If the Pokémon anime did not explicitly ignore the flow of time, protagonist Ash Ketchum would be a 30-year-old man by now. By such an age, many people have settled down and begun a family. The question is, what kind of parent would Ash be?
At first glance, the way Ash raises his Pokémon could be a compelling argument for why he would make a great parent. However, when his methods are really put under the microscope, he is actually a pretty lousy trainer who has spent 20 years coasting off plot armor. The aspiring Pokémon Master is constantly letting his Pokémon down, which does not bode well for his ability to raise a child. Let's take a closer look.
Perhaps the most frustrating of Ash's shortcomings as a trainer is his long history of abandoning his Pokémon. Once he completes a lap around a new region, he dumps his companions on Professor Oak and never looks back. He is the only trainer most of these Pokémon have ever known, yet the vast majority of their time under his ownership is spent on grandpa's farm, wondering if their master will ever come back.
Ash's journey means so much to him that in order to prevent it from ending, he just starts over. A baby can't simply be teleported away whenever its parent wants to start over with a shiny new one. Indifferent or possibly even unaware of how this behavior impacts the Pokémon he's left behind, Ash might just be too selfish to be a parent.
Any kid with siblings will ask their parents, "Who do you love more?" and the parents will say they love all of their children equally. In Ash's case, not only does he have a clear favorite, but he's too socially inept to be anything but bluntly honest when asked. Many of Ash's Pokémon likely harbor an inferiority complex, and Arceus help whomever of Ash's theoretical children asks their father who he loves more between them and Pikachu.
Worst of all, Ash would absolutely allow his child to go on a journey of their own the day they turn 10. In fact, every trainer's parent in Pokémon is a bad parent. 25 is the minimum age to rent a car in many places, yet 10-year-olds are given a backpack and waved off to travel the world alone.
Pokémon are also extremely dangerous, especially considering the number of times that Ash has died at the hands of a wild Pokémon. He has been crushed by a chandelier, turned to stone, consumed by giant amoebas, beaten to death, drowned, and frozen in outer space. Granted, Pokémon have brought him back to life each time, but Ash's child may not be lucky enough to be the main character.
Ash is never going to change because it's been 20 years. If anything, he's less mature now than he was at the start of the Pokémon series. He's a bonafide League Champion and still wears shorts for crying out loud. This nomadic child has spent much of his life going from one rash decision to another while developing no skills that would make him a productive member of society when his journey ends.
Luckily for Ash, there's no such thing as the future. He has a long way to go before he's ready to face reality. The eternally young trainer needs to learn to be more attentive to all his Pokémon before he could ever be ready to have a family. Having a child is hard work -- and unlike with Pokémon, having his kids beat up other kids won't make him a better parent.