Oh My God, I Am Pregnant! What AM I To Do? What Will MY PARENTS Think!
A world renowned celebrity in her autobiography related how she became unexpectedly pregnant while she was a senior in high school. This celebrity further related that she was quite apprehensive about the situation. She divulged that her first thought was what would her parents think. According to the celebrity, the person she was most afraid of was her mother.
This celebrity asserted that her mother was known to take a no prisoners' approach to parenting. Furthermore, this celebrity maintained that she and her boyfriend were prohibited by her parents to see each other. However, despite parental prohibition against the relationship, this celebrity stated as a teenager, she refused to listen to parental admonitions and continued to see the boyfriend. Well, back to that later.......
This celebrity was one of many teenagers who become unexpectedly pregnant. According to an article in LIVESTRONG.COM, out of all the industrialized nations, the United States has the highest percentage of teen pregnancies. This was the findings of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy website, StayTeen. org. Why is this you ask?
Well, there are many teenagers in the United States who do not receive a thorough and comprehensive sex education. In addition to that, many parents are extremely loathe to discuss the rudiments of sex education. Some parents mistakenly portend that teaching sex education to their teenagers actually gives them a license to indulge in sex. So they adopt the ostrich approach i.e. they avoid the subject in the anticipation that their teenagers will not even think about sex, let alone want to indulge.
Still other parents adopt an even more stringent approach to sex education. They admonish their teenagers NOT to do it! They emphasize abstinence only. There are parents who refuse to view their teenagers as burgeoning adults but as children. They refuse to acknowledge that their teenaged children are becoming adults with new feelings which they never had before and those feelings include newly developed sexual feelings.
Many parents are at a quandary as to how to relate to their teenagers. Should they consider them as young adults with new feelings or as children to be sheltered as long as possible. The issue of raising teenagers can be quite onerous even for the most aware and sophisticated parent. Teenagers are in no man's land- no longer children in the strictest sense of the word and not yet adults.
The teenage years are years of exploration and rebellion. Teenagers want to individuate and establish their own personas separate from their parents. This is normal and to be expected. Teenagers also are developing adult-like behaviors and feelings. Many parents are afraid of this, feeling that their teenagers are not equipped to handle adult roles.
Some parents refuse to see that their teenagers are becoming adults so they treat them like children. They are fearful of eventually letting go and letting their teenagers becoming increasingly independent. Behind this fear is an abject fear that their teenagers are becoming sexual beings. This is these parents' worst nightmare!
These are the parents who want to control their teenagers to an extreme degree. They reason that if they keep their teenagers on a tight leash, the latter will not get into trouble! Still other parents prefer to view their teenagers as still children for the exact same reason. The average parent cannot acknowledge that their teenager is a burgeoning sexual being. That would mean that they are changing and is no longer children. That is too much for many average parents to absorb!
I remember in my sophomore year in high school, I was assigned a book DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS by Piri Thomas. The book was a coming of age treatise about a young man growing up in East Harlem. The book was quite graphic. Well, let me not digress too much. Well, a classmate asked her father what certain terminology in the book meant. Her father response was why was she asking such questions as she was too young to know of "such things". It was evident that the father viewed his teenaged daughter as a little girl who is not supposed to be curious about sex nor have sexual feelings.
Regarding the issue of sex education, many parents are extremely hesitant to discuss the issue of contraception with their teenagers. That would be equivalent to igniting a megahydrogen bomb. Oh no, not my teenagers, these parents portend. If their teenagers know about birth control, you know that they are having sex.
There are enlightened parents who realize that their teenagers are burgeoning adults with their own individual feelings, aspirations, and desire. These desires include sexual ones. These parents know this and wish to prepare their teenagers regarding all aspects of sex education. These are the parents who realize that discussing contraception is an integral part of sex education. They want their teenager to be prepared when the situation arises. It is these parents' contention that it is better for their teenager to be prepared than to be woefully unprepared with dire consequences.
However, these enlightened parents are few. Most parents are quite tentative regarding discussing sex with their children, particularly their teenagers. They portend that the least information they present regarding sex, the better! But such is not the cause. Studies show that children and teenagers who receive a thorough and comprehensive sex education from their parents and/or other authority figures are least likely to experiment and to become pregnant if they do elect to indulge in sex. Furthermore, if teenagers do not receive a thoroughly comprehensive sex education from their parents and/or other reliable adult figures, they will seek the information-often from other teenagers and/or other unreliable sources where they will receive misinformation!
Parents who are extremely reticent and/or refuse to discuss sex with their teenagers are leaving a wide open door which is not positive. These are the teenagers who are armed with no or the incorrect information. Parents who are prohibitive regarding teaching their teenagers sex education often have teenagers who eventually rebel against such strictures.
Teenagers who are in the dark about sex are the ones most likely to become pregnant or impregnate someone because they do not have the prerequisite sex education. Contraception is such a taboo topic for many parents to discuss with teenagers. However, contraception is an undeniable fact of life when one begins to indulge in sex.
A teenager is now pregnant because of being totally unknowledgable and/or unprepared when entering a relationship. If a parent is notified of the pregnancy, he/she is often totally surprised. They wonder why? Perhaps, they never had an in-depth talk about the subject or if they did, there was only an emphasis on abstinence only sex education.
