Am I Parenting Material?

"Fair Use"

A questionnaire about the most important decision you'll ever make.

These questions are posed to you as you consider the most important decision you will ever make—whether or not to have a child. The decision to have a child is one that you will live with for the rest of your life. The responsibility of a new life is awesome. These questions are designed to raise ideas that you may not have otherwise considered. There are no "right" answers and no "grades." You must decide for yourself what your answers reveal about your aptitude for parenthood. You do have a choice. Exercise that choice with knowledge and careful thought. And then do what seems right for you.

Am I Ready to Raise A Child?

1. Do I like children? Have I had enough experiences with babies? toddlers? teenagers?
2. Do I enjoy teaching others?
3. Do I communicate easily with others?
4. Do I have enough love to give a child? Can I express affection easily?
5. Would I have the patience to raise a child? Can I tolerate noise and confusion? Can I deal with disrupted schedules?
6. How do I handle anger? Would I abuse my child if I lost my temper?
7. What do I know about discipline and space? Would I be too strict? too lenient? Am I a perfectionist? How do I deal with change?
8. Do I know my own values and goals yet? Could I help my child develop constructive values?
9. What kind of relationship did I have with my parents? Would I repeat the same mistakes my parents made or would I overindulge or restrict my child in an attempt not to repeat my parents mistakes?
10. How much would I worry about my child's health and safety? Would I be able to take care of a hurt or sick child?
11. What if my decision to have a child turns out to have been wrong for me?

What Do I Expect to Gain from the Parenting Experience?

1. Do I enjoy child centered activities?
2. Would having a child show others I am a mature person?
3. Would I want my child to be a miniature version of me? Would I be willing to adopt a child?
4. Would I feel comfortable if my child had ideas different from mine? How different?
5. Would I expect my child to make contributions I wish I had made in the world?
6. Would I expect my child to keep me from being lonely in my old age?
7. Would I be prepared emotionally to let my child leave when he/she grows up?
8. Would I expect my child to fulfill my relationship with my partner?
9. Do I need parenthood to fulfill my role as a man or woman?
10. Do I need a child to make my life meaningful?
11. Would I feel strongly about wanting my child to be a boy/girl? What if I didn't get the one I wanted?

Is My Lifestyle Conducive to Parenting?

1. Would a child interfere with my educational plans? Would I have the energy to go to school and raise a child at the same time?
2. Would a child restrict my individual growth and development?
3. Could I handle children and a career well? Am I tired when I come home from work or do I have lots of energy left?
4. Does my job or my partner's job require a lot of traveling?
5. Am I financially able to support a child? Am I prepared to spend more than $100 a week to rear my child to 18? or many thousands , not including one partner's income loss if he/she would choose to remain at home?
6. Do I live in a neighborhood conducive to raising a child? Would I be willing to move?
7. Would I be willing to give up the freedom to do what I want to do, when I want to do it?
8. Would I be willing to restrict my social life? Would I miss lost leisure time and privacy?
9. Would my partner and I be prepared to spend more time at home? Would we have enough time to spend with a child?
10. Would I be willing to devote a great part of my life, at least 18 years, to being responsible for a child? and spend my entire life being concerned about my child's welfare?
11. Would I be prepared to be a single parent if my partner left or died?

Have I Adequately Discussed the Parenting Question with My Partner?

1. Does my partner want to have a child? Is he/she willing to ask these questions of himself/herself? Have we adequately discussed our reasons for wanting a child?
2. Do my partner and I understand each other's feelings about religion, work, family, child raising, future goals? Are our feelings compatible? Are they conducive to good parenting?
3. Would both my partner and I contribute our fair shares in raising the child?
4. Could we provide a child with a really good home environment? Is our relationship stable? Do we have a good sexual relationship?
 5. After having a child, would my partner and I be able to separate if we should have unsolvable problems? Or would we feel obligated to remain together for the sake of the child?
6. Would we be able to share each other with a child without jealousy?
7. Do we want to bring a child into today's overpopulated world to face the social problems of our times?
8. Does my partner or do I have a hereditary abnormality we might pass on to a child? Could I emotionally and financially deal with having a physically or mentally handicapped child?
9. Suppose one of us wants a child and the other one doesn’t. Who wins?
10. Which of the questions in this pamphlet do we really need to discuss before making a decision?