I went shopping yesterday with my girls. We hit 3 stores and in 2 of them were, obviously, very young girls who were pregnant. They were with their moms, nicely dressed, hair and make up done, super cute girls.
Not that there is a certain “class” or “type” of family that deals with teen pregnancy – we all know that is not true – but, I suppose I thought in the back of my head that my girls would always be immune because we really try to give them a good life.
Very naive, I know.
So, is it inevitable, with three girls, no matter how well rounded, self confident, and reassured they are, that at least one of my girls will end up pregnant before she is an adult? Is this a reality that I am just going to have to face head on and be prepared for?
And would it even be the end of the world of that happened?
Drugs and alcohol, date rape, internet relationships, and bullying seem to me more dangerous that teen pregnancy. But if I really think about it, I could literally cry at the thought of one of my babies becoming baby mommies. And my oldest is 4!
Sure, we would be there for her. Helping with the baby while she goes to school, pursues her dreams, and builds her life. Because I can not imagine turning my back on my daughter and her child. And we know that it would put our lives on hold… but what else can we do?
But does it have to happen? Has teen pregnancy become so “acceptable” with shows like Teen Mom and Pregnant at 16 that the social stigma has been relaxed? Is it now becoming a parental obligation to be accepting and responsible for the offspring of their own young offspring?
Or can we turn it around? Can we teach our girls the incredible gift of waiting for sex and finding the right guy… at the right age… regardless of their hormones?
Can our voice be louder than the media’s? Can we drown out the constant promoting and evident consent of teenage sex? Even “G” rated ads on the internet feature half clad teen girls and boys in sultry poses, intending to play to our kids hormones. And I have a feeling teenage boys with raging hormones are not thinking clearly about the consequences. At least not clearly enough to be the rational one.
How do I compete with that?
I have no idea. Because I have a feeling that being raised in a “good” home, high on values and God, with unconditional love and respect, will not be barrier enough to prevent what seems to be inevitable now.
That in 10 years or so… I might be called Grandma.
I am a mother of 3. 2 girls 11 and 8 and 1 boy 6. I was a teen mother. I got pregnant at 14 years old and had her at 15. Now I know i’m gonna catch flack for that but I’m telling it here to make a point. I was a well rounded child/teen. I was a STRAIGHT A student with everything going for me! The “class” of teen girls that wind up pregnant is now just as diverse as the girls’ themselves. MOST teen moms aren’t “good parents”. They are childish and don’t have priorities in perspective. I finished school. Got my diploma and went to WORK. I supported my own child and even helped my mother with the bills. I took care of my daughter. I did have to put off nursing school for a little while as I was nursing her and didn’t want her to have a bottle but I did eventually go and do that too.
I think unfortunately that it IS inevitable that teen girls are going to get pregnant. It has gone from being a taboo to being “cool”! While that sickens me regardless of my past, I have to face that fact. I’m sincerely hoping that by being open and brutally honest with my girls, that they will learn from MY PAST and not do the same things I did. If you’ll notice, I dod NOT call my teen pregnancy a “mistake”. That word makes me ill. My daughter was NOT a mistake but rather an unplanned blessing! I guess my point is….Nowadays people shelter their kids. “Oh don’t say that to her!! It might damage her thought process.” REALLY??!! The only thought process teens have anymore is texting and computers!! Things are NOT the same! Teens now are more like 8 year olds were then. No sense of responsibility…. So who cares what others think!! BE BRUTAL when you talk to your daughters. Tell them the REAL consequences! Don’t sugar coat it! Make it known…..Scare the CRAP outta them!! Then….maybe…you just might get through their now even thicker skulls….Make it STICK in their minds!! I know I do.
With that being said…I will never turn away from my girls. If they become pregnant young, I will PREPARE them for motherhood and help in any and every way I can….We all make choices that don’t always pan out…even us adults…
Let the bashing of me begin lmao :o)
Where in your very honest and well worded post should I be bashing?!?! I love that you have a perspective in the reality of teen pregnancy and I admire that you did work to take care of your daughter. I think you are right, that society is so busy sheltering our kids that we are missing opportunities that are necessary to raising informed kids. I can not stand when people say, “You had better not get pregnant or you are out on your own!” Threats have been shown as the least effective way to get head strong, I know everything, kids to conform.
I can not tell you how much I appreciate your perspective and that you took time to comment! I am inclined to agree that sheltering only leads to confusion.
