The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

January 21, 2013

My kids have paws

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

My father, Dennis Sr., was very affectionate towards myself, and my brother, Sean, who is two and a half years my junior. Our relationships was enhanced by the numerous custody battles between himself and my mother. Despite the love he has for his children he has no issues with my stance on not wanting children, which is a breath of fresh air. My mother on the other hand, doesn’t understand. When I wrote my first column in this space, as I displayed the parental relationship Monika and I have with our dogs and cats. Her initial response to reading that column online told me all I needed to know about her feelings on the subject.

“Did they really let you print that in the newspaper,” she told me over phone.

She remarried in 1994 to my stepfather, Tim. I believe that how children are treated by their parents on a daily basis has an impact on how they develop as adults.

Tim’s father was U.S. Marine, who served in World War II. From stories I have heard his parenting style wasn’t overly affectionate. This was passed on to his son. To say Tim and I got along would be a great understatement. He wasn’t physically abusive whatsoever, but he did use intimidation as part of his child rearing strategy. This obviously was a great contrast to the laid back approach my father displayed.

To reproduce for the simple reason that society expects you to, seems incredibly irresponsible to me. As with most things that are expected in adulthood, responsibility should be required, but often times is not. That’s precisely where my views on this topic come in.

I don’t want or need children to feel as if my life has been complete. To be honest, having that much control over another human life doesn’t interest me.  Raising our three dogs is completely fine with me. Maybe this means I haven’t grown into adulthood, maybe it means I’m irresponsible, or just maybe Monika and I have figured out children aren’t the key to ultimate happiness.

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