The Childfree And The "They Must Hate Kids" Myth
In addition to the myth that people who don’t want children are immature, there is a notion that just because they don’t want the experience of parenthood means they don’t like kids.
I interviewed 100 childfree couples for Families of Two, and have talked with hundreds more childfree couples since. Now, while some would say that kids are not their favorite thing, they would not say they unequivocally don’t like them.
Some childfree enjoy babies and toddlers, and some enjoy kids more as they get a bit older. Others connect best when kids get to preteen and teen years. And then there are those that, like our relationships with adults, just connect with some better than others.
Many childfree people feel they have a role to play in molding the next generation of children and seek out this role. They are and want to be active aunts and uncles, mentors, and/or work with kids in volunteer settings. Others get involved with kids in their extended families; still others have relationships with kids in their neighborhoods, communities and churches. They feel that it’s important for them to be good role models and lead by example.
More childfree work in occupations that revolve around children than you might think. They are teachers, school counselors, those that work with kids who have special needs, day care workers, nannies, to just name a few. Many of these childfree people say that because their work life centers around kids, being a parent as well would be too much. They love kids and have found the best way for them to be in their lives.
Bottom line: More than not, the childfree tend to like or even love children—they just don’t want them as the main theme of their lives. So instead of assuming we don’t like them just because we are not parents, take the more interesting route — make no assumption, and be curious what role children do play in our lives.
Like parents, the childfree just may have great kid stories too.