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Teen Parenting Today
Some Thoughts About Teen Parents
The desire of every parent is that their teens would devote their time to their education and personal development. However, the reality is that increasingly, teens are becoming involved in adult activities at very young ages. One of the consequences, obviously, is a high rate of teenage pregnancy and the correspondent increase in teenage parents who are, most times, unprepared, unsupported and therefore totally unequipped to parent a child.
Teen parenting has, undoubtedly become a problem in today’s society and requires urgent attention from all stakeholders. While parents retain primary responsibility for their children other social partners, namely: school, church and government organizations must play a major role in addressing the problems related to these young persons.
Clearly, young persons must interact with adults in different aspects of their day to day life. It must be recognized, first and foremost, that they come from varying backgrounds and therefore it is not up to anyone, ignorant of their background, to judge them or set expectations for them. Rather, we who are in a position to assist them and to guide them into becoming responsible parents should do so with an attitude of love. We must assist them not only in acquiring good parenting skills, but also a knowledge base that will assist them in becoming better persons all round.
One of our responsibilities as parents, teachers, mentors, church members, is to help them to regain the confidence and self esteem which they might have lost through the whole experience of becoming parents prematurely and to provide them with mature friends whom they can call upon for support and guidance in their times of crisis.
Having said this, I wish to emphasize that on no account should these young persons be absolved of the responsibility of looking after their children which is a direct consequence of the untimely choices which they have made.
Teen Parents Need Support and Guidance
Teen parents need to understand fully, that having fathered or borne a child they now have the responsibility of nurturing that child, providing for the child and ensuring its continued safety and well being. They are therefore, encouraged to have a vision for their future and that of the child that they have brought into the world. Only when you have a destination in mind can you plan the route you will take in order to get there.
Obviously, teen parents will need to seek guidance and support from their own parents and adult friends and relatives to assist them in raising their child properly - not only material and financial support, but more importantly the spiritual support which will guide them into strengthening their morals and values and learning methods of doing things right.
Go Back to School!
Get on Board!
Teen parent, what are you doing with your life?
Pick up the Pieces
Importantly, teen parents need to understand that having a child is not the end of the road as far as they are concerned. It is necessary, both for themselves and for the child, that they continue to empower themselves to become independent and productive individuals. To this end they need to aggressively seek opportunities for their personal advancement through the acquisition of education and skills. Many opportunities are available through online programs some of which are free, government/state sponsored programs, skills training and entrepreneurship programs among others.
Online programs and evening classes provide persons with the opportunity to advance their careers while working part time or in some cases even full time. Those who have the opportunity to work and study should do so in order to make themselves marketable and competitive. The internet is a ready and accessible medium for ambitious young people to search for opportunities which exist for their self development.
Play Your Part
Are you willing to assist a teen parent or other young person who needs assistance in picking up the pieces and moving on with his/her life?
Be Inspired by Others Who Have Done it Successfully
There are many successful figures all over the world who were temporarily hindered by an infraction, error or bad decision in their youth and who were able, through ambition, determination and sacrifice to pick up the pieces and move on to become success stories, role models and even inspirational figures. Teen parents are no exception.
I must reiterate that society has a major role to play in assisting young persons in rising and moving forward after they have fallen. Adult society as well as state institutions must continue to provide support and encouragement in whatever form it is needed to make progress more attainable and the road less bumpy for teen parents and other young persons who once went down the wrong road and now wish to change direction.
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