Many teenagers are apprehensive about approaching and telling their parents that they are either pregnant or if they are male, impregnated someone. Many parents are quite atavistic regarding sex. They portend that under no circumstances should a teenager indulge in sex. In their estimation, the latter is a child and has no business having any type of sexual feelings whatsoever,
There are other parents who consider a pregnant teenager to be a fall from grace. They contend that since no teenager should be indulging in sex because it is inappropriate or immoral. They further assert that if they do, they should face dire consequences which could include an unplanned pregnancy. They are of the opinion that a teenager being pregnant or impregnating someone is an affront to their family honor. They feel disgraced and less than admirable in the eyes of their other family members, friends, associates, and community. They also had a prior image of their teenager as an upstanding person and the pregnancy represents a severe fall from grace. This parent believe that since the teenager brought "dishonor" upon the family, he/she must either leave as not to bring further disgrace upon the family.
Then there are parents who believe that their teenager is totally unprepared for pregnancy so they persuade their teenager to have an abortion. These parents maintain that teenagers are totally incapable to be parents mentailly, psychologically, and socioeconomically. They want their teenager to continue their education and to be the person they were meant to be. According to these parents, pregnancy would total curtail any plans for further education and socioeconomic success so abortion is the only and best option regarding the situation.
Many parents force a teenager to have the abortion although he/she may feel the opposite. These parents adamantly assert that there is no other option because teenagers are totally ill-equipped to handle being pregnant. There are parents who let their teenager decide what optioni is best for them and they support this option whatever it may be. They believe that this is a family matter and they will handle the situation as a family unit pure and simple.
While many parents are surprised at the prospect of an unplanned teenaged pregnancy, they are quite supportive of their teenaged child. They would do anything to support their child, realizing that everyone does make a mistake. They further maintain that an unplanned teenage pregnancy is not the end of the world, there is light beyond the tunnel. Only a few parents would consider an unplanned teenage pregnancy to be a disgrace and a moral affront to the family unit. And fewer parents would consider disowning or ejecting a teenager from the family home because of an unplanned pregnancy.
Regarding the abovementioned renowned celebrity. She stated during several interviews that being pregnant as a teenager was the most frightening thing in her life. She further portended that she was totally unprepared to be a parent. She reported that she underwent an abortion but never told her parents either about the pregnancy or the abortion.
The issue of an unplanned teenage pregnancy is a precarious one. When one approaches his/her teenage years, he/she walks a road between childhood and adulthood. New feelings and aspirations arise when one becomes an adolescent. He/she starts to separate from his/her parents and to establish his/her own individualized identity. He/she is in the process of becoming increasingly independent of his/her parents. Because he/she is in the process of becoming an adult, there are new feelings which he/she never experienced previously which include sexual feelings.
Many parents are loathe to acknowledge that their teenager is no longer a child. They feel threatened by this because they must gradually change their parental role. They must learn to relax and gradually let go of their children. Many parents are furthermore hesitant to consider that their teenage children are sexual beings because they are their children. Because of this, many parents feel uncomfortable discussing sex with their teenager because they view the latter as a child to be protected.
However, sex is a part of life and teenagers should receive a thoroughly comprehensive sex education which include an in-depth discussion of contraception. Many parents mistaken believe that such discussion provides a license for a teenager to indulge in sex. Contraceptive education does not necessarily mean that a teenager will have sex. Even if they decide to have sex, they would be protected against any unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.
In summation, the issue of teenage sex is quite a controversial topic in the United States. Studies authenticate that of all the industrialized nation, the United States has the highest amount of unplanned teenaged pregnancies. Many parents are reluctant to discuss the rudiments of sexwith their teenagers with the exception of abstinence education. They beiieve that discussion any alternative form of sex education would give teenagers an unwritten permission to have sex.
Further studies further substantiate that teenagers who are taught every aspect of sex education are more prepared and knowledgeable; however, they are the least likely to experiment sexually. Many teenagers who do not receive comprehensive sex education by the parents and/or another trusted authority figure will seek sexual information elsewhere-often from another teenager who will give them misinformation.
As a result of scanty information received regarding sex, many teenagers enter into sexual relationships quite ill-prepared and ill-equipped. Because they have little knowledge about contraception, they are likely to become pregnant. Unplanned teen pregnancies affect teenagers emotionally, psychologically, and sometimes socioeconomically. Teenagers who become pregnant and continue with their pregnancies are the least likely to continue their education.
Many teenagers, realizing this, opt for abortion. Still others have their babies yet give them up for adoption thus continuing their education. Parents have different reactions to their teenagers' pregnancies. Some are quite supportive no matter what choice their teenager make. They realize that mistakes do occur but the situation will be remedied as a family. Other parents are not so supportive, compelling them to have an abortioni because it is the parents' opinion that no teenager under their jurisdiction is capabel enough to have a baby. While some are more extreme, viewing their teenager being pregnant as a disgrace and affront to them. They believe that it is better that the teenager get out of their lives because the latter would reflect negatively upon them and the family unit. Yes, unplanned teenage pregnancy is a problem but it can be lessened and probably alleviated when parents and teenagers can freely and intelligently discuss all aspects of sex.
© 2012 Grace Marguerite Williams
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