OPINION: Why Gen Zers do not want kids

Illustration by Mattheau Faught

Parents, with all due respect, you guys ruined the idea of having children for my generation. My friends and I have talked and agreed, we don’t want children. Maybe you guys planned it all out from the start: a plan that involved scaring us for life so that our siblings would act as our very own personal forms of birth control.

From changing diapers to making their bottles, being the older sibling was hard. Nobody told me that once you become an older sibling that you would be the one constantly watching your sibling from weekday afternoons to weekend nights. Granted, I didn’t begin to watch my siblings by myself until I got older, but that still doesn’t make it better.

Parents may call this being an older sibling, but I call it ruining kids for me. 

Sure, it was fun seeing my siblings grow into tiny individual people, but their attitudes and their pickiness destroyed my fantasy of raising a baby.

I know what you all may be thinking. We’ve all taken care of our siblings, what’s your point? You are right, it’s not just the matter of taking care of my siblings. There are many other reasons why my generation does not want children.

An important reason is that our earth is literally dying before our eyes, and the older generations are to blame for it.

While the majority of Gen Z may be viewed as “earth-loving hippies,” we have a good reason for it. We want to be able to live in a clean world. The effects of climate change are long-lasting, and I don’t want my child to deal with the responsibility of cleaning up the mess like other generations before us have struggled to do.

Another reason is that it has become unaffordable to raise a child. Our country makes living by yourself hard, even harder if you are a single parent raising a child.

As of right now, the minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 an hour. This amount of money makes it difficult to pay bills and then support a child.

According to the Best Places website, the average cost of purchasing a house is $231,200, which makes it harder to live in a comfortable environment. I wouldn’t want to raise a child, nor have one, if I am barely getting enough money to support myself.

Minimum wage is also a reason why some parents in today’s country have to work two jobs to ensure that their child has a roof over their head and a warm meal. Because of this, people from my generation have had to take care of their siblings while their parents are working long hours.

We need to work together to save the planet as well as create a better living environment for future generations. I know it sounds cheesy but if we actually recycled, turned off running water and stopped cutting down trees, it would improve our home. Maybe, just maybe, if we fixed the effects of global warming and raised the minimum wage in our country, I just might consider having a child rather than my original plan of fathering a fish.

—Xavier Fraire is a contributor and a journalism major

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