Why did you become a parent? The answer could help you be a better one

Story highlights

  • Beyond evolutionary and societal drives, personal ones lead people to make other people
  • Knowing why you became a parent can give you the insight to improve your parenting

This essay is part of a column called The Wisdom Project by David Allan, editorial director of CNN Health and Wellness. The series is on applying to one's life the wisdom and philosophy found everywhere, from ancient texts to pop culture. You can follow David at @davidgallan. Don't miss another Wisdom Project column; subscribe here.

(CNN)Have you ever asked yourself why you wanted (or want) to have children?

Those who wrestled with the decision or struggled to conceive a child have probably thought about it a good deal. And some have always known the answer, maybe since they were kids themselves.
    But for many parents and would-be parents, the question may seem odd or elementary -- which makes it a great question to tackle.
    One answer is that we, as a species, harbor an evolutionary drive to propagate. Our small part -- at its most basic, perhaps unconscious and even (by design) pleasurable level -- is to carry on our DNA to the next generation. If enough of us do that (and we avoid destroying the planet), human beings will thrive.