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Re: Having kids makes you unhappy

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  • Damon Agretto
    I have 2 kids, and the things that depress me are things my kids have no influence on. If you don t like kids, then you should be able to justify to yourself
    Message 1 of 26 , Jul 7, 2010
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      I have 2 kids, and the things that depress me are things my kids have no influence on. If you don't like kids, then you should be able to justify to yourself why you don't want them IMHO.
       
      There are things my kids do and experience that makes me happy. Watching them grow up and experience the world through their eyes, in a way I can appreciate intellectually is a very special experience, with the added bonus of my genetic legacy living on through them.
       
      Damon.

      On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 1:19 PM, Dave Land <dmland@...> wrote:
      On Jul 7, 2010, at 9:41 AM, William T Goodall wrote:

      I'm glad I don't have any.

      Probably best you don't have any for your and for any children's sake, then, eh?

      Evidently, there's more to life than pleasing yourself.

      Dave



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    • William T Goodall
      ... I am an honest person who values truth and logical argument and conducts himself with probity. I suspect that you have a very different set of values than
      Message 2 of 26 , Jul 7, 2010
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        On 7 Jul 2010, at 22:45, Dan Minette wrote:
        >
        > It all has to do with value systems. I was mentioning William, not as
        > finger pointing, but in recognition that he has a very different set of
        > values than I do.

        I am an honest person who values truth and logical argument and conducts himself with probity. I suspect that you have a very different set of values than I do. There is ample evidence for this in your postings over they years. Could someone with your intelligence and claimed knowledge of philosophy and theology really be 'strawman Dan' by accident? How can you lose every debate with me without admitting you are wrong? You are very close to being a troll.

        [Re: Dave]
        > I think, from conversations and emails, that you and I
        > are closer in fundamental values, even when we differ from time to time on
        > how best to achieve goals we mutually agree upon.
        >

        That's cruel. Dave doesn't deserve to tainted with your poisonous agenda.

        --
        William T Goodall
        Mail : wtg@...
        Web : http://www.wtgab.demon.co.uk
        Blog : http://blog.williamgoodall.name/

        "The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish." - Albert Einstein






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      • David Hobby
        ... William-- The above seems a bit excessive. I agree, one s motivations for having children tend to be complex. We have three, and I can t easily summarize
        Message 3 of 26 , Jul 7, 2010
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          William T Goodall wrote:
          > On 7 Jul 2010, at 22:45, Dan Minette wrote:
          >> It all has to do with value systems. I was mentioning William, not
          >> as finger pointing, but in recognition that he has a very different
          >> set of values than I do.
          >
          > I am an honest person who values truth and logical argument and
          > conducts himself with probity. I suspect that you have a very
          > different set of values than I do.
          ...
          > You are very close to being a troll.

          William--

          The above seems a bit excessive.

          I agree, one's motivations for having children tend
          to be complex. We have three, and I can't easily
          summarize what we get out of it. By most objective
          measures of utility, we're coming out behind.

          And yet, it's very rewarding. I guess I'd boil it down
          to one sentence as "Children give one's life meaning".
          Not that I can define "meaning"!

          ---David

          A well-designed study would definitely control for
          wanted versus un-wanted children.

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        • Dave Land
          ... Thanks, William, but I am aligned with many parts of Dan s agenda (as you call it), and if I need to defend myself, I ll do it myself. I think you ve
          Message 4 of 26 , Jul 7, 2010
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            On Jul 7, 2010, at 5:59 PM, William T Goodall wrote:

            > [Re: Dave]
            >> I think, from conversations and emails, that you and I
            >> are closer in fundamental values, even when we differ from time to
            >> time on
            >> how best to achieve goals we mutually agree upon.
            >
            > That's cruel. Dave doesn't deserve to tainted with your poisonous
            > agenda.

            Thanks, William, but I am aligned with many parts of Dan's
            "agenda" (as you
            call it), and if I need to defend myself, I'll do it myself. I think
            you've
            seen me do so in the past. You and I have not always seen eye to eye, so
            your coming to my aid seems a bit off-kilter, perhaps even disingenuous?
            Not so much meant to support me as to take a dig at Dan.

