TEENAGE MOTHERS Essay Research Paper Becoming a

TEENAGE MOTHERS Essay, Research Paper Becoming a parent permanently and profoundly alters a teenager’s life. Most of the girls forget about their dreams of happy marriage, college is

TEENAGE MOTHERS Essay, Research Paper

Becoming a parent permanently and profoundly alters a teenager’s life.

Most of the girls forget about their dreams of happy marriage, college is

almost always out of the question, graduating High School becomes a goal most

teenage moms don’t achieve. Young girls having babies isn’t new, as a matter

of fact, teenage parenthood was higher in the 1950 then it is today, but

things were different. Most of the girls were eighteen or nineteen and many

of them already married. Only a few of single mothers actually kept their

babies.

Today many mothers are fifteen or sixteen years old. Some are even as

young as twelve. Fathers contribute little or nothing to the care of the

baby, therefore it’s even harder for the mother. All of a sudden the girl is

thrown into the world of responsibilities and duties, where the baby’s needs

come before her own. She is expected to balance her school or a job with the

full time task of raising a baby. Her world is changed from her world of

dates, parties, sleepovers and waiting for a Saturday so you can sleep late,

to the world of doctor appointments, diapers, baby formulas, bills, and day

care.

Experts say that girls have babies from lack of self-esteem. "Too often,

adolescent pregnancy is what happens to poor kids," says psychologist Judith

Musick. "It can be a symptom of having no better options." They need someone

to love and someone to love them back. What’s cuddlier and cuter than a baby

is? A baby gives them something to look forward to and something that gives

meaning to their life. Studies show that a lot of teenage mothers come from

poverty and some of them don’t know any better. There’s definitely a lack of

education but it doesn’t have a direct relationship to race or ethnic

background. A lot of teenage moms don’t think that they have anything to

lose by having a baby.

Communities and Governments have tried to help out teenage mothers but

sometimes what they do just isn’t enough. There is After-School Care for

young adolescents and there are community learning centers. In 1984 about 8.7

million girls were living with a baby and without the father. Only 58% of

those girls have been awarded child support. Of those who were supposed to

get child support in 1983, only half received the amount due. Twenty-six

percent received partial payment and 24% had gotten no payments at all.

Federal, state, and local funds must be provided for after school programs

for young mothers. Legislative initiatives have to provide authorization to

help communities start and operate a variety of programs that could be run by

schools or churches or some kind of agencies.

Unmarried teenage moms, by contrast, are the hearts of underclass

problem. Giving birth to children whom will never have a father and who

sometimes spend a lifetime on welfare. There’s a special program to help

moms under 18 which provides a place to live, if the girl doesn’t have any,

like a church or a shelter. The girls are also provided with parental

instructions, supervised childcare, and insist on finishing high school.

There’s also allowance and training sessions. Some of the mothers are given

federal financing and a mixture of public and private management.

Maybe, if the mothers would be given another chance, they would have

taken a different path, and not have kids at such an early age. They have

probably learned their lesson and suffered the consequences. First they’d

finish their education, get a good job with a good salary, then get married,

start a family and support it.

Approximately 60% of children born to teenagers who are not married, and the

ones, who live and are not adopted, will receive welfare! "Teenage

childbearing cost the nation $16.6 billion in the year of 1985, and 385,000

children who were the first born of teenagers in that year will receive $6

billion in the next 20 years," said a certain study. "The first baby born to

a teenager will receive $15,620 in welfare payments and other government

support by the time that child reaches 20."- Study released by the privately

financed Center for Population Options. By the time these babies will reach

20, the Government will spend $6.04 billion to support them through Aid to

Families with Dependant Children, Medicaid, and food stamps. A third of the

welfare total, $2.4 billion, could have been saved if those teenage mothers

waited until they were 20 to have that baby. The U.S annually spends about

$21 billion providing health and social services to families begun by

teenagers.

There are some High Schools that learned a lot about this problem and

have tried to help out their peers. For example, John Jay High School. They

have a program for teenagers who have kids. The teen mothers are given the

opportunity to finish their education while their babies are in the school’s

daycare center. Also at Spring Valley High, in Spring Valley, New York, a

Key club started a program to help out teenage moms, they have developed the

Cots for Tots program. Club members collect supplies that are often taken

for granted. They go to local businesses and citizens and donate their own

childhood toys to the disadvantaged infants. We forget that a lot of these

teenage mothers have very bad living conditions. Cold, damp shanties – most

of them empty, tattered, dirty mattresses that someone else threw away. No

strollers, not enough clothes and blankets.