Sheltering leads to kids living at home well into adulthood because they were never taught how to live! They couldn’t SURVIVE on their own!! I see it in my own brother. We are a generation apart for sure. I was raised with tough love and honesty while he got coddled and sheltered. He’s now almost 21 and STILL living at home. He has a son that lives with him at my MOMS house and even his GIRLFRIEND lives there!! YUCK!! PREPARE them for life! It’s not all mommy help me and daddy give me. Our kids have entitlement issues and illusions of what life will be like as adults…Teach them respect and responsibility!!! Ugh…sorry…that was a rant….sore subject on that one…:(
LOL!! It’s ok! Sounds like he needs to grow up a bit as well. I can say I see that happening too. A lot of kids live at home or are so dependent on their parents that they can not make a decision without checking in! I don’t know whose fault that is or how to change it. But I think that some hard knocks in life are necessary. I just hope they are of the broken heart kind and not the pregnancy, drug, other scary stuff kind!
I’ll be honest here. I am a teen mom. I got pregnant with my son when I was 16, and had him when I was 17. I lived with his father, and finished school ON MY OWN while taking care of our son. His father worked, I stayed home & homeschooled myself. It was hard, I won’t deny it. But in my honest opinion, the best way to prevent this, is to put your children on birth control. In today’s age, it’s not 100% likely that teens will choose to be abstinent. It’s going to happen sooner or later. So the best thing is to just be prepared. If your daughters decide to stay abstinent, then that’s wonderful. But it’s better to be prepared and nothing happen, than to not be and her get pregnant.
Thank you Madison!! Can I ask – how old should girls be when being put on birth control? And how do I convince them that they can come to be when they need it and to actually TAKE IT???
You really worked hard to take care of your child and yourself- I sincerely admire any teen mom! I can barely do it at 38.. I can not imagine 15 or 16!
And then if they are on the pill, do they not see sexually transmitted diseases as a problem. “OK, i’m not pregnant mom, but i have HIV.” Of course, i haven’t had to deal with this … mine are young too, but i would think communication/trust is the key and from an early age.
My mom was pregnant with me her senior year. And then she had another one 18 months later. She did wonderfully with us, but also had the support of my dad and grandma’s. I wouldn’t wish mommyhood on a teenager, but it does happen. I think that the shows on MTV about it are HORRIBLE and totally glorify it (look! I can have a kid, be on TV! get lots of money *and then blow it*).
But then here I am at 32 with a two year old. When my mom was 32, I was 14! I kind of envy that. LOL
I don’t think it’s inevitable and just because you have three girls that you are sure to be a grandma early. But it does happen. And if it does, you just roll with it. Like everything else life throws at us!
Thank you Nina! Interesting that you did not continue the cycle as so many kids of teen moms seem to. I do not know how teen moms do it and I do not know how the parents of these kids manage. But it is a reality… and one that we all will have to face way too soon!
Thank you for responding!
I was a teen mom (I won’t go into the story of how I became one) but I will tell you this….teens are uneducated about the risks of having sex. Parents believe putting their teen on birth control is giving them permission to have sex, it’s not. If they are going to do it, then they are going to do it whether they are or are not on birth control. That little pill doesn’t make them become crazy sex craved teens.
Teen pregnancy can happen to any family. Parents who want to live in denial that their teen might have sex (no matter how many morals you have instilled in them) are the ones who will end up with a teen parent.
I agree! I was very young when I became active and I did not feel like I could go to my parents and ask for birth control. I was a lucky one who just happened not to get pg. I hope that my girls feel like they can come to me AND their dad!
Thank you so much!
THat may be a story you share later Lori. That you wish you would have waited until you were older and you hope that they wait. BUT, that you wished you could have had parents you felt you could go to and you hope that they know that you and Tony are here and they can come to you with anything… sex, needing a ride home from a party b/c their ride is drunk, etc.
I here ya there! I have a 16 year old boy, and 13 and 11 1/2 year old girls. The thought of any of them becoming a parent before they are married is overwhelming at times! We have talked to them about the cost of giving their heart away before they are ready. We read them “The Squire and the Scroll” and “The Princess and the Kiss” from the time they were little. We don’t allow dating, and explained why. We show them scripture about the rewards and consequences involving relationships. We try to model this for them and provide other godly examples. When you allow yourself to be romantically involved with someone you give them a piece of your heart. Do they want to give/receive a partial heart to their spouse? Dating allows one to walk out on a relationship because you get bored or are arguing or found someone more interesting. Dating is divorce practice. This is not to say there haven’t been “crushes”, but we encourage them to pray and ask God to prepare them to be the spouse they are intended to be, and encourage them to keep themselves pure. We have even gone as far to encourage them not to kiss before their wedding day. You only get one first kiss, wouldn’t your spouse really appreciate it if you saved it for him/her? We don’t allow pairing off, but do allow them to go on group outings. And we tell them that ultimately the responsibility to choose purity is theirs. We can’t choose it for them, only direct them to that path. Our son openly discusses what kind of husband he wants to be, and what kind of woman would make a good wife. He talks about how he is preparing himself to be a godly husband. Our 13 year old asked for a “purity” ring for her birthday last year. She explained its a reminder that her heart already belongs to God and her husband and that she is not “available.” Our youngest asked if she could have one, too. We have talked openly about how their body changes, the hormonal disruptions and the feelings that go with it. Most importantly, we pray. We ask God to guide us to be the parents they need, to provide other godly adults and friends that exemplify His values and to give them the courage to do the right thing, no matter the cost. We also pray these things for their future spouses and children. My best advise for a young mom is pray, be in HIs word, talk with your husband and seed godly counsel. Just like we can’t make our children choose salvation, we can’t make them choose purity. We just have to trust God’s word, Prov. 22:6. Blessings!
