Practical Advice

Etiquette Lesson: Is it appropriate to ask a couple “Why don’t you have kids yet?”


couples talking 2

Sure, this question can be masked with “concern” but really, their decision to have kids is none of anyone’s business. This is a common embarrassing question in Filipino social gatherings and I have seen how couples at the receiving end of the question squirm uncomfortably. See, the couple may actually want kids but may have some challenges reproducing. It isn’t their fault that they are experiencing that. Why add insult to injury by asking them a sensitive question?

On the other side of the spectrum, the couple may have that mutual decision not to have children. Again, their reasons are none of anyone’s business. Do not take it against them for it is their choice. Before anyone considers asking this question, I think it’s wise to consider:

  • Why must I ask this question? What is my motive?
  • Am I friends with the couple? Do they consider me as someone they can trust? – Personal questions like our example above may be alright for people the couple trusts. Don’t just blurt this out when you meet them for the first time or if your friendship hasn’t deepened just yet. Chances are, if the couple grows to trust you, they will mention it without you having to ask.
  • Will it directly affect me if I don’t get the answer to the question? Am I “concerned” or just curious?

This may seem like a common question that’s thrown around but it pays to be mindful of how the other party would feel. Remember that courtesy is appreciated by a lot of people–it makes them want to continue talking to you or listen to what you have to say.

Stay classy!