Today, the third season of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant airs. If you know a teen or preteen who watches the show, you should take the opportunity to watch it with them. Not only will it be a good bonding experience, but it will also help you explain to them why it’s not okay to be 16 and pregnant. Not sure where to start or what to say? This post will help get you through it.
You Will Not Get Famous: About 750,000 cases of teen pregnancy are reported each year. Only a handful are picked for shows such as Teen Mom, Maury, and 16 and Pregnant. Needless to say, the average pregnant teenage girl will not get picked for these shows. There will be no photo shoots, no cameras, no show, no compensation, no flashing lights. There will just be you to take care of your baby.
Being a Teen Mom is HARD: Are you prepared to wake up in the middle of the night to feed or change your crying child’s diaper? Do you have enough money to pay for baby formula, food, diapers, clothes, bottles and other necessities? If you have a job or go to school, do you have someone to take care of the baby while you’re gone? Are you ready to put the needs of a baby before your own? Are you ready to give up hanging out with your friends and extra curricular activities? Do you have enough for a baby sitter? Before you have a baby you need to consider these things.
In addition, many teen mothers do not have as much support from their friends, families, and boyfriends as they do on the show. Most teen mothers do not wed the fathers of their children. Many girls are kicked out of their homes and their friends reject them. It can be very lonely and very difficult to take care of a child on your own.
Completing School Can Be Challenge: According to the Center of Disease Control, two thirds of teen mothers don’t complete high school. Those who do complete high school rarely continue or complete their college educations. With most jobs requiring a college education, it may be hard for teen mothers to find work and support their families.
You May Have to Put Your Dreams on Hold: Once you have a child, his or her needs will have to come before your own. You may want to go to college or travel the world, but you may not be able to. This is especially true if you don’t have a strong support system.
Maintaining Relationships is Hard: Having a baby will definitely have an affect on those around you. You may lose a lot of friends and family. Although some teen couples that have children stay together and get married, many do not.
Being a teen mom isn’t easy and young girls should aspire to be more than that. Accidents happen and children are a gift. However, to intentionally get pregnant to become famous or to hold onto a relationship is wrong.
Enjoy tonight’s show and feel free to add any comments or concerns you have about teen pregnancy.