BTW- I graduated high school at 17, married at 18 and had our son at 19. So technically, I was a teen mom. I looked very young, a few people thought I was 13 or 14. At the time I was a bit put off, but now appreciate that I look a bit younger than my age. We’re still married- the only ones of our friends that married that didn’t and won’t get divorced.
ElizaBeth – are you a home schooler also? We have many families in the neighborhood that do the same thing. And their kids wear rings and talk openly about waiting for the right one, etc. I admire that lifestyle, I do. But to think that I can do it is an unrealistic measure. It is not for everyone. I am not cut out to home school and though we are a Catholic family, we are not a bible reading every night kind of group. We pray every night and have many open discussions about God and his major part in our lived and decisions.
I sometimes wish I could be like your family. Making sure that their purity and acceptance of it as a badge of honor were a priority. But with schools and friends and outside influences, unless I keep them with me 24/7, it is going to get in.
I love your response and think, in a perfect world, raising families the way you are could solve many problems!
I did forget to mention that above. In the interest of being honest and open with our kids, I have also let my oldest know that whenever shr gets those “urges or thoughts” to come to me immediately and we’ll go put her on BC. I agree with the above that that lil pill does NOT cause our teens to go into a fit of sex craze lmao…It’s better to be safe than sorry. They are GOING to do it!! Just make sure that you have given them protection (ie: BC and/or condoms), education in the cause and effects and RISKS, and an open ear…That is the BIGGEST 1!!! TALK to your kids. I said it above! Don’t sugar coat it!! Tell em how it is!!
That’s all we can do….Prepare, educate & listen!! The rest is up to them!
And what if your child came to you pregnant and wanted an abortion, how would you handle that? There are several options available.. keep the baby, adoption, abortion. Would you let that child make that decision with counseling help? I’m just curious. I don’t want to turn this religious or political because it is a good topic. Hopefully we will never be in this situation, Lori. I do NOT think it is inevitable that you will be a grandma early.
Oh holy cow… I did not even think of that! I have no idea what I would do. I guess it is good that I am exploring this subject early. If it were to happen, I need to be prepared for anything…
Whew… so much to learn as a parent!
If my daughter didn’t want to keep the baby…I WOULD!! I would adopt the baby!! Abortion is OUT OF THEQUESTION!! You spread your legs, you can at LEAST give the child a chance at a life!!!
End rant! :o)
This is a pretty contraversial topic! Okay, where I fit in in the opinion scale. Well, I fell pregnant at fifteen, had my daughter at sixteen. Naturally, I suppose I’m a little biased. Having said that, now having four beautiful girls (the eldest being seven) would I want any of my children to become a teen-mother? Heck no! It’s not because I don’t think they would be perfectly capable of caring for their child, but because I wouldn’t want them to miss out on the things I did.
At 24 I am only now just studying to become a midwife (oh the irony) the kiddies were always more important. Now I can do a little more for myself and hopefully they’ll learn from my mistakes…
I lost pretty much all of my friendships that I thought would last forever. I’ve had bad relationships with guys and I think that had I been older when I chose to have children, I may not have made the same mistakes that I have made. I could have made them anyway, I guess we’ll never know.
Having children early made me grow up pretty darn fast and I notice the difference in maturity among myself and people my own age who don’t have children. Also, despite my total change of character, now being the Martha Stewart (s)mothering type mother ;) I found it really hard to bond with my eldest daughter for such a long time. As awful as this sounds, I resented her for the things I was missing out on. Totally my fault, but as a pretty immature mother I found it difficult to differentiate between the circumstances I had created for myself, and the things my baby stopped me from doing.
I think there are a lot of teen mums who are fab at being mothers; me? Well, it took me a while to get the hang of it. I wouldn’t recommend it, even though children appear to be extremely mature as teenagers, they really aren’t ready to become parents. Not by a long shot…
Thank you Emma for sharing your story! I love hearing the perspective of those who have been there! Not one teen mom has said that she would recommend it – except Elizabeth who was married young.