Though teen-age parenthood is a global problem, it occurs much more

frequently in the United States than in other industrialized nations. Per

capita, the US teen birthrate is about twice that of Great Britain, Canada,

and France. Three times that of Sweden, and six times that of Netherlands.

Another important issue of this topic is Family values. Some families help

the young mothers, they support them financially and emotionally. It is not

uncommon in some families to have kids at an early age depending on their

culture. Others my not be that understanding about a situation like that.

They might even kick the girl out of the house. I know that, for a fact, in

my family it would be a disgrace to have a child before I’m married and

especially when I’m young. I don’t even want to think of what my parents

would do. Although my older cousin had a baby and she’s not married. She

lives in a house with her parents and her boyfriend. But, she’s 25 years

old. Everyone adores the baby and she’s a lot more fortunate than some other

infants. Everyone buys her things and she’s very much loved. It greatly

depends on the situation and the family’s culture and background, how they

will react to a situation like this.

A lot of the girls who get pregnant, also get that way not just because of

guys their own age but older men, or even if they get raped. On the other

hand, if an older man impregnates a young girl, it is more likely that he

will actually take care of the child. Based on 1993 California figures, the

American Journal of Public Health found that adults fathered two-thirds of

infants born to unwed teens. Adult men sired 77% of California births to

girls aged 16 to 28 and 51% of those to girls under 15 in 1990. The result

of this is that the number of births to teenagers still remains high.

Here are a few things that any community could do to help out:

- Provide prenatal and postnatal care for the teen and her baby, it can cost

as little as $600 for the entire pregnancy.

- Encourage girls to make use of the medical facilities.

- Educate teen parents about the complex role of parenthood.

- Teach them about nutrition, child development, health care, discipline, and

related topics.

- Encourage young girls to stay in school and develop job skills.

- Provide high-quality day care that will help the child’s development, while

allowing the girl to stay in school and/or work.

- Sponsor pregnancy prevention programs that will keep teen mothers from

having more babies before they are ready.

It is estimated right now that 40% of girls who are 14 and younger will

get pregnant; 20% of those 14 and younger will give birth, and 16% will have

abortions. And furthermore, up to 70% of teenage mothers become pregnant

again within two years. It is surprising that in the end, the kids who

receive help now, will most likely be the ones who escape the cycle of

children having children. In my opinion, the next generation will be kids

whose parents are still kids. The parents will not be that much older than

their kids and maybe there wont be such a gap between those generations.

Kids won’t have a hard time understanding their parents and the other way

around. But if you u look at it from another angle, what can inexperienced

teenage girls offer their children? They can’t teach their babies right from

wrong. They probably would like to, but they can’t because a lot of them

don’t know it themselves.

This has been an issue of wrong and right for a long time, ideas of how to

work through it are there, but something has to strongly enforce those ideas.

What is being done, I guess, is not enough to work it out, if this is still

such a major issue and it concerns a lot of us. I don’t know if in the

future something will give, but for now, there are a lot of teens with a big

and serious task and there is definitely no need for those teens to have that

task.

MOTHERS

Becoming a parent permanently and profoundly alters a teenager’s life.

Most of the girls forget about their dreams of happy marriage, college is

almost always out of the question, graduating High School becomes a goal most

teenage moms don’t achieve. Young girls having babies isn’t new, as a matter

of fact, teenage parenthood was higher in the 1950 then it is today, but

things were different. Most of the girls were eighteen or nineteen and many

of them already married. Only a few of single mothers actually kept their

babies.

Today many mothers are fifteen or sixteen years old. Some are even as

young as twelve. Fathers contribute little or nothing to the care of the

baby, therefore it’s even harder for the mother. All of a sudden the girl is

thrown into the world of responsibilities and duties, where the baby’s needs

come before her own. She is expected to balance her school or a job with the

full time task of raising a baby. Her world is changed from her world of

dates, parties, sleepovers and waiting for a Saturday so you can sleep late,

to the world of doctor appointments, diapers, baby formulas, bills, and day

care.

