On Having Children

To bring a life into this world and not provide it with the best possible upbringing is an act that requires strong justification. Indeed, one would need a valid reason to choose to provide their child with a mediocre life when providing a better one was possible. Of course there is not one unified view on child raising; we all have our different beliefs on what a good upbringing is. Nonetheless, there are certain criteria that parents need to satisfy in order to provide any healthy childhood. Two of these criteria that I would like to focus on are maturity and financial stability.

That parents should be mature before they start a family should not be controversial. There are very few decisions that one makes in life that bring about more responsibility than creating a life. And if one believes that a healthy childhood requires parents who fulfill their responsibilities, then one would conclude that maturity is a necessary criteria. A similar argument can be made for financial stability. Raising a child requires a large sum of money. Besides the basic necessities such as food and shelter, they also need medical care and an education, both of which are expensive.

My analysis of the importance of these two criteria has led me to the conclusion that parents should wait until their late 20's or early 30's to have children. The logic of the argument is quite straight forward. We have already established that maturity and financial stability are necessary criteria that parents must satisfy in order to provide their children with healthy childhoods. From this premise it is generally safe to say that the more mature and financially stable parents are, the better. And since both of these two criteria tend to be more satisfied as one ages, the optimal time to have a child would be as late as possible, but before it becomes physically dangerous.

I should say that I am in no way suggesting that the decision to have a child can be solely made by the above considerations. On the contrary, I believe there are many other valid factors to think about before starting a family. A simple example would be this: what if one wanted to have 10 children? If that were the case, then one would have to start earlier. The only reason why I provided an age range was to give an idea of the implications of my beliefs; I never intended for it to be a strict rule judging the morality or immorality of the parents' actions.

Ultimately, what should be expected from parents is the best of what they can provide given their circumstances, and seeing how so many children suffer today, I refuse to believe that enough parents are doing their best. Creating a life means bringing another entity into the world that will have its own dreams and passions. Parents must ensure to the best of their efforts that they will provide their children with the opportunities to develop their full potential - to do otherwise requires strong justification.