What Children Are Not

johannes-evert-hendrik-akkeringa-children-playing-on-the-beach

Children are not your opportunity for a second chance; you had your chance, and may have more chances, but your child deserves their own.

Children are not wish-fulfillment devices; if you place too many of your own expectations on a child, you’re not allowing them to discover who they are apart from you.

Children are not decorations; they don’t exist to adorn your life or make you look good.

Children are not status symbols; they should not be pressured to help you keep up appearances or compete with others.

Children are not yours to control; they are dependent on adults for a time, but they should be encouraged to grow apart from you.

Children are not your opportunity to have a vicarious life; being involved with your child in healthy ways is good, but attempting to live a different life through them is unhealthy.

Children are not your emotional crutch; your child is your child, and cannot and should not take the place of a significant other or a close friend.

Children are not your future caretakers; saying you want children so you have someone to take care of you when you’re old is an incredibly selfish reason to have a child.

Children are not responsible for your happiness; you are responsible for yourself.

Children are not your physical or emotional punching bags; they don’t exist to absorb your anger, your disappointment, or your failure.

Children are not your therapists; laying your burdens on their shoulders is not only unfair, but it will create burdens that they will then carry into adulthood.

Children are not extensions of you; they are their own unique, autonomous beings who are part of your life, but not part of your self.

Children are not in your debt; they don’t owe you anything for raising and providing for them.

Children are not servants; teaching them responsibility does not mean overburdening them with chores and caretaking responsibilities.

Children are not yours to keep; the tighter you try to hold on to them, the more determined they will become to get away.

Children are not perfect; their imperfections should be embraced, and they should be allowed to make mistakes without facing shame and ridicule.

Children are not obligations; nobody is obligated to reproduce if it is against their inclination, or would compromise their health and well being.

Children are not the future; the future begins with here and now with adults who create a world in which children are able to thrive, and create children who care about helping the world to thrive.

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