Experts say that girls have babies from lack of self-esteem. "Too often,

adolescent pregnancy is what happens to poor kids," says psychologist Judith

Musick. "It can be a symptom of having no better options." They need someone

to love and someone to love them back. What’s cuddlier and cuter than a baby

is? A baby gives them something to look forward to and something that gives

meaning to their life. Studies show that a lot of teenage mothers come from

poverty and some of them don’t know any better. There’s definitely a lack of

education but it doesn’t have a direct relationship to race or ethnic

background. A lot of teenage moms don’t think that they have anything to

lose by having a baby.

Communities and Governments have tried to help out teenage mothers but

sometimes what they do just isn’t enough. There is After-School Care for

young adolescents and there are community learning centers. In 1984 about 8.7

million girls were living with a baby and without the father. Only 58% of

those girls have been awarded child support. Of those who were supposed to

get child support in 1983, only half received the amount due. Twenty-six

percent received partial payment and 24% had gotten no payments at all.

Federal, state, and local funds must be provided for after school programs

for young mothers. Legislative initiatives have to provide authorization to

help communities start and operate a variety of programs that could be run by

schools or churches or some kind of agencies.

Unmarried teenage moms, by contrast, are the hearts of underclass

problem. Giving birth to children whom will never have a father and who

sometimes spend a lifetime on welfare. There’s a special program to help

moms under 18 which provides a place to live, if the girl doesn’t have any,

like a church or a shelter. The girls are also provided with parental

instructions, supervised childcare, and insist on finishing high school.

There’s also allowance and training sessions. Some of the mothers are given

federal financing and a mixture of public and private management.

Maybe, if the mothers would be given another chance, they would have

taken a different path, and not have kids at such an early age. They have

probably learned their lesson and suffered the consequences. First they’d

finish their education, get a good job with a good salary, then get married,

start a family and support it.

Approximately 60% of children born to teenagers who are not married, and the

ones, who live and are not adopted, will receive welfare! "Teenage

childbearing cost the nation $16.6 billion in the year of 1985, and 385,000

children who were the first born of teenagers in that year will receive $6

billion in the next 20 years," said a certain study. "The first baby born to

a teenager will receive $15,620 in welfare payments and other government

support by the time that child reaches 20."- Study released by the privately

financed Center for Population Options. By the time these babies will reach

20, the Government will spend $6.04 billion to support them through Aid to

Families with Dependant Children, Medicaid, and food stamps. A third of the

welfare total, $2.4 billion, could have been saved if those teenage mothers

waited until they were 20 to have that baby. The U.S annually spends about

$21 billion providing health and social services to families begun by

teenagers.

There are some High Schools that learned a lot about this problem and

have tried to help out their peers. For example, John Jay High School. They

have a program for teenagers who have kids. The teen mothers are given the

opportunity to finish their education while their babies are in the school’s

daycare center. Also at Spring Valley High, in Spring Valley, New York, a

Key club started a program to help out teenage moms, they have developed the

Cots for Tots program. Club members collect supplies that are often taken

for granted. They go to local businesses and citizens and donate their own

childhood toys to the disadvantaged infants. We forget that a lot of these

teenage mothers have very bad living conditions. Cold, damp shanties – most

of them empty, tattered, dirty mattresses that someone else threw away. No

strollers, not enough clothes and blankets.

Though teen-age parenthood is a global problem, it occurs much more

frequently in the United States than in other industrialized nations. Per

capita, the US teen birthrate is about twice that of Great Britain, Canada,

and France. Three times that of Sweden, and six times that of Netherlands.

Another important issue of this topic is Family values. Some families help

the young mothers, they support them financially and emotionally. It is not

uncommon in some families to have kids at an early age depending on their

culture. Others my not be that understanding about a situation like that.

They might even kick the girl out of the house. I know that, for a fact, in

my family it would be a disgrace to have a child before I’m married and

especially when I’m young. I don’t even want to think of what my parents

would do. Although my older cousin had a baby and she’s not married. She

lives in a house with her parents and her boyfriend. But, she’s 25 years

old. Everyone adores the baby and she’s a lot more fortunate than some other

infants. Everyone buys her things and she’s very much loved. It greatly

depends on the situation and the family’s culture and background, how they

will react to a situation like this.

