Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sex Selection And Other Parental Control Issues

When I read about parents in India and China selecting forthe sex of their children, at first I thought it had nothing to do with the parenting issues I address with clients.  Then I started to wonder.  Sex selection is a choice you can make in utero that is not based on the medical status of your fetus. One physician suggested that you can choose whether to be a parent, but you can’t choose whether to have a boy or girl, or a tall or short child.  Obviously ne never saw My Sister’s Keeper (which raised some similar and fascinating issues).   Of course when it comes to gender, it’s not whether you can choose, it’s whether you ought to choose.

My interest is more about what happens later.  Say you choose a boy, does he then have to go to medical school?  Play the piano?  Marry a woman of the same class and race?  Where does it end?

As the article states, regardless of the reason…sex selection prioritizes the needs of one generation over another, making having children more about bringing parents satisfaction than about responsibly creating an independent human being.
Think about that.  Then ask yourself how much your decisions, vis-à-vis your children, are about meeting your needs, and how much they’re about creating an independent human being?  An independent human being would be one you would accept (as in accept their preferences), trust (as in trust them to do the right thing) and respect (as in listen when their opinions or choices differ from your own.  Raising an independent human being might mean that this human’s choices would not be the same as your choices, that the right thing for you might not be the right thing for them. 
I think the whole selection issue raises some very important and interesting ideas to contemplate as parents of children any age.  Most adults I know can still feel the disapproval from their own parents from just a glance or a sigh, and continue to live with that burden as parents and grandparents themselves.  That’s definitely not the kind of future relationship I’m hoping for with my child.  Consider where you fall on this issue, and how it affects your relationships with your kids and parents.  It’s never too late to make a change.
Daughters, John Mayer

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