Only through creative artistic, musical, or scientific activity and by the production of children can man or woman achieve immortality. Without a close second, the choice to have a child is the most important decision in a person’s life.  It is one of those choices which is essentially irreversible, takes little effort to execute, and potently impacts every other choice that you will make.  It is a model of the rule of irreversibility and potency.  That is, the care and time spent on a decision should be directly proportional to its irreversibility and potency.   Because having a child is irreversible and potent, you should undertake this choice after long and diligent thought.

            There was a time in human history, long before city-states developed and complex civilization became global, when it was important for everyone to reproduce, and reproduce often.  The survival of the species required this in light of the scarcity of resources, the attenuated lifespan, and the abundance of life-threatening adversity.  Accordingly, religions and society placed strong pressures on the young to marry and reproduce often.  These values and pressures continue in modern times despite the fact that the planet is crawling with humans which, in their numbers and consumptive proclivities, threaten the planet itself and all other species.  It is important to keep in mind that having children is a choice, and it is not the best choice for everyone.  But once you make that choice, you must surrender to its obligations.  It is said: “So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world.”  Isadora Duncan:  Dictated, Berlin, Dec. 20, 1924.  Make your choice to have children one that brings joy and success.  If you can’t do that, or you are not ready, don’t have children, or wait for readiness to signal the beginning of this special chapter in your life.


Advice on Children


1.  Do not have children until you are married and have been living with your spouse for at least two years.

2.  If you are planning to have children begin trying to have them before thirty one.  Don’t have children before age 26.  Have 3 or less children.  Two children is best.  Having one child often produces difficulties for the child and should avoided unless medical or practical consideration dictate not having more children.  Do not have an extra children simply to insure having a child of a particular sex.  

3.  Do not attempt to produce children unless you have a steady residence and unless you or your spouse has a steady job.

4.  Never choose to have children just because you got pregnant.  Do not allow yourself to get pregnant by chance.  Control your life and choose to have children (rather than having them passively because that’s what “happens”).

5.  Do not have children until both you and your spouse are clearly ready.  Don’t push your spouse into having children.

6.  Discuss having children, especially the practicalities (like money, expectations of wife returning to work, child care duties, etc.), for at least six months prior to starting to get pregnant.

7.  Before deciding to have children, attempt to do some child care (possibly for a friend) for several days.

8.  Do not have children in an attempt to save a faltering marriage.  Choose to have children when your marriage is stable and secure, and your life is financially secure.

9.  Before you have children make sure that you’ve acted out your fantasies about wild and free fun (romantic trips, fancy dining out, geographical hopping about, etc.).

10.  After the first three months of infancy arrange for enough babysitting (by relative or paid sitter) to have one free evening per two week period (this is a minimum).

11.  If at all possible breast feed your children for at least the first three months of life.  However, always supplement your breast feeding with one bottle of formula per day.

12.  Expect that you and your spouse will differ at times about child rearing decisions.  Attempt to resolve these inevitable disputes by slow, calm, non-criticizing conversation.  Do not quote relatives to support your beliefs.  If disputes cannot be rationally resolved, then flip a coin.

13.  Child rearing (feedings, changing, etc., etc.) should be evenly divided between two working spouses in proportion to the number of hours they work (both on the job and in the home), not in proportion to the spouses’ incomes.

14.  Treat all advice from relatives (especially grandmothers) and friends as mere recommendations.  Do not let anyone give you orders about how to raise your children.  If anyone tries to control your relationship with your children then stop allowing them in your home.

15.  Always support your wife (husband) when relatives criticize her (his) childrearing decisions.

16.  Don’t live through your children.  Don’t demand that they be something you wanted to be or accomplish something that you failed to accomplish.  Encourage them to develop their own goals.

17.  Don’t give your children severe punishments in the heat of anger.  Likewise don’t threaten punishments you won’t or can’t carry out.  Rather, have a calm, fair, reliable set of punishments that you’ve set in your mind in advance.  Carry out all your threats, and therefore, make reasonable threats.

18.  When you decide to use physical punishment with your children, then strike them on the buttocks with your hand.  Do not strike them anywhere else and do not strike them with belts, wood, or other devices.

19.  Never use physical punishment more than twice in a one month period.

20.  Use physical punishment only to stop a child from doing an aggressive or dangerous act.

21.  Control your children by rewarding desirable behavior with affection, smiles, verbal praise, food or toy rewards, money, and special privileges.  Attempt to utilize physical affection, smiles, verbal praise, and your attention as the most common form of rewards.  You can also control your children by punishment, the withdrawal of rewards, and on special occasions by physical punishment.

22.  No matter what your child does and no matter how angry your child makes you, always communicate, in the end, that you think your child is smart, attractive, and good.  You must convey this verbally and you must convey this often.

23.  Treat your children fairly and equally.  Every parent has a favorite child, this is normal, but don’t let your children know this.

24.  As your children get older and older give them more and more freedom.

25.  Hold, hug, cuddle, carry, and talk to your young infant as much as you possibly can.  This goes for you too DAD.

26.  Don’t let your children (over age 9 months) manipulate you with crying.

27.  When infants (and small children) cry, make sure they have been fed, changed, burped, and held.  Check to make sure the child is adequately warm and is in a comfortable position.  If you have tried these tactics, and the child is still crying, then try leaving the child alone for 45 minutes.  After age four or five months, avoid reinforcing crying behavior during the night (10 p.m. to 5 a.m.).

28.  Don’t scream at your children (except maybe once a week).

29.  Each parent should attempt to spend some time alone with each of their children.  This is especially true when your children are over five years old.

30.  Give your children this book as a present when they are twelve years old.

31.  As an absolute rule, your adolescent children must either go to school or to work.  Never allow an adolescent to be free from one of these two responsibilities.

32.  Don’t ever verbally praise a boy for behaving or dressing like a girl.  Never suggest that effeminate behavior is cute.

33.  As your child approaches the age 18 try to change your relationship from a parent-child relationship to an adult-adult relationship.  Try to be a friend to your older child.  Attempt to slowly give up the role of protector, ruler, and supplier, allowing the emergence of the role of advisor, lender, and friend.

34.  Be very careful not to be overly restrictive with adolescent children.