A lot of the girls who get pregnant, also get that way not just because of

guys their own age but older men, or even if they get raped. On the other

hand, if an older man impregnates a young girl, it is more likely that he

will actually take care of the child. Based on 1993 California figures, the

American Journal of Public Health found that adults fathered two-thirds of

infants born to unwed teens. Adult men sired 77% of California births to

girls aged 16 to 28 and 51% of those to girls under 15 in 1990. The result

of this is that the number of births to teenagers still remains high.

Here are a few things that any community could do to help out:

- Provide prenatal and postnatal care for the teen and her baby, it can cost

as little as $600 for the entire pregnancy.

- Encourage girls to make use of the medical facilities.

- Educate teen parents about the complex role of parenthood.

- Teach them about nutrition, child development, health care, discipline, and

related topics.

- Encourage young girls to stay in school and develop job skills.

- Provide high-quality day care that will help the child’s development, while

allowing the girl to stay in school and/or work.

- Sponsor pregnancy prevention programs that will keep teen mothers from

having more babies before they are ready.

It is estimated right now that 40% of girls who are 14 and younger will

get pregnant; 20% of those 14 and younger will give birth, and 16% will have

abortions. And furthermore, up to 70% of teenage mothers become pregnant

again within two years. It is surprising that in the end, the kids who

receive help now, will most likely be the ones who escape the cycle of

children having children. In my opinion, the next generation will be kids

whose parents are still kids. The parents will not be that much older than

their kids and maybe there wont be such a gap between those generations.

Kids won’t have a hard time understanding their parents and the other way

around. But if you u look at it from another angle, what can inexperienced

teenage girls offer their children? They can’t teach their babies right from

wrong. They probably would like to, but they can’t because a lot of them

don’t know it themselves.

This has been an issue of wrong and right for a long time, ideas of how to

work through it are there, but something has to strongly enforce those ideas.

What is being done, I guess, is not enough to work it out, if this is still

such a major issue and it concerns a lot of us. I don’t know if in the

future something will give, but for now, there are a lot of teens with a big

and serious task and there is definitely no need for those teens to have that

task.

MOTHERS

Becoming a parent permanently and profoundly alters a teenager’s life.

Most of the girls forget about their dreams of happy marriage, college is

almost always out of the question, graduating High School becomes a goal most

teenage moms don’t achieve. Young girls having babies isn’t new, as a matter

of fact, teenage parenthood was higher in the 1950 then it is today, but

things were different. Most of the girls were eighteen or nineteen and many

of them already married. Only a few of single mothers actually kept their

babies.

Today many mothers are fifteen or sixteen years old. Some are even as

young as twelve. Fathers contribute little or nothing to the care of the

baby, therefore it’s even harder for the mother. All of a sudden the girl is

thrown into the world of responsibilities and duties, where the baby’s needs

come before her own. She is expected to balance her school or a job with the

full time task of raising a baby. Her world is changed from her world of

dates, parties, sleepovers and waiting for a Saturday so you can sleep late,

to the world of doctor appointments, diapers, baby formulas, bills, and day

care.

Experts say that girls have babies from lack of self-esteem. "Too often,

adolescent pregnancy is what happens to poor kids," says psychologist Judith

Musick. "It can be a symptom of having no better options." They need someone

to love and someone to love them back. What’s cuddlier and cuter than a baby

is? A baby gives them something to look forward to and something that gives

meaning to their life. Studies show that a lot of teenage mothers come from

poverty and some of them don’t know any better. There’s definitely a lack of

education but it doesn’t have a direct relationship to race or ethnic

background. A lot of teenage moms don’t think that they have anything to

lose by having a baby.

Communities and Governments have tried to help out teenage mothers but

sometimes what they do just isn’t enough. There is After-School Care for

young adolescents and there are community learning centers. In 1984 about 8.7

million girls were living with a baby and without the father. Only 58% of

those girls have been awarded child support. Of those who were supposed to

get child support in 1983, only half received the amount due. Twenty-six

percent received partial payment and 24% had gotten no payments at all.

