It’s This Intention, This Choice That Matters

There are a lot of kids out there. There are fewer parents. Not just because most families have more than one child, but because unfortunately, tragically, not everyone who has a kid decides to be a parent.

In a recent podcast, Richard Reeves (who wrote the fascinating book Of Boys and Men) talked about the study that found that adopted children often do as well or even better than kids who are raised by their biological families. His point was not just that people who adopt are angels, but he was also making the same point we’ve made here many times (and built The Daily Dad book around): it’s the decision, the choice to raise a child that is everything. Whether you’re choosing to do that with a kid that is biologically yours or a bonus kid from a spouse’s previous marriage or one that you and your partner have adopted, it doesn’t matter–what matters is that you decide to become a parent. Legal status, the shared DNA? No, what matters is the choice to assume the responsibility, to step up, to identify with/as, and to give everything you have to this new job.

Unfortunately, tragically, too few people decide to do this. Worse, too many people who decide not to do this…decide to have kids. We don’t control that, all we control is that every day–whatever our circumstances and past happens to be–that we choose to be the exception, that we choose to do something beyond having kids.

We have to choose to be parents.

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