            Anyway, I had time to read the full NYMag article this evening, and the
            author is very aware of the fact that it's not a simple matter of
            "pleasurable activities" vs. parenting:

            "I think this boils down to a philosophical question, rather
            than a psychological one," says Gilovich. "Should you value
            moment-to-moment happiness more than retrospective evaluations
            of your life?" He says he has no answer for this, but the
            example he offers suggests a bias. He recalls watching TV with
            his children at three in the morning when they were sick. "I
            wouldn't have said it was too fun at the time," he says. "But
            now I look back on it and say, 'Ah, remember the time we used to
            wake up and watch cartoons?'" The very things that in the moment
            dampen our moods can later be sources of intense gratification,
            nostalgia, delight.

            It's a lovely magic trick of the memory, this gilding of hard
            times. Perhaps it's just the necessary alchemy we need to keep
            the species going. But for parents, this sleight of the mind and
            spell on the heart is the very definition of enchantment.

            Having a child diagnosed with brain cancer, watching him recover from
            the
            surgery and each round of brutal chemotherapy, then seeing him die is no
            one's idea of "moment-to-moment happiness", but it forged a bond between
            my wife and me that is far stronger than the silly hearts-and-flowers
            bullshit that advertises itself as love.

            Not so very long after Kevin's death — about the time, in fact, that it
            takes for a child to gestate — Peggy and I decided to have a child
            again, knowing how badly wrong it can go. That child is now 13 years
            old, and while there's no pleasure in fighting him about brushing his
            teeth or cleaning his room or washing his hair or doing his homework,
            the reward — which I cannot quantify any better than the Cornell
            psychologist quoted above — is worth far more than any Rockwellian
            "goin' down t' the fishin' hole" portrait of fatherhood.

            Dave


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          • Charlie Bell
            ... No, I believe you. I was just tweaking. And don t ever assume you know what experiences others have had or will have, it s unpleasantly arroganty But also,
            Message 5 of 26 , Jul 8, 2010
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              On 08/07/2010, at 9:26 AM, Dan Minette wrote:
              >
              >> ...which makes ond feel worthy, satisfied... happy?
              >> It's impossible to separate self-interest from that too. Frankly, everyone
              >> does things for self-interest, even altruism...
              >
              > Metaphysical presuppositions about experiences you have never had or will
              > ever have stated as a priori truth? My my. See, what's really funny, I
              > _know_ how I felt when I accepted a young homeless woman to stay in my
              > house. Scared and lousy. But, I'm sure you don't believe me, and I know I
              > cannot prove how I feel empirically.
              No, I believe you. I was just tweaking. And don't ever assume you know what experiences others have had or will have, it's unpleasantly arroganty

              But also, just 'cause something is hard doesn't mean you're not doing it for self-interest, even if that self-interest is living up to an artificial set of values, whatever they may be.

              Charlie
              ...who has been homeless. Actually properly homeless.
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            • Jim Sharkey
              ... I took the time to read the article in its entirety as well. I found the following quote to be the most telling: Children may provide unrivaled moments of
              Message 6 of 26 , Jul 8, 2010
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                Dave Land wrote:  
                 

                >Anyway, I had time to read the full NYMag article this evening, and the  
                >author is very aware of the fact that it's not a simple matter of  
                >"pleasurable activities" vs. parenting:  
                 
                > "I think this boils down to a philosophical question, rather  
                > than a psychological one," says Gilovich. "Should you value  
                > moment-to-moment happiness more than retrospective evaluations  
                > of your life?"  
                 
                I took the time to read the article in its entirety as well. I found the following quote to be the most telling:  
                 
                "Children may provide unrivaled moments of joy. But they also provide unrivaled moments of frustration, tedium, anxiety, heartbreak."  
                 
                In my experience - especially with my eldest scion in the throes of early adolescence and all that implies - that pair of sentences pretty much sums it up.

                In fairness to WTG, while he has his usual axes to grind, some people are frankly not suited to parenting.  And if they're aware of that and act accordingly, it's probably a good thing.  It's worse, in my mind, to see people who clearly have no idea what they're doing attempting to raise children and getting it repeatedly wrong.

                On thing the article doesn't seem touch on, particularly in light of how it indicates single parents are worse off, is how much children can be a source of friction in their parents' relationship.  It can be hard to be on the same page vis a vis the rules and regulations of your household at all times, and *that* can create some unforeseen problems, IMO.  For example, I wish I'd had a camera to take a picture of my wife's face when my aforementioned eldest asked if she could get her hair dyed purple and I said "I don't see why not."  I believe in picking my battles.  :-)

                Jim Sharkey

                 Will you please stop bothering your sister Maru

              • Nick Arnett
                ... And very large cell phone bills. Nick _______________________________________________ http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                Message 7 of 26 , Jul 8, 2010
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                  On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 7:54 PM, David Hobby <hobbyd@...> wrote:


                  And yet, it's very rewarding.  I guess I'd boil it down
                  to one sentence as "Children give one's life meaning".