Federal, state, and local funds must be provided for after school programs

for young mothers. Legislative initiatives have to provide authorization to

help communities start and operate a variety of programs that could be run by

schools or churches or some kind of agencies.

Unmarried teenage moms, by contrast, are the hearts of underclass

problem. Giving birth to children whom will never have a father and who

sometimes spend a lifetime on welfare. There’s a special program to help

moms under 18 which provides a place to live, if the girl doesn’t have any,

like a church or a shelter. The girls are also provided with parental

instructions, supervised childcare, and insist on finishing high school.

There’s also allowance and training sessions. Some of the mothers are given

federal financing and a mixture of public and private management.

Maybe, if the mothers would be given another chance, they would have

taken a different path, and not have kids at such an early age. They have

probably learned their lesson and suffered the consequences. First they’d

finish their education, get a good job with a good salary, then get married,

start a family and support it.

Approximately 60% of children born to teenagers who are not married, and the

ones, who live and are not adopted, will receive welfare! "Teenage

childbearing cost the nation $16.6 billion in the year of 1985, and 385,000

children who were the first born of teenagers in that year will receive $6

billion in the next 20 years," said a certain study. "The first baby born to

a teenager will receive $15,620 in welfare payments and other government

support by the time that child reaches 20."- Study released by the privately

financed Center for Population Options. By the time these babies will reach

20, the Government will spend $6.04 billion to support them through Aid to

Families with Dependant Children, Medicaid, and food stamps. A third of the

welfare total, $2.4 billion, could have been saved if those teenage mothers

waited until they were 20 to have that baby. The U.S annually spends about

$21 billion providing health and social services to families begun by

teenagers.

There are some High Schools that learned a lot about this problem and

have tried to help out their peers. For example, John Jay High School. They

have a program for teenagers who have kids. The teen mothers are given the

opportunity to finish their education while their babies are in the school’s

daycare center. Also at Spring Valley High, in Spring Valley, New York, a

Key club started a program to help out teenage moms, they have developed the

Cots for Tots program. Club members collect supplies that are often taken

for granted. They go to local businesses and citizens and donate their own

childhood toys to the disadvantaged infants. We forget that a lot of these

teenage mothers have very bad living conditions. Cold, damp shanties – most

of them empty, tattered, dirty mattresses that someone else threw away. No

strollers, not enough clothes and blankets.

Though teen-age parenthood is a global problem, it occurs much more

frequently in the United States than in other industrialized nations. Per

capita, the US teen birthrate is about twice that of Great Britain, Canada,

and France. Three times that of Sweden, and six times that of Netherlands.

Another important issue of this topic is Family values. Some families help

the young mothers, they support them financially and emotionally. It is not

uncommon in some families to have kids at an early age depending on their

culture. Others my not be that understanding about a situation like that.

They might even kick the girl out of the house. I know that, for a fact, in

my family it would be a disgrace to have a child before I’m married and

especially when I’m young. I don’t even want to think of what my parents

would do. Although my older cousin had a baby and she’s not married. She

lives in a house with her parents and her boyfriend. But, she’s 25 years

old. Everyone adores the baby and she’s a lot more fortunate than some other

infants. Everyone buys her things and she’s very much loved. It greatly

depends on the situation and the family’s culture and background, how they

will react to a situation like this.

A lot of the girls who get pregnant, also get that way not just because of

guys their own age but older men, or even if they get raped. On the other

hand, if an older man impregnates a young girl, it is more likely that he

will actually take care of the child. Based on 1993 California figures, the

American Journal of Public Health found that adults fathered two-thirds of

infants born to unwed teens. Adult men sired 77% of California births to

girls aged 16 to 28 and 51% of those to girls under 15 in 1990. The result

of this is that the number of births to teenagers still remains high.

Here are a few things that any community could do to help out:

- Provide prenatal and postnatal care for the teen and her baby, it can cost

as little as $600 for the entire pregnancy.

- Encourage girls to make use of the medical facilities.

- Educate teen parents about the complex role of parenthood.

- Teach them about nutrition, child development, health care, discipline, and

related topics.

- Encourage young girls to stay in school and develop job skills.

- Provide high-quality day care that will help the child’s development, while

allowing the girl to stay in school and/or work.

