I just read the article below and I had to share it along with some thoughts. Please read the article and you'll see my notes following.......
Pregnant 14-Year-Old Says Having a Child Is the Newest Fashion Among Teens
Saturday, February 24, 2007
The newest fashion among schoolgirls is getting knocked up, according to one pregnant 14-year-old whose four friends are also expecting. British teen Kizzy Neal says she's been approached for advice from other pregnant girls her age ever since she conceived, reported London's Daily Mail. "When my friends see my bump they say they wish they could have a baby, then three weeks later they're pregnant and don't know what to do," Neal said.
"It seems to be fashionable to get pregnant. ... Teenage girls think babies are cute, but they forget the physical side of being pregnant, then having to give up your own childhood to look after a baby," she told the paper. Neal says she got pregnant the first time she had sex with her 13-year-old boyfriend.
Family campaigners say her comments show how current sex education policies leave teens with the "ridiculous but extremely worrying" idea that having a child is comparable to buying a new handbag. Neal's comments come as figures show England and Wales have the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in Europe, with the biggest growth among girls under 16.
After reading the article I noticed that it didn't say if Ms. Neal got pregnant on purpose, only that she got pregnant after having sex for the first time with her boyfriend. Four of her friends followed her lead, and see her as a mentor. I see this as a prime example of kids raising kids, nothing more. If her friends got pregnant because of her, they are setting themselves up for extreme failure by looking to her for advice.
A few years ago I saw a show on teenagers having babies, on "The Maury Povich show". There were about 4 or 5 girls, all younger than 16, wanting to become mothers. While they didn't have the notion that pregnancy was "fashionable" as Ms. Neal, they just wanted a baby with no valid reasoning to back it up. As Ms. Neal says, babies are cute and girls love babies and don't take into consideration all that comes with it. On the show, a group of people from Planned Parenthood created a "Baby Bootcamp" and put these girls to the test. After about 15 minutes of mock bathing and diaper training, these girls quickly lost their desire to be young mothers.
I read about sex laws in England and legal age of consent is 16 years of age. Somehow, the laws are not keeping these kids from doing the deed and it's not surprising. I don't think these young girls are setting out to become pregnant, but it's obvious that there has been no education provided from schools or parents regarding the consequences of unprotected sex. Since the laws mean nothing to these kids, the responsibility falls on the parents, and in this case I see the parents of Ms. Neal at fault.
Any realistic parent knows that you cannot keep your kid from doing much, since they go away to school each day. You can make threats of punishment, but it physically will not stop any activities they do while they're away from home. If that is the case, parents need to give their kids all of the information they need in order to make smart decisions. The friends of Ms. Neal who have gotten pregnant and come to her for advice must lack parental guidance if they're taking cues from another teenager. The notion that pregancy is "fashionable", as Ms. Neal said, is completely ludicrous and displays her immaturity.
I think women who give up their careers to raise children or those who have difficulty having children would be particularly offended by Ms. Neal's attitude towards motherhood. Her ideas undermine the sacrifices that many women give up willingly to raise a child. I think that in a place where the age of consent is as low as 16, with even younger kids having sex, parents need to form a much tighter bond with their children to keep them informed.
I don't know about any of you reading this, but if my unborn son started having a physical relationship in his teen years, he would be loaded with condoms and would be aware of the consequences of his actions. Many boys are foolish in believing that they can just pull out at the right moment and that's their form of birth control. Then there's my favorite situation in which the girl says "I'm on the pill" and the boy accepts that for his protection. Being that there are far more consequences than pregnancy for unprotected sex, the pill should mean nothing when the discussion of safe sex arises.
In the end, all you can do is teach your kids well and let them live by your words and examples. I guess that in London, kids just run wild and have sex every chance they get. Parents will pay the price in the end when their children can't handle a baby of their own.
What do you think about the article or my thoughts?