Shared Bed/No Marriage–Maybe the Kids Do Notice

Lisa Cherry —  September 15, 2011

Image courtesy of Joseph Hoban

By Lisa Cherry

One of my teens had an outlandish conversation with some fellow teenagers last week. My child did not know these other kids well, and was pretty shocked at the life vision revealed in their discussion. It went something like this:

"I think I want to have four kids someday,” said one teen. “But I am not going to get married. Marriages never last anyway!"

My child then set out her parents’ 30-year marriage as an example of a one that has lasted...joyfully!

The next teen then piped in with her comment: "Four kids. That's pretty good. But what would really be cool is if they all had different fathers!  Kinda like a grouping of kids."

My jaw dropped open. Having babies out-of-wedlock, even in serial fashion, is something these teens aspire to. How did this become “normal” to them?

What are we portraying to our kids?! Chuck Colson touched on this in his recent article The Cohabitation Revolution: Kids Pay the Price. I hope you’ll click over to it and read about how just living together instead of marrying can actually harm your kids.

  • Jenna

    Apparently, said kids haven't witnessed what it is like to deal with custody battles, court costs, and all the pain that it brings to all family members when little ones are "fought" over. If they saw THAT, then maybe they could imagine what it might be like to do that for each of the four imaginary children that they'd want to have out of wedlock. That's not to say that that doesn't happen when parents divorce, but it seems to be par for the course when trying to work out "details" between unmarried people (especially someone bearing children by four different men?!). :(

    • frontlinemama

      Jenna, I agree. To watch the pain and insecurity the children endure is heartbreaking. I am alarmed to think our kids could begin to view this "common" problem as the new norm! Thanks for writing in.