- Sponsor pregnancy prevention programs that will keep teen mothers from

having more babies before they are ready.

It is estimated right now that 40% of girls who are 14 and younger will

get pregnant; 20% of those 14 and younger will give birth, and 16% will have

abortions. And furthermore, up to 70% of teenage mothers become pregnant

again within two years. It is surprising that in the end, the kids who

receive help now, will most likely be the ones who escape the cycle of

children having children. In my opinion, the next generation will be kids

whose parents are still kids. The parents will not be that much older than

their kids and maybe there wont be such a gap between those generations.

Kids won’t have a hard time understanding their parents and the other way

around. But if you u look at it from another angle, what can inexperienced

teenage girls offer their children? They can’t teach their babies right from

wrong. They probably would like to, but they can’t because a lot of them

don’t know it themselves.

This has been an issue of wrong and right for a long time, ideas of how to

work through it are there, but something has to strongly enforce those ideas.

What is being done, I guess, is not enough to work it out, if this is still

such a major issue and it concerns a lot of us. I don’t know if in the

future something will give, but for now, there are a lot of teens with a big

and serious task and there is definitely no need for those teens to have that

task.

MOTHERS

Becoming a parent permanently and profoundly alters a teenager’s life.

Most of the girls forget about their dreams of happy marriage, college is

almost always out of the question, graduating High School becomes a goal most

teenage moms don’t achieve. Young girls having babies isn’t new, as a matter

of fact, teenage parenthood was higher in the 1950 then it is today, but

things were different. Most of the girls were eighteen or nineteen and many

of them already married. Only a few of single mothers actually kept their

babies.

Today many mothers are fifteen or sixteen years old. Some are even as

young as twelve. Fathers contribute little or nothing to the care of the

baby, therefore it’s even harder for the mother. All of a sudden the girl is

thrown into the world of responsibilities and duties, where the baby’s needs

come before her own. She is expected to balance her school or a job with the

full time task of raising a baby. Her world is changed from her world of

dates, parties, sleepovers and waiting for a Saturday so you can sleep late,

to the world of doctor appointments, diapers, baby formulas, bills, and day

care.

Experts say that girls have babies from lack of self-esteem. "Too often,

adolescent pregnancy is what happens to poor kids," says psychologist Judith

Musick. "It can be a symptom of having no better options." They need someone

to love and someone to love them back. What’s cuddlier and cuter than a baby

is? A baby gives them something to look forward to and something that gives

meaning to their life. Studies show that a lot of teenage mothers come from

poverty and some of them don’t know any better. There’s definitely a lack of

education but it doesn’t have a direct relationship to race or ethnic

background. A lot of teenage moms don’t think that they have anything to

lose by having a baby.

Communities and Governments have tried to help out teenage mothers but

sometimes what they do just isn’t enough. There is After-School Care for

young adolescents and there are community learning centers. In 1984 about 8.7

million girls were living with a baby and without the father. Only 58% of

those girls have been awarded child support. Of those who were supposed to

get child support in 1983, only half received the amount due. Twenty-six

percent received partial payment and 24% had gotten no payments at all.

Federal, state, and local funds must be provided for after school programs

for young mothers. Legislative initiatives have to provide authorization to

help communities start and operate a variety of programs that could be run by

schools or churches or some kind of agencies.

Unmarried teenage moms, by contrast, are the hearts of underclass

problem. Giving birth to children whom will never have a father and who

sometimes spend a lifetime on welfare. There’s a special program to help

moms under 18 which provides a place to live, if the girl doesn’t have any,

like a church or a shelter. The girls are also provided with parental

instructions, supervised childcare, and insist on finishing high school.

There’s also allowance and training sessions. Some of the mothers are given

federal financing and a mixture of public and private management.

Maybe, if the mothers would be given another chance, they would have

taken a different path, and not have kids at such an early age. They have

probably learned their lesson and suffered the consequences. First they’d

finish their education, get a good job with a good salary, then get married,

start a family and support it.

