Shoals area teen mom: “Life is not what movies make it out to be,”


In today’s society, teenagers are having sex more frequently, at younger ages. Does it in fact, help the problem that kids are watching puberty videos in school, or does that promote sex? Shouldn’t parents have “the talk,” with their children at home, where it is more secure? Why are teachers passing out condoms in school if their not promoting sex? All these questions are concerns that any parent should have. Girls are having babies at younger ages every year. In 2013 273,105 babies were born to women ages 15-19 years old, just in America. 16 million girls ages 15-19 give birth each year worldwide. About 77% percent of teenage pregnancies are unplanned. $9.4 billion tax dollars were spent on teen pregnancy and childbirth in 2010. Only 50% of teen mothers ages 15-19 earn a high school diploma. Does it help that one of MTV’s hit shows promotes teen pregnancy? Now girls are thinking about getting pregnant in hopes of getting on the show for money and fame. What most teenage girls do not understand is that a baby will not help their boyfriends stay with them. Having a baby is a big responsibility and in most cases the young girls parents end up raising their children.

The main issue is poverty. Teenagers are getting pregnant in poverty homes as well. More than 16 million children were living in poverty in 2011. Among 18- to 64- year-olds, the poverty rate was 13.7 percent. The nation’s poorest kids often live in households headed by a single female. Almost half of all children with a single mother- 47.6 percent- live in poverty. Parenthood is the leading reason that teenage girls drop out of school. About 25 percent of teen mothers have their second child within twenty-four months of their first baby. 8 out of 10 teen fathers do not marry the mother of their child. A sexually active teenage girl who does not use birth control methods has a ninety percent chance of becoming pregnant within one year. Most mothers on welfare today had their first child as a teenager. Mentioned before about poverty, two-thirds of families begun by young, unmarried mother’s who are poor. In closing of this article I wanted to announce that I was a teenage mother.I got pregnant in the ninth grade. I was out partying every weekend at the age of 16. Alcohol played a big role of the unprotected sex, I was indeed having. It was so bad that when I did find out I was pregnant I went to the hospital under the impression that I had alcohol poisoning. I was in a relationship with the father of the child. He was also 16 years old, we had been together for two weeks when I suddenly became pregnant. He did not use condoms, and I was not taking my birth control pills regularly like I should have. We ended our relationship when our son was only a year old. We argued about the baby. I called him lazy and irresponsible almost every day. The stress is overwhelming for a mother in high school. I was in custody court at the age of 18, which added even more stress. I knew I was not going to let it get to me. I set a goal for myself to finish school, I wanted my baby to be proud. I finished my senior year in October of 2013, 7 months earlier than a regular senior year. I never let the stress defeat me, but I can only speak for myself. My best advice to young women is, wait and do not rush your life away. When you blink and realize life is not what movies make it out to be, you will not regret living a safe life. I love my son with all my heart and I would never take back any of the choices I made. Braylon Riley has made me the strong willed woman I am today and he has in fact, saved my life.

Haley Foust- Staff Writer

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