Todays society is different from that of fifty years ago. One reason for this change is when our parents were entering adolescence, they were taught to respect family values. For example, the stigma that an unwed, pregnant teen carried then would be disastrous for both the family and her today. However, society rewards these same teens-in the eyes of some- with free medical care, childcare, housing, food and education. Ironically, this may actually encourage pregnancy among teenagers. Although every child deserves enough food and a decent dwelling, reinstating family values among teens in addition to parents spending more time with children may be the steps necessary to reduce teen pregnancy.
Many teenagers become parents because The breakdown of the family system may encourage adolescents to seek other love objects in or compensate for their lack of attention and nurturance (Ravert 3). Unfortunately, this is becoming a trend for many teens today. A result of this breakdown is teenagers are left to fend for themselves because mom and dad are either too busy working, divorced, or just do not care enough to spend time with his/her children.
Therefore, these young people are spending too much time alone and, even more alarming, are the number of teens who are seeking companionship in the bed of another teen. How do they do it, the ones who make love/without love (Olds 1-2)?
Our teenagers need to be taught to have more respect for themselves, so they can have a better life for themselves and the children they will have later in life, Findings indicated the pregnant adolescents had a higher life change event scores with a greater number of life change events than did their non-pregnant peers (Ravert 2).
With all of the information available to the public on the effects of divorce on our kids, the amount of time spent alone, and how the chances of teenage pregnancy increase when the two are combined, we-as parents-should do more to stay married and spend more time with our children.
Second, the stigma that teen pregnancy has changed over the years. Years ago, a girl who became pregnant was shipped off to another school, family member, or was married quickly and pretended the baby was born prematurely. Ironically, todays teens perceive teen pregnancy in a different way, If the pregnancy is perceived as an expected life event, it may not generate feelings of surprise in the pregnant adolescent (Ravert 2). This should be inexcusable to us-the public-and we should work together so that the rate of teen pregnancy drops completely and this feeling among teenagers is chanced. This mentality has sadly allowed Arkansas to become tied with Mississippi with 75 births per 1000 for ages 15-19, which is second in the nation, too high for kids whose future has changed (Wetzstein 4).
However, and more importantly, is the fact that we need to recognize the real victims-the child born to mothers who cannot financially care for them. An even greater effect on these babies is the lack of maturity a child of who is 15 years old. If the baby is to have a chance of breaking the cycle of teen pregnancy, one of the best options for the mother is to place the baby up for adoption, which is a much better choice for the child than the alternative, abortion. Either way, a change in attitude may prevent the unthinkable from happening.
Last, even with the knowledge teenagers have today on the dangers of premarital sex and the consequences that may follow, teens are still choosing to have sex. As a result, teens need to be taught not only about the risk of becoming pregnant and contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), which can result in health problems such as infertility or may even result in death, but also the risk of jeopardizing the future of their family and themselves.
Surprisingly, a mindset some teenagers have, which some parents may not be aware of, is that A third report, also released today by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, found that U.S. teens were more concerned about getting an STD than about getting pregnant (Qtd. In Wetzstein 3). Therefore, parents must do more to instill the value of saying no. We should begin to teach family values and the possible societal consequences of teenage pregnancy.
We, as a nation, need to do what we can to educate our children about the dangers of pre- marital sex. However, our attention should not only be focused on education, but also on reestablishing values that emphasize the importance of spending time with our children because kids should not be encouraged to rear kids. Adults should be rearing children. We should be showing the children that they are important by letting them know that they are loved before the teens seek love on a Friday night in the backseat of a car. If we dont do this soon, teenagers could force their parents to become grandparents early in life.