                  And very large cell phone bills. 

                  Nick

                • John Garcia
                  ... But she started it first, and anyway, you always take her side! john stuck with TWO younger sisters Maru _______________________________________________
                  Message 8 of 26 , Jul 8, 2010
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                    On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 9:03 AM, Jim Sharkey <templar569@...> wrote:
                    Jim Sharkey

                    <snippage>

                     Will you please stop bothering your sister Maru

                    But she started it first, and anyway, you always take her side!

                    john

                    stuck with TWO younger sisters Maru

                  • Dave Land
                    ... My sister is not Maru. _______________________________________________ http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                    Message 9 of 26 , Jul 8, 2010
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                      On Jul 8, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Jim Sharkey wrote:

                      > Will you please stop bothering your sister Maru
                      >

                      My sister is not Maru.


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                    • Dan Minette
                      ... Maybe he was addressing Maru, who is lurking on the list. Dan M. _______________________________________________
                      Message 10 of 26 , Jul 8, 2010
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                        On Jul 8, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Jim Sharkey wrote:

                        >> Will you please stop bothering your sister Maru


                        >My sister is not Maru.

                        Maybe he was addressing Maru, who is lurking on the list.

                        Dan M.


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                      • Dave Land
                        ... The article addressed it, though maybe not in as much depth as other aspects of the harder side of parenting: This is the brutal reality about
                        Message 11 of 26 , Jul 8, 2010
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                          On Jul 8, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Jim Sharkey wrote:

                          > On thing the article doesn't seem touch on, particularly in light of
                          > how it indicates single parents are worse off, is how much children
                          > can be a source of friction in their parents' relationship. It can
                          > be hard to be on the same page vis a vis the rules and regulations
                          > of your household at all times, and *that* can create some
                          > unforeseen problems, IMO. For example, I wish I'd had a camera to
                          > take a picture of my wife's face when my aforementioned eldest asked
                          > if she could get her hair dyed purple and I said "I don't see why
                          > not." I believe in picking my battles. :-)
                          >

                          The article addressed it, though maybe not in as much depth as other
                          aspects of the harder side of parenting:

                          This is the brutal reality about children—they’re such powerful
                          stressors that small perforations in relationships can turn into
                          deep fault lines. "And my wife became more demanding," he
                          continues. "'You don’t do this, you don’t do that.' There was
                          this idea we had about how things were supposed to be: The
                          family should be dot dot dot, the man should be dot dot dot the
                          woman should be dot dot dot."

                          The money quote of the whole article for me:

                          "They’re a huge source of joy, but they turn every other source
                          of joy to shit."

                          It's not so much that I agree with it, but it's so plainly put.

                          Dave


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                        • Dave Land
                          ... Damn that Maru _______________________________________________ http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                          Message 12 of 26 , Jul 8, 2010
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                            On Jul 8, 2010, at 1:02 PM, Dan Minette wrote:

                            > On Jul 8, 2010, at 6:03 AM, Jim Sharkey wrote:
                            >
                            >>> Will you please stop bothering your sister Maru
                            >
                            >
                            >> My sister is not Maru.
                            >
                            > Maybe he was addressing Maru, who is lurking on the list.

                            Damn that Maru


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                          • Doug Pensinger
                            I ve got two grown kids (30 and 32) and two grandkids (5,3) and while there were moments of profound unhappiness and extreme distress during their upbringing,
                            Message 13 of 26 , Jul 8, 2010
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                              I've got two grown kids (30 and 32) and two grandkids (5,3) and while
                              there were moments of profound unhappiness and extreme distress during
                              their upbringing, nothing in my life even comes close to the sense of
                              fulfillment and accomplishment I get from having raised them.

                              From the article:

                              About twenty years ago, Tom Gilovich, a psychologist at Cornell, made
                              a striking contribution to the field of psychology, showing that
                              people are far more apt to regret things they haven’t done than things
                              they have. In one instance, he followed up on the men and women from
                              the Terman study, the famous collection of high-IQ students from
                              California who were singled out in 1921 for a life of greatness. Not
                              one told him of regretting having children, but ten told him they
                              regretted not having a family.

