37 ‘would you rather’ questions everyone who wants to become a parent should answer

A new study has found that parents value tech and gadgets over babies, leading to a loss in infertility. Do you feel the same?
Mar 31, 2016

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  • It seems Americans have traded babies, diapers and cribs for iPhones, FitBits and TVs.

  • A new study published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B has found that there's been a drop in fertility rates in the United States because Americans have decided to buy new gadgets and devices instead of have babies.

  • The study, done by researchers at Emory University, found that people have placed so much more value in purchasing materials and improving their social status that it has led to lower fertility rates.

  • "As competition becomes more focused on social climbing, as opposed to just putting food on the table, people invest more in material goods and achieving social status, and that affects how many children they have," anthropologist Paul Hooper said in a statement.

  • This is mostly seen in areas where there are intense labor markets and intense competition for jobs, Hooper said. Since many countries across the world have social inequality, which only increases competition to find the best jobs, there's been an increasing dip in fertility rates, he said.

  • And that's true: There has been a significant drop. The U.S. birth rate dropped to a historic low the past few years with the number of births between 2012 and 2013 dropping to below 20,000, even though there's been an increase in the number of women who are in their childbearing years, Forbes reported.

  • In fact, the birth rate per thousand women fell to 62.5 in 2013 - the lowest number ever recorded, according to Forbes.

  • This rate fell and then leveled off with the economy's rise and fall, Forbes reported. As the economy grew in 2012, so did the birth rate. But this more recent drop shows a different trend.

  • "What concerns experts is not the fall itself, but the fact that it accelerated when we were supposedly experiencing an economic recovery," Forbes reported.

  • While this fits with the Emory University study's findings, there's a number of reasons that fertility rates have dropped. For one, women are having children at older ages than before, mostly because they have put their careers ahead of childbearing. Women have also put an importance on finding a husband who's financially stable with a steady job, The Washington Post reported, at the same time that men have seen a loss in jobs.

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  • Couples also spend too much money on their career moves and material goods that they simply can't afford to have children, according to the Emory University study.

  • But placing value in material goods over children isn't always the best approach, and it may soon change with this generation's group of youngsters. A Pew Research Center study from 2011 found millennials put parenthood ahead of other life choices, like marriage.

  • And, according to Millennial Marketing, a Web platform that looks at how millennials fit into today's market, it seems young Americans appreciate family values over making money and embracing materialism.

  • Millennials want stable families, and have often said they want to put their families ahead of careers and gadgets. In fact, millennials plan to do this as they become parents by teaching their children that good family values outweigh new tech gadgets.

  • "An emphasis on travel, learning and experiences is characteristic of their generation and a pattern they are likely to carry over into their parenting," according to Millennial Marketing. "Again, this may be a function of necessity as well as values. Whatever the reason, look for houses to be smaller and greener, toys to be fewer and family activities to be more common."

  • Experts often recommend this for all parents. Experiences and good behavior matter most when it comes to parenting, not the materials children get from stores.

  • "What I want is for my kids to remember horseback riding, to remember spotting the starfish at low tide, to remember that time they were playing in the cold California waves and Mom went in all the way up to her waist even though she was wearing jeans," Erika Janes of Parents magazine wrote. "To remember whittling the bark off of a walking stick found by the side of the road. To remember that the best things from vacations (and from life) can come home with you - but not in a suitcase."

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  • Still, the choice is up to parents (or soon-to-be parents) about what they value more. Here are some "would you rather" questions to help you determine what you want your child (or future child) to value in his or her life.

  • Your child's first toy: a toy smartphone or a set of building blocks?

  • Would you rather send your child to private school or public school?

  • Would you rather have your baby sleep in a crib or in your room?

  • Would you rather give your child a cellphone at age 10 or 16?

  • Would you rather sing your child a lullaby or have them listen to Coldplay?

  • Would you rather go to the beach with some friends or watch "Toy Story?"

  • Would you rather watch cartoons or sleep in late?

  • Would you rather hike or sit and eat potato chips?

  • Would you rather go to church on Sunday or spend money?

  • Would you rather listen to Drake or Taylor Swift?

  • Would you rather watch "American Idol" or "The Voice"?

  • Would you rather eat ham or turkey for Thanksgiving?

  • Would you rather eat at a restaurant or at home?

  • Would you rather text or call your significant other?

  • Would you rather watch TV at dinner or have a conversation?

  • Would you rather work 9 to 5 or 4 to midnight?

  • Would you rather send your child into time out or encourage good behavior?

  • Would you rather teach your child a Bible story or have them watch "House of Cards?"

  • Would you rather buy your child the new Apple Watch or donate money to charity?

  • Would you rather blow out your own birthday candles or have your child do it?

  • Would you rather give birth at home or at a hospital?

  • Would you rather give your child a used book or a Kindle?

  • Would you rather your child watch "Barney" or "Sesame Street?"

  • Would you rather binge-wach a TV show or read your child fairy tales?

  • Would you rather let your child watch Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?

  • Would you rather take your child to work with you or send them to a baby sitter?

  • Would you rather buy your child a stuffed bear or a bike?

  • Would you rather draw with your child or leave him or her alone?

  • Would you rather your child become a STEM major or an arts major?

  • Would you rather your child read "To Kill a Mockingbird" or "Captain Underpants?"

  • Would you rather your child be the popular kid or be comfortable with his or her self?

  • Would you rather change a diaper for No. 1 or No. 2?

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  • Would you rather give your child cloth diapers or regular diapers?

  • Would you rather your child's first word be "mom" or "dad?"

  • Would you rather your child smell good or have soft skin?

  • Would you rather your child invest in stocks or buy a bunch of mint-condition comics?

  • Would you rather your child grow up to be successful or have a happy family?

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

Website: https://twitter.com/HerbScribner

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