I can understand the resentment that you may have had. How could you now? She was a tangible reminder of your childhood lost. I hope that your relationship has recovered. Kids are so forgiving.
Much love to your in your pursuit of your dreams! I know you will succeed!!!
Keep in touch!!! ;D
First of all, I have to commend every commenter on this post. There are some very different opinions here and no one has gotten nasty. I love this!!! I really like hearing all different opinions, whether I agree or not.
I have two boys, 13 and 2, so I don’t have to worry about a daughter coming home and saying, “Mom, I’m pregnant.” I have already had sex talks with my oldest. He’s interested in girls now and, the way things are nowadays, kids this young are quite sexually active around here.
He’s got a good head on his shoulders, but I don’t think those hormones have hit him quite yet. I’ll be keeping a very close eye on him. He knows that he can talk to us about anything – and has. I feel very lucky!
Thank you Alicia! I am interested, what do you think would happen if he did come home and tell you his girlfriend was pregnant?
And yes – I have the best, most respectful readers out there!
I was a teen mom. I got pregnant at 18 and had my son a month before I turned 19. I was also raised in a great home and was taught values and morals. Even though I had my son at such a young age, I finished school, continued working, and supported myself and my child. I was never taught that teen pregnancy was ok…BUT I was also never taught about birth control or raised to feel comfortable enough to even talk to my mom about it. Yes, I knew what it was and how to use it, but my mother never made me feel like I could turn to her to talk about things or ask questions or voice concerns.
You said that you’d be there for your daughter if she were to ever become pregnant, which is wonderful. But my suggestion would be to teach your children the importance of contraception. Make your children feel like they can come to you with any concern or question they have, whether it is sex related or not. If you have an open, comfortable relationship with them about it I think it will make it much easier.
I uKimberly. I am getting the consensus that an open discussion about contraceptives is an important part of making sure our kids are informed. But how young is too young for that?
One thing I can honestly say my Mom did right was to be open and honest with me and my sister about sex and birth control. Now I am not saying she made me feel like a valued member of the conversation :) I was on birth control at 13 and I was no where near emotionally ready for sex never mind pregnancy! I am glad she made the choice to have me put on birth control though because when I did decide to have sex I was prepared and did not have to depend on the guy. Now my point..You have to be open and honest with your girls early how early is up to you and your husband and their maturity/interest in boys ect. but make it a conversation and not a dictatorship so they feel like they have rights and valued opinions. Explain things to them and allow them to be open with you too. Trust in them is important but their trust in you is also important if you know what i mean. This is just my ideas on the subject with the usual disclaimer that none of my theories have actually been tested on anyone but me!! But i do know that I felt like my Mom did not trust me when I said I was not having sex at 13 but now i feel like it was a wise decision. I just wish she had explained to me that she believed that I was not having sex but was afraid I would not come to her when the time came.
Good point Rachel. I do not want to belittle my girls into thinking that they have no choice in the matter. In fact, I want them to come to be if it is before I come to them!
I guess the thing is – sex is sex. Teenagers for generations have engaged in it some form or fashion. I just don’t want mine feeling like they have to hide in the back of a Camaro and run around with the secret and then pop up one day 5 months pregnant.
Thank you Rachel!! You comment is awesome!
I am glad you saw my point in that ramble rabble comment! I just thought of one more thing because of your reply. My cousin became pregnant with her daughter at 15 and hid the pregnancy for almost 7 months. She was on medications that could have harmed her baby but did not understand that that could happen. She honestly did not know she was possibly harming her child out of fear of telling her parents she was pregnant. Scary, her daughter was carefully monitored once the pregnancy was discovered and was born healthy but has some learning disabilities that no one is sure if they came naturally or because of her exposure to those medications. This child is also the light of my life, there are no mistakes when it comes to the children God sends if it is meant to happen it will but I do believe in giving your daughters the chance at growing up and being kids as long as possible!
Oh my gosh!! I am so glad the baby was ok! And I am glad she has such a wonderful Aunt to spend time with! There are so many aspects to the teen pregnancy debate – well – the consequences of sex at all -that I could write a whole blog on it. I just pray that when the time comes, I am struck with wisdom and not fear!
Hi, i am jenny and i am 26 years old. I know how you feel whey you see some girl who is teenager and she is pregnant. I have two doter and i really take of her because i feel if i am free with her they never try to say false and they can free discuss with me about her problem. I always share all things about my life and feeling and also try to give some massage about how to live life properly.
I never want to see my girls face the problem of teenage pregnancy. I love my doter. Same you also try to be free with your doter and share something about and discuss something about her.