Home » Ask the Therapist » Parenting » Intimidated by Children?

Intimidated by Children?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From the U.S.:I don’t have a maternal instinct toward babies. I can’t even confidentially say I find them cute. Whenever I’m around kids I feel uncomfortable. I don’t know how to act around them or bring myself down to their level. I can’t do baby talk and I can’t talk simply enough for them to understand me.

I’m embarrassed by my lack of understanding of children. I can’t say I ever want kids because I’m fairly certain I’m far too selfish to raise a child. I don’t want to throw my money away. I’d rather raise dogs to be honest.

I’m uncertain if being asexual is a factor in this. I don’t even see myself ever finding someone. Dating isn’t a concern of mine. If I somehow miraculously find someone who would want to be with me regardless, I don’t want my complete lack of maternal instinct ruin their chances of fatherhood. I just don’t think I could ever be a good parent. How do I get over this? Or at least become comfortable around kids?

Intimidated by Children?

Answered by on -


I wish I could be helpful, but I don’t think I have enough information. If you don’t have younger siblings or have never babysat or been around small children, it’s no wonder that you aren’t comfortable around them. Working and playing with young children is a learned skill. You have to have kids to learn on.

Not everyone wants or needs to have children in their life. But in order to choose well, you need to explore the basis of your choice.

At 19, I wouldn’t expect you to have “maternal” instincts. Although there are many young women who are ga-ga over babies, it’s also true that some don’t have an ounce of maternal interest until they are much older or they see their own child. Remember, the word is “maternal” which means mother. Often mothering feelings come about when a person becomes a mother.

It’s also unusual for someone who is 19 to declare herself asexual. If I were seeing you, I’d ask you to explore your medical and psychological history with me to understand it. I’d also want to talk to you about your pessimism about ever finding someone who would love you and you would love in return.

I do think that looking into these issues is important to your own growth. I hope you will contact a therapist and go to therapy for at least a few months to learn more about yourself.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Intimidated by Children?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Intimidated by Children?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 26 Aug 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.