                              No regrets.

                              Doug

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                            • Matt Grimaldi
                              A video showing all of the (2053) nuclear explosions between 1945 and 1998: http://www.ctbto.org/specials/1945-1998-by-isao-hashimoto/
                              Message 14 of 26 , Jul 9, 2010
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                                A video showing all of the (2053) nuclear explosions between 1945 and 1998:

                                http://www.ctbto.org/specials/1945-1998-by-isao-hashimoto/



                              • Dan Minette
                                Hey Matt, The email name and auther on my email server Matt Grimaldi 1945-1998 Looked a lot like an obit you wrote saying you died 12 years ago. I m glad to
                                Message 15 of 26 , Jul 9, 2010
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                                  Hey Matt,

                                  The email name and auther on my email server

                                  Matt Grimaldi
                                  1945-1998

                                  Looked a lot like an obit you wrote saying you died 12 years ago. I'm glad
                                  to see it was misleading. :-)

                                  Dan M.


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                                • Matt Grimaldi
                                  Um... we ll all go together when we go... Though I m not sure that Tom Lehrer song still applies. :) That would be a neat trick to still be posting after all
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Jul 9, 2010
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                                    Um..."we'll all go together when we go..."

                                    Though I'm not sure that Tom Lehrer song still applies. :) 
                                    That would be a neat trick to still be posting after all
                                    those years.

                                    -- Matt





                                    From: Dan Minette <danminette@...>
                                    To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion <brin-l@...>
                                    Sent: Fri, July 9, 2010 6:51:30 AM
                                    Subject: RE: 1945 - 1998

                                    Hey Matt,

                                    The email name and auther on my email server 

                                    Matt Grimaldi
                                    1945-1998

                                    Looked a lot like an obit you wrote saying you died 12 years ago. I'm glad
                                    to see it was misleading. :-)

                                    Dan M.


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                                  • Dan Minette
                                    ... Would you believe my 23 year old son knows many of Tom s songs without me introducing him to them? Dan M. _______________________________________________
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Jul 9, 2010
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                                      >Um..."we'll all go together when we go..."

                                      Would you believe my 23 year old son knows many of Tom's songs without me
                                      introducing him to them?

                                      Dan M.


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                                    • Charlie Bell
                                      ... Yes. I discovered Lehrer, and Python, and George Carlin, and Noel Coward, and prog rock and the Beatles and Beethoven and lots of other stuff from my
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Jul 9, 2010
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                                        On 10/07/2010, at 2:21 AM, Dan Minette wrote:

                                        >
                                        >> Um..."we'll all go together when we go..."
                                        >
                                        > Would you believe my 23 year old son knows many of Tom's songs without me
                                        > introducing him to them?

                                        Yes. I discovered Lehrer, and Python, and George Carlin, and Noel Coward, and prog rock and the Beatles and Beethoven and lots of other stuff from my parents' generation and much earlier without needing my dad to show me...

                                        ...of course, I learnt lots of cool stuff from him too. Like Welsh Rugby and beer and Wimbledon FC and James Bond and The War of The Worlds.

                                        So Dads rock. But you know, kids do discover stuff too... :_)

                                        C.
                                        Dan Is Not My Dad But I've Learnt Stuff From Him Also Maru
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                                      • Dave Land
                                        ... Maybe we should retitle this thread Having dads makes you happy ? Dave _______________________________________________
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Jul 9, 2010
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                                          On Jul 9, 2010, at 9:29 AM, Charlie Bell wrote:

                                          > On 10/07/2010, at 2:21 AM, Dan Minette wrote:
                                          >
                                          >>> Um..."we'll all go together when we go..."
                                          >>
                                          >> Would you believe my 23 year old son knows many of Tom's songs
                                          >> without me
                                          >> introducing him to them?
                                          >
                                          > Yes. I discovered Lehrer, and Python, and George Carlin, and Noel
                                          > Coward, and prog rock and the Beatles and Beethoven and lots of
                                          > other stuff from my parents' generation and much earlier without
                                          > needing my dad to show me...
                                          >
                                          > ...of course, I learnt lots of cool stuff from him too. Like Welsh
                                          > Rugby and beer and Wimbledon FC and James Bond and The War of The
                                          > Worlds.
                                          >
                                          > So Dads rock. But you know, kids do discover stuff too... :_)

                                          Maybe we should retitle this thread "Having dads makes you happy"?

                                          Dave


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