Why Did You Become A Parent?
The Times magazine wrote about a piece of interesting news related to a woman who is pregnant at the age of 43. But what is so great about this news? Because now more and more women are pregnant at that older age. The interesting thing is the woman’s reason for having a baby. The reason the woman is pregnant is that she hopes that the child is carrying can become a bone marrow donor for her daughter who is now 17 years old.
From the article above, we find that every parent must have a reason for having children, regardless of whether that reason is good or not. The question we need to answer is “why do I want to be a parent?”. Based on the research results, the author of The Parents Test suggests four reasons why for being parents, that are:
- Ego: Some couples become parents only for their own sake. The reason used, for example, was to have children who could bear their name, to inherit their money and assets, so that they could be considered the greatest parent, feel proud and complete.
- Compensation: Some couples think that the children can cover up deficiencies in themselves or their marriage by having children. The reasons they have, for example, are so that the marriage is happier, to feel more feminine or masculine, and to improve the unhappy family background.
- Follow the habits of the crowd: Some couples want to have children simply because they are the same as most people. The motive held, for example, wants to be the same as most people in general, to please the partner’s parents, and also to avoid ridicule from friends.
- Compassion: Some couples have children because they are ready to pour love into their children's lives and the families they form. The reasons you have, for example, are to have the opportunity to make your children happy, teach everything beautiful, get satisfaction by giving yourself to the child, and helping the child to grow and develop.
The author of The Parents Test states that the fourth reason is the best. Why? Because one of the basic human needs, including children, is the need for affection or love. Lack of affection is a major cause of emotional, behavioral, and even physical health problems. The warmth of love and intimacy is very important for children in their development process.
Affection is also closely related to feelings of belonging. Belongingness and love need to encourage children to have emotional bonds with their fathers, mothers, and other family members. It must be admitted that love is the most important need of children. Affection makes children feel cared for, not alone, not left out, and not neglected. In addition, children also grow healthier emotionally, socially, and spiritually. That way, children will feel that they are important, valuable, and worthy of love. This will make it easier for children to develop themselves, feel completely accepted, and later on to love others more easily. However, when parents express affection for their children, it must be balanced with assertiveness and discipline. This helps children not to grow up to be selfish, stubborn, and unruly.
Also, the love of parents who are poured out for their children should be biblical. It means love based on the love of Christ (1 John 4:7-8). If this love is found in children, then they will not be bound to love themselves. Therefore, the family must be the center where love flows to the children and radiates outward to others. When a family loves biblical love, that family properly radiates God’s personality to the world.
How about you, what are your reasons for being a parent?
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” - 1 John 4:10-11
Garry & Anne, Growing Kids God’s Way; Membesarkan Anak Dengan Cara Allah, Jakarta: Yayasan Bina Keluarga Allah, 2001.
Wright, H. Norman, Menjadi Orangtua yang Bijaksana, Yoygakarta: Andi, 2009.
Rina Novita Wijayanti, M.K.
IPEKA Counseling Center