treating us and I didn't want them to pay for her too.  She pouted and MIL said she could come.  The girl proceeded to behave like a toddler (she was 8) by crawling under the table, blowing bubbles in her drink, and had to be told several times to lower her voice. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata