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The importance or otherwise of parenthood

It was only females who said their desire for children sprang from experience with children within their own family:

  • I’d like to have children…because I think I’ve grown up with quite a big family and I’m used to like y’know having lots of children around… I’ve got a niece, she’s three, so I look after her a lot. So I’ve grown used to y’know having children around so I’d like responsible-parenthoodchildren of my own to bring up. (Girl, 14)

However, members of both sexes appeared influenced by family members advising them of their potential parenting qualities:

  • Right, to have my own children…yeah I’d like Cialis in Australia here to have children. My mum said I would be a good dad. (Boy, 14)

Some had arrived at that conclusion for themselves:

  • I think I would be a good mum. (Girl, 16)

They’re so cute…

There were gender differences in seeing babies as desirable in themselves. Some females wanted children because they ‘just like babies’, often referring to the fact that they are ‘cute’:

  • I’d like to have children of my own because I like babies and stuff. My mum’s friend has just had a baby and she brought it over for us to have a look at it and she was really cute. (Girl, 11)
  • I don’t want to go into labour or anything like that but I do want children because I think they are sweet. (Girl, 14)
  • I don’t really know why…

Some struggled to find words to explain their strong desire to become parents:

  • I don’t really know why I want to have children of my own but it is something that is important. I couldn’t really think of the words to describe it, I just know I want them when I’m older. (Boy, 13)
  • Then to have children, oh, I can’t wait just to have a little one of me or maybe a few of them. I don’t know why, it’s just to like run about with your kids. (Boy, 16)

Prioritizing other ambitions ahead of parenthood

For some the idea of having children of their own was seen either as not important or as potentially problematic. While the majority indicated that they would probably want children at some stage, there were some who seemed to consider it an unlikely choice. Further analysis from the inter-views suggests a mixed picture of ‘meaning of parenthood’ to this group.

I want to get my ambitions done first

Many indicated that the need to achieve other things in their own lives would take priority over parenthood, at least in early adulthood:

  • Yeah. I don’t want children like straight away. I want to get my ambitions done first… I want to settle into and then get used to my like own life like cos I’ll be going out into the big wide world… And I want to get used to all that and then settle down. (Girl, 14)
  • I would like to have a family of my own but I’d probably concentrate on getting my own life sorted out first, education wise, going to col-lege and then if someone comes along, settle down and have children of my own. (Boy, 16)
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