Approximately 60% of children born to teenagers who are not married, and the

ones, who live and are not adopted, will receive welfare! "Teenage

childbearing cost the nation $16.6 billion in the year of 1985, and 385,000

children who were the first born of teenagers in that year will receive $6

billion in the next 20 years," said a certain study. "The first baby born to

a teenager will receive $15,620 in welfare payments and other government

support by the time that child reaches 20."- Study released by the privately

financed Center for Population Options. By the time these babies will reach

20, the Government will spend $6.04 billion to support them through Aid to

Families with Dependant Children, Medicaid, and food stamps. A third of the

welfare total, $2.4 billion, could have been saved if those teenage mothers

waited until they were 20 to have that baby. The U.S annually spends about

$21 billion providing health and social services to families begun by

teenagers.

There are some High Schools that learned a lot about this problem and

have tried to help out their peers. For example, John Jay High School. They

have a program for teenagers who have kids. The teen mothers are given the

opportunity to finish their education while their babies are in the school’s

daycare center. Also at Spring Valley High, in Spring Valley, New York, a

Key club started a program to help out teenage moms, they have developed the

Cots for Tots program. Club members collect supplies that are often taken

for granted. They go to local businesses and citizens and donate their own

childhood toys to the disadvantaged infants. We forget that a lot of these

teenage mothers have very bad living conditions. Cold, damp shanties – most

of them empty, tattered, dirty mattresses that someone else threw away. No

strollers, not enough clothes and blankets.

Though teen-age parenthood is a global problem, it occurs much more

frequently in the United States than in other industrialized nations. Per

capita, the US teen birthrate is about twice that of Great Britain, Canada,

and France. Three times that of Sweden, and six times that of Netherlands.

Another important issue of this topic is Family values. Some families help

the young mothers, they support them financially and emotionally. It is not

uncommon in some families to have kids at an early age depending on their

culture. Others my not be that understanding about a situation like that.

They might even kick the girl out of the house. I know that, for a fact, in

my family it would be a disgrace to have a child before I’m married and

especially when I’m young. I don’t even want to think of what my parents

would do. Although my older cousin had a baby and she’s not married. She

lives in a house with her parents and her boyfriend. But, she’s 25 years

old. Everyone adores the baby and she’s a lot more fortunate than some other

infants. Everyone buys her things and she’s very much loved. It greatly

depends on the situation and the family’s culture and background, how they

will react to a situation like this.

A lot of the girls who get pregnant, also get that way not just because of

guys their own age but older men, or even if they get raped. On the other

hand, if an older man impregnates a young girl, it is more likely that he

will actually take care of the child. Based on 1993 California figures, the

American Journal of Public Health found that adults fathered two-thirds of

infants born to unwed teens. Adult men sired 77% of California births to

girls aged 16 to 28 and 51% of those to girls under 15 in 1990. The result

of this is that the number of births to teenagers still remains high.

Here are a few things that any community could do to help out:

- Provide prenatal and postnatal care for the teen and her baby, it can cost

as little as $600 for the entire pregnancy.

- Encourage girls to make use of the medical facilities.

- Educate teen parents about the complex role of parenthood.

- Teach them about nutrition, child development, health care, discipline, and

related topics.

- Encourage young girls to stay in school and develop job skills.

- Provide high-quality day care that will help the child’s development, while

allowing the girl to stay in school and/or work.

- Sponsor pregnancy prevention programs that will keep teen mothers from

having more babies before they are ready.

It is estimated right now that 40% of girls who are 14 and younger will

get pregnant; 20% of those 14 and younger will give birth, and 16% will have

abortions. And furthermore, up to 70% of teenage mothers become pregnant

again within two years. It is surprising that in the end, the kids who

receive help now, will most likely be the ones who escape the cycle of

children having children. In my opinion, the next generation will be kids

whose parents are still kids. The parents will not be that much older than

their kids and maybe there wont be such a gap between those generations.

Kids won’t have a hard time understanding their parents and the other way

around. But if you u look at it from another angle, what can inexperienced

teenage girls offer their children? They can’t teach their babies right from

wrong. They probably would like to, but they can’t because a lot of them

don’t know it themselves.

This has been an issue of wrong and right for a long time, ideas of how to

work through it are there, but something has to strongly enforce those ideas.

What is being done, I guess, is not enough to work it out, if this is still

such a major issue and it concerns a lot of us. I don’t know if in the

future something will give, but for now, there are a lot of teens with a big

and serious task and there is definitely no need for those teens to have that

task.