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Telling your parents about your choice not to have children

By Dann Alexander 

If you have chosen not to have children, what consequences have you faced from telling people? Have your parents felt let down because you won’t be giving them grandkids? Have you felt pushed out of social circles because of the choice you made? It happens. Parents can still respond very negatively to this personal decision. The matter can be made worse, if you are an only child and you have decided not to have kids, because of concerns that the family name will stop with you.

I made it long clear that I never wanted children, while my brother has decided that if he does not have kids he will be just fine with it too. It was very easy for me to explain to both my parents that I never wanted to have children. I think it was more difficult for my Dad to accept since he was a deeply religious person who felt that we all needed to have kids in order to carry on family names. Although difficult for him to process, he was very accepting of it rather quickly. My Mom never had an issue from day one. She always saw it as a personal choice that was meant to be respected. She has Grandkids through my step-siblings and that is more than enough for her.

If you want to tell your parents that you do not want kids, here are some things to consider:

1. Be upfront and honest. This is a very personal decision you have made and you are trying to convey that message more than anything.

2. Be understanding. If they say they are disappointed, accept that feeling even if you disagree with it.

3. Engaging in healthy debate over your decision is fine. Especially if you have an excellent rapport with your parents. It is best though not to escalate it to all out arguing. Hurt feelings are something you are trying to avoid.

4. If you are being bothered all the time about when you are going to have kids, then consider having your partner in the room with you at the same time. It is extra morale support that could really help in communicating the message.

5. Offer to send articles about being childfree. There are many great articles on this site alone that cover different perspectives on the choice. Or send a few different direct links to specific articles that you found enjoyable and enlightening.

Let them know that this is your choice and it is about you and your life. Education equals acceptance and acceptance equals understanding.

Based just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada, Dann Alexander is the Author of Planned UnParenthood – Creating a Life Without Procreating which is available at Amazon and other online retailers. Twitter @WriterDann

Childless couples and legacy

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