What are your suggestions for helping teen parents manage a successful life?
My suggestion would depend on their living situation, family relationship, and social economic status.
If they have a good relationship with their family, my suggestion would be to utilize family supports as much as they can and at the same time focus on finishing their education. Once they have obtained something from that, then the next focus would be to find (and maintain) employment.
If they are estranged from family and/or have decided to remain indepedant from them, my suggestion would be to seek supports from a Social Worker and receive advice from them.
Every Social Worker has different agendas and perspectives, and I cannot speak for all when it comes to serving children, it is imperative to follow the child's best interests and not what anybody else wants. In this case, for the Social Worker, it would have to be sitting down with the child and finding out what their hopes and dreams are, what type of a career do they see themselves in, and building upon that as part of their action plan. I find that a lot of Social Workers confuse their position with foster parents and/or parents, than actual Social Workers delegating Social Work supports. So I think it is important to always focus on the client in this case, their wants, needs, plans, and goals in life. This is especially important when working with minors, because they are considered vulnerable.
It is also reminding and educating them about their responsibilities by valuing the child they have brought into the world.
So in a nut shell:
1) Finish Education
2) Maintain Employment
3) Seek and maintain Family Supports
4) Seek Other Resources: Support Groups, Counselling, Social Worker, etc.
If they achieve all four, I think without a doubt they will not only become successful parents, but also successful people.
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