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Have the writers or anyone associated with TNG ever commented on why they chose to make Picard uncomfortable with children?

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    P. 23 of the "writer's bible" by Gene Roddenberry, which was written before the roles had even been cast, mentions this in a paragraph on p. 23, but Roddenberry doesn't really explain why he chose to include this element of the character. The paragraph also mentions that he doesn't really know how to deal with Wesley Crusher but is attracted to Beverly Crusher, so perhaps it was just for dramatic tension. Might also be to emphasize the newness of a ship having this "civilian" element.
    – Hypnosifl
    Dec 11, 2015 at 7:32
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    “The paragraph also mentions that he doesn't really know how to deal with Wesley Crusher” —non-one knows how to deal with Wesley Crusher. Apart from that one planet that wanted to execute him. Dec 11, 2015 at 9:43
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    Picard knows how to deal with Wesley, "SHUT UP WESLEY" seems to sum it up well enough.
    – Broklynite
    Dec 11, 2015 at 11:01
  • I think it's probably just a natural consequence of having a long military career like his, where most ships don't have civilians onboard. He'd be used to dealing with adult civilians, such as traders, settlers and diplomats, and especially with military personnel, but children are very different to all of those. Dec 11, 2015 at 15:05
  • Because other people's small children are horrible.
    – Valorum
    Jun 6, 2016 at 21:19

1 Answer 1

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As @Hypnosifl points out P. 23 of "writer's bible" by Gene Roddenberry does state that Picard has a certain dislike of children.

However I believe that paragraph sums up why Picard dislikes children rather well. It states (and the memory alpha page on the Stargazer corroborates) that Picard was in command of the Stargazer for 22 years. During this time Picard commanded a ship with no families or children at all. When he was posted to the Enterprise he was apprehensive about serving on a ship with children and other civilians. He wasn't sure how to respond to them because he was used to the more regimented crew of the Stargazer.

In fact the writer's bible goes on to state:

Captain Picard has his share of idiosyncrasies, one being the fact he is not yet fully comfortable with having families and children aboard a vessel he commands. ... Picard supports its concept cautiously, while having his own private misgivings. He has not had much experience dealing with children...

Picard was just used to having only Starfleet Officers to deal with on his ship and didn't know how to respond to passengers.

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